“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” – John Maxwell
Employee empowerment fosters employees’ creativity, teamwork, good working environment, and many more. But for some reason, it became difficult to empower employees today because of the inevitable changes that happened in the past few years. Some examples which we can take into account is that people became more smart, sensitive, and more aware of the diverse society and won’t accept the simple empowerment that many organizations are accustomed to.
However, looking at the brighter side, changes like these mean that people are learning, and are all essential to help organizations as well as our leaders to easily identify where they are lacking and what their employees’ needs are.
According to a study conducted by Mr. P. Jaya Kumar & Prof. Dr. A. Ananda Kumar of Global Journal of Management and Business Research: Administration and Management, employees are empowered when they have autonomy and responsibility for taking decisions regarding their specific organizational goals. Organizations believe that empowerment helps to create autonomy for employees, stimulates sharing of responsibility and power at all levels, builds employee self-esteem, and fosters an encouraging environment toward better performance.
Most employees, especially those new to the company, see themselves as self-starters and they tend to feel inferior all the time. We can say that they are afraid to contribute and voice out or make decisions by themselves. A company who empowers employees gives them a certain degree of autonomy and control in their daily tasks and activities. And when they become empowered, they can now control and influence their work environment, and make valuable decisions that will contribute to the company’s success.
As a leader who is responsible for his or her employees’ performance, you are expected to share your power and motivate employees to crave for superior performance. Therefore, it is recommended that leaders must know when and when not to empower. You can check and try these 8 tips by Patrick Bosworth of Leadership Choice:
Delegate to develop. Do not simply delegate the work or tasks; instead, delegate with the intention of growing and developing your employees' capabilities and responsibilities.
Set clear expectations. Let them know about the boundaries. Set clear expectations (but do not micromanage them), it allows your employees to make decisions while ensuring they are in line with company goals.
Give employees autonomy over assignments. It is acceptable if an employee does not travel from point A to point B in the same manner that you would. Accept that they will do the tasks differently than you would. Give them control and do not micromanage them.
Provide necessary resources. It may be hard to see results at the beginning. Provide or offer them tools and resources, as well as serve as a sounding board for ideas.
Give constructive feedback. When debriefing on a project, be thoughtful and specific in your feedback. A “good job” doesn't give them any direction for what they should do next. Be specific with your expectations towards them.
Accept ideas and input. Include your employees in decision-making and goal setting whenever possible. If they are unable to participate in the preliminary processes, be open to hearing their ideas and input.
Communicate the vision of the organization. Empower your employees by making them feel that they are part of the organization by clearly communicating the organization's vision and how a team and its individuals contribute to that vision.
Recognize employees for hard work. Appreciating good work increases the likelihood that it will be repeated (and do it even better). It will also encourage them to keep being innovative, taking action, and solving problems. Don't be stingy with your gratitude.
Here at Customized Training Solutions, we help leaders sustain and develop their own leadership skills through coaching, training and consulting. Book a free 30 minute call now to find out how we can help you!
Bosworth, P. (n.d.). How to Empower Employees in the Workplace – 8 Tips. Leadership Choice. Retrieved May 15, 2022, from https://leadershipchoice.com/empower- employees-in-the-workplace/
Kumar, P. J., & Kumar, A. A. (2017). Employee Empowerment – An Empirical Study [PDF]. https://globaljournals.org/GJMBR_Volume17/5-Employee- Empowerment.pdf