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What Is Employee Empowerment?
Employee empowerment is the opportunity and privilege of employers to give their employees a sense of authority in performing their day-to-day tasks within the work environment. Empowering employees will boost their confidence, hone their decision-making skills, and increase their morale. Employees are more likely to feel satisfaction in the workplace if they have a sense of ownership and authority with their tasks.
Why You Should Work to Empower Your Employees
Here are a few things to keep in mind when learning how to empower your employees:
- Your style of leadership matters. It matters because it helps your employees to trust you. Employees want to trust leadership within the company and feel trusted by the leadership in the company. Think about the kind of influence you want to have on your employees. When employees know they are trusted, their desire to be self-reliant and independent grows. Trust is the beginning of employee empowerment.
- Learn what autonomy means. Employees feel autonomy when they feel freedom, independence, and discretion to complete their work in their own ways.
- Focus on your company culture. When you make people and culture a focus, your employees will feel empowered and want to perform well in their jobs. When employees feel empowered by this, they want to help keep the company compliant. When a company focuses on their employees, employees feel valued and respected, which reduces the likelihood of angry employees making legal claims against your company. Employees want to be treated as human beings, not objects.
How You Can Make Employees Feel Empowered
Make empowering employees best practices within your company. There are many ways to empower your employees.
Method 1: Goal Setting
One way to help employees feel empowered is to include them in goal setting for the organization. Most employees feel appreciated and valued when you do. This will also help everyone get on the same page.
Method 2: Communicate Transparency
Employees need and want to know that management communicates transparency. This shows that the company is not hiding anything from employees. Strive to communicate every change and decision that is taking place. This helps employees feel that they are important to the company.
Method 3: Involvement in Decision-Making
Decision-making creates the opportunity to progress and to move forward. It’s not about making just any decision. Employees can help you make the right kind of decision where they are at the front line of the company and know the ins and outs of how the company operates. They will know things that will help management make the best kinds of decisions.
Method 4: Provide Continuous Feedback
Employees want to know how they are doing in their work. Providing feedback takes work on your part to think through what you are going to share. Providing individualized feedback shows the employees you care about what they are doing. You are helping employees strengthen their skill sets and abilities. In the long run, this will do far more for your company than you could ever realize.
Method 5: Listen to Problems and Provide Guidance
There will always be problems in the workplace, it’s just a matter of when. Whether it’s problems in the workplace or personal life, these problems can affect the way employees perform in their job. It is human nature to want to feel heard. Listen without interrupting or forming a response in your mind. Employees need your guidance on how to solve problems for themselves. By asking questions and letting the employee talk out loud, usually, the employee can find answers to their problems or at least a path to find answers.
Method 6: Share Leadership Vision
Some employees want to become a leader someday themselves. Your company has the opportunity to tap into that desire to help prepare employees to become leaders. Start by sharing with them the leadership vision — what does success look like, what actions need to be taken to achieve it, what brings hope and inspiration to the future. Share these visions with your employees. Empower your employees to develop leadership qualities. All management positions should strive to develop leadership qualities regularly.
Method 7: Provide Authority and Opportunities
Employees need to feel they have authority and complete control in doing their job. They each have something unique to bring to the table. Allow employees to do their job in their way. It is critical for employees to feel like they have opportunities to grow within their position and company. This plays a key role as to why people stay working for a company. They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
Method 8: Autonomy
A leader can take action to help employees feel autonomy by serving, coaching, viewing their employees as collaborators and assets, helping decision-making to happen at every level of the organization, and being responsive and prompt in their responses to employee concerns.
Method 9: Desire to Make a Difference
It’s inherent that people have a desire to help other people and be a part of something bigger than themselves. When you can help your employees satisfy that desire, people feel happier when they have had the opportunity to help. It goes a long way when you know you’ve made someone smile or helped someone feel better.
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Emily is the HR Manager for PatientBond. She is the excited for the opportunity of creating an HR department with her current employer. Emily pursued a Master’s in Human Resources from USU and comes with 4 years of experience from various companies. Emily serves as the Director of Social Media for the Salt Lake SHRM chapter.
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