August 22, 2023
Employee empowerment is the next big thing in people management. It is about enabling employees to take ownership of their work, make decisions, and contribute actively to the organization's goals. This concept goes beyond assigning tasks; it encompasses creating an atmosphere where employees feel valued, engaged, and capable of driving positive change.
At Cultiveit, we know how important it can be for teams to unlock employee empowerment to drive key people metrics like employee satisfaction, wellness, and overall wellbeing. That’s why we’ve outlined the top strategies for HR and people managers to boost employee empowerment toward a happier, healthier organizational culture.
Defining Employee Empowerment
Employee empowerment contributes to employee wellbeing and job satisfaction. At Cultiveit, we define it as the practice of granting individuals the authority, resources, and autonomy to make decisions that impact their work and the organization as a whole. This involves trusting employees to use their expertise, creativity, and judgement to contribute to the company's success. Employees cannot be empowered if they are burned out, exhausted, cynical or hopeless.
If you want to boost employee empowerment, we recommend thinking about the five attributes of employee empowerment at work. These areas highlight different aspects of the work environment that influence how employees perceive their work and their overall sense of fulfillment.
1. Clear prioritization The opposite of empowerment is overwhelm. If you want your employees to thrive, support workload management. Workload refers to the amount of work and responsibilities an employee has to manage. When workload is excessive or overwhelming, employees can experience burnout and reduced job satisfaction. To help employees independently manage their workload, leaders need to provide clear supports, including adequate resources and support to handle tasks efficiently, realistic goal-setting and clear prioritization.
2. Autonomy Having control over your work means the ability to make decisions that will drive business outcomes. When employees lack control, they may feel disempowered and less engaged. Managers can improve autonomy in their teams by delineating clear decision-making protocols whenever possible, encouraging open communication and involvement in decision-making processes, and providing training on problem-solving and decision-making skills.
3. Rewards Reward encompasses both financial and non-financial recognition and appreciation for employees' contributions. When employees feel underappreciated or unfairly compensated, job satisfaction can decrease. For resource-strapped teams, recognition can go a long way. To improve rewards and recognition, team leads can advocate for competitive compensation packages, recognize employee achievements through verbal or written accolades, and foster a culture of appreciation for cross-team peers.
4. Community We all know what it’s like to feel connected. It’s important for managers to foster a sense of social cohesion at work, as these social connections and relationships within the workplace can lead to employees feeling supported. A lack of positive interactions at work can lead to feelings of isolation and dissatisfaction. This can be especially common in remote work environments. To boost social cohesion, managers and HR leaders can encourage crosst-team collaboration on work projects, organize team building events and activities to strengthen informal ties, and provide avenues for employees to give and receive feedback to one another.
5. Purpose People do their best work when there is alignment between employees' personal values and the organization's mission and culture. When there's a disconnect, employees may feel confused, conflicted, and unfulfilled. Many variables contribute to an employee’s sense of purpose, including perceptions of fairness in an organization and the overall impact of a company or team. To build more purpose into team culture, focus on clear and frequent communication about a company’s mission and vision, offer opportunities for employees to contribute to meaningful projects that resonate with their values, and promote a culture of inclusivity and diversity to ensure all employees feel valued.
The Intersection of Empowerment and Employee Satisfaction, Wellness, and Wellbeing:
Empowered employees tend to be more satisfied with their jobs. When individuals have a say in their work, feel recognized for their contributions, and experience personal and professional growth, their overall job satisfaction increases. This satisfaction, in turn, positively impacts their overall wellbeing and mental health.
From an HR perspective, employee empowerment contributes to crucial KPIs. Improved employee satisfaction leads to higher retention rates and reduced turnover costs. Engaged and empowered employees are also more productive, leading to enhanced performance metrics and organizational success.
Employee empowerment is a multi-faceted concept that significantly influences employee satisfaction, wellness, and overall wellbeing. By adopting strategies that foster open communication, skill development, autonomy, recognition, and employee wellness, organizations can create an environment where employees feel valued, motivated, and empowered to contribute positively. This not only leads to a happier workforce but also aligns with key HR KPIs and drives the organization's success.
Are you interested in learning more about how optimizing work demands and work recovery can improve retention and employee engagement in your workplace? Contact us at email@example.com or book a meeting with us here to learn about our offerings!