Empower Your Employees
August 19, 2022
Can employees of a small business or SME be empowered? Frequently, we hear about techniques that are employed by larger companies to empower employees, so why can’t employees at smaller businesses or SMEs be empowered, as well? Actually, they can and should be empowered.
What is empowerment? It might be described as a management philosophy that places importance on giving employees independence and assistance to accomplish certain results but also holding employees accountable for decisions they make and resulting outcomes. Rather than having a boss micromanage every element of an employee’s work, an opposite philosophy is taken.
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
Perhaps, one of the most valuable benefits of empowerment is employee motivation, which then 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 type of 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 of your own job responsibility or department that is a hindrance to 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 that you see for our business a year from today or two years 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 make it better for you and your fellow employees?
Worth the Effort
Regardless of the size, type of business, or job position, there is little downside but so much upside potential in empowering employees. Although some managers might be resistant regarding the level of empowerment for employees, different degrees of empowerment can be implemented 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 in a different way than how management would have done the same task.
Empowerment works. Obviously, empowerment can work better for an employee who is in a job position where creativity can naturally flourish versus an employee who is in a more routine job function. Employees, however, in routine job functions might just find ways to improve efficiency if only given a chance to use their creativity.
Strive to improve job performance, satisfaction, motivation, and loyalty with employee empowerment. Not only will efficiency improve, so will the bottom line.