Sounds like a dream, right?
Obviously these things would be incredibly beneficial to you and your company. But it’s just too good to be true. You can hardly leave your employees alone for 5 minutes, much less expect all of those things from them.
But there is a secret to your employees taking ownership of their roles, instead of just showing up to work…
The key to getting your employees to step up is actually giving them more responsibility. Crazy, I know. Empowerment is a term used in Marketing and Management to describe additional ownership being distributed to an organization’s employees. Leigh Richards, of DemandMedia, describes it this way, “Empowerment is the process of allowing employees to have input and control over their work, and the ability to openly share suggestions and ideas about their work and the organization as a whole.”
When little is expected of an employee, little is performed.
Empowerment Removes Bureaucracy
There is a negative effect for both the customer and the employee to have to work through the chain of command in an organization before the problem is ever addressed. How many times have you been told: “I’ll have to get the manager” or “That’s not my job, I don’t have the authority to do that.” This costs time and energy for both parties.
The customer is frustrated because of their initial dissatisfaction with the product or service, and now no one can help them. And the employee takes no ownership or concern over customer service because it’s not his job to care.
“Empowerment gives customers the feeling that their concerns are being addressed and gives employees the feeling that their expertise matters” (Lamb, Hair, McDaniel). When an individual finds responsibility in their work, they also find reward in doing a job well. Ownership promotes this desire to perform well because it is something that is theirs, and something they can be proud of.
Training is a Critical Component
Good and thorough training is a critical part of empowering your workers. They will need instruction and vision for the expectations you are placing on them as the owner or manager. This will require a small sacrifice of time. But delegating authority to your employees may be exactly what they need to motivate them, and exactly what your business needs to boost it’s customer satisfaction!
Empowerment doesn’t just affect the company’s side of things though. When you give authority to your employees, you are also empowering yourself as a business owner.
You have freedom.
You can let go and do your job- forming vision, motivating growth, finding new ventures… the reasons you became an entrepreneur to begin with right?
Without Empowerment You Are a Slave To Your Business
Empowering your employees allows your personal life to grow as well. When you can focus on those things, and stop doing every other employees job, you have the ability to relinquish more control and step away from the office without worrying it’ll burn to the ground in your absence.
Give it a try- empower your employees and see what it does for your business! Give yourself and your employees the freedom of efficient, effective and rewarding work. Let us know how it goes!