HomeBusinessInvestingWhy Employee-Driven Companies Will Succeed in Today's Work Environment

Why Employee-Driven Companies Will Succeed in Today’s Work Environment


In 2022, people are reassessing what they expect from the business they work for— and this is a good thing. People should follow their ambitions.

As a result, businesses are looking for more ways to put people first. But, just being competitive with compensation or incorporating new perks as a reaction to the current state of talent is not enough to inspire your people or to attract the best talent. It takes more to stand out. The businesses that will win are the ones that consistently over-deliver for their people.

It’s a simple formula of hiring the best people: invest in them, and in turn, they will work hard for your clients and each other. What you deliver for your people and what your people deliver for your clients will be the key to the success of your business.

It sounds easy, but how can you create an environment where this cycle of over-delivering thrives? In any growing business and in any dynamic environment, every CEO and business owner needs to constantly improve. We need to listen to our people, take feedback, and then act on the things that make us and the businesses we lead better. Feeling like you can shape your career and voice your thoughts with peers, management, leaders, and owners is critical to feeling like you belong at a business.

Here are some ways that you can create an employee-driven company and launch yourself to success:

Provide opportunities for career growth.

Ensuring you hire the best talent allows you to continue to grow your business, and in turn, creates an opportunity for your people. Then it’s about investing in the training of those people so they can challenge themselves to develop and step into that opportunity.

That’s why it is so important to recruit people that align with the values and high-performing culture you have defined. Learning from experts, events, classes, and mentors are important ways for employees to develop, but I’ve also found that setting big ambitious goals and getting uncomfortable is one of the best ways of putting those learnings to the test and growing. For me, development and growth happen in the day-to-day. We can probably agree that no course can prepare you for leading a business.

Career growth doesn’t always have to be one way, it’s about enabling people to follow both their ambitions and their passions. That could be in different roles, different departments– even in different cities. Providing access to those opportunities to those who are ready is key, and it’s a must that we keep moving towards ensuring there’s transparency of those opportunities and access to put themselves forward. It’s very important that opportunities for advancement are built into roles, are attainable and then celebrated when achieved.

Create a sense of belonging.

How can you give your people the feeling of a deeper connection and belonging? By enabling them to connect in real and meaningful ways, providing career opportunities and autonomy, and striving for all people to have equal access to gaining these experiences.

To do this, investing in inclusion and diversity is key. Having a diverse range of thoughts, backgrounds, opinions, and voices– all speaking in a place where everyone feels comfortable in being their whole self– is how we have better conversations, better and more productive disagreements, and, ultimately, how we make better decisions.

But inclusion and diversity doesn’t just happen. It’s something everyone has to work at. And that means being honest when the business isn’t quite living up to its aspirations. That’s when a real commitment to change happens so that the sense of belonging can grow for your people.

Show trust by allowing autonomy.

Smart capable people don’t expect autonomy, they demand it. Building trust into the ways we work allows for smart, responsible people to make the right decisions. Their decisions are what drive exceptional growth.

There’s a reason that you have hired each and every person at your company. So it’s up to you to let them perform and use the skills that attracted you to them during the interview process. Trust is hard to relay but giving people clarity on what success looks like and giving them the chance to show you what they can do, can only help lead your company to success.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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