How to Help Your Employees Unlock Their Human Potential

Human potential is the ability for people to improve themselves by leveraging their strengths while minimizing their roadblocks, so they become better employees.

In a global study, about 30% of people reported being very happy in their workplace, while 54% said they were happy most of the time. However, 13% said they weren’t satisfied, and 3% said they were unhappy.

When your employees unlock their human potential, they also improve their job satisfaction and productivity. Here’s how you can start maximizing each person’s potential.

Key Takeaways:

  • Maximum human potential and workplace success aren’t synonymous.
  • Finding a purpose and using your strengths in the workplace are foundational to unlocking potential.
  • Developing an environment conducive to workplace happiness and productivity involves customizing the workplace for each person’s needs.

5 Ways to Develop Human Potential in Your Employees

Here are five actionable ways for you to create a workplace environment that helps unleash employee potential.

1. Update the Workplace to Meet Changing Needs

Many times, the greatest hindrance to your employees reaching their full potential is the environment where they work. Updating their workspace helps fuel creativity while minimizing tedious tasks.

For example, installing software and technology that takes care of mundane tasks like organizing and data collection can free up your employee to spend more time focusing on tasks specific to their position.

Changing with the times also helps your company retain younger talent. Newer generations, like millennials and Gen Z, are leaving workplaces because their employers no longer support their wants and needs, like a better work-life balance. Shifting your mindset to meet the needs of the times will help foster a work environment of growth.

However, not all employees have the same wants and needs. Regular satisfaction surveys and feedback helps you know what your employees want and whether the current workplace meets their needs.

2. Provide Purpose and Support Passions

Reaching your full potential isn’t the same as being successful. A person can rise through a company, earn a six-digit income, and hold multiple degrees. To the world, they may seem to have reached their full human potential. However, if they aren’t happy with the work they’ve accomplished, they should reconsider their direction.

Someone who has reached their full potential also experiences job satisfaction and a sense of purpose. Reports show that 73% of employees who have a purpose are also satisfied in their workplace. As a result, they are ready to invest more of themselves in workplace challenges and projects.

Bar graph showing the five most important factors for workplace happiness

Image from CNBC

Having a purpose allows your employees to do what they are passionate about. In addition, purpose and passion connect employees to their jobs and motivate them to invest themselves in the outcome of their work.

For example, some may find greater purpose in interacting directly with clients to solve IT issues instead of serving in management. So, to reach their full potential, they need to stay in a role where they have that purposeful connection with customers.

3. Reduce Distractions and Prioritize Tasks

Distraction is the enemy of productivity. The average employee is only productive 60% of the time. Therefore, the most productive employees work from home because they experience fewer interruptions than in a busy workplace, with interruptions every three minutes on average. Additionally, employees require 23 minutes to refocus on a task after a distraction.

Creating a distraction-free environment allows your employees to focus on tasks and complete them to their maximum potential. Some ways to minimize distractions include:

  • Giving tools to help employees stay focused. Help employees reduce the need to walk around the office. For example, streamlined communication channels reduce phone calls, emails, and personal desk visits.
  • Prioritizing the most important tasks. Employees should set aside tasks that are irrelevant or out of their control.

Employees that focus on tasks one day at a time are less weighed down by past failures. They also aren’t distracted by future jobs. Instead, they focus on the steps they can achieve each day to maximize their productivity and potential.

Nine workplace productivity statistics showing that a distraction-free workplace helps human potential

Image from FinancesOnline

4. Encourage Healthy Choices and Offer Better Benefits

Employees can’t reach their maximum potential if their basic needs aren’t met – like their health. For example, exercise increases productivity 2.5 times, and proper nutrition increases performance by 25%. Contrarily, heavy workloads can decrease productivity by 68%, and sleep deprivation negatively impacts employees’ ability to work to their maximum potential.

Offering your employees healthy snack options, gym memberships, and generous time off allows them to come to work with their minds rested and body ready to be productive.

5. Identify Strengths and Minimize Obstacles

Identify each employee’s strengths and find ways to build on those strengths for better productivity and happiness. As a result, workplaces that focus on strengths saw a six-to-sixteen-point decrease in their turnover rate.

By focusing on people’s strengths, you allow your employees to do what they feel most passionate about. In addition, those employees can build on areas they are naturally talented instead of you trying to train someone unsuited for a position.

Unfortunately, not everyone is starting on equal grounds. While all employees have strengths, personal or workplace challenges may hide those strengths.

One famous quote by an unknown source says, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

This TEDxTalk from Navid Nathoo gives more insight into unlocking human potential.

This is where the concept of equity comes into play. While equality gives everyone the same opportunities regardless of their needs, equity means providing each person with the customized tools they need to succeed.

Here are some examples of equity:

  • Providing comfortable workplaces for people who have handicaps that might keep them from meeting their production goals
  • Allowing a private area and additional breaks for nursing mothers to pump while working

Finding ways to accommodate people with outside challenges helps your employees focus on their strengths.

Time to Reach Your Full Potential

To reach your workplace’s potential, start with yourself. Leaders should show by example how to achieve maximum human potential, satisfaction, and productivity. 

Are you ready to dive into what you’re most passionate about and what drives you to success? Check out our library of resources to find specific ways to unleash your full potential.

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