Studies show that empowered workers are more engaged with their work, more productive—22 percent more—and ultimately accomplish more on the job. The reason? Because workforce empowerment means bestowing employees with autonomy, self-direction and tools to get the job done. Empowered employees are not only happier with their work, they are also 67 percent more willing to go the extra yard when needed; a big productivity plus both for individuals and for larger organizations.
When it comes to empowering your employees, there are three key ingredients that ultimately help drive better results:
While each is a driver on its own, together, they make up the core to empowering workforce success.
To start, increasing employee autonomy means providing a clear statement of what needs to be done, giving employees everything they need—such as work devices and enterprise applications to get started—and then getting out of the way!
Good managers know that some directing and coaching is required, but at the end of the day, the goal is to make sure your team has the authority to make decisions and complete tasks on their own. When workers feel they can make decisions as they see best, they can focus their energy on accomplishing objectives and thinking creatively.
Another central concept of workforce empowerment is trust, the belief that employees can be counted on to work hard and make good decisions. Heavy-handed supervision or micro-management has no place in an empowered workplace; instead, effective managers focus on providing constructive feedback and encouragement.
As a team leader or supervisor, your appreciation for your employees must be clear. Valuing your staff will go far in their attitude towards you, the organization, and their work. Through actions, body language, and the words you use, express your support of your team and their efforts. Show your employees that you value them and their unique contributions whenever you have the opportunity.
And finally—communicate, communicate, communicate!
The need for good communication cannot be overstated. Guide your workers by asking questions and create a system for transparency and open dialogue between employees and management. Reward employees who offer ideas that save the company time or money—or simply make it a better, more engaging, and more pleasant place to work.
While communication and trust are important, autonomy is as well and today, a big part of that is letting employees do their work wherever they want. Close to 4 million employees in the US work from home at least 50 percent of the time and with a distributed workforce, where some people may work from home and others may be located in distant offices, it may be a challenge to trust and communicate on a regular basis.
In the past, all employees worked together at the office, where planned meetings and spontaneous discussions happened regularly. Group plans and goals were implemented in everyone’s physical presence, where feedback could be immediate and decisions immediately shared.
So, is it impossible for a manager to empower a workforce they don’t see every day?
Not necessarily. While there may be more challenges in communicating and leading a team when workers are scattered over different geographic locations and flexible time schedules, today’s organizations are loaded with digital tools that help solve these problems.
Sapho Employee Experience Portal seamlessly allows employees to work together no matter where they are or what channel they’re using. Sapho provides a unified workfeed that consolidates important tasks and data from all their enterprise applications, ensuring teams stay on the same page at the same time. Whether notifying employees that a task requires action, or delivering the latest system updates that are relevant to their work, Sapho helps consolidates personalized information from enterprise systems for each individual in a single portal that can be accessed on any device, intranet, or messenger. This helps facilitate transparent, real-time communication and re-creates the office experience by making it easy for teams to stay in contact, find the information they need, and complete tasks quickly.
For companies, keeping employees connected and empowered in today’s modern workplace is a challenge, but using the right technology solutions to help empower a workforce with autonomy, trust, and communication makes it easier.