Entrepreneur Contributor, Andre Lovoi said, “Employees only act as empowered as their employers make them feel.” That is true. Every leader in the workplace must empower his or her employees. Empowering employees yield motivation, engagement, flexibility and better customer services. This is because empowerment gives the employees a feeling of being valued and appreciated.
Since empowerment is this important to the productivity and general well-being of an organization, how then can it be achieved?
Here are 5 simple ways you can empower your employees and make them the best they can be;
GIVE LISTENING EARS
Employees thrive in an environment where they can air their views and project their ideas to their bosses. Don’t be the reservoir of wisdom. Let them know you hire them for their ideas too. Encourage their ideas. Don’t let them be ‘Yes Men’. If they are only to give positive feedback or get punished, a negative work environment will be created. Empathy or mindfulness training boost employees morale, happiness and productivity and notable organisations like LinkedIn, Ford etc are harnessing the benefits of this.
GIVE EMPLOYEES LEADERSHIP AND RESPONSIBILITIES
You should trust your team enough to motivate them into leadership roles. Talk the projects /goals with them. Let them know what works well and what needs to be improved. Let them present their views and allow them to take the lead. This shows you trust them and they will go a long way to protect and honour that trust. This gives you a competent team able to fly on its own. Delegation matters and it is very much important not just for you but also for your employees.
LET EMPLOYEES KNOW THEY ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE WHOLE STRUCTURE.
This may be one of the hardest things for an employer. But the truth is that if your employees feel it is all about the company, you will be at a loss. People perform optimally when they feel respected and cherished. Show your employees you care and appreciate them beyond the work they render. So many companies have introduced personal incentives to their workplace. You can celebrate your employees’ birthday with paid vacation. This gives satisfaction and commitment to employees.
SHOW THEM COMMITMENT
Lead by example. If you take your work seriously, they will do the same. Earn the employees trust by showing commitment. Don’t be unnecessarily absent from works if you expect them to be there. Let them know you are concerned about the progress of the organization and are ready to make personal sacrifices. Do not be seen as abusing your power or office.
ALWAYS BE QUICK TO APPRECIATE
Let employees know when they do an outstanding job. Reward their excellence. Praise their efforts. Acknowledge their hard work. If necessary write a handwritten note to praise and say “Thank You”. This motivates and encourages employees to take future leaps as they know their efforts and diligence won’t go unnoticed.
Investing in your employees is the best investment you can rely on for the growth of the company. Allocating some of the company’s resources to train and upgrade employees is a way of demonstrating committed to their career development and general well-being. It could be providing internal training programs beyond their present status or graduate class.
If all these are done, employees feel happy, appreciated, cared for, respected and belonging and in turn, will increase their productivity and hard work.