Category All, Best Practices 10 Ways to Enable Employee Empowerment Experienced leaders know very well that employee empowerment is one of the most important traits of healthy management. July 5, 2023 By Ivo Jurcic In today’s competitive business environment, having empowered employees who feel confident about their skills and deliver terrific results is a direct competitive advantage. While many companies have adopted empowerment policies, many are still struggling with inspiring confidence within their employees and encouraging become more autonomous workers. In this article, we’re going to cover 10 different ways how top performing companies enable employee empowerment. After reading, you should get a better perspective on how better to support and empower your top talent. How can Companies Support Employee Empowerment? 1. Encourage Employee Decision-making In order for people to feel empowered, they have to be in charge of the decisions they’re making. Completing endless strings of tasks and assignments can be exhausting for everybody. After all, if employees don’t see how their everyday work contributes to the bigger picture, it can seem meaningless. When employees are given little to no freedom to make work decisions themselves, it’s far less likely they’ll feel empowered and excel at their position. As much as some companies hate to admit it, more employees are feeling this way. According to a survey from McKinsey, only 20% of respondents say their organizations excel at decision-making. If employees have ideas on how to approach and solve problems relevant to their position, they should be encouraged to make decisions. By giving them more control over their daily deliverables, managers actively support employee empowerment and encourage them to become more proficient. 2. Schedule Employee Empowerment Sessions Empowering employees isn’t the same as turning on the light switch. For many people it’s difficult to break out of their everyday character and demand more autonomy at work. Most people don’t feel comfortable with it. In fact, contemporary personality psychology has studied agreeableness as a personality trait. While individuals with high level of agreeability are more likely to display altruistic and positive behaviour, they can lack personality traits that are necessary for empowerment. Individuals that are less agreeable tend to fare better in negotiating favourable terms and are more assertive, both of which are necessary in order to feel empowered to step outside of routine and make bolder moves that yield unexpecting results. Employee empowerment sessions play a vital role in fostering an empowerment mindset within organizations. These sessions provide a platform for employees to discuss challenges, share ideas, and adopt soft skills that will empower them to take more charge. They create a collaborative space where employees feel heard and valued, contributing to increased engagement and motivation. 3. Practice Transparency in the Workplace Transparency plays a central role in fostering employee empowerment within the organization. When the company priories transparency, it effectively creates an environment where employees feel informed and trusted, and have every reason to become more engaged, motivated and gain a sense of ownership for one’s output. Transparency is also critical because it paves the way for open communication that helps employees understand how their work contributes to the overall goals of the organization. By giving employees more context, they can make better autonomous decisions about their work, feel like their higher ups trust their judgement and get work done more efficiently. 4. Promote Employee Self-assessment Promoting employee self-assessment leads to more employee empowerment. Being able to self-assess their own work and results, allows individuals to reflect on their performance, strengths and identify areas of improvement. When employees are actively engaged in assessing their own skills, they develop a sense of responsibility and process-centered thinking. Then, employees can improve various areas of their work which translates to better results and professional growth. This is the stuff of dreams for every line manager and HR professional. According to one study from the Harvard Business School, self-reflection is crucial for building one’s confidence in the ability to achieve a goal, learning from experiences and drawing lessons. Employees that gain that level of confidence will become empowered to make decisions about their work routine and change it for the better. 5. Support a Better Life-work Balance It’s not a radical claim to say that employee empowerment depends on a healthy life-work balance. After all, if employees are struggling to balance between their private lives and professional careers, it’s less likely they’ll be able to feel empowered at work and reach their full potential. In fact, poor life-work balance only pushes employees away towards resigning, which is the polar opposite of employee empowerment. According to a survey from Gitnux, 25% of employees who felt they lacked support from employers in maintaining a healthy life-work balance plan on finding a different job within the next two years. When employees have the flexibility and support to balance their work responsibilities with their personal commitments, they experience reduced stress and improved job satisfaction. With less stress and burnout, they will be free prioritize tasks, analytically think about their work, and become empowered to take on professional challenges. 6. Show Employee Feedback Matters Without a doubt, candid employee feedback is a valuable gift. Organizations need to show to their employees that their feedback is valued so they can undoubtably see their opinions are considered and that their input contributes to change. When employees are encouraged to share feedback, it fosters a sense of ownership and commitment to making things better. There’s nothing more empowering than hearing: “we genuinely understand your POV and we decided to make the changes you proposed.” Research from Gallup indicates that listening to employee opinions is critical for employee empowerment. Unfortunately, many companies are failing at this mission. According to their data, just 3 in 10 U.S. employees believe their opinions count at work. Feeling listened enhances a sense of purpose and involvement, which leads to more engagement. If organizations want to empower employees at their role, they have to listen and act upon the feedback they receive. 7. Get rid of Micromanagement Micromanagement is the very opposite of employee empowerment. Even though micromanagement has been consistently proven to be a poor people management practice that leads to more people leaving their position, many companies are still having a hard time loosening their grip. A survey from the staffing provider Robert Half found that 68% of employees who where micromanaged said it decreased their morale and 55% said it hurt their productivity. When employees are micromanaged all the critical decision-making that has a direct impact on them is stripped away. Employees are then not free to dictate the way they spend their working hours, how they complete specific actions, when they schedule meetings, etc. This is essentially everything an autonomous, empowered employees should be in control of. Getting rid of micromanagement is crucial for employee empowerment as it allows individuals to take ownership of their work, make decisions, and utilize their skills and expertise effectively. Companies that have rooted micromanagement practices should develop strategies to gradually move from micromanagement towards empowerment. 8. Provide Employees with the Right Tools Providing employees with the right tools for the job is crucial for employee empowerment, as it equips them with the resources and tech they need to efficiently perform their tasks. Having to work with tools that are ineffective and broken is frustrating. Work becomes difficult and you spend more time stressing about your equipment than actually pursuing tasks that advance your project. In order for employees to feel empowered, they need to have great tools to enhance their productivity, job satisfaction and relieve any blockers in their everyday work. According to Computerworld, 48.6% of workers think using the right tech makes them more productive, and 35.8% of surveyed workers claim being equipped with the appropriate solutions makes their job more flexible. If organizations want to empower their employees, they have to equip them with tools that make their work easier. 9. Recognize Empowered Employees Feeling empowered at work and reaching your full potential is a magnanimous achievement for both the organization and the employee. It means that they’ve overcome various obstacles, organizational blockers and strengthened their relationship. Recognizing empowered employees is critical because it validates employees’ achievements and encourages them to stay motivated and maintain momentum. Organizations with established employee recognition and reward practices are masters at showing recognition frequently to all of their employees. Research from SHRM consistently shows that deploying recognition programs has a positive impact on employee morale and job satisfaction. According to their global survey of HR professionals, 68% agreed that employee recognition has a positive impact on retention. By recognizing workplace empowerment when it happens, organizations can create a culture of employee empowerment where employees are rewarded for assuming more responsibility and autonomy at their volition. 10. Give Mentorship to Employees When employees reminisce about a key time of their career when they felt truly empowered, they often mention a specific moment when their mentor or CEO stood up for them and showed support. It’s because receiving validation from someone we admire as professionals has as astounding impact on our motivation and confidence. Giving mentorship to employees is instrumental in creating an empowered workforce as it provides guidance, belief, and developmental opportunities for individuals to grow and excel in their roles. Mentorship programs foster a culture of learning, collaboration, and empowerment within organizations. It’s also vital for knowledge transfer and growing skills in the organization. A study published in the Journal of Vocational Behaviour found that employees who participated in mentorship programs reported higher levels of skill development. By pairing employees with mentors who possess relevant expertise and experience, organizations empower individuals to learn and acquire new skills, enhancing their capabilities and confidence. Employee Empowerment Depends on Recognition Tech Recognition and reward practices are essential for bringing out the best out of a workforce. Various studies from the field of organizational psychology support the notion that rewarded employees are far more likely to deliver their best efforts and have a genuine connection to their work. Of course, it’s easy to imagine maintaining a warm relationship with employees when you’re running a small or mid-sized company. However, enterprises with thousands of employees scattered across multiple regions, or even continents, are much harder to uphold to such high cultural standards. That is, without the proper technological support. Employee recognition and reward (R&R) solutions allow large organizations to create and deploy recognition programs consistently and transform their workplaces, so that the workforce feels recognized and encouraged to do their best. To help organizations foster a culture of recognition, we’ve created JobPts, the best-of-breed solution for employee recognition and reward. JobPts enables managers and HR to deliver timely recognition to employees and reward them for going the extra mile. With JobPts, employees can exchange their reward points for gifts and experiences from the extensive reward catalog that has items with no markups. Additionally, the solution has built-in adoption support features, such as nudging technology, enabling employees and managers to adopt it easily and become everyday users of the app. Our solution si built to complement your current tech stech and help you get more out of the solutions you’re already using, instead of being one more separate tool that has to be learned and mastered. For instance, JobPts is built on top of SAP technology and can be fully integrated with SuccessFactors. JobPts puts recognition at the center of company culture and gives enterprises a proven solution for raising employee engagement and job satisfaction, while reducing turnover. Conclusion Empowering your employees makes a difference between reaching outstanding workforce results or losing experienced workers to burnout and boredom. By adopting various empowerment practices, such as promoting a better life work balance, encouraging decision making, self-assessment, feedback culture and mentorship, organizations can empower their employees and help them reach their full potential. The goal of every strong organization is to create a culture where employees feel valued, motivated, and engaged. Empowerment doesn’t happen overnight, but the change is necessary. Companies that start asking questions how they can inspire confidence in their employees and reevaluate current management practices will be the winners in the race for the best workforce.