Ever get a feeling that you are stuck in a place where you keep hitting your head on a wall and still nothing changes? Especially at work. It can be one of the worst feelings where you know that you have the potential to do more, to add more, and to make an impact but you don’t have the authority or support or even a voice to go forward with your ideas. Working under such conditions can negatively affect anyone and it can turn out to be frustrating and can potentially lead to confusion, trepidation, reduced productivity levels, and disengagement in employees.
So, what is empowerment, and how does empowering leaders can fix this problem?
According to Webster “Empowerment is the act or action of empowering someone or something: the granting of the power, right, or authority to perform various acts or duties.”
In simpler words, it can be defined as the affirmation of one’s actions. It is the ability of a person to be directly involved or have some influence over their work. When your employees feel empowered their decision-making abilities improve and they are better engaged. Needless to say that the organizations that are able to maintain a high level of employee engagement are the organizations where you will find empowered employees.
In this process the managers and leaders play a significant role, when the leaders are empowered ultimately, they will help their team members to win in every situation and motivate them and keep them engaged so that everyone can perform better. Leaders have an influence on almost all the key drivers of employee engagement; be it employee wellbeing, belonging, or resilience. Leaders have an input on each and every step of an employee’s journey from the very start when they are hired to fulfill the company’s requirements to the time of onboarding employees, leaders help them understand the core values and help them realize the dreams and ambitions of the organization they are associated with.
In a recent study conducted and published by Harvard Business Review, they found “that first, empowering leader is much more effective at influencing employee creativity and citizenship behavior (i.e., behavior that is not formally recognized or rewarded like helping co-workers or attending work functions that aren’t mandatory) than routine task performance. Second, by empowering their employees, these leaders are also more likely to be trusted by their subordinates, compared to leaders who do not empower their employees.
Any organization's leaders, HR professionals, and fellow employees all as a team play key roles in establishing a coherent, and empowered ambiance. Everyone needs to work towards establishing mutual trust, a level of comfort, and clear communication with expectations and with clear guidelines. It is virtually impossible to attain success in empowering employees or engaging them, without these essential factors.
Empowered leaders are more certainly in a better position to keep their employees motivated and engaged. Leaders have the authority to conduct one on one sessions with their subordinates or team members, where they get the opportunity to speak openly and discuss any issues they might be facing. This is just an example there are many similar or greater benefits associated with empowering leaders.
As we are constantly progressing towards adapting to the new normal and adjusting to new working environments, it’s essential that we start normalizing giving feedback to leaders and managers to help them understand their strengths and their weaknesses. Feedback is important for everyone in an organization including the leaders so that they can develop new skill sets, lead stronger teams, and drive employee engagement. Feedback is a powerful tool that can be used by anyone and everyone in an organization to explore new horizons, it can be used to understand how to adapt, increase one’s resilience, and develop skills that can potentially have an impact on their careers and the organization.
Effective leaders first show how it's done and set the example for how they expect their teams to perform and behave. Leaders set the norms, they translate vision into reality and act as role models in their everyday interactions with the team. An empowered leader constantly reminds its employees to stay focused, helps them stay positive, provides them better opportunities to shine, takes everyone’s feedback positively and seriously, and constantly communicates about the organization’s values, missions, and goals.
At Dropthought we believe that to build a sustainable relationship with an employee and to keep them engaged, we must value their feedback. We believe in building a situation-based and feedback-centric employee engagement plan that will not only help organizations to leverage the data collected abundantly but also if done right this can turn into a long-lasting opportunity to keep your employees motivated and keep the revenue bar up and running.