Empowering employees in the workplace is one of the best things that you can do to increase their confidence and give them the ability to make decisions on their own. Empowerment is all about giving them permission to take steps that benefit the company.
If an employee constantly has to seek permission about taking minor steps, you are doing it wrong. It is all about establishing trust between your employees and creating a space where your employees feel that they are valued.
For the growth of your business, you need to empower your employees and start trusting them. As an entrepreneur, you need to make sure that you empower your employees. Here are 10 important tips that will help.
- Listen to Employees
There is a major difference between listening to your employees and hearing their words. Too many managers and entrepreneurs simply hear their words, but don’t bother about them. You also need to make sure that you do not restrict their answers. For instance, don’t go inquiring about sales targets only.
Instead, focus on listening to your employees. If you are wondering how to empower employees, this is the best way to begin. Listen to their challenges and their plans, and then work with them to resolve those.
- Believe in Them
It’s hard to really quantify the effect of believing in your employees, but you should know that it’s only positive. If you wait for assembling a team of superstars who are going to take your company to the next level, you are going to wait for a long time to come. Instead, you need to figure out the strengths of your employees.
Find out what each employee does best, and then work to their strengths. Give them tasks that you think they are able to do in a better way. Good managers and entrepreneurs know how to bring people with different strengths together, and then make them work properly.
- Be Forgiving
Mistakes are expected in the workplace. If your team isn’t making mistakes, you should know that they are simply not innovating enough. However, if you punish their mistakes, your employees will avoid innovating altogether. Essentially, you are encouraging conservative behavior.
In a competitive environment, this is only going to bring you down. However, that doesn’t mean that you forgive all of their mistakes. There are some things that are considered mission-critical, and a mistake that costs your company a large chunk of money is definitely not forgivable.
You need to let them know about the distinctions among the two so that employees know when they are expected to be at the top of their game.
- Be Clear with Your Expectations
You need to be very clear with the boundaries that you set for your employees. Let them know about the maximum freedom that they have to act without seeking permissions. This is important and is going to help in their growth as well.
When you set clear expectations for your employees, you don’t have to worry about micromanaging them. You are essentially giving them the freedom to make decisions that are in the benefit of the company, but without having to oversee them all the time.
This will allow the employee to grow and take decisions that are ultimately in the benefit of your company. Also, you get to save a great deal of time that would otherwise be spent on micromanaging their decisions.
- Offer Opportunities for Mentoring
Mentoring your employees, and not acting like their boss, is one of the best ways to grow. Mentorship doesn’t require a lot of time, nor does it take any kind of effort. Mentorship is simply about passing on your knowledge and experience to your employees.
When a leader starts acting like a mentor, they encourage belief in their employees, and this ultimately gives confidence to the employees to grow as well. This is an excellent way to empower employees and encourage them to focus more on their work.
- Offer Praise Where It’s Due
Avoid focusing on talent all the time; in some cases, it’s worth focusing on the amount of effort an employee is putting in. In the grand scheme of things, effort is almost always going to outrun talent. By praising the amount of effort an employee is putting into their work, you are simply encouraging them to grow.
Your employees need to know that their efforts are being praised and acknowledged by the management. If you don’t give praise from time to time, employees will get despondent over time.
- Earn Their Trust
It’s all good when everything is going smoothly, but what about when things get rough? Most companies don’t bother about their employees when the going gets tough. You have to understand that employees tend to remember this, and they are simply going to offer subpar work as a result.
Layoffs, for instance, are never a good thing. You should avoid hiring new employees if you are not sure whether you will be able to support them during the tough times. By earning their trust, you are going to have a team of incredibly loyal employees who will work together to grow your company.
- Don’t Let Your Ego in Between
As a boss, you have to understand that you can’t be the smartest person in the room all the time. If there’s an employee who is offering good advice, even if it contradicts what you are saying, learn to accept it. If you allow your ego to guide you, you have already failed as a leader.
It’s always important that you focus more on what your employees are saying instead of talking more on your own. Let them set the stage; they know more than you.
- Give Them Time
You have to understand that creating a balance between time and money is important. In some cases, money will be the ultimate motivator. In other situations, time is your best asset. Give employees time when you think they deserve it. This doesn’t just include vacation, but time to experiment on new ideas or sorting out their personal affairs.
- Provide Opportunities
If an employee feels that they are being wasted in your company with no hope for growth, they will stop working. You need to create multiple growth paths for your employees, such as development plans that are going to help them grow.