Everyone wants to feel like they make a difference at work. Everyone wants to feel that his or her opinion counts. That is where empowerment comes into play. When you empower your employees, you let them make key decisions regarding their jobs and customers. By giving them some degree of ownership over their work, you help to bring forward their good ideas. What’s more, you open the way for them to be more fully engaged in their work—and workplace.
Here are some helpful tips to help you empower your employees:
- Always treat your employees as professionals.
- Know your employees’ strengths and areas of opportunity. This will help you, the manager, with your expectations of your employee.
- Initially, show your employees how to do something. Many times employees do not react positively to empowerment because they simply haven’t yet learned the necessary skill sets.
- Ask employees how they would do something, rather than telling them how to do it.
- Allow employees to take some risks. This includes allowing them to learn from their mistakes.
- Ensure that your employees have all resources they need to be successful, available to them.
- Share your knowledge and tips with your employees.
Make yourself available to employees—and receptive to their input. The tips above will help you encourage and empower your employees to take responsibility for their jobs and career development. On the other hand, if you do not empower your employees, you may not be doing all you can to create a successful environment. This can lead to a lack of motivation and feelings of powerlessness.
Keep in mind that empowering your employees doesn’t mean that you are completely out of the loop. You want to make sure you maintain contact with your employees and always let them know you are available for them. You don’t want to micromanage, but you do want to encourage and maintain healthy communication between you and your employees.
Really listen to what your employees are telling you. It is hard to know what your employees want and need if you do not truly hear and understand what they are saying. Set aside a designated time to meet one-on-one with each employee at least once a month. During your meeting, actively take notes on what your employee is saying and asking. Your notes will help you to listen more effectively.
To learn more about how to increase employee engagement and reduce employee turnover download this free whitepaper "Best Practices for Improving Supervisory Skills" .