Too often, we hear friends and family complaining about their jobs and how much they hate coming to work every day. No one likes working for a company that only cares about revenue, doesn’t listen to employees, and refuses to recognize hard work. This creates a negative, uninviting atmosphere where stress is high and the need to get out is even higher.
When your employees feel empowered at their job, they’re more likely to want to succeed and take on tasks with confidence. According to research by Gallup, companies with engaged employees see a 21% spike in productivity. When your employees feel important, quality results will trail behind them.
Importance of empowering your employees
Business leaders need to empower their employees. Not only does it make your employees feel good, but it can also improve your bottom line. When employees feel empowered, they are frequently motivated to be more productive and engaged in their work. They tend to take accountability, provide better customer service and become more satisfied with their job. Teams with higher employee satisfaction rates tend to have lower employee turnover rates.
FYI: There is a simple calculation to determine your employee turnover rate. Employee turnover = (Number of employees who left ÷ Average number of employees) x 100.
10 tips to help you empower your employees
If you’re looking for new ways to empower your employees, here are 10 essential tips to get you started.
1. Communicate expectations.
Your team can’t meet your expectations if you don’t tell them what they are. By defining clear boundaries for them to work in, you’re able to properly communicate what you want while giving your employees free rein to work as they please. This promotes emotional intelligence and will prevent you from micromanaging their work or getting frustrated in the future when they don’t do something you expected of them. By stating what you want from employees directly, there’s no room for confusion, less room for error, and more room for growth.
2. Be flexible.
Above all else, your employees are human. There are going to be times when life happens, and they need to take some time off work or would prefer work from home options. More companies are realizing that, the more flexible they are with their employees, the more productive and refreshed they are to work. According to a survey by Owl Labs, 55% of remote workers said they would be likely to quit their job if they could no longer work remotely. Giving workers options based on how they’d like to work and taking it seriously will show them you trust their work ethic.
Tip: Flextime is a great employee benefit that companies can offer to be more flexible with employee schedules.
3. Encourage feedback and ideas.
Some of the best ideas have the ability to come from your hard-working employees who strive to grow your business every day. When was the last time you asked them their serious opinion on something related to the company, perhaps on how to improve? Since we already know that employee engagement is important to achieving overall organizational success, asking for your employees’ input shows them that what they say matters and empowers them to be honest about their opinions.
4. Delegate important tasks.
It isn’t enough to tell employees you trust their decision-making skills and their wit to be able to problem solve and get work done. You have to show them, and the best way to do this is to delegate different – yet important – tasks to them. Doing the same things day in and day out gets boring. According to ReportLinker, 83% of employees with opportunities to take on new challenges are more likely to stay with that company. By giving them something else to work on, not only is it a breath of fresh air, but it also keeps them motivated to work hard and shows them they’re trusted to take on more significant tasks.
4. Supply them with the resources they need.
You can’t expect your employees to succeed if you haven’t given them the tools and resources they need to actually be successful. Empower your team by providing them with what they need to do their job well. Follow up with them regularly to assess and address their current needs. This not only makes it easier for them to do their job, but it also shows them you care about their success. When employees feel appreciated and have the resources they need, they are more empowered to do their job.
6. Provide constructive feedback.
Offering employees constructive feedback is crucial. When you provide employees with assessments on their work, it helps them learn and develop their skills. It also shows that you care about their development and empowers them to improve. To provide effective feedback, create a safe space and a regular cadence for how and how often you provide employee feedback. You can do this by holding weekly one-on-ones, quarterly reviews and annual reviews.
Tip: You can also foster an environment that encourages informal feedback at any time. Ensure your employees know they don’t have to wait until a formal review period to discuss their performance.
7. Praise their accomplishments.
When your employees do something that exceeds your expectations or takes a few minutes out of their day to help someone else out, they should be recognized for it. In a survey by SHRM, 68% of HR professionals said that employee recognition positively impacts retention. A little bit of praise goes a long way and vocalizing someone’s good deeds and hard work will set them on track to continue their stellar work.
8. Share the company vision and mission statement.
Your company should have a mission and vision statement, and it is vital your employees know what it is. Set aside some time to review it with your team and identify ways that their specific roles fold into those statements. Employees are more empowered when they feel connected to their organization and understand how their role plays in its overall success.
9. Create a positive and inclusive workspace.
Everyone wants to work in a positive, upbeat workplace where they feel safe and acknowledged. Create a work environment that encourages employees to do their best, speak their minds, and contribute to discussions and projects. You can empower employees by making the office a positive place.
10. Lead by example.
Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk. You can set rules and expectations for employees, but you need to lead by example. If you don’t follow the guidelines you set forth, it won’t be long before employees follow suit. Inspire your team and show them how to feel empowered.
It’s not easy being in charge of an entire team of employees to manage. But with the intent to do well and help your team reach their goals, you can lead them to a path where they don’t loathe coming into work every day and might actually look forward to it. Be upfront about your expectations so you’re on the same page, listen to what they have to say, trust them to do their job without being micromanaged, and praise them for all they do. By doing so, your company will soon reap the benefits and your workplace culture will remain happy and productive.
Chris Christoff contributed to this article.