Empowered employees are happy employees, and happy employees tend to stick around longer and work a lot harder than those who feel as though their efforts aren’t valued.
When you empower someone you give them the feeling that they have power and authority over aspects of their work and their lives. Here are five ways to empower your employees to guarantee continued business success.
Open Up Scheduling
Open up scheduling for comments and input from your employees. You can do this by using online employee scheduling software to give them control over vacation requests and shift changes. You can also be sure to play way in advance, so everyone knows what is expected of them during the busy season and beyond.
Another option, if your business model allows it, is to offer flexible scheduling. For some employees, this may mean working from home a few days a week to offset the costs of childcare or leaving for a class and staying later to make up the time. This helps employees feel as though you care about their existence beyond the workplace.
Find Out Their Values
Find out who your people are beyond the daily work they do for your business. Do you know your top performers? What are their goals? What do they hope to accomplish within your business and after? Is their job here a temporary measure or stepping stone, or do they hope to climb the ladder? Find out what they’re passionate about, if they volunteer, and what matters to them.
When you know your employees’ values, you’ll be able to coach them and help direct them toward their goals. Your attention empowers them and makes them feel like more than a worker bee, keeping the gears moving for someone else’s profit.
Sometimes employees need a reminder of how their tasks help the overall business. Otherwise, they feel as though their work is meaningless or underappreciated. It’s important to keep your employees on the level, sharing whatever information with them that you possibly can. Tell them why you need a specific task done and how it will impact the business.
Being transparent with your employees helps them feel important and less intimidated by the organizational hierarchy. This is especially effective in large businesses.
Find ways to show your appreciation for your employees’ hard work. Kind comments can be a simple way to show your appreciation on a daily basis. Some businesses show their appreciation by buying lunch for their employees once every couple of months or put on events paid for by the business. Some businesses keep it simple by having earned time off or by using the last hour of a Friday to unwind and mingle.
If you don’t know how to make your employees feel appreciated, ask them to submit ideas anonymously. Alternatively, meet and discuss what would impact individual employees.
Ask for Their Input
Great leaders inspire creative thinking and empower their employees to share their ideas and innovations. You can do the same by presenting different problems to employees from all areas of the business and asking if they have any solutions. Even if their solution isn’t a viable option, it gets them thinking outside the box and learning more about various aspects of the company. This also acts as a form of transparency, as you are acknowledging that there are problems while empowering employees outside the executive level to consider them.
The most important thing to remember when trying to empower your employees is that they are people. They are more than just a tool to help grow your business. Remember the golden rule and treat them how you would want to be treated– that’s the secret to employee empowerment.