Even the isolated employee can be encouraged to feel part of the team, however to achieve this, a culture of control and management must exist within the organization.
Within any business, employees contribute to long and short lifecycle projects and there is no greater discouragement for the individual than to find that input is considered ineffective or worthless.
Of course business needs to be able to accommodate rapid change and this requires flexibility in all roles, however good management also requires that processes must continue to be controlled. So how does an organization establish and grow a control and management culture?
Engage the Employee
“In so many employment situations there is little scope for either promotion or work variety” says Chris Adams of MotivationPing.com. “This scenario may well lead to high staff turnover as incumbents are inclined to leave either as a result of boredom or frustration. The employer must find methods of encouragement for all employees, regardless of the level or permanence of work being performed.”
The permanent employee can be encouraged using a wide variety of motivational tools most of which should be geared toward identifying where the individual fits within the overall scheme of the company plan.
The contractor can be encouraged by clearly identifying the needs and expectations of both organization and individual.
Empowerment at the Individual Level
Most situations benefit from the presence of a person familiar with material and informational resources required to perform the tasks of the job.
“Engagement of the employee is an effective method of improving individual performance and an important element in the process of employee empowerment is the provision of information and resources” says Lisa Johnson, a public speaker on employee engagement. “Quite simply, let the individual know what the expectations are and where to find the tools to do the job.”
Clarity in Process Definition
Dependence on the practice of allowing new employees to ‘shadow’ more experienced people in order to attain task proficiency has merit, but it is insufficient. In a fast moving business world, failure or inefficiency in even the most mundane of functions can have expensive cost implications. The employer must ensure the quality of training and instruction passed between employees. This can be achieved by requiring the individual to document all processes performed in the course of the working day. This documentation must be reviewed during regular one-to-one meetings with a supervisor to ensure quality of information.
What the Individual Does Is Important to the Business
Allowing the employee to take the lead in defining daily tasks is no more than standard practice, the difference created by documentation is that the process is formalized and the business gains a complete knowledge of the steps required to complete each task. The employee gains a sense of importance in the knowledge that the tasks performed are important enough to warrant discussion with and involvement by management.
In the case of established tasks, documentation ensures that processes are maintained at a high level of efficiency. In the case of new tasks, the discovery of process methods and resources becomes the property of the business instead of remaining the personal knowledge of the individual.