Empowering your employees is the smartest way to inspire them to be more innovative, proactive, and accountable. If you build the right infrastructure, they should never be afraid to offer up an idea—quite the contrary—they should be rewarded when they do.
Creating this type of work environment is beneficial to both the success of your business and individuals who work for you, but how do you go about cultivating this type of mindset?
What Is an Example of Employee Empowerment?
Starting in the 1980s, there has been a heightened awareness and interest in the link between management and psychology. Studies have shown that empowering employees and buttressing the aspects involved in leadership is innately linked to an increase in work effort, job satisfaction, and levels of creativity.
There are several very basic things you can do to empower your employees every day that will also improve the overall morale in the workplace, inspire creativity, and help jobs be completed more efficiently.
The goal is to shift their mentality from one of passivity to one of activity when they think of their roles at work.
1. Encourage Employees to Make Suggestions
When the people who work for you are afraid to share their ideas, growth on all fronts is being stifled.
When employees are comfortable with expressing their thoughts, then meetings will turn into places where creative solutions can more easily be hatched.
One person can never see everything that’s happening and fix everything that’s going awry.
If everyoneis looking out for issues and inefficiencies and proactively solving these problems, your business will run in a far smoother, more expeditious manner.
3. Reward Employees for Solving Problems
If an employee sees a problem but doesn’t feel it’s their place to solve it or they feel afraid to act because that particular thing doesn’t fall within their job description, problems will simply persist.
Reward the people who work for you when they take initiative. Make it known that this behavior is noticed and appreciated and will have a positive effect on their career.
Create awards and/or monetary bonuses to recognize and reward employees when they show innovation and initiate problem-solving in the workplace.
How Do You Empower Your Team to Be More Creative?
Empowering your employees has never been easier, but it starts at the top. You must create an environment and a culture of rewards and recognition that continuously highlights and extols the employees who take initiative and find innovative ways to solve problems.
Communicate effectively when it comes time to assign tasks, making sure that the following series of steps take place in each interaction:
- First, ask your employees to do something.
- Second, listen to any questions or concerns they might have.
- Finally, specify the details of the project in such a way that there can be absolutely zero confusion about what is being asked of them.
An educated worker is an empowered worker. From offering to advance their training to paying for further education and degrees to propel them in their field, these are things that show you care and believe in them, instilling them with self-confidence that assuredly carries over into the workplace and beyond.
It’s also wise to educate them in all aspects of the business so they understand what the work they do contributes to as a whole. Make them realize their job matters to the entire process.
Brainstorm ways to avoid issues that pop up continuously. Attempting to put out daily fires chews up the workday, leaving no time for advancement. Instead, when you meet with your employees, discuss ways you can formulate long-term plans that stymie the smaller issues, stopping them from happening in the first place.
You can also create an experimentation hour. Carve out specific times when employees can try out any new ideas they might have and share suggestions for improvement.
Make it an open forum where everyone can attempt things without the fear of failure. This will be the place to make mistakes and try new things! You never know what inspired idea one of your employees might have.
What Makes You Empowered at Work?
It all comes down to autonomy. If your employees feel they don’t have to constantly check in with their superiors to make decisions, the speed and efficiency of your business will exponentially increase.
This is something you must instill in your employees. You must give them the corporate authority to take action, and this comes down to ensuring they already have the necessary skills, the appropriate training, experience, resources, and responsibility to make these decisions for the company.
They can and should be self-sufficient and able to work together effectively to meet the goals you set for them.
What Are the 4 Essential Components of Empowerment?
- Your employees need the skills and tools to be able to successfully perform the job they have been assigned.
- You need to give your employees all the required information for them to be able to do their job successfully.
- Your employees need to have the authority to make decisions when things happen and not always have to defer to someone else.
- They also need to be held accountable for the outcomes of their decisions after the fact, both positive and negative.
If you’re looking to add another layer of efficiency and autonomy to your employee benefits package, facilitating annoying issues like claims reimbursements and stipends for employee meals, Edenred can help. Schedule a meeting with us today to learn more.