Posted on June 18, 2014

3 Tips for Empowering Your Workforce

Empowerment ties to employee engagement, studies show. Even if an employee isn’t in a direct leadership or management role, empowering the associate in small ways can pay big dividends.

Research by Tel Aviv University concluded that employees feel 26 percent more satisfied at work when they have positions of power. On the flip side, Gallup has found that 70 percent of employees feel unengaged at work, resulting in between $450 billion-$550 billion of lost productivity annually.

Obviously, employers can’t promote everyone! But here are three ways to create a more empowered, engaged workforce.

1. Give employees autonomy to make decisions

Workers are more committed to an organization when they feel supported by their managers. When employees are trusted to make decisions, they in turn trust their supervisors and corporate leaders. That trust drives employees to improve their work and day-to-day practices to become more efficient and productive.

2. Encourage independent thinking

Let employees express their true views (in a professional manner, of course) and share in certain leadership tasks. Often, managers fail to delegate where possible. But communicating well and allowing for mistakes to generate learning creates a culture of proactive behavior in which employees feel liberated to dream big, solve problems and do their best work.

3. Share some control

Especially in changing environments—such as growing or contracting companies—employees crave a sense of control. For example, implementing self-reviews as part of the evaluation process and conducting (and acting upon) employee surveys provide a voice for the workforce. Similarly, some HR technologies feature self-service options that give employees the keys to their personal information, allowing them to make changes as needed, check their compensation and benefits data, request time off or view balances, and connect with other employees—all from their mobile devices!

Although not every employee will be a manager or sit in a corner office, every employee can feel powerful at work with some creative thinking and flexibility at the managerial level. If supervisors are willing to give a little, they’re likely to find that employees give a lot more—and that’s good news for the workplace, the customers and the bottom line.

Paycor’s employee mobile app is a great tool for engaging your employees in managing their personal data and time-off requests, securely, whenever they like. To learn more ways to engage your workforce, download this free whitepaper, Employee Engagement: Why You Can’t Afford to Get It Wrong.

Source: Harvard Business Review Blog Network