Richard Branson, who is known for experimenting with business in unprecedented ways, has long said that staff come first, even before the customer. Treating employees as the most important of all your assets and empowering them has many benefits for your business. Furthermore, it is another way of ensure excellent customer service.
Let’s take a look at why empowering your staff is so important, as well as how to do this effectively.
What is Employee Empowerment?
Employee empowerment is essentially all about valuing your employees. It means providing a workplace where they have a voice and play a role in decision-making. Empowerment also allows employees to grow and develop as professionals. It involves a certain amount of freedom and privileges, both technical and personal, extended to all employees.
Why is Employee Empowerment Important for your Business?
There are a number of reasons why empowering your staff is essential for business success.
- Increased Productivity and Creativity
With employee, empowerment comes better productivity, efficiency and smoother business operations. Empowered employees focus on their work and are more goal-oriented. They understand the relevance of the tasks they do and are conscious of deadlines. They help the business achieve more in less time because they visualise everything they do as an integral part of the overall business process. Empowerment also encourages them to come up with creative ideas that can play a vital role in the company’s growth.
- Better Customer Service
Putting employees first before your customers will actually increase the quality of customer service offered. In other words, giving priority to your employees is another way of putting customers first. An employee who is proud and happy will be more motivated to serve the customer. An unsatisfied, unhappy employee has the opposite effect.
- Reduced Employee Turnover
People tend to stay in places where they are valued, and employee empowerment is about providing value. Other factors such as remuneration, facilities, and extra rewards are also important, but an employee who is valued is more likely to stay with the company more than anything else.
- A Future-proof Business
Employee empowerment is an investment in the future. It may not show immediate effects on a day-to-day basis, but employees will over time, come to feel truly valued. It prepares the company for the future and brings in returns in the long run. Furthermore, employees will achieve more with minimum involvement by the management. Such strong foundations built with time and effort are built to last.
How to Achieve Employee Empowerment?
Now that you know that employee-empowerment is essential to the success of any business, lets take a look at how to empower your employees.
- Give Employees Freedom and Autonomy
Giving a voice to your employees can work wonders. Involving them in decision-making and giving them the freedom to voice an opinion is very effective. The feeling that they are listened to is a very powerful motivational tool. This may very well inspire them to come up with innovative ideas that have long-term positive impacts on your business.
- Build Strong Rapport
Many businesses have people working like separate islands. If all internal communication happens over the phone or email this limits the ability to build relationships between management and staff. Personal interaction and face-to-face appreciation between management and employees is essential for a healthy relationship. The importance of regular in-person meetings has been increasingly overlooked lately due to the growth in digital communication technology and the drift toward remote work, further accelerated by the COVIDpandemic.
- Encourage and Offer Opportunities for Career Growth
Mentorship programmes, as well as allowing flexibility for staff to further their career through continuing education and training helps to empower employees. There are many institutions that offer new entrant courses as well as training for experienced professionals, providing valuable opportunities for skill building and professional networking, expanding your employees’ potential.
- On-going Support and Motivation
Adequate support is something many enterprises fail in providing. For a healthy workplace environment, all employees must rise to the expectations of the company. A dedicated programme is needed to establish the level of support needed by each staff member and do the necessary to bring them all to the same level. Ultimately, it’s all about team-building and making sure the employees are invested in the company’s overall goals, which is essential to the business’ success.
- Focussed Training
For true empowerment, freedom must go hand in hand with responsibility. Periodical training sessions will teach your employees the value of being responsible. Furthermore, your organisation has to implement the above strategies in a way that evokes a sense of responsibility. When you give them a pat on the back, the employee thinks “I am great.” But the right approach communicates something more that makes them reflect, “I am great, and they are rewarding me for being a responsible employee.”
Employee empowerment promotes business success and increases profits over the long term. Employee empowerment is a prudent investment for any business as it allows it to develop a happy, healthy, and future-ready enterprise.