How To Empower Your Employees and Improve Engagement

The Problem With Micromanaging

A micromanaging leader does not show trust in their employees and they prefer to have a level of control over all activities, no matter how small. At a glance, these types of managers appear to be on top of everything and produce great results. However, these “results” are only short-term. In the long-term, micromanaging has numerous harmful affects. According to Brigette Hyacinth, author of The Future of Leadership: Rise of Automation, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, there are five main effects of micromanaging:

1. Decreased productivity
2. Reduced creativity and innovation
3. Low office morale
4. High turnover rates
5. Loss of trust

Empowering Employees

The best thing leaders can do for the overall success of the organization, is to empower their employees. A Harvard study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior found that “empowered employees are more likely to be powerful, confident individuals, who are committed to meaningful goals and demonstrate initiative and creativity to achieve them.” These employees also tended to be more creative and more helpful around the office. The study also found that leaders who empowered their employees were more trusted and respected.

Additional research shows that an empowered workforce is also a more engaged workforce. Engaged employees are typically happier at work, feel that their work has a purpose, and are more likely to go the extra mile for their employees. According to a Gallup study, organizations in the top quartile in employee engagement outperformed bottom-quartile organizations in customer ratings, profitability, and productivity.

How To Empower Employees

In a recent article, Patrick Bosworth, Founder and CEO of Leadership Choice, suggests these 8 steps to help empower your employees:

1. Delegate To Develop: When giving tasks, don’t just hand them off so you have a lighter work load. Instead, focus on which tasks will help grow and develop each employee and assign them accordingly.
2. Define Expectations: Do not mistake this for micromanaging. Defining your expectations gives employees the freedom to act and make decisions within certain boundaries that still align with the organization’s goals.
3. Give Employees Autonomy: Not everyone will complete a task or project the same way you would. It is important to allow employees to be creative and accomplish tasks and projects however they think is best, even if it is not your way. You might be surprised with what they come up with!
4. Provide All The Necessary Tools: Make sure your employees are equipped with all the tools and resources they might need. This will help them solve problems on their own and develop both personally and professionally.
5. Be Constructive With Feedback: When giving feedback to employees, remember to be constructive and specific. That way employees fully understand what they did well, what they should continue doing, and what they need to improve on.
6. Encourage Employees To Voice Their Opinions: Whenever possible, include employees in on the decision-making and goal-setting process. Ask for their opinions and input, and encourage them to speak up when they have an idea. Showing employees their voice matters not only empowers them, but it increases engagement and innovation.
7. Communicate A Clear Vision: When you clearly define the vision for the organization and communicate how each employees role plays a part in that vision, you are empowering employees with the knowledge that they are contributing and making a difference.
8. Provide Recognition: Recognizing employees for a job well done is one of the best ways to improve engagement and help employees feel empowered. When someone is recognized for their work, they want to continue doing it. It’s as simple as that!

For more information, check out Bosworth’s article here!

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