Do you encourage employee empowerment in your organization? This concept has become more prominent over time as the workplace well-being landscape keeps evolving. Employee empowerment can be defined as giving employees the responsibility and independence to manage tasks in the workplace. In this article, we are going to discuss what steps organizations need to take to empower their employees successfully and the advantages this action can have on both the employee and the organization.
Employee empowerment is an opportunity given to employees when they have reached a stage in their work-life where they are ready to make confident decisions without the supervision of their managers. This role can have a big impact on an employee’s psychological well-being, and what impacts an employee, impacts the company’s overall performance.
How to execute employee empowerment
So, what elements should managers and HR managers consider when aiming to empower their employees? We’ve outlined 4 factors to take into consideration when implementing employee empowerment in your organization.
A key aspect in any employee’s work-life is constant and continuous communication with their managers. Helpful tools to achieve this can be surveys, performance reviews, and feedback. These tools open up conversations about personal goals, where employees see themselves, and what they want to achieve before their next review. Feedback during performance reviews gives employees a voice and a chance to speak about aspects they like and which they think need improvement. To encourage this, managers and HR managers should create a regular method to provide feedback in a safe space. Moreover, when an employee gives feedback, managers should act on it, so that employees see that their opinions are being acknowledged by the organization.
Many benefits arise from healthy communication between employees and managers. As Muriele Tiambo states in Forbes 2019, “it takes a genuine two-way conversation to achieve alignment between employee’s interests and a leader’s expectations”. Being transparent can lead to a stronger bond between co-workers, it can also give an employee the confidence to ask their managers for help and guidance when needed. Encouraging communication will help employees feel comfortable, open up about their ideas and build a sense of trust within a team.
2. Employee recognition
Managers should invest their time in understanding what motivates each employee as every person is different. So, how can a manager recognize an employee’s efforts and achievements? Firstly, and the most basic type of employee acknowledgment is to congratulate them verbally, whether in person or through an internal communication channel (depending on whether you work remotely, hybrid or on-site), make sure you tell your employee how well they are doing, this will boost their confidence, encourage to them to keep working hard and motivate them. Another way is to reward them, this can be done in different ways. You can give them a material incentive or a company reward, depending on what they have achieved.
Positively reinforcing your employees improves employee performance and encourages their commitment to the company. By telling them what they are doing right, we can motivate them so they keep repeating positive actions. It also leads to a stronger bond, giving the employee a sense of belonging to that company, which also improves the overall work environment and company culture.
There are many ways to train employees and help them gain the skills needed to empower them and make them independent. Many social benefits programs offer additional training provided by the company. This can encourage employees to take up training in languages, softwares, or an area of interest that can boost their abilities in their current field of work. By combining resources and allocating a specific budget towards training, organizations can achieve realistic training goals.
It is also advisable to implement an upskilling and reskilling program. By reskilling, employees can refresh their knowledge in areas they have a basic idea of or haven’t used in a long time. By upskilling, employees will learn new skills which they can put into use at work. Both these concepts lead to an improvement in productivity, as new skills are applied to tasks. Moreover, the more an employee evolves, the higher their value, making them a valuable asset to their team and organization. This will lead them to handle tasks on their own as they will have sufficient knowledge to be able to complete them independently.
To sum up how to implement employee empowerment in your organization there is one last element that should be taken into account. Job autonomy and responsibility will encourage your employees to become independent workers. When an employee is ready to work independently, there is a higher chance of improved productivity. Why? It’s simple. If an employee doesn’t need a manager’s approval all the time, tasks run smoothly and no one’s workflow is disrupted.
One lens to explore this is through McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y. These work motivation theories define opposing views of workplace attitude, “Theory X assumes that people dislike work and must be coerced, controlled, and directed toward organizational goals. Furthermore, most people prefer to be treated this way, so they can avoid responsibility. Theory Y—the integration of goals—emphasizes the average person’s intrinsic interest in his work, his desire to be self-directing and to seek responsibility, and his capacity to be creative in solving business problems”. This theory suggests that striving towards the Theory Y management style will lead to better results due to employees being motivated and given responsibility in the work environment.
Employee empowerment gives employees the power of decision-making, giving them a voice and proving you believe they play a key role in your organization. By boosting their confidence, as an organization, you also play a key role in boosting your employees’ psychological well-being.
Benefits of employee empowerment
- Talent retention begins from the very first day as an employee walks in through the office doors, or as we would say for some companies, enter the internal communication channels. First impressions are key, but it is also important to continue supporting the employee during their work cycle. If an employee feels empowered because they have been allowed to manage their tasks independently, there is a higher chance of the employee committing to the company in the long run.
- Employee empowerment also leads to better results. If an employee has been given the responsibility of handling a task on their own, it also means they have ownership of the task, which will lead them to avoid as many mistakes as possible to prove they are the right person to handle it and be given similar opportunities in the future.
- As mentioned above, employee empowerment allows workers to make decisions independently, leading to a confidence boost. Why? Because the employee knows the company puts their trust in them, which leads to a motivated and confident employee who is willing to work at their optimum level. Having that sense of belonging and feeling valued is also a key factor when it comes to employee well-being, an important aspect that affects the company’s overall success and performance.
Emotional well-being for companies
At ifeel, we understand that it is not possible to take care of the company without taking care of the psychological well-being of its employees. To do so, we have an emotional well-being program for companies, designed by our team of occupational well-being psychologists with one main objective: to help companies place employee health at the center of their strategy to build their mission statement.
Thanks to this partnership, the people in charge of HR departments can receive personalized, data-driven advice on how to make good decisions in a company to get the most out of the teams they are in charge of and take better care of the psychological well-being of the people in them.
Moreover, this program offers employees a holistic mental health care service structured at different levels according to their needs. This service includes, if required, online psychological therapy with a psychologist specialized in cases like theirs. Try our program today so you can see how it could help you.
We hope you found this post about employee empowerment useful. If you want more information about our emotional well-being program for companies, simply request it and we will contact your team as soon as possible.