Should you give more power to your workforce? Here is the answer.
Knowing that the benefits of employee empowerment largely outweigh its disadvantages, we believe you should. It especially makes sense when you consider the trends of the future of work and the role workers play in the success of a company.
In comparison to micromanagement, encouraging empowerment in the workplace means that your team members take ownership of their actions and choices. Their opinions and knowledge are regarded in decision-making and their contribution is valued. This creates a work environment based on trust, respect, and support.
But the perks of granting your employees more autonomy and responsibilities go even further. Discover how it benefits your business and your staff daily in this article. As hybrid work experts and employee-centricity enthusiasts, we have analyzed the positive side of worker empowerment and have gathered the best practices to help you promote it.
5 benefits of employee empowerment from workers’ point of view
1. Motivation goes up
Giving your team members more autonomy and responsibility is the perfect solution to avoid boreout and to keep them motivated. Millennials and Gen Z now represent the majority of the global workforce. They usually don’t find job satisfaction just by simply doing what they are told. Among the main characteristics of Millennials and Gen Z, curiosity, skill development, and purpose are predominant. Therefore, giving them more power in their professional lives is essential to trigger motivation.
2. Engagement increases
By empowering your team, you open a new door for skills and self-development. When you set a final goal and let them figure out how to reach it, they are accountable for the work that is accomplished. It makes them even more eager to deliver the best results. Team members also feel valued for their abilities and don’t want to deceive their coworkers. Therefore, when you provide them with the support they need, employee empowerment really boosts engagement!
3. Creativity blooms
Obviously, giving your workforce more freedom in their tasks allows them to look for solutions by themselves and come up with new ideas. This is an amazing opportunity for workers with creative minds and those who are solution oriented. It enables them to think out of the box and show their strengths without being restricted by a management style that controls everything or limits them to one way of working. Employee empowerment fosters innovation, encourages people to take initiative, and makes creativity bloom.
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4. Trust amplifies
Showing trust in your team members by adopting a management style that empowers them has a boomerang effect. If you trust them to do their job, it is very likely they will also trust you in return. This is valid at each level of your organization. From people with the highest positions to the new intern that recently entered your company, giving all workers the opportunity to display their strengths is great to create a positive and trustworthy work environment. It fosters genuine and reliable relationships while boosting all aspects of workplace connection.
5. Employee satisfaction grows
On top of the benefits of employee empowerment mentioned above, the methods that help foster it (stay tuned, this is the second part of this article!) also have a positive impact on many other aspects of workers' professional lives. When all of this is combined, it is highly likely that employee satisfaction will increase. From more autonomy to better work-life balance and greater recognition, empowering your staff contributes directly to meeting their expectations and boosting their levels of well-being, happiness, and satisfaction.
4 benefits of employee empowerment from a company perspective
1. Talent retention improves
Workers that are acknowledged for their skills and valued for their contribution are usually happier and more satisfied with their professional lives. Like employee-centricity, empowerment in the workplace plays a significant role in lowering turnover and ensuring your staff stays by your side. Wouldn’t you appreciate it if your manager believes in you and your abilities? Your team members feel the same way. By boosting their creativity, challenging them, and showing them recognition, you tick the boxes for improving talent retention and attraction.
2. Customer service and partnerships improve
Empowering your workers also means letting them take care of customers and collaborators their way. Who has ever entered a shop where all the salespeople greet you in the same manner and act like robots? It comes across as fake and in-genuine. Similarly, customers and business partners prefer genuine interactions. Therefore, allowing your staff to take care of clients their way is often better for everyone. Moreover, they are in direct contact with customers and, therefore, know them better and understand their needs more fully.
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3. Micromanagement lessens
The psychological effects of micromanagement can be devastating for your employees and for your business. Encouraging empowerment in the workplace is an efficient way to reduce micromanaging behavior among leaders. Instead of over controlling what your team members are doing, you are giving them back control over their work. Among other advantages, avoiding micromanagement practices enhances healthy relationships, professional and personal growth, engagement, and creativity.
4. Costs decrease
Are you wondering how giving your team more responsibility helps you decrease your expenses? It can, in many ways actually. The most obvious one is related to staff turnover. When you have a workforce that stays loyal instead of having to train new team members regularly, the cost of hiring and training new team members goes down. But companies that focus on employee happiness, satisfaction, and well-being can also optimize their costs as they face less absenteeism and burnout. Additionally, happy and satisfied workers tend to be more efficient and productive.
💡 Good to know: according to a study from HBS, employee empowerment doesn’t necessarily increase productivity. However, when looking at its benefits, it can indirectly contribute to creating a work environment that boosts it.
4 ways companies can promote empowerment in the workplace
1. Make employee empowerment a pillar of your corporate culture
Before looking at any best practices for fostering employee empowerment, you have to ensure everyone in the company is aware of your vision and values. Most importantly, HR departments and managers need to know that the goal is to promote a leadership style that gives employees more power. This should be reflected in each managerial level of your organization. Workers should feel safe to share their opinions, be ambitious, take risks, and be inspired to do so. For this, it is fundamental to build a positive and trustworthy working environment where everybody is aligned.
2. Give your employees more autonomy
You should also give your staff more autonomy. This one might seem logical when you plan to empower your workers, but it is not always an easy thing for managers to do. Letting them work by themselves instead of asking for constant updates is essential. However, this doesn’t mean you should leave them alone or “abandon” them with their tasks and with issues to solve. Although you want to encourage a more autonomous way of working, you have to remain available to support them if they need it.
Hybrid work models and flexitime schedules are key working concepts for a more employee-centric approach. Besides, work flexibility shows your team members you trust them, no matter when and where they work. Enabling them to work from anywhere gives them control over their professional lives and improves their work-life balance. They can organize their timetable and work environment according to what improves their efficiency and provides them with a healthy relationship with their job.
4. Equip your team members with tools that foster empowerment in the workplace
In practice, fostering empowerment in the workplace sometimes requires the support of digital solutions and workplace technology. For example, flexible workers can enjoy all the perks of hybrid work and flexitime by using desk booking software. Online learning resources provide your team with access to the knowledge they need to widen their skill set. Another pragmatic way to enhance employee empowerment is implementing a feedback system to allow your staff to express how they feel and what could improve their experience in the workplace.
4 practices managers can implement to see the benefits of employee empowerment
1. Include your employees in the decision-making process
Your team members’ voices should be valued and considered in decision-making processes. They not only play a major part in having a thriving business, but they are also fundamental for empowering your workers. As a manager, regularly asking your staff what they think about different ideas and what they believe the next steps should be to reach your goals is a great way to give them more responsibility. It shows them that you trust their abilities, that their opinions matter, and that their contribution to the success of a project, and, on a bigger scale, to the company, is valued.
2. Encourage critical thinking
Encouraging critical thinking is key to promoting employee empowerment. Leaders are central to boosting workers’ creativity, visions, and innovation. Organizing brainstorming sessions and pushing your team to think out of the box gives them the power to come up with fresh ideas by themselves. It boosts motivation as they can not only show their problem-solving abilities but also what makes them unique. If you work with a diverse workforce, allowing them to show their strengths and granting them more responsibility is a wise strategy to help your employees and your company thrive.
3. Promote a culture of honest and constructive feedback
Sharing honest and constructive feedback with your workers is essential to help them grow and give them the opportunity to improve their skills regularly. But it is also essential to encourage a culture of open and reciprocal feedback. First, it enables leaders to know where they can improve. Second, it empowers your workforce to highlight daily issues and it motivates them to contribute to the success of the company. By letting all staff members share their opinions you increase the chances for innovative idea generation. It helps each individual grow personally and professionally and it allows businesses to create a work environment that fulfills employees’ expectations.
4. Show trust, recognition, and reward
Trusting, recognizing, and rewarding your staff are among the most valuable ways to improve employee happiness, satisfaction, and well-being as well as boost empowerment in the workplace. When people feel trusted for their work and their abilities, they are more eager to be engaged and take initiative. Thanking your team for their efforts and awarding them for their input lifts employee morale. Moreover, it shows your workforce that you are aware of how important their contribution is to the success of your business. This is a pivotal aspect of empowerment in the workplace.
The benefits of employee empowerment impact both workers and companies simultaneously. The main advantages include:
building trustworthy relationships;
letting people take ownership of their work;
enhancing an engaged and motivated workforce;
putting your employees’ value at the center stage;
increasing employee retention;
reducing micromanagement practices;
providing a better service to customers and partners.
But, knowing how to encourage empowerment in the workplace and what modern tools can help you do so is key. To enable a smooth and successful transition to more autonomy and flexibility for your employees, we recommend you use hybrid workspace management software.
Request a free demo of the deskbird app to discover amazing features that will answer your team members’ needs and empower them in their daily professional lives!