how to empower employees

8 Powerful Ways to Empower Your Employees

If you are in a company that has more than one person (you), there’s no going around the fact that your success depends on your colleagues’ and employees’ success.

The more you empower your employees, the more they will grow — and consequently, the more your business will grow. That is to say, working on improving your employees’ experience is something you, as an employer, absolutely need to do.

The goal of this race is clear, but where to start? Let us help you to the finish line with our 8 powerful ways to empower your employees.

1. Give Employees Generous Boundaries

Although boundaries exist for a reason, and no one likes being told what to do by every chance passerby, you don’t have to be stingy.

Now, generous boundaries aren’t the same as complete freedom. The difference is that you establish, from day one, clear goals and means to achieve them.

Remember: being a team is like reading a book with another person — you have to be on the same page; otherwise, you might as well not even sit together.

So how do you give employees this breathing room? Simple example: allow employees to make calls whether they can and should refund a customer. Clarify your vision and the results you hope to achieve, and your employees will be free to apply their creativity.

Business personality cannot be just stated somewhere on your website. It is something that each employees helps to make every day.

2. Learn to Listen and Observe

listen to employees

The simple truth is this: you can’t listen with only half an ear (unless you’ve been in a fight with Mike Tyson). You can’t just emulate interest in another person, you really do need to care.

Listen first, ask questions second. And by questions, we don’t mean “What the hell were you thinking?” Asking questions is one of the best form of guidance, as you don’t explicitly tell people what to do but can push them in the right direction.

Better yet, you can accidently push them in the direction you haven’t even considered.

As long as your employees have the means and opportunity to freely and comfortably express themselves, they’ll be able to solve almost anything.

3. Praise Their Effort…

Results aren’t the only thing that matters. Effort is a great metric of how much your employees care about what they’re doing.

Not everything your employees set out to do may be a success, but what counts is whether they brought their A game. By praising effort, you encourage people to continue learning, growing and caring.

Recognition of employees’ efforts is what inspired us to invest in Service Intelligence, in the first place. Giving actual means of measuring each and every employee’s contribution is the very definition of staff empowerment.

4. …And Be Lenient With Their Mistakes

forgive employee mistakes

Risk-aversion is a natural thing for most people, but so are mistakes.

If you always go out of your way to point out and try to correct someone’s blunders, they will cease to seek initiative and start asking for approval every step of the way. Even worse, they might end up avoiding doing anything that is new, experimental and untried.

Failure is the best teacher, and even in the context of businesses, where some mistakes can be costly, there are “safe failures” that act as opportunities to learn and nothing more.

Bottom line is, ideas and experiments should be encouraged. Even if they don’t succeed, your employees might gain understanding and start feeling more comfortable with innovating.

5. Give Room to Grow

Despite what you might have heard, money doesn’t solve everything. High bonuses are a temporary band-aid for lack of motivation; what you need is to provide your employees with a greater level of satisfaction.

Finding the right candidate is not like a shape-sorter toy, it’s not only about who fits the position better. It’s about what you can give them, too. If you only hire people to apply their talents and skills but with no way for them to learn anything new, they won’t stay loyal forever.

Establish a clear action plan for their growth. For example, train them in customer service. Offering rewards as they advance is a good suggestions, but what truly matters is consistent encouragement.

Your employees need to have the feeling that they’re in control of their professional future.

6. Challenge Their Abilities

employee self-improvement

An important part of improving as a professional is having to challenge yourself. A boxing champion who only participates in backyard matches may get all the trophies but his success will ring hollow and his skills will soon dull.

Challenge is a whetstone that helps you sharpen your focus.

A body that doesn’t get any action is prone to sickness — and same goes for your brain. Challenging tasks is a stretching exercise for your mind. Want to help your employees get far in their professional journey? Then make them reach for new horizons.

7. Enough Micromanagement

We get it, you’re a wicked smart person. But as a boss, you don’t have to beat people over the head with your smartness. The last thing anybody enjoys is a pestering over-the-shoulder presence as they try to complete their tasks.

You might have a lot of helpful suggestions and valuable insight, but micromanagement is a cardinal sin in employee empowerment.

In fact, try to delegate more of your tasks to other people. If you’re one of those people under the impression that they are good at multitasking, then stop right now.

You don’t need to control every little detail of your business, and your employees may actually end up doing a better job than you.

Task delegation also helps with building confidence. It’s a more practical form of a trust fall, only instead of just wasting time on team-building exercises, you build trust and make business progress at the same time.

8. Provide Equipment They Need

customer service management system

There’s a tool for every purpose, and a purpose for every tool.

All of the suggestions above — giving room to breath and room to grow, delegating tasks, challenging and communicating — can only get your employees so far. If they lack proper equipment, they might as well try to do their job with one hand tied behind their back.

The sad truth is this: customer service is a fickle matter. Without a proper customer service system, your and your employees’ efforts to provide great experience may succeed but at greater costs.

Having to serve tens, hundreds or even thousands of customers a day, can be a daunting task. Alleviate the pain of your employees with an online queue management system.

Our shameless plug of our own product is not a coincidence. We’re being serious when we say that Qminder helps with employee empowerment.

Try it out for yourself: Qminder is — or even more if we really like you. (And we like all of our clients.)

Empowered employees are but one click away.

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