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Nurturing Staff to Gain an Empowered Team

There is much evidence that empowering employees is directly linked with increased productivity. Not only that, job satisfaction and loyalty to the company are also improved.

For sure, the success of your company is directly linked with the success of your employees. When your employees are successful, so is your company.

So, let’s get down to basics, shall we? 

What do we exactly mean when we say empowering employees?

  • Empowering employees is simply giving your employees more freedom and making them more accountable in every task they handle. 
  • It means giving your team members and your employees permission to make decisions and actions that affect your company.

So what is an empowered organization?

  • Business dictionary probably summed it up in the best way.
  • An empowered organization is one where individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire, and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to the organization’s success.
  • Human beings have a natural craving for power. 
  • As managers, they were tapping what makes employees more productive in their job.
  • Employees want to have a certain degree of freedom, which you must give to them.
  • If employees don’t see a fast-rising graph in their career path, they lose interest at work, and productivity falls. 
  • On the other hand, when you empower them, they become more responsible, more invested.
  • Hence more efficient at the job.

Hidden Benefits of Empowering Employees

  • Before going any further, let us take a step back. We know what employee empowerment means. 
  • How does empowering your employees translate into better organizational performance?

Empowering employees benefits your company

  • Improved Productivity

This is one of the direct benefits of employee empowerment. Your employees become much more productive when they are involved in all the critical decision-making issues.

You will never feel motivated to work for a company with little autonomy and are often ordered what to do, right? In the same way, your employees don’t enjoy it when you call them to work on a specific project or work in a certain way.

  • Employee Satisfaction

It is a proven fact that we tend to be more satisfied when we make our own decisions. Having an environment of accountability encourages your employees to make more decisions on their own.

This trickles down into them being happy and satisfied. And of course, satisfied employees are likely to be more productive, energetic, and more loyal.

  • Improved Employee Branding

One of how empowering employees can help directly is making a case for employee branding. When your brand is known for empowering its employees, you can make an excellent case for superior employee branding.

Wait, what is employee branding you ask?

The core idea of employee branding is that you have such a superior work culture that your employees act as brand ambassadors and present your company in the best light possible.

Also, since you have bustling employee branding, you don’t have to invest too heavily in recruitment processes. Making your company desirable also serves the purpose of reducing employee attrition. Since your employees are already working for a hot company, they are less likely to leave.

  • Flattening the Hierarchy

One of the hidden benefits of empowering your employees is flattening your hierarchy. In a flat order, there is little to no micro-managing.

A flat structure can eliminate the excess management layers to improve communication and increase transparency in the workforce. Fewer management levels can improve productivity and decision-making among your employees.

There is some risk of flat hierarchy too

There is a good chance for generalization and confusion if the desired results are not achieved. It becomes unclear who would be responsible for the failure of a particular project, the guy who worked on the content or the guy who worked on the voiceover, etc.

What you need to do is understand the level of “flatness” you want. If you have a huge company, maybe going too flat might not be the best idea. If your company is small, then a flat hierarchy can give you optimum results.

  • Career Development

Career development is one of the most crucial factors for employees when they consider a job.

In fact, according to a 2018 survey, 75% of employees are looking for opportunities for skill development. Empowering your employees is one of the most efficient ways to develop their skills. Since they will be making most of their work decisions, they would likely put extra effort into the project.

When employees are empowered, it gives them a sense of accountability and responsibility for developing their skills. They usually go to lengths to optimize their efforts and nail their work.

One less worry for the human resources department when employees are fueling their skills and developing themselves.

  • Customer Handling

Good or bad customer experience is largely dependent on one thing, which is what is happening inside an organization.

One of the major advantages of empowering employees can be seen in the quality of customer service. 

Additionally, empowered employees can address the day-to-day challenges of customer handling much more efficiently. For example, while dealing with an unsatisfied customer, if your employees have the tools and authority to make a decision, they can fix the issue there and then.

  • How can we make employees feel empowered?

Build Trust and respect

Foster a culture at work where employees feel respected and trusted. Attitude is an important part of the environment. Empowerment is not a one-step process but a continuous one. It requires nurturing and grooming of employees from the very beginning.

  • Facilitate Robust Communication 

Communication is the most crucial element to spark empowerment. Employees shouldn’t feel they are last to know about any development in the company. When the management makes sharing information a norm, it makes all the difference.

  • Be clear about Company Core Values and Goals

Alignment is an important part of empowerment. The goals and objectives of the company should be clearly spelt out to the employees.

  • Provide Tools and Resources

If you want to empower your employees, you must also give them the means to grow.

One of the biggest challenges that employees often face is the lack of tools and resources. It is necessary that these are readily available for employees to deliver their best.

  • Offer Feedback

The role of leadership in employee empowerment is huge.

To facilitate empowerment, feedback should become a day-to-day affair in the workplace. 

  • Timely Rewards and Recognition

Empowerment is a slow process that unfolds eventually. One that needs culture-building from the very beginning. Offering rewards and demonstrating recognition is a proven way to uplift employee morale and boost confidence.

  • Inspire creative thinking

Innovative thinking is a key trait of a good leader. You must encourage your employees to explore their potential and think out of the box. It unlocks the opportunity for business innovation and growth. Creative thinking boosts problem-solving, a quality that any future leader must-have.

The catch here is that the problem is not a lack of creativity but the fact that the ideas are not heard. As managers, you should promote a work environment where employees proactively participate in idea-sharing.

  • Foster Employee engagement

Employee engagement and empowerment go hand-in-hand. Empowerment boosts engagement and engaged employees often feel empowered. 

The fundamental way of working is going through continuous change. People no longer see their work as a way of earning money. 

They see it as a part of their lifestyle and obviously don’t like people bossing them around. Empowering employees is not a one day process but a perpetual one. You need to set it in motion progressively and not with a giant leap.

Employee empowerment is the global buzzword at the moment. Empowering employees can help an organization in many ways. And its impact on improved customer experience is notable.

Allocating empowerment to the right individuals can help in improving productivity and cost reduction. However, like every other concept, it has its own limitations. Empowerment can sometimes lead to additional stress and burden among employees. 

It can also cause arrogance and abuse of power by some. It is crucially important to find balance while implementing the desired system for your organization or business.

Marius Joubert
Author: Marius Joubert

Founder of the first true community for the restaurant and hospitality industry.

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