Leaders Helping Staff with Productivity

In the world of high octane business, productive leaders set the pace. But what about their staff? How can leaders help their staff be more productive? The short answer to this is through empowerment. And why is this necessary? Empowered staff are more productive and ultimately, contribute more to the business and to the bottom line. 

If you think employee empowerment is not necessary for productivity, think again. Several case studies paint a compelling picture for empowerment. In one study of account executives in a USspecialty mortgage banking company in 2006, it was determined that account executives that were actively disengaged produced 28% less revenue than their colleagues who were engaged. Further, those not engaged generated 23% less revenue than their engaged counterparts. The statistics in this case showed that employee engagement did not merely correlate with bottom line results – it drove the results. 

In addition to this, employee empowerment or engagement affects the mindset of people. Engaged employees believe they can make a difference in the organizations for which they work. Consider the following statistics to support this statement: 

  • 84% of highly engaged employees believe they can positively impact the quality of their organization’s products, compared with only 31% of the disengaged
  • 72% of highly engaged employees believe they can positively affect customer service, compared to 27% of the disengaged
  • 68% of highly engaged employees believe they can positively impact costs in their job or unit, compared with just 19% of the disengaged. 

Given this data, you can see that empowerment of employees really is a good thing for your organization and its bottom line? So how does a leader go about empowering or engaging his or her staff? Here are six things that I have found to work well in any organization. 

1)      Talk to your staff. Let them know what it is that you are trying to achieve – that is, explain the company’s vision and mission. Use plain straightforward language that everyone can understand. When staff know what goals you are trying to achieve, they will be able to align their work to achieve your goals.

2)      Provide staff with necessary training. Remember that it costs more to replace staff than it does to train existing staff. For instance, to replace a low-skilled hourly worker, the cost is approximately half of the annual salary of the worker. And as skill levels and positions increase, so does the replacement cost. A C-level executive can cost three to five times the position’s annual salary.

3)      Delegate work to your staff and encourage them to do their very best. Provide assistance as required.

4)      Free your staff so that they do not think that they have to consult with you before they do even the smallest tasks.

5)      Don’t hover. Set goals and priorities and let your staff take responsibility for their tasks. This will stimulate them to succeed.

6)      Reward your staff for their productivity. This can be through a verbal “great job” whenever appropriate, but also through money which is always appreciated, either through bonuses or gift cards. 

Moreover, evidence suggests that productive workers are more likely to be happy workers, since productivity leads to job satisfaction. By empowering your staff, you are not only doing a good thing for the organization and its bottom line, but you are also creating a happier workforce. And who wouldn’t want to work with a happy workforce? I’m sure we all would.