Why is employee empowerment a key to your success?
Empowerment. Nowadays, this term is becoming quite popular, but it is quite often misused in practice. Employees demand their empowerment but are not willing to accept accountability for their own empowered actions. On the other hand, although leaders/managers empower their employees, they often keep on micromanaging the work of their teams.
As a manager/business owner, you are probably terrified of giving your employees any autonomy. You are scared because you believe that it will diminish your powers. However, the truth is, with such thinking you are hurting both yourself and your business in the long run. With the time spent micromanaging every aspect of your company, you miss the opportunities to grow your business and to work on a strategic work. Working overtime will not bring you the desired results as you will feel even more drained and unhappy.
Empowerment is a powerful tool for engaging your employees, but only if used correctly. Your team is eager to achieve results (hopefully, you have such team and not a lazy one☺) and by empowering them, they feel more driven to achieve their goals. However, the biggest trap when using empowerment is not setting accountability for the achieved results.
What are 6 golden rules to empowerment?
Everybody loves to take credit for the success of the company (sales increase, cost reduction, technical development etc.) but keep quiet when the result is not favorable and blame it on external circumstances. How come external circumstances are never a reason for success? That’s quite a paradox, right?☺
- Set a clear vision for your company: employees need a complete clarity on the goals of the company in order to make informed and correct decisions. If the direction is unclear, then no map in the world can bring them to the desired results. Imagine the vision of your company as a north star giving guidance to your employees at every moment.
- Set clear results/goals that have to be achieved. Your employees will feel even more dedicated to achieving these goals if they will help to shape/define those targets. By including them into the planning process, they will feel more involved and determined to reach the goals set.
- Set a clear time frame for achieving results, for example, 1 month, 1 quarter.
- Monitor results: set measurable goals, for example, the increase in sales for xx %, decrease in costs for xx % etc.
- Encourage open communication – keep your office door open so that employees can come to you when in doubt.
- Set a reward scheme for successful employees. If the results were not achieved, organize review meetings to examine the reasons for that.
How will empowerment help my business?
Empowerment brings new energy to both your business and your team. You will find more creative solutions for the challenges you might be facing, free up your time to work on your big vision, and create a room for personal growth of your employees challenging them on one hand and making them feel happier and enthusiastic on the other. That way, they will be willing to make that extra effort which helps your business stand out from the crowd. It is that extra mile that employees take that leaves your customers astonished, genuinely happy and wanting to buy products/services only from you.
Trust is an essential element for empowerment. You can not empower your employees without having confidence in them. Employee empowerment will not work if you keep on micromanaging your team. Although letting go of control may be hard, it is the (one) step that you have to make as a business owner/manager in order to grow your business. Forcing people to report every step they make and to use the same tools as you to achieve the results will not bring the desired change towards empowerment but will have quite an opposite effect.
If you have some problems with trust, then you should focus on yourself trying to figure out the reasons that are stopping you from this?
Keep in mind that a team is as good as its leader is. Every business is a reflection of their leader. How do you motivate your team to achieve the results you want? Do you actively empower your employees? What reward scheme do you use?