The US Labor Department reported 10.1 million job openings in June—a record number that should give employers chills. Never have unfulfilled jobs so consistently outpaced unemployed workers and the reason is simple: employee engagement (or lack thereof). In a world riddled with successive calamities, workers are living evermore in the present and this means quality of life has come to matter more than paycheck or prestige. If a member of your team is not engaged by their job, you can bet they are eyeing the door. After all, a reported 95% of workers are thinking of quitting which means no employer is immune.
How to Boost Employee Engagement in the Me First Era
There is no silver bullet that will convince employees that their job is worth it. As a new ethos of me first, work second sweeps corporate culture, some folks are bound to submit their notice. This is fine. Their absence makes room for you to capitalize on a talent-rich hiring pool but only if you begin the hard work of leadership development now.
Empowering workers to take part in steering the ship is the only way to engender sustained employee satisfaction. Doing so takes time, sure, but in this turbulent climate staying the course and doing nothing leads to shipwreck. Here’s what leadership development looks like:
1. Teach employees to see their worth.
Step one in cultivating leadership is prompting employees to appreciate their unique skillset. Circulate a questionnaire that asks each person to identify what they do best, what single aspect of their job they would change, how their work contributes to team success, and what would happen if they left your firm.
2. Nurture accountability from within.
On the basis of your team’s self-identified strengths and contributions, charge them with taking accountability into their own hands. Have them flex their expertise in the name of setting specific, measurable goals, dictating communication cadences and tools, and providing each other and you with regular, meaningful feedback.
3. Let your team teach you what they need.
Employee empowerment goes a long way to driving engagement but is only sustainable if coupled with an honest understanding of your team’s needs. At the same time that you teach your team to see their worth, allow them to teach you to see their desires. Either via a questionnaire or in private conversation, ask each employee:
- What kind of recognition works best for you?
- How do you hope to develop professionally and which skills do you wish to gain?
- How can authentic relationship building happen at work?
- What kind of meaning do you look for in a job?
As you work together with your team to nurture employee empowerment and revitalize your office culture, those who have left withering careers in the name of quality of life will soon be knocking on your door. After all, folks are leaving their jobs but that doesn’t mean they are giving up on working. Instead, it just means they’ve given up on jobs that sap their life. Turn your firm into a wellspring of employee empowerment and all the talent unwilling to conform to yesteryears expectations could soon be yours.
To learn more about transforming your law firm’s culture in the name of sustainable growth, do not hesitate to book a call with Hiring & Empowering founder and best-selling author Molly McGrath today.