Employees who feel engaged in their workplace are more positive and productive. Together, empowered employees build a strong company culture that ensures the success and continuity of your business.
There are many ways you can empower your employees and create a stronger working relationship. Here are five strategies to get you started.
Recognizing that your employees have lives outside of work is one of the best things you can do when trying to create a culture of empowerment. Allowing for flexible scheduling through the use of an employee scheduling app (see www.humanity.com for more) is one of the best ways to not only give your employees flexibility but also to reduce the time management has to invest in their scheduling efforts.
Create a policy with your employees that allows them to flex time or work remotely when possible. This will help them find a healthy balance between building their career and handling responsibilities outside of the office. In return, your employees will be more empowered, productive, and engaged.
Create Open Communication and Transparency
Many employees find the idea that things are happening behind closed doors troubling and frustrating. To create a company culture with engaged employees, create a workplace that fosters open communication and transparency. Let your employees “be in the know” by having regular updates about the challenges and opportunities your organization is facing.
In addition to letting your employees know the ins and outs of the business, give them a platform where they can share their concerns without fear of retribution. Whether this is an anonymous form system or an open door policy with management, letting employees know that their voices and opinions matter will help them feel empowered.
Create Opportunities for Improvement
Take the time to learn about your employees’ goals and aspirations, and help them accomplish them. Give them opportunities to learn more and expand their skills. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that helping an employee grow and become more skilled will encourage them to take those skills elsewhere. That’s only a concern if your business isn’t offering an environment in which they want to stay.
Training sessions, lunch and learns, and mentoring programs are ways to empower your employees to learn and grow. Don’t limit these opportunities to things that pertain directly to your work; other skills like planning for retirement, managing personal expenses, and finding time for self-care are beneficial as well.
Share the Wins
Take time to give your employees credit where credit is due. There are often a lot of moving parts during the project management process. Multiple teams and departments often play a role– though some more than others– in getting things done. Even so, every small contribution adds up, and even the smallest of jobs keep the business running.
Acknowledge your employees and reward them for the times they go above and beyond in their job. Sometimes, even something as simple as recognizing their efforts and saying “thank you” is enough to let them know that they are valued.
Lead Rather than Manage
Employees don’t want to feel like they’re being told what to do by someone. They want to feel as though they work for someone who is putting in equal (if not more) effort than they are and delegates responsibilities because they value the help. Prioritize hiring leaders rather than managers, and helping your current employees develop strong leadership skills.
Not everyone who moves up in an organization has what it takes to lead, and often struggle as a manager because they lack those skills. Developing leaders empowers employees at all levels.
When all else fails, remember to treat your employees like the individual humans they are. Find out what they need or expect from a workplace and meet them where they are