The Importance Of Empowering Your Employees
The dynamic of the workplace has indefinitely changed over the past thirty-something years. It’s not enough to hand over a job and devise a list of tasks and commands. That’s not how the majority of efficient teams operate, at least not with teams who want to avoid massive employee turnover. These successful teams arguably have one thing in common: they empower their employees. So, what defines empowerment and how can you use it with your team?
What is empowerment?
Consider your idea of empowerment for a moment. Then, read this standard definition of empowerment: “empowerment is the granting of the power, right, or authority to perform various acts or duties”. Often times, empowerment is associated with extraordinary kindness and giving a heap load of compliments. Sure, praises are a part of empowerment, but these acts alone do not mean you are empowering someone. You empower someone when you show them that you trust their capabilities. Teams that empower one another work better together.
Here are a few ways you can empower your team:
- Consider all your team as “co-workers” not “employees.” A business should have one common goal. If you can’t identify a common goal, it’s time to create one. Replacing the hierarchal term employees with co-workers does not deprive more experienced workers of utilizing their skills. If anything, it opens up a more humanistic conversation when problems need to be solved.
- Encourage all co-workers to share their ideas. Were you ever told that “a second pair of eyes never hurt”? Apply the same concept to your business endeavors. You never know who might have an idea that is revolutionary to your business. Even if plans are not used exactly as proposed, they’re a great foundation for a brainstorm session.
- Find the balance between positive and negative feedback. It doesn’t take much to recognize someone or a group of people for their hard-earned efforts. Likewise, if there is an issue that’s negatively impacting the team, bring it to the forefront in a respectful manner. No matter what type of feedback you leave a team member, they should understand why they received feedback and feel motivated that they can do more for the team.
- Challenge your co-workers with new tasks or projects because you sincerely believe they are capable of fulfilling a specific task. Let them know why you believe in their capabilities if you are asking them to take on an important project.