What is employee empowerment?
Employee empowerment is when senior management gives employees the authority to make decisions and access information and the resources they need to succeed. Ultimately, employee empowerment is about trusting employees to do their jobs and giving them the autonomy to succeed.
Why empower your employees?
Empowering employees to make decisions benefits an organisation in many ways. Empowered employees can make decisions autonomously, leading to increased innovation, engagement and agility. Additionally, empowering employees can lead to better customer experiences as they will be more likely to take pride in their work and be committed to their organisation. Empowering employees is a key step in ensuring a thriving organisation.
What does an empowered employee look like?
An empowered employee has the authority to make decisions within predetermined limits of authority. Their employer gives them more responsibility and is trusted to make sound judgement calls relating to costs, budgets, work priorities and deadlines.
Empowered employees have ready access to information and resources using role-based access control. This allows them to make informed decisions quickly without relying on others for approval.
How to empower employees to make decisions
Demonstrate your trust
When delegating tasks, give employees the autonomy to complete them in their own way. Resist the temptation to micromanage or second-guess their decisions. This will show that you believe in their ability to do the job.
Give the why
Communicate the company’s vision and goals. When employees understand the “why” behind their work, they’re more likely to be engaged and motivated. Empowering the employees to contribute their ideas and suggestions is also important. This shows that you value their input and trust them to help make decisions that will impact the business.
Provide necessary resources
By ensuring they have access to the information and tools they need to do their jobs effectively, you can help them feel more confident and capable. Additionally, providing coaching and development opportunities can also help empower the employees by allowing them to learn new skills and knowledge.
Set clear expectations
When your employees know what is expected of them, they can take ownership of their work and feel a sense of pride in their accomplishments. Clear expectations also help motivate employees by providing a sense of purpose and direction, demonstrating trust in your employees and allowing them to feel valued as team members.
Create a strengths-based culture
This means focusing on each individual’s strengths and utilising their full potential. Not only will this help employees feel more engaged and fulfilled in their work, but it will also lead to better performance and results for the company. To create a strengths-based culture:
- Start by evaluating the strengths of each individual on your team
- Match employees with tasks and assignments that play to their strengths
- Employees can develop their strengths further through training and development programs
Open the lines of communication
When it comes to empowering your employees, communication is key. By opening the lines of communication, you can create an environment where your employees feel comfortable voicing their concerns and sharing their ideas.
Regular communication will ensure that your employees are up-to-date on company policies and procedures. Furthermore, by encouraging open communication, you can create a more collaborative workplace where everyone feels invested in the company’s success.
Inspire creative thinking
To stay ahead of the competition, companies must continuously generate new ideas and find better ways of doing things.
So how can you encourage your employees to think outside the box? Create an environment that is conducive to creativity. This means ensuring there is plenty of opportunity for collaboration and open communication. Employees should feel free to share their ideas and know they will be taken seriously. For further tips on how to gather feedback and listen to the ‘voice’ of employees, read our blog.
Furthermore, it is important to provide employees with the resources they need to develop their ideas. For deskless workers this might be simple things like ideas whiteboards and suggestion boxes, digital ideation platforms, offering rewards for presenting fresh ideas and holding dedicated brainstorming sessions.
Delegate more than just work
Empowering your employees doesn’t just mean delegating work to them. It’s also about entrusting them with the responsibility to make decisions and take action:
- Identify which employees have the potential to step up and take on more responsibility
- Once you’ve identified these individuals, it’s important to provide them with the training and support they need to be successful. This might include online resources, mentorship opportunities or regular check-ins
- By delegating more than just work, you’ll give your employees a chance to grow and develop into leaders within your company
Recognise employees for hard work
As a business owner, it’s important to empower your employees and show them that their hard work is appreciated. One of the most impactful ways to do this is through recognition. Whether through a formal award or a verbal thank you, acknowledging your employees’ accomplishments can help motivate them and encourage further success. Recognition can also help build camaraderie and team spirit, fostering a positive working environment.
If you’re looking for a way to empower your employees, give them the recognition they deserve by using Human Force’s time and attendance software to track their progress.
Managing the employee post-approach implementation
After implementing all techniques of employee empowerment, it is important to manage the employee post-approach. This includes providing feedback and support and monitoring the behaviour and results of employees. You must continue communicating the organisation’s goals and objectives to employees. This way, employees feel valued and motivated to contribute to the organisation’s success.
Pitfalls to avoid
Employee empowerment can be a powerful tool for improving morale and productivity in the workplace. However, employers should also be aware of a few potential pitfalls.
Employees with access to highly sensitive information may be more likely to accidentally or deliberately leak that information. Employees may also risk making decisions that are not in line with the company’s best interests. As a result, businesses must carefully weigh the pros and cons of employee empowerment before implementing any policies.
Ignoring employee concerns and feedback
Encouraging employees to participate in decision-making can increase job satisfaction and motivation. However, this approach can also backfire if employees feel their concerns are not heard, or their feedback is ignored. To prevent this, managers need to be open to listening to employee concerns and considering them when making decisions.
Additionally, employees should be kept informed of changes that will be taking place and allowed to provide input. By maintaining open communication and involving employees in the decision-making process, managers can ensure that employee empowerment techniques are successfully implemented without creating negative feelings of resentment or frustration. Contact Humanforce and book a demo to start managing your workforce right.
Humanforce is a leading provider of shift-based workforce management solutions that simplify onboarding, scheduling, time and attendance, payroll, employee engagement, and communication. Customers in more than 23 countries use Humanforce to optimise costs, realise compliance confidence, empower their team, and drive growth. Humanforce was founded in Sydney in 2002, and today has offices across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the UK.