“Guard rails” do not disenfranchise employees. In fact, it is employee empowerment, rewarding them with direction and boundaries. This allows them to go about their daily duties without second-guessing their actions. Just as important, clogging up your (and their) calendar with “Can I” and “Should I” mini-meetings.
This management strategy saves smart organizations both time and resources. It makes employees feel more confident, capable, and determined. That’s why empowering your employees is one of the 13 employee methods Dale Carnegie research studies found prepares talented team members to be ready for new leadership roles.
Why Employee Empowerment is Critical
Employee empowerment is a hot topic in workplace culture. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 70 percent of employees in a recent survey ranked being empowered to take action at work as important. In other words, employees feel more invested when they are in positions that allow them to complete tasks without oversight.
As Dale Carnegie says, “people support a world they help create.” This approach to making decisions rewards go-getters with the chance to take greater initiative with important matters that fall within the scope of predetermined boundaries that you or your leadership sets. What better way to identify the high-potential, future leaders!
How to Promote Employee Empowerment Among Your Leadership
Managers should feel confident in their roles and responsibilities in creating this environment of empowerment. Employment empowerment does not diminish managerial power. Actually, employee empowerment accomplishes the opposite by fortifying workplace processes and procedures, while freeing up time for managers on all levels of an organization to lead other efforts.
Empowering employees also leads to increases in employee retention and customer service, as well as efficiency. Managers should create systems that allow them to monitor this employee autonomy – ensuring they do not employees do not neglect duties – without negatively affecting the “space” for growth they created.
Tools for Leaders to Identify Areas for Autonomy
- Anytime a team member says “let me talk to my boss,” there is an area to further empower customer-facing roles to get more decision-making power
- Set up every employee with a mentor, so they are coached and build their confidence to make decisions without their manager present
- Arm your leadership with the appropriate training and tools to understand how their team makes decisions and how to get them to make SMART decisions
- Offer positive reinforcement for employees that increase production due to newfound employee empowerment
How to Measure Empowerment in Employees
If done correctly and with the right team, empowerment in the workplace can have many benefits. When you allow your employees to make decisions in line with their preferences, you create a better workplace.
Find out if your empowerment program is working by measuring the key performance indicators in the following areas:
- Customer Service: Expect tickets to close faster now that employees have decision-making power to service customers
- Employee Turnover: See reduced turnover due to increased engagement
- Quality of Work: With ownership comes the determination to do a job well
- Employee Collaboration: Flattening the organization promotes conversations at all levels and improve cross-communication
- Production and Profits: Last but not least, find that the increased productivity has a direct impact on your bottom line.
13 Ways to Motivate Your Team to Become Leaders
Our world-renowned consultants have trained thousands of individuals and organizations in Orange County, preparing them for future leadership roles. Empowering employees is just one of the 13 ways your organization can transform key employees into leaders.
Interested in learning the other 12? Click here to read about the others.