In my experience, empowerment has been the single key element in affecting culture change within an organisation. Once people feel empowered to make decisions, take responsibility for them and have the hierarchy removed which can dent their confidence and courage to come forward with new ideas, they can be a real asset to the business.
Employees that feel valued and feel that their actions can positively impact the business become incredibly motivated, gathering pace and flourishing into great ambassadors for the business, both internally and externally. This positivity can far outweigh negativity being emitted by others and can become infectious.
I have found that quite often, providing a nurturing environment where employees can see a clear progression route and are allowed to fulfil their potential, that this can be far more effective at employee motivation and engagement than financial remuneration. Financial incentives have their place, for sure, but must not be the sole or primary route to getting employees on side.
Moreover, there are additional benefits to be reaped from employee empowerment; not only do they need less management thus saving on management costs, but a more engaged employee will have less absences from work, be more productive, increase the pace of the business and help customer retention.
There’s a three-step programme that should be followed to ensure employees are kept happy:
Get them to believe in you (and what the top team and company stands for):
- Sort the top team – it goes without saying that the right ethos has to come from the top
- Remove obstructors and middle management concrete
- Be open and honest – always!
Staff must feel valued:
- Help encourage the development of positive relationships with team/line managers
- Create a nurturing and challenging environment
- Ensure financial remuneration, where appropriate
The key question: do staff enjoy coming to work?
- Is it fun?
- Are they fulfilled?
- Can they see a fulfilling future with the company?
Real bottom line business benefits will result from employee empowerment – it isn’t just an idealistic notion or a fluffy phrase, but a real business growth tactic yielding real financial benefit.