To innovate and grow a sustainable business, companies need to adopt practices that channel the power of their employees. However, many employers either struggle or don’t dedicate enough time to engaging and empowering the modern-day workforce, whose expectations differ greatly from those of previous generations.
While businesses may evolve from the hard work of their founders or executives, business growth is the result of more individuals working together. This kind of team-oriented business culture helps create a shared purpose and community where employees address and solve issues collaboratively, leading to better results. Nonetheless, today’s model for empowerment embraces inclusivity and should allow employees to primarily identify as themselves.
When employees feel empowered to be their full selves at work, they put their best version of themselves forward and perform better. But how does that translate to better business success? This article explores 5 ways empowered employees can power up your business.
Improved Employee Branding
When a company is known for empowering its employees, it opens the doors for superior employee branding. What that means is that employees act as brand ambassadors and can present the company in a positive light. Having a high-quality employee brand can make your company desirable for top talent and attract the attention of potential partners and leaders in the field.
Take, for example, content sharing on LinkedIn. Empowering employees to share company-related content from their personal accounts may not only optimize awareness and reach but also build authority. Therefore, a large part of incorporating LinkedIn best practices for co-workers is empowering them to be active on the platform from their personal accounts rather than exclusively committing to the company page.
While managers should know how to delegate, many of them simply make decisions themselves and only transfer to their employees the task of carrying out those decisions. However, empowering employees requires trusting them with important decisions and allowing for more autonomy. That kind of responsibility can lead to increased engagement and productivity.
Naturally, when able to have ownership of their work and make decisions on their own, employees can feel more motivated to work for the benefit of the company, which essentially raises their productivity levels. Furthermore, since every employee has a different working style, empowering them to follow their rhythm can lead to better adjustments to the role and much better results than following a one-size-fits-all approach.
Career development is one of the key factors employees consider when choosing a job and when deciding to stay at one. And empowering employees is among the best ways to help them improve their skills and become a greater asset to the company. If they are able to make more decisions and have more autonomy, they are likely to put more effort into their projects, thus becoming better at their jobs.
Another important way to empower employees is to provide the necessary resources and assistance they need for improving their knowledge or skills. Studies have shown that as much as 45% of employees are more likely to stay at their jobs if they receive more training, which points to the fact that support can be just as important as autonomy. In general, if employees feel empowered by the possibilities you provide, they will likely show greater dedication and results.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
One of the primary determinants of a good customer experience is what is happening inside a company. If you fail to motivate or engage your employees, their efforts will decrease, which directly impacts their communication with customers. However, if you empower your employees and improve their satisfaction with the job, you can increase your customers’ satisfaction. There are several reasons for this positive link between happy employees and satisfied customers.
First, empowered employees take pride in their work, meaning they are likely to bear more responsibility. That can lead to dedicating more time to customers, being more attentive to their needs, and finding ways to solve their problems. Additionally, they are more likely to have a positive and friendly approach – an essential component of superior customer service.
Flattening The Hierarchy
Empowering your employees means you can eliminate excess management layers, thus flattening company hierarchies. This can improve your communication across the organization and increase transparency. Additionally, with fewer management levels, you can ensure greater productivity since your employees can make decisions more freely and without significant delays.
Of course, there are some risks associated with a flat hierarchy. There is always the possibility of confusion when it comes to who is responsible for which tasks or an inability to achieve certain results. For that reason, it’s important to determine how flat you want your organization to be. If you run a small company, a flat hierarchy might achieve optimum results but may not be the best approach for a large one.
Empowering your employees is not a one-day process; it requires perpetual changes that will shape your business culture and set the foundation for inclusion and collaboration. Ultimately, its benefits can power up your business and place your employees at the center of your growth.
These benefits include improved employee branding, productivity, career development, increased customer satisfaction, and flattening the hierarchy. All of these can ultimately improve your bottom line and set you up for long-term success.