Arms raised in protest on a grunge backgroundIt is a no-brainer that empowered employees will be happier at work, more productive and enjoy better relationships with management. Even the most ridiculous of micro-managers wants empowered employees, but aside from said micro-management standing in the way, management may not know how to empower their staff. Any leader would love to have a staff of take-action workers who can drive themselves, but they need to get out of the way for that to happen.

Leadership wants to empower a workforce who will ultimately perform in line with the company’s expectations and standards in mind. A lot of leaders don’t know how to get their staff to that point, and without proper guidance, how would they? Aside from training, there might not have even been a chance to create a workplace environment conducive to the empowerment of the workforce. It’s never too late to try. The benefits to empowering employees are well worth it. Here are a few ways to start empowering your employees today!

Encourage Them to Voice Their Opinions

Yes, they have opinions, more than you probably think. Open up the lines of communication by soliciting feedback. All too often leadership keeps communication to the bare minimum. This usually happens because as information trickles down the line, it is shared on a need-to-know basis. When employees get the whole picture, and all of the “Whys” and “Hows” are answered, they get a better grasp on their role in the company. This enables employees to form their own opinions and participate in informed discussion. Facilitate dialogue by making sure your workforce is fully informed and encouraged to engage.

Define Clear Expectations

Would you like to know the key to employee engagement? The secret sauce to productivity? Here it is –make sure you and your employees know exactly what it is they’re supposed to be doing. Sounds simple right? A ridiculous amount of issues in the workplace could be solved by clearly defining boundaries, goals and expectations. Employees do their job a whole lot better when they know what their job is. Furthermore, when everyone has a role, it promotes efficiency and eliminates redundancy.

They Might Will Have Failures Along the Way

Be understanding. While trying to empower employees, it is important to know that as leadership gives up responsibility, they are taking the risk that things won’t be done exactly how they might want. Employees don’t run the show, and they count on that paycheck. Failure or shortcomings are a scary thing for them. The idea of taking charge and making a mistake is enough to shut down effort and engagement.

Start small, don’t empower your entry-level employee to make investment choices. Begin with projects or tasks that won’t make a large impact. Let them do it their way. As employees get more comfortable taking the initiative and making their own decisions, management can loosen the reigns and enjoy a competent team.

Back Off

This doesn’t mean that it’s a free-for-all office. The team should still feel and see management’s presence and guidance, but management should make a conscious effort to back off. The sun will rise and set without a manager telling it to do so. Shove them out of the nest, but let them know that you’ll be there. When employees feel as though they are being constantly judged or scrutinized, innovation and initiative die quickly.

Celebrate Them

The best brands out there are built on the values and support of their employees and you can bet they know it. The type of employees who build a brand are they type of employees who don’t just show up to work for a check. They actually like being there. They feel satisfied and appreciated, and there’s only one way that happens. Leadership needs to make it clear that their employee’s value to the company is more than a dollar amount. A job well done needs to be recognized, even a valiant and genuine attempt at a job well done should be recognized and encouraged.

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