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What Is Employee Empowerment and How Important Is It?

5 min read

Employee empowerment is a valuable tool that can help increase the performance and productivity of your employees. This is down to increased job satisfaction and loyalty, amongst other reasons.

In this article, we will break down what employee empowerment is and how it can benefit your company. We will also discuss best practices for implementing an empowerment policy in your organisation and embedding it in your corporate culture. Additionally, we have an e-copy of Ron Lovett’s best selling book ‘Outrageous Empowerment’ which all Factorial readers can download for free. Scroll down to learn more.

✅ Download Your Free Copy of Outrageous Empowerment

What Is Employee Empowerment?

In order to implement a strategy of employee empowerment, you need to trust your employees to fulfil their duties to the best of their ability. Employee empowerment examples include giving your members of staff the autonomy and responsibility to manage their own work, objectives and deadlines. Instead of micromanaging them, you provide them with the tools and support necessary for success, and you trust them to manage their own time.

As an HR professional, you can promote a culture of employment by promoting a sense of mutual trust. Give your employees a voice by requesting and acting on consistent feedback. Provide them with opportunities to grow and develop by regularly offering them new opportunities and increasing their levels of responsibility. Recognise their achievements to help improve their confidence and engagement. Most importantly, engage with your employees and establish clear expectations and guidelines. Share the mission, objectives and strategy of your company so that your employees understand how their role contributes to overall business success.

How Does Employee Empowerment Work?

A study on employee empowerment, conducted by Harvard Business Review, set out to establish the following:

  • Whether an empowering leadership style resulted in increased job performance
  • How leadership styles can affect performance
  • Whether increased performance due to the use of empowerment leadership styles varied according to culture, industry and level of employee experience.

The results of the study showed that employee empowerment led to increased creativity and trust. In other words, staff were more likely to trust and have faith in employers who they perceived as empowering. This was due to an increased sense of autonomy and control, as well as an increased alignment with corporate and individual values, goals and expectations. The study also found that empowerment had a greater influence on performance in Eastern cultures compared with Western counterparts.

What Are The Benefits of Employee Empowerment?

Ultimately, the most notable benefits of promoting employee empowerment are increased trust in leadership, improved motivation levels, increased creativity and higher levels of employee retention. All this results in increased performance and productivity which improves the bottom line of your business.

Let’s break down the three most important benefits for your company.

Motivated Employees

When an employee feels they have a higher level of autonomy and responsibility, they have increased job satisfaction and employee engagement. Your employees will be motivated to work harder as they understand their purpose and they know what is expected of them. They will engage more with their work and have a bigger incentive to do a great job. They will get a sense of satisfaction from reaching their objectives and they will strive to improve and prove their worth.

Improved Creativity

An increased sense of autonomy has also been shown to stimulate creativity and innovation as employees are more invested in their roles. Your employees will be happier, better prepared and more enthusiastic about their jobs. This can help your company develop new products or services and drive increased business success. When your employees think for themselves they are more likely to get involved with other departments and support the organisation as a whole. This is because empowered employees are more committed to reaching the objectives of the company and being creative.

More Trust in Leadership

The study published by Harvard Business Review also found that empowered employees are more likely to be trusted by their colleagues. They have been trusted to fulfil their role to the best of their ability, and in return, they expect others within the company to do so too. Trust also increases because employees feel supported, recognised and appreciated by their managers. They have greater faith in their leaders and are more likely to put in the effort without fear of being exploited.

3 Steps to Empower Your Employees

There are a number of methods you can use to increase employee empowerment in your company. The following three best practices will help you develop a culture of empowerment in your business. This, in turn, will increase performance, motivation and productivity in your company.

Show Employees That What They Say Matters

The most important step when it comes to empowering your employees is showing them that their feedback is important. Encourage your employees to provide regular, honest feedback. This will increase trust and loyalty between employees and managers.

This should be included as part of your continuous performance management strategy. Continuous performance monitoring establishes open channels of communication and transparent dialogue. Send your employees regular surveys so they feel that their voice is important. This helps them feel supported as they know they have a channel to air any concerns or grievances. It improves communication, strengthens employer-employee relations, and boosts engagement, trust and retention.

You might decide to use software such as Factorial’s performance management solution to manage your employee surveys. Make sure you collect feedback from all directions, including peer and 360-degree performance reviews. This gives you a fuller picture of how every cog in the company is performing.

Recognise Good Work

The next step is recognising and celebrating your employees’ achievements. This will help them feel more empowered and push them to continuously improve their performance. Support, encourage and praise your employees. Show your employees that you are invested in them. With the right culture, employees will feel acknowledged and respected by all areas of the business. Help your employees to feel good about their achievements and provide constructive feedback if there are any areas in which they are lacking or not meeting expectations.

Provide Constant Support for Growth

The final vital step in promoting a culture based on employee empowerment is to support your staff. Follow up on any feedback and provide learning and development opportunities where necessary. Secondly, help your employees to develop professionally and encourage them to continuously improve their skills and knowledge. You can do this by sending them on regular courses and offering development opportunities within the company. Thirdly, reward exceptional workers with promotions. Finally, design a clear path for development so that they strive to hit that next goal. This will help them feel like a valued member of staff. It will also motivate them to take ownership and embrace new challenges. Ultimately, make sure your employees know that you are there to support them each step of the way because you care about their development and their contribution to the overall success of your business.

Outrageous Empowerment

Factorial has an established partnership with Connolly Owens; the company providing world-class people and culture programs to businesses. Through this collaboration, we aim to provide advice to HR leaders, helping them empower and motivate their employees, turning them into passionate stakeholders whilst also building relationships and trust. Additionally, Connolly Owens’ own Founder & Chief Alignment Officer Ron Lovett has previously hosted a webinar with Factorial regarding how to uncover your employees potential.

Ron Lovett has provided us with a free PDF copy of his entire bestselling and highly rated book Outrageous Empowerment. Simply click on the link below to download and start empowering your staff to be the very best they can be.

Download your Free E-copy of Ron’s Bestselling Book Outrageous Empowerment 

Written by Cat Symonds; Edited by Carmina Davis

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