What is Employee Empowerment?
We’ve all heard the phrase when asking a question that is ever so slightly outside the script. “Let me talk to my manager and I’ll see what I can do”. It’s often the death of a potential sale, you’re left unhappy and the employee feels helpless. These situations can be avoided by ensuring employee empowerment is engrained enough for each employee to feel confident making the right decision on the spot.
Employee Empowerment doesn’t mean you simply hand over the wheel and see what happens! It is built up over time through better understanding of your business needs. In this blog we’ll look at 5 types of employee empowerment your business and its employees can benefit from.
You cannot expect your employees to take control if they are not well trained or under prepared. When empowering employees to make their own decisions, companies are responsible for equipping them with the tools and information they need to approach certain events or scenarios’.
When employees try out new ideas and test new skills, then they grow and develop. They improve themselves and become more proficient. In turn, this makes them happier, more engaged and better prepared to face obstacles and challenges.
Employee empowerment is encouraging employees to develop new skills through trainings courses and other educational methods.
Some businesses feel the need to see employees seated at their desks to get a full day’s work from them. But as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, time management has truly come into its own with many workforces now working from home.
A more flexible time management approach gives employees the autonomy to use their time as they see fit, working non-traditional hours or dividing time between home and your work location. Employees are still expected to complete their work on schedule and to be available during times when a physical presence is required.
Employee empowerment comes when employees are given the freedom to make their own calls when it comes to scheduling work hours and location.
Employees who are empowered with an honest look at what’s going on behind the scenes at work are less likely to believe gossip and hearsay. When employees are left in the dark about key business decisions or lack an understanding of why a particular business approach is being implemented, they may feel shut out.
When open and honest communication is promoted, employees will feel like valued and important members of the small business team. They will be more likely to feel empowered to help with problem solving and new program implementation.
Employees who are entrusted with their own budgets or funds for certain situations are financially empowered.
Giving employees financial empowerment allows them to decide the best use of budget and achieving company goals. When employees have this type of financial empowerment, they are more likely to review their spending carefully, looking for the most appropriate use of funds and use their budgets wisely.
They will have a more personal connection and sense of ownership with the money they are using.
The big one! Making a decision without fear and or “Teflon” it up the chain of command!
Most businesses have a hierarchy employees are expected to follow when it comes to different levels of decision making. For example, employees may be empowered to make decisions about simple workplace issues, such as what type of office supplies to order, but be required to consult a manager for larger decisions, such as whether to extend credit to a particular customer.
Start small with decision making boundaries and then widen that boundary as employee empowerment grows based on successful implementation and feedback.
Empowering employees to make more important decisions gives them a vested interested in the overall success of the business.
With a desire to grow personally and a wish to improve working lives through employee engagement, I am thrilled to be part of building an internal comms system that connects everyone.