Empowering Your Employees to Grow Your Business

employees, workers, Illinois business attorneyWith any business owner—especially those whose businesses maintain employees—there is likely to be element of wanting to be in charge. While individual personalities certainly differ, business owners are rarely passive, as evidenced by their willingness to invest in an idea or commercial concept. They are much more likely, in general, to establish control over a situation, metaphorically playing the role of both captain and helmsman. As captain, you are responsible for the overall management of your company, while as helmsman, you literally steer the business on a minute-by-minute basis. The picture painted by this maritime analogy is not really sustainable for the long-term success of your business, particularly if you are looking toward future growth. As a business law attorney, I am continually encouraging my clients to find ways to engage and empower employees so that the success of the company becomes a true team objective, in which each member is personally invested.

Offer Opportunities and Challenges

Depending on the nature of your business, obviously, the specific available opportunities will probably differ. However, there is almost always room for your employees to grow. Each of your team members was likely hired to fulfill a particular need in the company, but they may have skills and talents that could be better-utilized in other areas, if only given the chance. For example, the young woman you hired to answer the phone may possess the interpersonal skills and personality to be a sales leader. Give her the opportunity to try and your company may be better for it. If you are not sure what challenges to offer your employees, meet with each one, find out what drives them and what you can do to help them grow.

Provide Transparency

One of the biggest concerns that many employees have is that they are asked to make decisions and take action on behalf of the company without the necessary information. As a leader, you have the ability to open up to your employees and offer them an executive perspective. Allow them to see how the business is run from a big-picture standpoint and show them clearly how each division or department is dependent upon the others. Thus, each future decision can be made with a better understanding of the company as whole and the potential impact of the matter at hand.

Safe for Employees to Fail

If your employees were natural risk-takers, few would still be employees. They would be entrepreneurs off looking for their own avenues of success. With that in mind, understand that most of your staff will be hesitant to try new approaches, especially their own original ideas, for fear of failure and repercussions. It is up to you to promote originality, within reason. When an employee comes to you with a proposal about a new way of doing something, provide the opportunity for him or her to try it. In the event it does not work out, do not be personally critical; instead, work with the employee to identify what went wrong and how it might be avoided in the future. There should not be punishments for trying to improve, and controlled failure can be a powerful teacher.

Open Communication

For many employers and business owners, this is the most obvious contributor to positive employee relations. Communication represents much more than just talking at your staff; you need to engage them and work to understand what drives them. Likewise, let them see what drives you. While your employees should continue to respect your authority and position, seeing you as a person can help them identify with you and join your efforts in growing the business.

No matter what type of business you own, you will, at some point, probably encounter issues with staff or contractors. When such problems arise, it is important to enlist the help of an experienced Naperville business law attorney. For more than 30 years, Attorney Denice Gierach has worked with business owners in protecting their valued investments and is equipped to help you do the same. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment and put our skill and knowledge on your side.

 

Sources:

Forbes

Inc.com

Small Business Association