HR Mavericks

Eddy’s HR Mavericks Encyclopedia

Employee Empowerment
Employee empowerment can make all the difference for your company in shaping its culture and behavior. People want to be part of the bigger picture. This article shares a few methods on how to help your employees feel empowered to do their job.

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.

Method 10: Allow Employees to Take Charge of Their Training and Development

One of the best ways to empower employees is to help them develop the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in their roles. Here's what Abby Olson, VP of training at Crumbl Cookies HQ, has to say about finding a balance between requiring certain trainings and allowing employees to take the lead: "Within my team, every single person is required to go through the same training process. Consistency is essential. [Even if] they think their knowledge or skill set is superior to the training they go through, they're required to go through it so I can ensure (as well as the other managers) that each person was given the same information and the same expectations.Once they've completed the required training, people are able to request additional training from their managers as they need it. It is outlined in the manager's responsibilities to readily be able to offer this requested training to their team members.Ongoing development is something I deeply admire about my team and Crumbl HQ as a whole. Even when we see something working successfully, we also try to find a way to do it better. And that includes our people. We may have a 5-star candidate, but we're still going to give them training to refresh their skills or develop new ones."
Emily Kranendonk

Emily Kranendonk

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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Frequently asked questions
Other Related Terms
Adult Learning Principles
Career Coach
Career Pathing
Cross Training
Employee Development
Employee Leadership Development
Group Training
Individual Development Plan
Job Shadowing
Learning & Development Statistics
Lunch and Learns
Manager Training
Rotational Program
Skills Gap Analysis
Skills Inventory
Soft Skills
Stretch Assignment
Time Management Training
Training Needs Analysis/Assessment
Virtual Team Building
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