Empowering employees: Meaning, importance and steps to do it
It is no secret that employee engagement is essential for a company’s success. After all, it boosts productivity, profits, employee satisfaction, and several other things. However, many businesses overlook the fact that engaged employees are impossible to achieve without employee empowerment.
A study conducted on almost 7,000 workers by Harvard researchers found that dis empowered workers scored in the 24th percentile for employee engagement, whereas empowered workers scored in the 79th percentile. Employee empowerment is more vital than ever before, therefore you need to know what it is and how you can empower your employees.
What is employee empowerment?
Empowering employees’ means giving them the autonomy, support, and responsibility to make their own decisions, be accountable for them, and take responsibility for their success.
Employee empowerment is not just about empowering employees with authority. It also involves:
- Providing resources, training, and educational opportunities to help employees to learn, grow, and advance in their careers.
- Creating an environment that allows employees to express their ideas and opinions in a psychologically safe manner.
- Giving employees greater responsibility, autonomy, and leadership opportunities, as well as the chance to take on entirely new roles
- Appreciating and rewarding employees’ contributions
What is the importance of employee empowerment?
Business leaders and HR management teams of these companies know that their most valuable assets are their employees. They also understand that employees need to feel empowered to achieve goals, fulfill the company’s vision, and provide value to customers.
Here’s a closer look at how employee empowerment enhances both the performance of employees as well as the company as a whole.
Increased job satisfaction
Employees who are given greater autonomy and given the freedom to make their own decisions are more productive, find their work more engaging, and are more satisfied with their jobs overall. For instance, Employee engagement surveys were conducted by Microsoft in which employees shared their opinions on issues like employee development programs, career advancement opportunities, and how layoffs should be handled. As a result, Microsoft was able to adjust employee development programs, create new career paths, and reevaluate job satisfaction. The survey results were also made available to all employees in an open forum.
Harvard researchers studied 30,000 workers in 30 countries and found that HR management teams who encourage workers to think for themselves generate ideas, and brainstorm solutions have more creative employees. As a result of their empowerment, these employees were more committed to the organization’s goals and used their creativity to achieve them.
Improved procedures and processes
In an empowered workplace, employees are permitted to ask questions and take an objective view of everything they do. If there is no employee empowerment, then they simply do the job all day until it’s time to leave. An empowered employee sees a better way and makes changes to make the whole system work better. They are aware that managers value new ideas that improve things.
Increased employee accountability
By empowering employees to reach decisions and to handle tasks with reasonable judgment, employers are conveying to them that they trust them and feel they are intelligent and capable. Staff empowerment increases accountability because an employee knows that the employer has confidence in his ability to perform a particular task. Due to that confidence, the employee will be able to perform the task at its best.
How to improve employee empowerment at the workplace
Given the benefits of employee empowerment, below are some steps employers can take to empower their employees.
- Foster internal growth and development across departments with transitions and cross-department shadows
- Provide company support for employees to drive and establish their plans with their supervisors by increasing communication.
- Make sure that the set guidelines, expectations, and best practices are clear to employees so that they can do their job more effectively.