Research shows that when employees feel empowered at work, they exhibit stronger job performance, report higher job satisfaction, and display greater commitment to the organization.
Organizations have begun to see the value of empowering employees to make and act on their own choices. Employee empowerment fosters a high-impact learning culture, and companies with a strong learning culture are 92% more likely to develop new products and processes. These companies are 52% more productive than their competitors, 56% more likely to be first to market with their products and services, and 17% more profitable. Their retention and engagement rates are also 30–50% higher.
How to empower employees
Here are a few helpful tips for empowering employees, shared by the author.
Management buy-in: Like any other organization accomplishment, management support for employee empowerment is essential. Top management must encourage an employee-driven culture. Create an organizational concept of employee empowerment with clear boundaries and management training on how to empower employees.
Job Design: Employee empowerment is the process of empowering a person or organization’s workforce to take on responsibilities typically reserved for higher levels. Employee empowerment strategies differ per organisation but are based on two similar concepts: job expansion and work enrichment.
Building an Environment of Trust: Managers must believe in their employees and trust them to make good choices. Delegating decision-making may be tough for new managers. When they miss the target, use the chance to advise and guide them. It takes a lot of time and effort from management.
Providing employees with the appropriate tools: Adapting to new technology and equipment should be part of an organization’s plan to empower employees. According to the WEF in Switzerland, fixing broken equipment and upgrading technology would motivate employees and enable them to take on more responsibility.
Restructuring the organisation: Employee empowerment is the most important reason for changing the structure of the organisation so that it is more customer-focused.
Training: Many companies have people who can do multiple jobs. This creates a set of highly empowered teams with excellent retention and engagement rates.
Employee feedback: Recent research found that employees who are heard at work are 4.6 times more empowered. Asking employees what matters most to them at work is an effective way of empowering them.
Willingness to take more responsibilities: Employees’ seeking more responsibility shows an organisation is moving towards employee empowerment. If employees don’t want to take the initiative, autonomy should be brought in and considered.
Recognition: Employees feel empowered when their peers and coworkers know they have been recognised. Having recognition increases business success by 12 times.
Employee empowerment has a number of advantages for organizations. Aside from employees feeling valued as a consequence of the trust and responsibility given to them, and having a positive impact on customer service levels, organisations can attract the right employees and anticipate employees to embrace change more quickly.
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