Power to the Employee

Sep 16, 2014 | Organizational Behavior


I’ve spent my fair share of time interacting with employees from various businesses. From phone conversations with credit card companies and cable providers, to personal interactions in major retailers and local mom-and-pop shops, I’ve relied heavily on employees to find answers to my questions. Over time, I’ve learned which companies empower their employees, and which ones don’t.

When employees don’t feel empowered or confident enough to make a decision or answer a question on their own, I get a lot of, “I’m not sure, but let me check with my supervisor” answers. On the flip side, if a business trusts and enables its staff, I receive solid and confident answers—without a middle man.

Empowering staff members is just one way a business can increase confidence, productivity, and satisfaction in the workplace. An employee who feels trusted to perform his job based on his own knowledge, training, and experience will find his groove more easily. But employees who constantly check back with their managers often delay the sales process while building the impression that they don’t really know what they’re doing.

Here are seven simple ways you can help your employees feel empowered:

  1. Encourage open communication.
  2. Offer constructive feedback.
  3. Provide adequate training opportunities and further education.
  4. Let them know that it’s okay to fail.
  5. Clearly communicate company goals and values.
  6. Reward positive behavior and outcomes.
  7. Trust them.

Empowered employees are confident employees. Confidence is appealing to others in the workplace, but most importantly, it’s appealing to customers.

How has employee empowerment benefited your work life? We’d love to hear about it!

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