When we feel empowered, we can enjoy the freedom of independent decisions and a clear vision of what’s ahead. Employee empowerment is the opposite of micromanagement, a nightmare for employees and leaders alike.
Empowered employees are happy and successful employees. There’s no limit to the benefits that empowerment and confidence can bring to the workplace. EMPOWERMENT starts with
- Encouraging employee engagement
- Making the most of each workday
- Prioritizing a personal life outside of work
- Open communication throughout the organization
- Wondering about ways to learn and grow as a team
- Enriching the tasks and jobs of employees
- Recognition of your team members
Employee empowerment might seem like an abstract idea at first. But fully understanding what constitutes empowerment in the workplace can help cultivate a healthy and productive team.
It’s essential to actively work to empower your team members. I’ll let you know all about it!
What Does It Mean To EMPOWER Employees?
Empowerment is a popular buzzword nowadays, but that’s not for no reason. Even outside the workplace, people want to feel confident in their responsibilities.
And empowerment brings about a new level of accountability and personal importance that many people deserve!
You need to be active in your endeavors to encourage employee EMPOWERMENT in the workplace. But what does that really look like?
#1. Encourage Engagement
Employee engagement is the foundation of a lively and involved workplace.
Engaged employees are productive and innovative workers. Not only is this highly beneficial for essentially all business goals, but it is also vital for a well-rounded and wholesome workplace.
After all, our team members spend considerable time and effort at work. And focusing on professional development can require a lot of dedication and brain power.
Employees feel empowered when they are engaged, and when they are engaged, they are active in their professional responsibilities. Empowerment stems from increased decision-making responsibilities and heightened feelings of accountability.
A certain degree of leadership can encourage employees to be engaged and productive. And this directly correlates to an increased level of empowerment.
All of these things go hand in hand. Without employee empowerment, you won’t have genuine team member engagement. And vice versa. (Trust me, I’ve seen this plenty of times as a master of ceremonies.)
#2. Make The Most Of Each Day
I’m pretty sure we’ve all been in a position where the days drag by, and we live for the weekend. After all, job satisfaction can be fickle, especially when management and leadership don’t seem to care about it.
So as a leader in your organization, this should be your worst nightmare. You should always actively work to cultivate an enjoyable and healthy company culture.
Your Organization’s Culture Is Integral
Your employees feel firsthand the effects of the workplace culture you’ve created. If you are complacent in your work duties as a leader and inspirational figure, you’ve already failed!
You’ll need to lead by example and demonstrate to your team what it means to feel empowered. That starts with things like:
- Not counting down the minutes till the end of the workday
- Treating your job as more than just a paycheck
- Having consistent trust-building conversations with your team
- Developing a healthy company culture and aligning it with the company’s vision
- Making the most of each workday
That last one is key and an essential step in encouraging employee empowerment in the workplace.
#3. Prioritize A Healthy Work-Life Balance
Even if you are head-over-heels in love with your job and professional duties, you still have a personal life. Just like every single employee on your team.
Overwork and an excessive focus on job performance are both one-way tickets to employee burnout. And let me tell you, burnout and empowerment don’t go well together.
An empowered environment doesn’t place a company’s success over the work-life balance of its employees. Allowing employees to focus on prioritizing their lives at home over their professional careers is something that can significantly benefit your team.
A healthy work-life balance can:
- Reduce workplace stress
- Improve both physical and mental health
- Boost job satisfaction and performance
- Increase focus and mindfulness in the workplace
Many Americans point to their jobs as their primary source of stress. Reducing workplace stress is essential for both improving employee retention and empowering employees.
#4. Open Communication
Communication is heavily prioritized in the workplace but often seems to be lacking nonetheless. It’s something that people seem to easily forget about.
Leaders that promote employee empowerment find ways to build trusting relationships with their team members. Communication is only successful if both sides believe they will be heard!
For example, many employees can shy away from an apparent opportunity to voice an opinion when they are used to being shot down. Without mutual trust and open communication, it’s impossible to empower employees.
Employee Empowerment Starts With Two-Sided Trust
On the other hand, when lower or even higher-level management relinquishes absolute authority and decision-making, employees can finally flex their critical thinking and leadership skills.
Giving employees additional responsibilities and more control over their roles allows them to develop mutual trust with their empowering leaders. And this, in turn, helps employees feel empowered and focused on using their own abilities to bring a positive impact to their workplace.
For some leaders, getting comfortable delegating responsibilities to employees might take some time. After all, we’re not all perfect!
But the first step to becoming your best self starts with recognizing and addressing your weaknesses. Let’s do it together!
#5. Wondering, Questioning, Growing!
We stop growing when we stop asking questions.
What exactly do I mean by this? I mean that once we stop actively searching for ways to improve ourselves and the world around us, we stop growing as individuals.
I’ve learned this exceptionally well throughout my years as a corporate emcee. Whenever I could take a step back and reflect on what was happening around me, I gained a new level of insight that previously wouldn’t have been possible.
And this allowed me to significantly improve my craft and discover this key principle of empowerment.
As we get older, we naturally stop asking questions. It’s easier to just “go with the flow” and passively complete our daily tasks in the workplace with no additional thought.
But this leads to bored and disengaged employees.
Asking questions and growing as individuals are the foundation for many things. This improves employee motivation, encourages professional risk-taking, and promotes stronger job performance.
#6. Enrichment Of Employee Jobs
The more technical side of employee empowerment involves team members’ specific roles and responsibilities. Employee empowerment starts with organizations and leaders entrusting their employees with a higher degree of control and authority in the workplace.
This can be broken down into two parts; job enlargement and job enrichment.
Job enlargement refers to the scope of the job that employees have. Increasing job enlargement means giving employees more responsibilities in their roles.
Take, for example, a coffee barista. Initially, she was only required to take the orders of customers physically coming into the shop. With increased job enlargement, her responsibilities expanded to include taking the orders of customers coming through the drive-thru.
Job enlargement is considered to be horizontal.
Job enrichment is vertical and refers to the depth of the job or responsibilities of an employee.
This same coffee barista, who is now responsible for taking customers’ orders in the drive-thru, can also process discounts and discounts for the orders. As a result, her job now has an increased level of depth.
How To Increase Job Enrichment And Enlargement
Provide employees the opportunity to explore the depth and scope of their roles. You can do this by offering training programs and working to develop clear agreements about role responsibilities.
Encouraging employee empowerment starts with giving your team the tools to get there.
#7. Recognition And Appreciation
Employee recognition is an extremely valuable aspect of any company or organization. When employees feel seen and appreciated, it makes it easier for them to feel responsible and dedicated in their roles.
If you want to empower employees, you need to express your gratitude. And frequently!
Employee empowerment and feelings of appreciation are closely linked. When your team members feel like you genuinely appreciate their efforts, that gives them an internal sense of accomplishment and further responsibility.
Showing your gratitude and appreciation can be a straightforward task. But it’s necessary nonetheless. So don’t underestimate it!
You can start by:
- Hosting a fun and lively company event
- Giving your team members care packages
- Saying “thank you” often
- Treat your employees to a team lunch
Employee empowerment doesn’t need to seem like an abstract or far-fetched idea. Your employees want to feel this internal fire, so all you need to do is help them get there!
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Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.