Help your employees step up and create a more productive workplace. By Priya Prakasan
One of the best ways to speed up processes and encourage employees to deliver quality results is through employee empowerment. By providing your workforce with ample training, resources and motivation, you can empower them to perform at the optimum level. Empowerment ensures that your employees have a sense of autonomy, which will increase their job satisfaction and also make them align their performance with the company’s objectives and values. It can lead to higher efficiency, improved staff retention and a proactive approach to business. Here are some tips on how to increase empowerment in your team.
1. Be open to ideas
The best ideas often come the unlikeliest of sources. A leader that takes the time to listen and encourage new ideas sends a message of respect, that everyone’s input is valued. Team members are therefore more likely to share opinions, ideas, etc. Be receptive to new ideas and create an environment that encourages innovative thinking and action. This will give employees a platform to share ideas and explore new initiatives without fear of retribution. It is a great way to inspire your workforce to share their skills, knowledge and experience.
2. Encourage them to learn and grow
Provide your employees room to grow and you will notice that they will gain a better understanding of the project and be more willing to ideate, innovate, and experiment. Employees often seek their leader’s approval, so praise their efforts to expand their horizons. When you encourage them to grow, you are not only focusing on their talent but also on the effort that will help them stay focused.
3. Recognise and reward employees
Another way to encourage empowering behaviour is by reward and recognising such actions. Such behaviour requires employees to step outside their comfort zone, put in more effort and at times take risks. Employees are more likely to exhibit such behaviour if they see that it is worth their effort, ie it receives appreciation and recognition from their leader. So showing appreciation and giving praise provides positive encouragement, confirms their work is valued by the leader, and motivates them to improve their performance.
4. Provide challenges and opportunities
reate an environment of growth so as to help employees achieve their full potential. Find out if your employees lack clarity on the opportunities available to them in the organisation. If yes, work to remedy that situation. Set aside time to find out their goals and craft individual growth plans and ensure that they know how their work contributes to the success of the organisation. Keep employees on their toes by presenting them with challenges that take them outside their comfort zone so as to strengthen existing skills and develop new ones. Employees will feel excited about the opportunities on offer and not get complacent about their role in the organisation.
5. Believe and trust your employees
Belief and trust is a two-way street. If you want your employees to trust you, you need to display some trust in them as well. Respect is an important component of this. Lead with integrity and respect the contributions, opinions, etc of each employee. Offer them freedom and flexibility to manage their own activities. Steer clear of micromanaging so that they develop a sense of personal accountability. This will help establish a relationship of trust with your employees, translating in to loyalty and dedication.
6. Involve employees in decision-making
Decision-making that involves understanding a problem, segregating options and making an effective decision is a critical skill in business operations. It is important in a growing thriving company; so actively engaging your employees in the decision-making process increases their overall morale. Employees will feel they are a valued, that their voice matters, and they will focus more of their energy on future-oriented problem solving, thus contributing to the organisation’s success.
Photograph: Changjin Lee/Flickr