How To Invest In Your Employees

Career Enrichment, Confidence, Kindness, Leadership Coaching, Self Awareness
05/01/19 - Teague

In my role as a coach, I have the unique opportunity to understand workplace issues from multiple perspectives. I help executives develop clear messaging and thoughtful plans for the future. I work with new college grads as they navigate what exactly it means to have a 9-5. From CEO’s to those in their first job, I help people get to where they want to go.

Your Employees Matter

It’s easy to feel like needs and wants “the boss” and “the newbie” are at different ends of the spectrum. But in this role, I’ve realized that across the board, they can be incredibly similar.

One of the issues that comes up over and over is the idea of making people feel cared about. Higher-ups want to retain talent, and people on lower rungs of the career ladder want to feel like they matter. However, I’ve seen some really funky ways to invest in employees that don’t always land well.

I’m constantly thinking about how to incorporate humanity into all aspects of the workplace, so the concept of investing in employees and promoting well-being is often at the top of my mind. The New England Journal of Medicine breaks down this issue nicely when it comes to healthcare, though the lessons can be translated to almost any profession.

Avoiding burnout comes from a combination of efficiency of practice, a culture of wellness and personal resilience – yet, so often initiatives to engage overworked employees focus solely on the “personal resilience” portion of this equation. Understandably, some feel resentment when they are told to meditate more or carve out time to take a walk as a way to prevent burnout, when contributing factors such as inadequate staffing or a culture that promotes excessive amounts of overtime make it nearly impossible to practice these techniques.

Invest in your employees – it absolutely matters. But how you invest is just as important.

Their Time 

Respect your employees time. Don’t arrive 15 minutes late to meetings as your employees idly wait, and schedule time to provide meaningful and constructive feedback to the people on your team.

Their Resources and Training

Help your employees when it comes to their training and career advancement. Perhaps your employees can use a yearly tuition budget to cover the cost of interesting and non-mandatory workshops, or don’t count time away in classes toward their PTO bank.

Their Advocacy 

Systemic changes make a difference (see “efficiency of practice” and “culture of wellness” items above) and they are worth fighting for.

I believe we all want what’s best for each other, both personally and professionally. With a bit of thought and intentionality, we can invest our time and energy into what will truly make a difference.

This week’s challenge

Ask yourself – how do I invest in employees and the people I care about? It doesn’t matter if you’re not a boss (or heck, if you even have a job). Lucky for you, this challenge applies to anyone. Take stock in how you treat others and if you’re really appreciating them in a way that works for them (and not just you!). If you don’t know how to best show that you care, just ask. I bet it will spark some great conversation.

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