December 9, 2017 By WorkSocial Editorial
To create a thriving company many pieces of the puzzle must come together. Is your product or service in high demand and can you make a profit off it? What does your competition look like and how big of a threat are they?
Most importantly, what about your talented team of employees? They are your most expensive and valuable asset. It’s through their hard work that your company can grow and thrive. You want them to remain motivated to excel in their positions, which means you need to be a company that has a purpose employees can stand behind. They need to have the autonomy to shine to help your company thrive. So, how does a business owner bring these traits to a company?
Many companies have a set of core values and a mission statement, but the business’s purpose is different. The purpose is what you are doing for your customer; something like making their life easier in some way or solving a pain point that they have. It differs from the mission or core values because – and we can’t stress this enough – it’s not about you! It’s about your customer.
Autonomy is employee focused. It is allowing employees to have control over their work, whether that means giving them the choice of the projects they choose to take on or deciding if they want to start working virtually. In many organizations, autonomy is ‘reserved’ for senior employees. Junior associates can become unmotivated and leave when they feel a lack of autonomy in their position. This type of turnover is costly; you want to avoid it at all costs.
Hiring a team that backs your purpose will ensure that everyone is literally on the same team. An employee that cannot get behind the purpose of the company is not one that will be motivated to grow with the organization. Employees that agree with the business’s purpose will be far more intrinsically motivated to excel in their positions.
To grow your business, you need a talented group of people to reach that goal. If your style of management is “I sign their paychecks, so they will do what I say”, you will have above average turnover. You may struggle to find good help to replace them, too!
Your relationship with your employees should not be transactional. They are valuable members of the team and you need to convey that with your words and actions.
A clear and positive purpose will garner a loyal group of repeat customers. If some of the customers are also your employees you’ve created an excellent purpose. This will naturally lead to increased profits as well.
Fast company has some great examples of high and low purpose motivation companies. Companies like KIND and Seventh Generation have a high purpose motivation. Their products are not the least expensive on the market, however, they still have a loyal following because customers agree with their purpose. Companies like Monsanto and Marlboro have low purpose motivation. They are less likely to have loyal customers that support them.
In order for your team to feel that they have autonomy in the workplace, they need to know that you value their contributions. They don’t want to feel like a powerless cog in the wheel. Some employees may value a virtual workspace so they can work from home. That way they aren’t stressed out dealing with rush hour traffic and can be home earlier with their family. Some may value additional vacation time after meeting a big deadline. Others want their pick of the projects they can take on. Get a feel for what makes them feel valued so they can feel in control of their work. This will increase your team’s motivation, too!