Empowerment is a strong word; it means to give another the ability to make their own decisions, to work on their own as they see fit, and all without input or control. Their is giving empowerment to others as well as of the self. Both are very impactful in the workplace.
When workers feel empowered, it leads to more productivity, to higher work and to more engagement. It leads them to feel recognized for their skills and abilities to handle work situations given; it lets them know they are trusted and supported for any decisions they make.
Empowerment given is also a two-way street; workers, when they feel trusted will return trust back. Empowering workers is one action bosses can take to create an inclusive team and culture. I think of Disney, who empowers their workers to resolve customer issues on their own, without any management involvement. This has led to satisfied consumers who come back again and again.
There should be guidelines and boundaries for how far a worker can go, such as approval up to a certain amount of money before needing management approval. Boundaries help an employee to work within them and keeps workflow smooth.
Likewise, an employee needs to be self-empowered, meaning they work to their highest level and take more action. Self-empowerment means not worrying about what others think or say and staying in your own lane. When given a project or task to work on, self-empowered individuals won’t delay on starting the task as they know what needs to be done and will get to it; they will ask for help, if needed, but will stay within set guidelines at all times. They will get more done which leads to more recognition.
Bosses won’t have to worry about that employee, allowing them to focus on their own tasks; they will repay with recognition and being at the top of the list when opportunities arise. Isn’t that empowering?
For managers, begin to empower your people; give the goals and then sit back – have faith and trust that you have led your people well to do the job as they see fit. Have checks and balances periodically to see how things are going or if direction is needed (giving feedback falls in here). For workers, be self-empowered and work at the highest level you can; trust yourself enough to own the power. Both situations will lead to having a high-level, ‘oil-running machine,’ a place where workers want to come. It’s a win-win situation.
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