Key Steps Towards Employee Empowerment and Engagement

Employee empowerment is arguably the most discussed topic in management. Unfortunately, most companies pay for lip service to the issue with no action taken instead of instilling a philosophy that enhances business direction and operation. Recent surveys find that a mere 32% of US employees feel engaged at work. The results of the study indicate an unhealthy situation. Keeping this in mind, this article hopes to proffer solutions and measures for employee empowerment as well as to help them get a grasp of their importance to the company.

1. Promote Open Communication

Provide Context
The more we know, the more powerful we are. By giving employees reasons and explanations on why a decision was taken, it gives them a clearer picture of what transpires behind the scenes in the company.

Outline Blueprint & Goals
A clear vision should be mapped out and shared including the benefits associated with it. This will give employees a clearer picture of which direction the company is headed and steps to be taken to arrive there. The big picture is also laid down especially to employees that may not see or know how crucial their roles represents.

2. Encourage Independence

Exhibit Flexibility
Great care must be taken not to micromanage your employees. This may result in over-dependence on you, which sadly leads to a dearth of initiative and creative thinking. Guiding and allowing them to make critical decisions on their own is the way to go. In the real world, failure helps to shape and develop a strong employee.

Honor Success
A different result from the Rapt Media survey shows that a whopping 35% of employees don’t feel valued by their company. To show you care about your employees, recompense them when they excel in their roles. When they complete a task, suggest ideas for company advancement or acquire a new skill, they should be well appreciated.

3. Enforce Accountability

Outline Roles
The roles of the employees should be clearly defined, and the importance attached to it should be spelled out. Some employees especially those in minor roles, may not attach much significance to their work. Explaining the importance of their roles is entirely up to you.

Provide Different Opportunities and Challenges
To enhance their skills, new and exciting opportunities should be presented to employees. As a direct result, The growth potential of the company will increase. In a situation where someone feels bored by a dead-end job, it is your responsibility to provide a route to their career’s next step. Working towards a target often leads to an increase in productivity.

Applying these steps, kick starts the engagement and empowerment of employees at all levels of the organization. This is vital because operating at the same wavelength with your employees is necessary. Ambitious and proactive employees are also needed.

A recent State of the American Workplace Study by Gallup pinpoints the most important step to be taken to improve employee engagement: which is to employ a suitable manager. The study further reveals that employing a disengaged manager triple the likelihood of a disengaged workgroup.

Hiring a highly engaged manager isn’t enough. More needs to be done to know and undertake the things necessary to catapult the workgroup to a greater level of engagement. The knowledge of the “to dos,” of engagement management is often not implemented or executed.

Will creating a checklist not be sufficient? Using a key driver analysis of millions of employee engagement survey responses, we created for you. The arrangement of these suggestions was based on their level of importance. Hundreds of companies have employed the employee engagement management checklist to immense effect.

Have you:

  •  Inserted a reminder in your Outlook calendar to spend one hour per week to honor employees who excel in their roles?
  • Held a career development conversation with each of your direct reports during the last three months?
  • When holding this discussion, did you enquire where they would love to be in six months or a year and offer support to enable them to achieve their goals?
  • During this conversation, did you ask them what drives passion and excitement in them while carrying out their jobs? Did you ask them what is capable of disengaging them while at work?
  • Did you ask them what they derive pleasure in and what their hobbies are hobbies are outside of work, expressing a grave concern while listening to their response? Concerning that, give them a gift related to that passion or hobby when next they carry out a great task (such as a paperback book).
  • Given them unclouded instructions and what you expect them to accomplish in their job?
  • Prompted them to answer a host of reflective questions to make sure they are involved in a job/role which excites them and drives their passion?
  • Injected more FUN into your department and workplace culture?

This checklist will come handy when it comes to ensuring that your managers are fully engaging the key drivers of employee engagement. Standard practices require that managers should review this checklist monthly. Allow it to work for you.