One of the most vital facts for any manager, leadership executive, or company owner to remember is that, when your employees succeed, you succeed. There are many things you can do to empower employees and encourage their growth and success—efforts that will ultimately build a positive and respectful environment, boost company morale, retain fantastic staff, and attract high-quality talent. While this list is by no means exhaustive, check out these foundational ways you can empower your employees and generate success.
Encourage Collaboration and Innovation
Encourage employees to voice their opinions and insights and be sure to listen intently. Giving employees a platform to speak and share their thoughts and insights with the team exercises their critical thinking skills and reinforces that they are a member of the team rather than an independent worker or someone merely playing a supporting role. The more employees engage in critical thinking and problem-solving, the more insightful and innovative the team becomes. No matter their status (e.g., junior, mid, or senior), level of education, or years of experience, each member of the team should feel validated, that their voice matters, and that their thoughts and ideas are respected.
Opportunities for growth are crucial for empowering employees to learn and expand their skillset. Give employees new responsibilities, chances to grow and develop their skills, and the opportunity to learn from hands-on experiences. Assigning employees new responsibilities confirms your confidence in their abilities, boosting morale and inspiring continued success. Further, new responsibilities and tasks offer employees new challenges, keeping their day-to-day work stimulating and exciting. It’s easier to retain employees that feel fulfilled and enriched.
Give Autonomy (a.k.a. Don't Micromanage!)
Micromanaging is not only an extreme waste of resources (i.e., time and money), but it is also the quickest way to discourage employees as it signals that you don’t have the confidence they can do the work they were hired to do. Instead, allow employees to own their tasks and responsibilities from start to finish and be available for them when they need support, whether that’s to serve as their sounding board for new ideas, to ask questions and engage in critical thinking, or to help stimulate effective problem-solving. Rather than overreaching and commandeering their responsibilities, especially when employees reach out for help, maintain a supporting role and an encouraging attitude and mindset. Be confident they have the knowledge, resources, and skills necessary to manage the responsibilities and complete the tasks you have assigned them.
Recognizing and sharing employees’ efforts and successes with the team, department, or company as a whole can effectively boost morale, foster job satisfaction, and improve retention. Find multiple ways to highlight employees’ efforts, whether by email, during a team gathering, or via employee awards at an all-hands meeting. Employees often feel valued when their efforts and achievements are acknowledged and when their colleagues can see their impact. In all, don’t wait until it’s too late to show your employees appreciation for their hard work.
It’s important to acknowledge that employees are humans. While meeting deadlines, accomplishing goals, and ensuring the continued success and growth of the company are all important, it is crucial to recognize that all those elements would not exist without driven and skilled employees. One of the easiest ways to amass and retain focused and motivated employees is by acknowledging they are human.
Give employees grace when they make mistakes. No one is perfect, and such pressure has adverse effects on performance and mindset. Be kind when employees make mistakes and focus the conversation on lessons learned and what approaches may have been more successful.
Within reason, allow employees to choose their work schedule. Some people function better in the afternoons and would rather start their workday at 10 am, while others may want to end their workday at 3:30 pm to pick up their children and spend the remainder of their day being a present parent. Allowing employees a bit of flexibility to live a fulfilling lifestyle outside of work will motivate them to be productive during the hours they chose.
Remember that life happens. Whether a family member is sick, childcare plans change, or they have a medical appointment, be flexible. Recognizing that life happens and handling these situations with flexibility fosters an environment of respect and understanding, which can greatly impact team morale.
Allow employees to take their vacation time. Whether paid or unpaid, it is important to respect employees’ requests for time off and not disrupt their time off. Not allowing employees dominion over their personal time is an all-too-common aspect of corporate culture that’s detrimental to employees’ mental health. This overreach of power creates a negative environment, leads to employee burnout, and will have grave impacts on company success due to high turnover, low productivity, and weak morale. Give employees their time off—better yet, encourage they take time off!—and be sure to respect that time off (i.e., do not contact them). Remember that well-rested employees perform better and that highly functioning employees are the envy of all companies.
Want to Join our Team?
Here at MacroSys, we always empower our employees to continue learning, growing, and succeeding. If you want to join our team, check out our current openings at http://www.macrosysrt.com/career! If there isn’t a listing that matches your skillset, send us your resume. We’re always looking for exceptional talent!