As a leader, embracing an attitude of empowerment is crucial to maintaining a high-performance team. Empowered employees are more confident, creative, and able to resolve issues without micromanagement. Having confident and caring employees ensures that customers receive the best possible service.
Many leaders strive to create empowering environments for their teams but are unsure of how to make this happen. Luckily, there are many simple ways to ensure positivity and empowerment are pillars of your workplace.
The Benefits of Employee Empowerment
Employees thrive in supportive environments in which they feel valued. They have the confidence to make decisions that can determine whether an interaction with your organization was positive or negative. An empowered employee feels able to speak openly about issues and successes they encounter on a day to day basis. When employees feel comfortable speaking up, leaders can have a clear picture of how their companies are operating and act to improve weak areas.
Empowered employees also tend to have higher on the job satisfaction than employees who do not feel empowered at work. This leads to higher retention and company loyalty.
The first action a leader should take when working to empower their employees is building trust. Trust is the foundation of human relationships—without it, it would be difficult for society to function. Letting your employees use their best judgement when it comes to performing tasks lets them know you trust them. You can do this simply by setting end goals then taking a step back. Do not be overly involved in each step of the process. Let your employees decide the best way to tackle tasks. This ensures each member of your team feels empowered every step of the way.
Have an Open Door Policy
Making yourself available to discuss matters important to your employees on a regular basis goes a long way to make them feel more empowered in their roles. Leaders who remove barriers of communication between team members and management find that they receive more important information regarding projects and can work to nip any arising issues in the bud. Fostering a culture of openness also has the added benefit of increasing creativity among your team. Opening the doors of communication can lead to innovative solutions to complex problems.
Provide Leadership Opportunities
Giving employees a chance to spearhead a project or take the lead in a meeting provides a structured way to exercise their own authority and gain confidence. An employee who is given added responsibility in the context of a responsive leader and a supportive team may be much more productive than one who is lacking in such support. Delegating small leadership tasks can boost cooperation and collaboration among team members.
Recognition and Encouragement
Don’t forget to let your team know when they do exceptional work. Whether it was a useful comment at a meeting or a well drafted report, take a minute to recognize their efforts. A compliment on a job well done goes a long way to retain good employees. And if you work with a very large team or have trouble fitting encouragement into the agenda, you can start a structured recognition program, such as an Employee of the Month award.
It is up to you, the leader, to give your employees a workplace conducive to growth and empowerment. But the hard work pays off. Giving your team the tools they need to become empowered ensures the success of the company as a whole.