Empowerment is the process of enabling individuals to control their own destiny. Empowered employees make decisions and take actions in their job in autonomous, independent, and self-directed ways. Studies show that employee empowerment has many organizational benefits including: increasing employee satisfaction, collaboration, productivity, and quality of work, and decreasing organizational costs.
Employee empowerment works when you give your employees the authority and freedom to make decisions independently. When confronted with an issue, empowered employees don’t approach you for permission, they are comfortable making crucial decisions on the spot. In the event of a customer service issue, the ability of empowered employees to resolve concerns immediately can make the difference between a loyal customer and a dissatisfied one.
To empower employees, organizations must give their employees the resources they need to perform their job, best practices to resolve common service issues, and the authority to go the extra mile to make the customer happy. This degree of authority can seem risky, but the risk of empowering your employees will pay off in greater financial results.
Get Employees Involved. Empowering employees involves a lot of information sharing and organizational transparency. Best practices and service standards need to be clearly defined and communicated, but this doesn’t always need to be a top-down effort: employees can contribute greatly to this process. Have open and frequent conversations with employees about the projects they’re involved in and encourage them to talk about any service issues they’ve encountered. These stories can be the foundation for new best practices and will show employees that they have a greater organizational impact.
Set Guidelines. Employee empowerment doesn’t mean you have to give your employees complete and unrestricted freedom. A good empowerment strategy starts with a shared understanding of the organizational goals and by having a loose framework in place so that staff understand the boundaries that they can work within. Providing real examples and case studies can be helpful to clarify expectations and give employees a realistic perspective of their empowered abilities.
Establish Trust and Freedom. Demonstrating trust is one of the simplest, yet most impactful, ways to empower employees and gain their loyalty. One way to do this is to provide general guidelines as to what the business needs to achieve and then allow employees to approach their work from their own angle and take on new projects that they believe support those business goals. Giving employees the ability to be self-directed and make choices in the workplace improves employee satisfaction, drives motivation, and allows for better performance. Empowering employees means giving them the opportunity to showcase their skills and be self-directed in their work and projects.
Employee empowerment is an approach associated with real benefits for an organization. The underlying principle is to give employees the freedom, flexibility, and power to make decisions and solve problems. This makes employees feel energized, capable, and determined to perform their best and contribute to making the organization successful. As a result, employee empowerment can be a true competitive advantage and lead to improved financial results.