With the new year coming fast, it’s likely you’ve been giving a lot of thought to growing your business. But don’t forget your most important resource—your employees! You can help employees grow by encouraging them to step out of their comfort zone.
Employee growth and business growth go hand-in-hand, with organizations that spend more than $1500 on staff development reporting 24% higher annual profits. That’s why we’re sharing tips and employee achievement gifts to help you and your staff celebrate every accomplishment and milestone.
Stepping out of a comfort zone is, by definition, uncomfortable. Before you ask your employees to do it, think about your own challenges and opportunities for growth. By sharing these potential issues—along with your plans for addressing them—you show a willingness to be vulnerable and transparent. This shows that learning is a safe and expected process in the company.
Make it safe to make mistakes
Fear of making a mistake can make employees tentative to try new things. Remind them that mistakes are expected. In fact, they help people learn. Even trying is a step in the right direction. Reward their honesty and vulnerability by offering employee achievement gifts when a staff member corrects and learns from an error they made. A simple item, like an eraser or a memo board, can serve as an incentive to wipe the slate clean and start again.
Encourage them to learn a new skill
Get familiar with a new tool, try a new strategy or take a short online course. By doing one of these each month, staff members can gain fresh skills for their current position or start preparing to move into a new role or department.
Support their learning with a notebook and pen set that allows them to take notes or keep track of questions and concerns.
Businesses often reward achievements or meeting a goal, but rarely take the time to acknowledge the steps that took the process from A to B.
By taking the time to reward the smaller movements staff members are taking towards their final goal, you show them that you see their progress. Encourage them to keep moving forward, even when that progress is incremental.
When your staff member reaches the mid-point of a training class or goal, offer them a fun cube puzzle and congratulate them on putting the pieces together.
Offer challenging assignments
Sometimes a staff member is ready for a new challenge but not sure how to ask for one. Other times, they don’t know if they’re ready or not. Instead of waiting for staff to step up to the plate, offer them projects and tasks that allow them to stretch.
You can add a layer of fun to the assignment by offering them foam putty and letting them know you’re confident in their ability to handle the job.
Encourage employee growth
Growth may not always be comfortable, but it comes with a with a lot of benefits. Because new skills, new ideas and new adventures don’t just help employees grow—it helps your business grow as well.