How does your company empower its employees? Many times, this question elicits solutions and actions: we implement open door policies with management; we conduct semi-annual performance reviews; we offer flexible work schedules and the opportunity to work remotely.
While all of these solutions can contribute to employee empowerment, it’s important that any employee-focused program starts by answering the right question.
In his presentation, Start With Why, Simon Sinek discusses a concept he calls The Golden Circle. This circle is composed of three elements – what, how, and why – that make up an organization’s message.
According to Sinek, most companies start by answering what? The most innovative companies, however, start by answering why? Companies that answer why? first are those that appear to consumers to be innovative and inspirational. Sinek walks through this process to show how answering why? creates a better connection with a company’s consumers.
The Power of Why
But answering why? isn’t just important for consumers. It also applies to your employees. Imagine the employee’s thought process when a company starts a conversation with their employees by answering the question what?:
We sell product X (what?) by partnering with the best vendors and offering competitive prices (how?), so work for us (why?)!
Now, reimagine this conversation when why? is the central focus:
We are committed to providing a work environment for our employees that contributes to overall well-being and morale (why?) by giving them the best opportunities within the company to succeed and grow (how?) because that is how we ensure that we meet our sales goals as we sell product X (what?).
It is imperative that your employees understand why your company is doing what it is doing and why they are integral to this purpose. Providing a clear picture of this ties your employees to your company’s cause and creates accountability among employees with regards to productivity. Employees will feel empowered in their roles, which leads to higher productivity, increased morale, and lower employee turnover, among other great benefits.