Thriving employees are more than just satisfied and productive. They go above and beyond the call of duty, attract others who are just as committed as they are, help create the future of the organization, and are in it for the long haul.
Research reported in Harvard Business Review* suggests that there are two components of thriving. First is vitality – a sense of being alive, passionate, and excited. The other is learning – the growth that comes from gaining new knowledge. Together, these two components creating thriving, engaged employees.
Some people thrive no matter what. But most people, need an environment that will support their engagement and development. Here are four ideas that leaders and managers can use to create this at your organization:
*Provide Decision-Making Discretion. As best you can, push decision making authority down to the lowest level possible. Set the outcomes that people need to produce, provide the resources and support they need, and let them go. If things don’t go well then ask them what they think that they would do differently in the future – rather than telling them what you think. This will support their learning and help them maintain their autonomy.
*Share Information. Information is power and far too many leaders don’t want to share this. But when leaders are transparent and share everything from financials to customer satisfaction it can empower employees. Take it further and make sure that employees actually understand how the financial engine of the organization works. Show them what needs to happen in order for net revenue to be produced so that funds are available for available for innovation, pay raises, and investments in the future. This can help develop more ownership of the overall organization.
*Minimize Incivility. Everyone deserves to be treated with a certain level of respect. Incivility can be a corrosive element in an organization. Research shows that people who are treated in an uncivil way may reciprocate with others and show less motivation for their work.
*Offer Performance Feedback. Immediate, actionable, and behavior-based performance feedback allows employees to know where they stand and gives them opportunity for improvement. Often feedback is given in a delayed and/or vague way which only causes frustration.
None of the activities above require financial investments – they simply call upon leaders and managers to focus on creating a thriving environment which can end up boosting productivity in a sustainable way.
*Spreitzer, G. & Porath, P. “Creating Sustainable Performance,” Harvard Business Review, January – February 2012, pp. 93 – 99.