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10 Secrets to Unlocking The Full Potential of Your Workforce

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We all hope that our employees are working to the best of their abilities. Still, the fact is no one can be their best without the necessary strategies and facilities put in place by their leaders. Unlocking the full potential of your workforce is about more than just hiring the right candidates. This article will share ten steps you can take today to maximize your team’s productivity, motivation, and satisfaction.

10 secrets to unlocking the full potential of your workforce

1. Destress the workplace

Stress is, unsurprisingly, a huge problem for employees and managers alike. It can grind work to a halt, increase employee sick days and burnout, and decrease employee satisfaction. The first step in unlocking workforce potential is reducing stress.

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There are small steps you can take to make your employees feel less stressed at work. Reasonable deadlines, regular support, and even meditation classes are some solutions. You might update your payroll system to include an employee on demand payroll service, in which staff can request part of their paycheck early, feel more control over their earnings, and lower their financial stress.

Adopting a skills-first approach by prioritizing continuous learning and development can contribute to reducing stress by fostering personal growth, job satisfaction, and adaptability. It can also unlock the workforce’s full potential through improved performance, collaboration, and career progression opportunities. By investing in employee development, organizations create a positive and supportive work environment that enhances skills, reduces stress, and maximizes employee potential.

2. Upskill your employees

Learning at work shouldn’t end when an employee’s initial orientation is over. Instead, encouraging constant learning and development amongst your employees can make them more satisfied and even better at their jobs.

This encouragement can lead to practical opportunities. Through coaching and training, you can upskill your workforce for a more creative and informed environment. Mentorship programs, training programs, and opportunities for employees to undertake self-directed learning and gain new skills and knowledge can all create a culture of learning at work.

3. Ensure work-life balance

Work-life balance is essential to employee satisfaction, and as a manager or business owner, you should do your utmost to encourage it. For example, ensuring staff take their breaks and paid vacation time means they can return to work rejuvenated and avoid burnout.

Work-life balance is, however, about more than taking regular breaks. Systems should be in place to prevent employee burnout. Make work-life balance a part of your company vision and build it into every step of employment, from onboarding to annual performance reviews, and checking in with employees as often as you can.

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Source: Statista

Flexible working hours are another way to ensure work-life balance. Employees want flexibility in their working hours. Whether it’s for childcare, attending doctor’s appointments, or simply to work when they are at their best, providing your workforce with flexibility will improve work-life balance and overall satisfaction at work.

4. Automate workflows

A productive workforce is one that has the time and energy to complete tasks and isn’t weighed down by manual processes that could be automated. By automating workflows, you can let your staff get on with more important tasks.

You can implement workflow automation using a variety of software, but dedicated business automation platforms like Make can streamline this process. A fully streamlined automation platform can also grant extra autonomy to your workforce, who can easily automate tasks as they go and free up their workday to complete complicated, in-depth work.

Typical automation you can put in place to free up your workforce’s time and energy include scheduling systems for meetings, email blasts, or social media posts, KPI reports that are automatically generated and submitted to managers every week, and auto-populated forms for submitting everyday information such as timesheets, sales records, or vacation requests.

5. Provide goals and metrics

We all value a clear goal that we can see ourselves working towards. Clear goals and understandable metrics that show our achievements can boost motivation and help both staff and managers track improvement over time.

Both the goals and the metrics you put in place must be crystal clear. Goals should be achievable, have clear timeframes, and be communicated in a way that makes it obvious how and why it should be achieved. And while many employees may be vaguely aware of their KPIs, building these metrics into weekly or even daily reviews and reports so that they become second nature to your workforce will help them understand their progress.

Blog - How Sales Leaderboards Help Your Team Perform Even Better - Badges Gamification

A fun and effective way of setting goals, providing metrics, and fostering some friendly competition amongst your staff is gamification, a growing trend across sectors. Whether it’s showcasing top-selling sales staff or offering virtual points and badges for achieving KPIs, gamification can imbue fun into everyday work and unlock workforce potential as employees feel motivated and excited.

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6. Reward success

If you’re going to set goals, track metrics, and gamify your workplace, it’s vital that employees are rewarded for their success. Celebrating success motivates employees to strive for excellence and will foster a culture of appreciation and empowerment.

Rewarding success isn’t as simple as a ‘well done’ email or a pat on the back. Instead, implement a comprehensive recognition program that rewards both individual and team accomplishments. This program should be consistent and exciting and might include incentives such as gift cards, experience days for teams, or extra paid vacation days.

7. Offer transparency

Transparency in the workplace helps your workforce feel more autonomous and knowledgeable about their role and company. At its most basic level, transparency is open and honest communication across all levels of the workplace, improving collaboration, trust, and overall employee engagement.

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There are practical processes you can implement to improve workplace transparency. The first step could be a weekly newsletter to keep your team or the entire company up-to-date with the business. Employees also appreciate openness concerning HR matters, such as pay. Payroll software like Paylocity offers a more transparent and clear pay process, reducing stress and offering clarity for your staff.

8. Encourage collaboration

Transparency and open communication shouldn’t end with management. Collaboration and a shared vision between employees are essential if you want to maximize their potential, break down barriers at work, and boost team culture.

The best way to encourage collaboration between employees and across different teams and departments is to facilitate opportunities for employees to work together. Create team-based tasks and ensure that every voice is valued and heard. This will improve collaboration, foster stronger knowledge and resource-sharing practices, and allow for a broader range of perspectives and approaches to tasks.

9. Prioritize safety and accountability

Safety and accountability at work are essential in any workplace. They allow employees to get on with work without stress and ensure that mistakes at all levels are handled appropriately. Accountability should extend to every employee, including management, for full transparency and trust across teams.

Digital safety and security are increasingly important in the workplace. Employees should feel certain that company data and their own are protected and that systems are in place to do this. Setting up VNC to protect data transfers, ensuring employees are fully trained on company security measures, and regularly recapping this training can all ensure both staff and the company are protected.

Utilizing a comprehensive digital employee directory and search tool like Person Search can also enhance safety and accountability by providing easy access to employee information and promoting transparency in organizational communication.

10. Be an effective leader

Leaders play a vital role in unlocking the potential of their workforce. Lead by example, demonstrating the behaviors and values you expect from your employees. Ineffective micro-managers can create stressful and even toxic environments for employees, hampering their productivity and increasing the chance of burnout.

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Micro-management and toxic bosses are often the result of a stressed-out leader. If you feel confident about the smooth progress of projects in your workforce, you can let your employees flourish. Project management software can help with this. You can get a quick overview of your team’s progress and current tasks, manage deadlines, and track metrics, often all in one streamlined platform.

Additionally, digital credentials such as leadership certifications or courses can provide leaders with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively manage and unlock the potential of their workforce. What are digital credentials? They are virtual representations of achievements or skills that can be shared and verified online, offering a way for leaders to showcase their expertise and commitment to continuous learning.

While gaining credentials is useful, your employees are the best measure of your leadership abilities. While feedback can be scary, finding out what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to your leadership style will only lead to improvements. Offer your workforce a space to provide feedback, voice concerns, and cultivate a culture of shared growth in which you and your employees can learn from each other.

Unlocking your workforce’s potential is up to you

Intelligent, proactive, communicative employees can offer a lot to any company they are a part of. Still, their full potential can only be unlocked by their colleagues, managers, and the business owner. These secrets show that unlocking employee potential is about more than positive reinforcement or lots of praise. Instead, systems need to be in place that empower, motivate, and reward staff.

By implementing the above strategies, trialing software and platforms that can streamline workflows and your management of tasks, and prioritizing open and honest communication and feedback, you can create an empowered workforce that works to their best abilities as well as ensuring that you are being the best leader possible.

Jesse Liszka is the Senior Communications Specialist at Paylocity, leading provider of cloud-based payroll and human capital management software. She is a highly experienced communications, client marketing and content specialist, with more than 12 years of experience. You can find her on LinkedIn.


Senior Communications Specialist, Paylocity

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