Employees Matter: Empower Your Employees
Can employees of a small business or SME be empowered? Frequently, we hear about techniques that larger companies employ to empower employees, so why can't employees at smaller firms or SMEs be empowered, as well? They can and should be empowered.
What is empowerment? Empowerment is trusting your employees, hiring them to do a job, and letting them perform the tasks without being micromanaged and second-guessed. It could be described as a management philosophy that emphasizes giving employees independence and assistance to accomplish specific results and holding them accountable for their decisions and outcomes.
Rather than having a boss micromanage every element
of an employee's work, an opposite philosophy gets taken. So what does empowerment for employees look like for businesses large and small?
Employee empowerment examples for businesses
Involve employees in company decisions.
Provide training courses for managers.
Use employee recognition awards.
Allow autonomy in decision-making.
With more employees currently working remotely than in past years, businesses (depending on the type of business and job function) should consider this approach in dealing with employees and better understanding what employees seek other than strictly salary and benefits.
Benefits of Empowerment
One of empowerment's most valuable benefits is employee motivation, which leads to increased creativity and long-term employee retention. When employees are motivated, it gives them a chance to use and demonstrate their full potential. And with a team of motivated employees comes an increase in net profit.
Steps to Empowerment
· Encourage and deliver honest feedback
· Recognize exceptional performance
· Improve job skills regardless of employee level
· Build a culture of trust and open communication
· Make delegation a part of every process
· Have a vision for growth opportunities
· Establish understandable and precise goals
Size Does Not Matter
Every employee (regardless of employer or job position) seeks the same job satisfaction and motivation that empowerment can bring. Think about the level of job satisfaction that can be the result of management asking questions such as:
· How can we as a company enable you to do your job better with less stress and greater efficiency?
· What do you see outside your job responsibility or department hinders our business?
· What are your ideas on how we can become more competitive in the marketplace?
· Are we missing out on some form of diversification, uniqueness, or underserved market that we should investigate?
· What is your vision for our business a year or two from today?
· What would be the one thing in our business that you would change today if you could?
· How would you honestly describe our business culture, and what would you suggest to improve it for you and your fellow employees?
Worth the Effort
Regardless of the size, type of business, or job position, there is a little downside but so much upside potential in empowering employees. Although some managers might be resistant regarding the level of empowerment for employees, a company can build degrees of empowerment a little at a time. Management, however, cannot make a decision one day regarding levels of empowerment for various employees and then retract those decisions or give negative feedback if something is done differently than how management would have done the same task.
Empowerment can work better for an employee in a job position where creativity can naturally flourish versus an employee in a more routine job function. However, employees in routine job functions might find ways to improve efficiency if only given a chance to use their creativity.
Strive to improve job performance, satisfaction, motivation, and loyalty to employee empowerment. Not only will efficiency improve, but so will the bottom line.