Developing Your Talent

Develop Your Talent

The Power of Empowering Your Workforce

By Kristen Leverone on June 19, 2014

While artificial intelligence is increasingly influencing how works get done (consider the advances in the use of robots and drones), organizations still depend on people to make and deliver their sales, products and services.  But are we treating our employees like robots and drones—expecting work to be completed within strict parameters that discourage autonomy, creativity and decision making?  If so, organizations will inevitably suffer the consequences of a disempowered workforce:  low employee engagement, a lack of innovation, and poor customer service, to name a few.

Here are three basic steps for empowering your employees and creating higher levels of engagement:

  1. Give them a say.  Solicit input from team members and develop ideas.  Employees who lack decision-making authority often feel that their destiny is dictated by others. Giving them a say and listening to their feedback will boost employee pride and develop a culture of ownership.
  2. Identify paths. Cultivate transparency in internal hiring practices and train managers to act as career management mentors.  Through formal and informal discussions and individual work performance measurements, managers will be able to identify employees with the drive to accept increased responsibilities and guide them to opportunities.
  3. Provide decision-making opportunities. Employees need a basic structure for what needs to be done, but employers should also allow for flexibility on how it gets done.  Employees given autonomy will sharpen decision-making skills and develop strategies for re-designing work activities that improve customer service and efficiency.

Empowering employees should be a priority. The Ritz-Carlton, recognized globally as the gold standard in service, allows all staff—without approval from their general manager—to spend up to $2,000 on a guest to “create an outstanding experience.”  Instead of accepting a drone mentality, the Ritz-Carlton recognizes the power of empowerment.

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