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Is your workplace culture leaving employees behind?

Published by: LifeWorks,

Most of us are familiar with the No Child Left Behind Act established in 2001. The act was put in place by the U.S. Department of Education to ensure all students receive the same opportunities to achieve academic proficiency.

But what about a no employees left behind rule?

According to our recent report, conducted with HR.com, the majority of HR pros feel they’re fulfilling their duties when it comes to this unofficial rule. In fact, 59 percent of HR professionals say their company enables employees to reach their full potential.

While some employees may not be putting forth their full effort, others are being unintentionally left behind.

Here are three best practices from our research that show how to make your workplace culture a place where employees are empowered to do their best:

Recognizing Employees

Recognition isn’t about patting someone on the back just so they know they’ve done well. More importantly, recognition tells team members where they’re excelling so they can continue moving in the right direction and are motivated to do so.

In fact, our previously mentioned report found that of those employers who recognize employees for their successes, 73 percent say they enable employees to reach their full potential. Not only does this help reduce turnover, but it lets them know leaders’ expectations and sets them on a path to success.

Tip: Make recognition part of your workplace culture by praising an employee each week who exemplifies company values or went beyond their traditional job description. Create a collaborative experience by having team members vote on who should “win” the employee of the week title and receive a small reward like gift cards, a half day, or a paid lunch with a co-worker of their choice.

Asking for Feedback

When trying to understand why people aren’t reaching their full potential, it’s best to go straight to the source. Our report found that of those employers who ask for employee feedback regularly, 86 percent say they enable employees to reach their full potential.

When you create a safe workplace culture where team members can share ideas and participate in big decisions, employees feel invested in the company’s future. This encourages a sense of ownership over their goals, tasks, and even expectations of themselves.

As your team begins to reach their fullest potential, show them how they have a direct impact on company-wide goals and the big picture.

Tips: Start a ‘my two cents’ wall. Ask employees to add sticky notes and offer anonymous suggestions about anything affecting their productivity or motivation. Add an open discussion element by conducting company-wide discussions when leaders face big decisions or changes.

It’s also important to get all hands on deck by involving everyone in developing new policies and procedures. This creates a workplace culture that is focused on the employee, giving them more control over their potential.

 Encouraging Collaboration

The workplace culture and environment is a major key to employee success. In fact, our report found that of those employers who create a collaborative team environment, 81 percent say they enable employees to reach their full potential.

Focusing on boosting happiness throughout your workplace culture enables your team to open up to one another. Encourage them to ask for help, collaborate on ideas, and push one another to improve on both individual and company goals.

As they join in on helping with team members’ projects, employees will learn skills outside of their day-to-day tasks. This will create more satisfied and engaged employees who are continually challenged and encouraged to grow.

Tips: Designate ‘cross-training Tuesdays’ to get teams working together and expanding their skill sets. Then, appoint a collaboration group where employees from all levels meet regularly to discuss opportunities for growth and improvement.

Both of these encourage employees to collaborate with others to better understand how they work together to accomplish common goals.

How are you empowering your employees to reach their full potential?

Make your employees feel loved