The more you empower your employees, the more they will grow and succeed. The feeling of significance and trust leads to productive work. However, when employees don’t feel empowered at work, they’re unlikely to take initiative or be top performers.
Here are seven tips to encourage your employees to take more responsibility while creating a positive work environment.
Communicate a Clear Vision
The first step in empowering employees is to give them something to get excited about and work toward. What is the vision or purpose? It is imperative that your team understand the big picture and how they fit in. People that do not know what they are supposed to be doing won’t be able to accomplish their jobs very well at all. Employees who can connect their efforts to the overall work of the company will find it much easier to make decisions that are aligned with the organizational vision.
A boss who constantly looks over the shoulder of their employees is little more than a babysitter. Monitoring an employee’s every move can have the opposite of the intended effect by impeding their ability to grow as professionals. Take a step back. Sometimes the easiest way to empower employees is to give up control. Not only does this put more power in employees’ hands, but it also builds a greater sense of trust between employers and their employees.
Make an effort to sit down with your employees and engage in one-on-one conversation. Ask about their work progress, such as accomplishments or even complaints, but also get to know your staff on a personal level. Inquire about their families, or lives in general, to show you care about them as human beings. This will lead to a friendlier and more productive office environment and also help you grow as a leader.
Encourage Professional Growth
When your employees learn new skills, it’s better for the company as a whole. Some companies will even support continued education or classes outside of the workplace to enhance personal growth. If your company doesn’t have one in place already, consider starting a mentorship program within your organization. It is an excellent way for employees to learn and grow professionally.
Life happens, and it’s important to be flexible as things come up. For example, try a different schedule that allows a parent to drop their kids off at school in the morning. Consider allowing an employee to work from home to take care of a sick family member if the job allows. Allowing your staff to be present at home when necessary increases both job satisfaction and loyalty.
Recognize & Reward Hard Work
Sure, your employees are paid to show up every day, but it’s always helpful to receive some encouragement. Maybe an employee stayed late to put the finishing touches on an important report, or maybe someone went the extra mile to finalize a big sale. Let them know you notice their effort and hard work and that leadership appreciates their contribution to the company’s success. This will ensure continued high-quality work in the future, and they will feel more job satisfaction. Be consistent and diligent so employees are motivated to do their best.
Provide Tools for Success
Take a close look at your team. Does each employee have everything they need to do their jobs in the most efficient way possible? A good manager removes obstacles and provides employees with the tools they need to succeed. Otherwise, you are hindering their productivity. This might mean extra training or even additional staff to help carry the workload. Whatever it may be, ensuring your staff has the tools and support they need guarantees a better work product.