Empowering employees leads to more productivity and fewer problems in the work place.
If you want to have an empowered workforce, there are four things you have to overcome so that your team of employees feels like they can do anything. The following are the four obstacles to an empowered workforce:
1. Fear- one of the biggest obstacles to an empowered workforce is the fear of getting fired or in trouble if they do something empowered rather than just taking orders. While a few employees may abuse being empowered, but if you create a vision and train your employees well, then allow them to use their creativity and responsibility when serving customers, you will empower them. It is amazing what a big difference removing this fear can make, it can open the doors of creativity, and help employees think for themselves.
2. Distrust- Business relationships require trust. Employers need to trust that their employees are going to make decisions that keep customers happy and coming back. Employees need to trust that their employers will not fire them or override them when they attempt to fix a problem, or help a customer. They need to feel assured that their employers have their back. When there is trust in the employee, employer relationship, both parties are more responsible, and able to make forward strides.
3. Micromanagement- If you want your employees to feel empowered, the best thing you can do is avoid micromanagement, it will kill empowerment and destroy the employees capacity for creative, independent thought. Ask employees to do something, give them the resources to do it, then get out of their way and let them do it. If you micromanage, you are telling them that you do not believe they are capable of doing it.
4. Lack of recognition. People need to be recognized for what they do. This is true of children on up to adults. If you want to empower your employees you need to recognize this universal need for recognition, and be sure to give regular positive feedback. All too often employers only take time for feedback if it is negative, when an employee makes a mistake. If you want your employees to be empowered you need to recognize the empowered decisions they make that lead to achievement and creativity. This will encourage them to continue making empowered decisions. This is not to say that negative feedback should be avoided entirely, but that positive feedback should be included rather than forgotten.
Empowering your employees frees up time for you to do what you are best at. It allows employees to take more personal responsibility and pride in their work. It helps them to think outside the box, and come up with solutions. Overcome the four listed obstacles, as this will help you to grow as a business, and have a workforce of productive, responsible, creative, and most importantly, empowered, employees.