Employees are an essential part of every business. Unfortunately, they often feel powerless and replaceable, undervalued and ignored. So what’s the solution?
Empowering your people can pay dividends in productivity, employee engagement, retention, and more. Let’s find out how the benefits of employee empowerment can boost your company’s reputation.
It’s never been more important for your business to have a solid reputation. These days, employees feel empowered to share their job satisfaction and experiences online. Sites like Glassdoor have made it much easier for people to learn about company culture, potential employers, or business partnerships. And, in the age of LinkedIn and social media, we’re all constantly networking behind the scenes.
How you choose to represent and promote your brand is a huge part of company representation and your company's success. Just like the choices you make when you buy a domain online or promote your company on social media, everything has an impact.
But there are some kinds of PR you can’t simply buy. Things like employee advocacy and innovative practices - that’s where employee empowerment can make a difference.
Before we get into the benefits of an employee empowerment strategy, let’s clarify what we actually mean. A huge part of empowering employees is giving them autonomy over their work.
That means giving them the space and freedom to approach work in the ways they think best. Autonomy adds meaning to our work, which is one of the key drivers of employee engagement.
It doesn’t mean taking your hands off the wheel and turning a blind eye. Managers should still be setting clear project expectations and getting progress reports. But it does mean taking a more results-focused approach instead of micromanaging your people.
But, if it was just about autonomy, that would be the focus of the article, wouldn’t it? So, what else do you need?
When you empower your employees, you take steps to enable their success. Remove obstacles, and give them the tools, knowledge, resources, and general support they need to succeed. This might mean providing them with:
Okay, so we’ve established the basics of what goes into empowering your people. But what are the actual business benefits of employee empowerment?
Our work cultures connect us to our colleagues. And those connections can enhance our engagement and performance.
Everybody contributes to workplace culture, whether they mean to or not. And this can be either good or bad. Workplace culture encompasses your morale, work ethic, decision-making, and company ideology.
However, disempowered employees are stuck in a passive role. And this is terrible for morale, as it means they might not identify with your work culture at all. But, on top of that, work cultures that exclude employee contributions are ones that stagnate.
You need to give employees the tools to succeed, as well as channels to influence the work culture around them. You can’t say you have an empowered employee if they can’t effect change in a meaningful way.
How to get started 👉 Team building activities are a great way to bring your employees together to work better as teammates, and know each other more personally as individuals.
When people feel empowered in their jobs, they’re much more likely to take pride in their work. Which easily translates to pride in your organization. And this is essential for what’s known as employee advocacy.
This means that your employees feel like they can honestly recommend your brand to other people. It might be for your range of products and services, or as a potential employer. Employees are much more likely to advocate for a business if they feel supported and positively enabled by their employer.
Engagement is basically how committed and focused someone is in their role. And it’s a huge factor in several of the other things on this list, like motivation, customer service, and retention. But unfortunately, employee engagement is something businesses struggle with across the world.
Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report puts global employee engagement at just 23%. That means the vast majority of employees are unengaged or actively disengaged at work. However, increased engagement is one of the main benefits of employee empowerment. Providing greater autonomy means employees don’t have to sit around waiting for instructions. And removing obstacles to engagement helps your people to sustain their workflow.
Motivation is one of the key elements of productivity and innovation. Especially in the long run. All forms of motivation generally fall into one of two categories: Extrinsic or intrinsic.
Extrinsic motivators are things that aren’t directly part of the role itself. The simplest examples would be your salary or company perks and benefits. Chances are that you wouldn’t do your job if you weren’t getting paid, right?
But external motivation can only get you so far. Intrinsic motivators are factors relating to the job itself. This includes the motivation for doing a specific role, how meaningful a job is, or the fun you get to have. Empowering employees with autonomy means they have a greater sense of ownership over the work they produce and higher job satisfaction. In other words, motivated employees care about it more. And, for long-term professional motivation, that’s the most important thing.
Businesses are constantly fretting over how to deliver a better customer experience. To this end, there’s lots of surveying and focus testing to find some magical solution that appeals to everyone. An international business might set up a whole new site through a UK domain registrar just to poll their British customers.
But no two customers are the same. What appeals to one might alienate another. So it’s often better to focus on your employees instead. After all, better customer service is one of the main benefits of employee empowerment.
Empowered customer service employees feel less of a need to stick to the script. That means they’re able to read the room and deliver a truly bespoke, memorable customer service experience.
The amount of money spent on staffing in the US is truly astronomical. According to SIA analysis, the total amount of US staffing revenue reached over $212 billion in 2022. And a large part of this may be down to recruitment and role advertisement. But we can’t ignore the impact of employee turnover.
So you stand to save a lot of money if you can keep your top performers around. Fortunately, the benefits of employee empowerment also extend to retention. Turns out that giving your employees support and personal autonomy makes them more loyal to your organization. Who knew?!
How to get started 👉 Learn empowering leadership style soft skills in a Mindful Leadership Workshop!
The first step to improve employee empowerment should always be communication. You can’t realistically empower your people if they don’t have a voice at your table. But it’s not enough to let people have a say. You need to show them you’re listening.
And that means following through on actionable insights. Your employees will only feel truly empowered when employee sentiment leads to meaningful changes at work. And on top of that, more diverse voices will help your company to keep innovating in the future.
Learn more 👉 Download our free eBook to discover how you can empower employees and improve your company culture in a distributed workforce!