Empowering your staff in the workplace refers to when you encourage your team to develop their own independent decision making and place them in charge of their professional evolution. This relies on a gentle but secure structure that helps staff to feel supported and confident in their roles. It requires a philosophy where you refrain from micromanaging and rather guide them along the way to becoming all they can be in any given position. From this vantage point, mistakes made are an opportunity to learn and risk-taking is seen as a necessary path to growth. This type of approach encourages individuals to develop in the company and find their unique strengths. So what should you be doing in your company to empower your staff in this way?
Show your trust
A good place to start is by explaining your vision for the business, department and person. However once this is communicated, you then need to allow your staff to accomplish these goals in their own unique ways. While they may complete these objectives in a way you didn’t anticipate, the tasks will be accomplished with their own unique flair and flavour. This demonstrates that you trust their point of view and also encourage self development in any given role.
Clearly communicate aims and vision
As a leader in the business, your job is to make sure that everyone is on the same page. If you don’t explain this wider lens, then no one will understand what is required of them. Part of this lies in defining roles and responsibilities so that people don’t step on each other’s toes and it will also ensure that everyone is working towards the same higher vision.
Inspire creative problem solving
All too often we get stuck in a rut where we are doing things a certain way simply because that’s the way it’s always been done. But actually, there are constantly ways to pivot and sometimes the team around you can widen thinking and bring about new growth strategies. So lean on your team and encourage them to think strategically in order to solve old problems and freshen up thinking.
Bring out their strengths
It's so important to understand each of your staff members individually. Ask yourself what are their weaknesses and strengths and how can you play to the latter. There is a fine line between encouraging employees to grow in a role without shying away from weak spots. If a team member is great in one area, then help them shine here. Similarly, consider training them up in areas they are weaker in. This type of investment communicates that you value what they bring to the table in a well-rounded way.
"There is a fine line between encouraging employees to grow in a role without shying away from weak spots."
Provide opportunities to shine
If a staff member is particularly strong in one area, or perhaps if they have recently trained up in a particular skill, then offer them opportunities to show what they can do. Incentives can be a great invitation to be brave enough to implement new skills as well.
Remember to show appreciation
On the one hand, employees are paid to show up and do their jobs. But on the other, it makes a huge difference if they feel like their presence is welcomed and valued. So it’s really important to constantly tell your staff if you are happy with their performance and if they are doing a great job. This will ensure a high output and will incentivise staff to strive for future job satisfaction.
Hear them out
In any high functioning organisation, communication needs to be a two-way street. Staff need to be heard and supported. They need to know that their opinions are welcomed and that feedback is encouraged. In return you will also be able to give feedback on their performance and provide guidance when needed.
The bottom line
Empowering your employees is a strategic business decision. It not only helps your team feel more confident in their roles and responsibilities but it also increases productivity across the entire business. This not only improves accountability, but it also increases employee retention and encourages job satisfaction. When staff are happy, this has a marked impact on the entire business from internal conduct to customer satisfaction. So if you can successfully weave staff empowerment into your business, then you will be making a wise decision that will positively impact your organisation as a whole.