If you lead a company, even a small business with just a handful of employees, getting the most out of your workers is essential. One of the best ways to do this is to empower them. An empowered employee feels confident making good decisions, solving problems, and coming up with creative ideas.
Some employers go about this all wrong. They use ineffective strategies like allowing workers complete free reign or never holding them accountable for mistakes. Give your workers the tools to be efficient and effective in their roles, and you will have empowered, productive employees.
Table of Contents
1. Explore the Company Vision
If your company doesn’t have a vision statement, it’s past time to create one. A business needs direction through an overarching idea or vision. You may have one but have yet to distill it into a concise, clear statement.
When your employees know and understand the vision, they have more direction. They have a better sense of the purpose in their work and feel more empowered to work toward goals that reflect it. Here are a few ways to tie your employees’ efforts to the company vision.
- Drill down on the vision by making it visible and central to everything you do. Make it the focal point of your decisions and the goals you set.
- Get employees involved in setting goals aligned with the vision. Set quality assurance goals if your vision includes the highest quality products in your niche.
- Recognize employees who exemplify the vision. Share their stories and successes with the entire company.
The more you align employees to your vision, the more confident they will feel in setting appropriate goals and working toward them.
2. Accept Mistakes
Mistakes happen, always. No one wants to be criticized or punished for honest mistakes. Instead of punishment, accept employee mistakes and help them work through and correct those errors. Act as a mentor to help them learn rather than a disciplinarian they dread.
You don’t want to let mistakes slide, especially major ones, but balance is important. If you’re too harsh, they won’t feel confident taking risks that could benefit the company. Accept the mistakes they make but also make employees own them and correct them. This leads to growth and empowerment.
3. Give Credit When It’s Due
To understand the power of recognition for a job well done, think back to your childhood. How good did it feel to get a school award or even just a nice comment from a teacher? When your parents were pleased with your report card and celebrated your successes, did it make you want to work even harder?
Kids aren’t the only ones who respond well to being given credit. Recognize your employees when they do something right. It doesn’t have to be a big ceremony or award. A simple note, or recognition in the company newsletter, empowers workers to continue with the good work and to strive for even better outcomes.
A toxic work environment is one in which workers don’t get credit for their good work. In the worst-case scenario, a boss or manager takes credit for their work. Create an empowering environment of recognizing good work and sharing the results, so the right person gets the credit.
4. Allow Time and Flexibility
Employees need time and space to feel empowered to problem solve and make creative decisions. They also benefit from flexibility. For instance, allowing work-from-home flex time shows employees that you trust them to get the work done on their own time and schedule. This show of trust is empowering and makes your workers feel recognized and appreciated.
5. Make Work Processes Efficient
Employees who get bogged down in time-consuming, tedious tasks do not feel empowered. Anything you can do to make the workplace more efficient allows them to spend more time on more demanding and interesting projects that harness their talents and expertise.
Build efficient processes to cut back on useless time and to empower workers to focus more energy on creative tasks and more engaging work that will ultimately improve your business. To streamline processes, you need to embrace new technologies. Look at UiPath vs Microsoft Power Automate for an example of how automation technology takes the drudgery out of work.
Empowering Workers Empowers Business
Employees are not mindless drones. You hired them for their experiences and expertise. Harness these by ensuring they feel empowered to use their skills daily. The right empowerment strategies lead to a satisfied workforce and a more successful company.