Employee engagement has always been a challenge for organizations. It takes time, effort, money, and now a great vibe or company culture to attract top talent. Once you’ve done that, the trick is keeping them happy, engaged, productive, and loyal.
With employee turnover rates on the rise, it’s becoming more and more apparent that too many employers don’t know how to create a positive work environment that encourages employees to stick around.
While money, benefits, positive reinforcement, and perks are wonderful ways to motivate your team members, there’s one method that stands out above them all…Freedom.
What is Freedom in the Workplace?
Have you ever worked for a micromanager? You’re not sure how they get their own work done because they’re so busy with their nose over your shoulder. They tell you how to do what you do, when to do what you do, where to do what you do, and how to do what you do. Basically, it’s a bunch of do-do. Unfortunately, the one thing they don’t share is why.
A micromanager can not only negatively impact your performance, they can destroy your desire to get up in the morning. No one appreciates being treated like a child, least of all an adult in the professional world. It’s just poor leadership.
Now comes the hard question. Are you doing this to your employees? Are any of your leaders doing it? If you’re seeing apathy, increased sick days, decreased productivity, or just an air of negativity in the office, you may very well be.
Imagine a lead singer who doesn’t give their band members the opportunity to be creative. To contribute. Maybe they don’t trust them or maybe they don’t value their input, or maybe their ego is just too big. Either way, those band members won’t be sticking around for very long. While they are there, they certainly won’t be very happy.
What if instead of treating your employees like children in need of babysitting, you treated them like rock stars – rock stars capable of amazing creativity and accomplishment?
This is Freedom in the Workplace. It’s giving your employees enough rope to do their best work, propelling your company forward.
Benefits of Workplace Freedom
Steve Jobs once said that he used The Beatles as his business model. He said they were four young guys who kept each other’s negative tendencies in check and balanced one another. He believed that they were greater than the sum of their parts.
When you give your employees or band members self-autonomy and allow them to bring their best selves to the table, unencumbered by your rules, you’ll begin to see how your team is greater than the sum of their parts. That is when the magic begins to happen.
You’ll see a variety of benefits such as:
- Higher employee engagement
- Improved loyalty and decreased turnover
- Fewer sick days
- Better teamwork
- Increased productivity
- Higher revenue
- Attract the best talent
Research studies support this. Business News Daily found that “Workers who feel they are free to make choices in the workplace, and be held accountable for them, are happier and more productive than employees who are more restricted.”
Are you ready to give your employees the power to be rock stars? To create a company culture like no other?
How to Create Freedom in the Workplace
“Freedom” will look different for every industry, every company, and every employee. Your job is to determine what will work best for your individual situation. Don’t be afraid to talk to your employees about this. What a wonderful way to show them that you value their feedback and trust them to do what’s right for the organization as a whole.
Freedom in the Workplace may look like:
- Employees get to decide how they do their job
- Choose-your-own schedules so employees can work when is best for them
- Remote opportunities so employees can work from home or an island
- Employees set their own performance goals
- Teams have the opportunity to collaborate freely
- Employees are comfortable making suggestions, taking chances, and communicating with upper management
Again, not all of these suggestions can work for every situation. However, the more you begin to brainstorm with your employees and include them in decision-making, the more opportunities you’ll uncover. The more they will feel like a self-employed extension of the company. Your employees are your greatest asset, your greatest leaders, your greatest lead singers, and when you give them the trust they deserve, desire, and the freedom to truly shine, you’ll be grateful you did. Get ready to bring out their inner rock star, stand out in your industry, and be heard above the noise. When you elevate your people, you elevate your business. In today’s world of a labor or talent shortage, doesn’t make sense to create the right kind of culture, the right kind of relationships, and the right kind of atmosphere so that everyone plays nicely together? That’s the win-win. Not only keeping your talent but getting more productivity out of them without even asking. That is a rock star mindset. That is rock star success. Rock on.