Employee empowerment is a means by which individuals are given the authority to analyze situations autonomously and take proactive decisions. This instills a sense of ownership towards the company in the employees. This attitude of the employees can go a long way in driving the business forward. I have identified six means of empowering employees in a workplace. Let’s take a brief look at them.
1. Providing the necessary skills to do the job: Employees can’t do the assigned tasks if they don’t have the necessary skills to do it. It is important for an organization to assess the gaps between the current and required skills. Training must be provided to the employees to bridge the skills gap. Therefore, if you want an empowered workforce, employees need to be trained in the right skills.
2. Granting sufficient authority: The second method of empowering employees is to provide them adequate authority to decide on how to complete their tasks. They need to be given the authority to complete the task in any manner they choose to accomplish; as long as it confirms to the broad guidelines set by the organization. Others in the organization should be aware that they have not only the responsibility but also the authority to complete the chosen tasks.
3. Articulating the vision of individuals’ job: It is important that employees have a clear idea about the outcome and where their task fits in the overall scheme of things. It empowers them with a broader perspective of the organization’s overall mission, vision, goals and strategic plans.
4. Providing adequate information and resources: Employees have access to all the information they require to make decisions. Therefore supplying information and allocating the required resources empower the employees to perform better in their job.
5. Building employees’ confidence: According to the expectancy theory, if employees believe that they CAN achieve a certain result, they are more likely to be successful in doing the same. The various ways to boost employees’ confidence include:
- a) Providing growth opportunities to the employees by giving them more challenging tasks. This demonstrates that you value your employees and their personal development.
- b) Exhibiting greater trust and support in the employees’ ability to accomplish a work assignment.
- c) Encouraging cross-learning so that employees benefit from each other’s skills and knowledge.
- d) Acknowledging and rewarding the employees for their accomplishments.
6. Guiding with positive feedback: Providing positive feedback about the tasks done and guiding employees about best practices gives encouragement to the employees.It also helps employees to stay on the right track and develop professionally.
Handling a large workforce is a daunting task. However, with empowered employees, it becomes easier as they work not only towards achieving their individual objectives but also the organizational goals.