3 keys to unlock the power of employees

In your workplace, employee culture is your only sustainable competitive advantage. To win today, you need people who can react quickly and make decisions autonomously. Your culture — the shared values and shared priorities of your organization — is the only way to create this agility.

3 keys to unlock

Your workforce is brimming with ideas and innovation to drive your performance. However, unleashing this potential relies on building a culture where employees feel safe and connected.

The benefits of unlocking the potential in your organization may be clear, but how to do that is less obvious. Top Workplaces don’t just focus on a small core of superstars.

They focus on all of their people. They also know you don’t build engagement through higher pay, lavish perks, or richer benefits. Your people are ready to step up, engage, and give you their full commitment. So where do you begin?

There are three keys to unlocking that potential:

Take an employee-centric approach: If you want to improve your culture, place your employees at the center of your strategy. If you’ve got them, they’ll give you everything else. This simple change in mindset is the first step in the journey.

Raise the trust level: For employees, the barrier is fear. That’s because we’re wired to perceive threats. It’s just part of human nature. Making people feel safe and included eliminates this barrier. When you provide safe opportunities for employees to step up and learn by experience — and know it’s safe to take risks — you lay the groundwork for further change. 

Use technology for good: Workforces are distributed across sites, departments, and levels, and now more than ever, people are working from home. How do you bring everyone together – is it through email, Slack, or web conferencing? On their own, these technologies don’t build trust or foster a sense of connection. When used properly, technology can nurture trust, make powerful connections, and uncover the insights you need to forge a more powerful culture.

Companies that don’t engage in a dialogue with their employees will find that conversations are taking place somewhere else, in the public domain, and without the company’s participation. If you want to be intentional about culture, you need to ask — and be prepared to listen.

Bob Helbig is media partnerships director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s partner for Top Workplaces. To nominate your company as a Top Workplace, go to washingtonpost.com/nominate.

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