Developing Employees Who Think for Themselves

More than ever, managers are saying their employees need to think and not just follow in the workplace. To further expand on that point, managers explained, while it’s helpful for employees to follow protocol they’ve developed, what they really want is for them to co-create value. This means thinking critically as well as building process-improvement mechanisms.

For many years, managers have built a “fail proof” system for their employees to follow which is unique to the company and what works for them. If these said employees did A-B-C, their work would result in X-Y-Z. However, what they are finding is in order to grow and expand, improvement is necessary. And that is what employees want: to improve.

So how do you encourage your employees to create while not cutting them completely loose? There are three things a company can do in order to engage their employees and get their heads working.

Give people ownership of:

  1. How they perform tasks.
  2. Their identity.
  3. Their time.

Managers should consider giving more freedom, not all, to the employee so they don’t feel they are shut down in the growing process. Hold them accountable with how they achieve tasks while still offering assistance and employees will feel they have more control on how they perform and they will be more willing to think outside of the box.

In a recent study, Millennials were asked if they would rather have more money, or more training so that they felt they could grow in the company. The answer? More training. With more training, employees often feel more confident to engage and share their ideas with their managers. Giving your staff perks is also another great way of keeping them very happy with their employment, so just choose a platform that offers flexible employee benefits and you’re good to go.

This confidence helps with letting them form their own identity within the company. Employees want to feel that they fulfill their job description. By buying them work uniforms at Total Image Group, they will be able to shape their work to the best of their ability. This will help improve the engagement between the workers and their managers.

One of the things that employees, Millennials specifically, seem to crave at their job is time flexibility. This doesn’t have to mean they can come and go when they want. However, if as a manager you are willing to let them have days where they can work remotely or leave a little early for an appointment, they will feel like they are cared about as people…not just an employee. Obviously this is easier in some industries than others, but it should still be considered especially if the company wants to attract new hires with fresh ideas.

With the focus on improving these three things for employees, managers are sure to see a difference in the way the employee interacts and shares their expertise with the company.

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