The Why and How of Empowering
Your People and Teams

What does it mean to empower employees?

Employee empowerment is defined as the ways in which organizations provide their employees with a certain degree of autonomy and control in their day-to-day activities.

3 key core objectives of empowerment include:

  • Enhanced individual and team effectiveness; 
  • Creation of a positive work environment;
  • Long-term organizational success.

Did you know that the levels of empowerment can vary widely between individuals based on a combination of factors related to their roles, skills, experience, access to resources, the level of trust, and confidence placed in them. 

Before we get into specifics lets firstly begin by understanding how you can create an empowerment strategy for your business.

The first consideration is to create a space so that your employees can do their job and empower them to enable another level of thinking and action.

empower

What does it mean to empower employees?

Employee empowerment is defined as the ways in which organizations provide their employees with a certain degree of autonomy and control in their day-to-day activities.

3 key core objectives of empowerment include:

  • Enhanced individual and team effectiveness; 
  • Creation of a positive work environment;
  • Long-term organizational success.

Did you know that the levels of empowerment can vary widely between individuals based on a combination of factors related to their roles, skills, experience, access to resources, the level of trust, and confidence placed in them. 

Before we get into specifics lets firstly begin by understanding how you can create an empowerment strategy for your business.

 

The first consideration is to create a space so that your employees can do their job and empower them to enable another level of thinking and action.

 

For people to feel empowered in their roles, they need feedback and advice.  

  • Feedback that delivers honestly with a focus on performance, being clear and specific, and highlighting strengths boosts motivation.  
  • Advice that suggests trainings or examples of how to consider different options, or clear direction on what is ok and what is not increases confidence and motivation

With motivation, confidence, and empowerment people will take on feedback and/or advice and deliver beyond expectations.

For an employee to be successful, they also need:

  • Access to information to be able to act and perform, 
  • The tools and skills that are necessary to perform their job, 
  • The authority to make decisions, and 

If the above are present, then they need to be held accountable for the outcome.

You now know the ingredients to empower an individual but what about a team, here are a few steps when empowering a team. 

  1. Start by getting to know each person personally while giving them the opportunity to know each other too.
  2. Be clear on the purpose of the team - communicate why they are a team and what outcomes you need to achieve. 
    • a. Confirm they understand the strengths and skills within the team
    • Do they agree with the purpose and goals
  3. Give your team space to use their combined strengths
    • Understand what they each bring to the team and why their particular skill or insight is valued within this team
    • Challenge them to think outside of the box 
  4. Give them the tools and information they need to be successful - same as empowering an individual
  5. Acknowledge outcomes, provide feedback, ask questions, engage with the outcomes
  6. Show your appreciation!

You have heard me say this before but If you don’t voice your appreciation, how will an individual or a team know they are doing a good job, how can they be motivated and empowered if they aren’t clear on the outcomes you want and the praise for getting that outcome.

 

Never underestimate the power of ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’ 

 

Now you have some steps you can take and hopefully a better understanding of the why and how of empowerment for an individual and a team. Let’s now look at where things change for different team members. It’s true; empowerment and outcomes are different because people have different levels of access to information, some will have limited decision making capabilities (because it suits the role they have or maybe they have a manager that is holding them back).

 

Below are specific areas where levels of empowerment may differ:

  • Authority for Decision Making: Different individuals may have varying levels of authority to make decisions based on their roles and responsibilities. For example, senior executives may have more authority to make strategic decisions compared to other employees who may have more limited decision making power within their specific tasks.
  • Autonomy: Some individuals may be granted a higher level of autonomy due to their expertise or track record of success, while others may require more supervision and guidance.
  • Access to Information: Empowerment can also vary based on individuals' access to information relevant to their roles. Those with greater access to information about the organization's goals, strategies, and performance metrics would be better equipped to make informed decisions and take ownership of their work.
  • Resource Allocation: Empowerment can differ based on individuals' access to resources necessary for accomplishing their tasks. This includes access to funding, technology, manpower, and other resources needed to execute their responsibilities effectively.
  • Skill and Competence: Individuals with higher levels of skill and competence in their respective areas may be granted greater empowerment to make decisions and take initiative. This is often based on their track record of success, expertise, and demonstrated ability to handle responsibilities effectively.
  • Trust and Confidence: The level of trust and confidence that superiors have in individuals can significantly impact their empowerment. Those who have earned the trust of their leaders through consistent performance and reliability may be given more autonomy and decision-making authority.
  • Development Opportunities: Empowerment can also differ based on individuals' opportunities for growth and development within the organization. Those who are provided with opportunities for training, mentorship, and career advancement may feel more empowered to take on additional responsibilities and contribute to the organization's success.

If you think about your business and your people, who might have or need a higher level of empowerment?  Does this person have everything they need to be successful and accountable? And, importantly, do you have a culture of empowerment? 

 

It doesn’t matter the size of your organization, having people that are empowered creates a better and more successful business.

FAQ

If you would like to explore working with us then book a Discovery Call today.

Until next time. Stay fabulous!

 

HEATHER DISHER
CEO and Managing Partner

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