Empowerment in the workplace comes in many forms, but always with your actions as a leader.
Empowering others in the workplace provides your employees with the confidence that they need to prosper at their jobs. This can also come in many forms: a sense of trust, through words of encouragement, or even giving constructive feedback. Acknowledging your employees and their efforts, as well as building up each of them as a unit, is exactly how your company can grow together towards combined success.
There’s no harm in vocalizing the good work or achievements of your staff. In fact, you’re probably not doing it enough. We naturally tend to look for faults rather than attributes, but making someone feel valued is key to making them feel empowered.
So if you want to improve your culture, keep your talent, and grow your profits, then you better start embarking on a strategy to give your employees the freedom and responsibility to do their job, their way. Here are my five tips on how to positively empower your team at the workplace.
1. Develop a sense of trust.
Empowerment can only be built up if you trust those that work on your team. Although it may seem a little nerve-wracking to trust a new hire with an individual assignment, your employees will never feel as though they’re fully capable of their work if you do not believe in them yourself.
Trust that they are capable enough to do their job and that they should only seek help from you or their direct manager as a last resort. By giving them this chance to prove themselves, you are giving them all the room that they need to flourish and prosper.
And if things don’t go exactly to plan? Remind yourself that it’s not the end of the world — give them more guidance, and continue helping them achieve the level of success that they can.
2. Be authentic.
When doling out compliments and praising your staff for a job well done, make sure that your appreciation is genuine. By being too excessive or overdoing it “just cause”, it can come across as forced or fake — exactly the opposite of what you were trying to achieve in the first place.
Instead, give credit when it’s due, and speak up if you truly believe that someone has gone above and beyond what their work entailed. Praise will also mean a lot more the way it’s delivered, and your employees will know that their efforts are appreciated. So whenever possible, give it face to face or pick up the phone to mention a job well done.
3. Provide necessary resources.
Providing your employees with the information that they need to succeed on their own is one of the best tools that you can give them. With thorough instructions, how-to-guides, or seminar sessions to pass along knowledge, you are giving each member of your staff the opportunity to truly succeed at their job.
This can also lead to little or no confusion as to the work that you expect from your employees and, once done, will make them feel even more accomplished and empowered when they are able to complete it all on their own.
4. Provide constructive feedback.
Whether an assignment goes perfectly to plan or not, delivering constructive feedback is always beneficial for anyone involved. Nobody is perfect, and there will always be room for growth and improvement — both personally, and with your company.
Hold a post mortem meeting after the event or deadline, and don’t forget to give appreciation and congratulations where they are due. By sharing some pointers of constructive feedback along with the mix, you are ensuring that any future projects that come your way can be even better or stronger than the one you just finished with.
5. Accept the critique of others.
Don’t forget to be open to receiving constructive feedback for yourself too. This can be a great way for your staff to connect with you better, as well as for you to learn just what you can improve on when it comes to your leadership skills or the tools that they need to in order to complete their best work.
Despite being the boss, manager, or leader of your business, you are also capable of learning a thing or two from the people that surround you. By listening to others and improving on either yourself or your team’s environment, you are advancing your overall chances of success.