Employees are the most valuable asset of a company. They are the depot of skills and knowledge which can set the company apart from competitors. Technology and equipment can be easily reproduced, but a motivated, well-performing employee can never be imitated.
Empowered employees, though, are not easy to develop. Oftentimes, employees get trapped in the leader-follower relationship at the workplace. They stay in the shadows of their bosses and depend mostly on them for instructions. Only few leaders and executives are able to develop self-guided employees.
These are what researchers from Pennsylvania State University, Tsinghua University, and Claremont McKenna College call as “transformational leaders.” These are leaders who see empowering not as something required of them to do, but rather as a strategy to develop competent, capable, and knowledgeable employees who can help them bring their company to the top.
5 Principles For Employee Empowerment
So, how do you empower your employees? Dan Sanker, CEO of CaseStack, a logistics outsourcing company, cites encouraging open communication, providing plenty of contexts, and requiring accountability as key factors in employee empowerment. Here are five other principles to follow to reinforce employee empowerment:
1. Share your plans
Employees perform better when they know what they are working on. They will contribute better if they know they are part of something big in the company. Give them a clear picture of what you wish to accomplish and they will willingly set their course without requiring so much supervision from you.
2. Don’t put blame on people
Putting blame on people won’t get you the response or answer you seek. Instead of pointing fingers, look at what is wrong with the system. Perhaps something needs to be changed in the work flow that’ll help employees perform better.
This is something a lot of managers and executives forget. Oftentimes, they simply hear their employees but never really listen. As employees aspire to get their voices heard, leaders should be more mindful of these voices in order to inspire professional development and performance. People perform better when they know they are heard. Remember that a little humility goes a long way.
4. Value your employees
Whether it is through language, facial expression, or words, it is vital that you show your employees how much you value them. Show your appreciation for each unique insight and never falter to show gratitude when it is due no matter how minuscule the achievement is.
5. Reward and recognize
Under-noticed, under-valued, and under-praised employees don’t provide consistent results. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index estimates that unhappy employees cost a whooping $300 billion per year in lost productivity. That figure alone is enough reason to encourage employers to recognize and reward employees who show great effort in accomplishing their tasks as needed. Set goals that are appropriate to each employee and give praise openly when necessary. This will provide the motivational push needed to keep them committed to the company.
Empowered employees create an empowered company. As they are well motivated, they won’t hesitate to go the extra mile for the company. In today’s cutthroat competition, companies who are able to fully utilize and empower their employees stand the greater chance of success.
This is a guest post.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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