Why empowered employees are the key to the success of your business

October 15, 2018 adminmj

If you have ever had to hire a single person for your business or team, you will already understand what a mammoth task that can be. Finding an individual who fits the business culture, job description and person spec is hard enough, but then you also have to convince them that your business is the right one for them to commit to.

Once you’ve convinced this wonderful unicorn to join your company (hurray – congratulations! You did it!), the next challenge is keeping them.

Shockingly, magical unicorns are sought after by every. single. company. Including your competitors. News spreads fast about good talent, and it won’t be long before your unicorn is being inundated by tempting offers from recruiter fairies in the enchanted land of LinkedIn. So how do you get your unicorns to love their role and your organisation so much, they choose to stay with you?

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Remuneration is no longer enough. And assuming you have even have the budget to offer them a competitive pay rise, wouldn’t it be better if you were able to stop the conversation with the competitor business before it’s even started?

The secret to this is the same secret to how Apple retains its customers, despite enticing calls from Samsung. It’s the same secret that keeps relationships strong for years and years. And no, it’s not love.

It’s empowerment.

Even more than that, it’s the “Ikea Effect”… we love it more, because we have helped to build it.

What is an empowered employee?

When you empower your employees, you allow them the authority to get the job assigned to them done, in the way they determine it to be. It is, in essence, the exact opposite of micromanagement. They are able to work independently, autonomously, set their own objectives – or work with their manager to set them, and prioritise their own to-do list, tasks and deadlines.

Further than this, an empowered employee feels their voice is heard within an organisation. They are not simply a headcount. When it comes to business decisions, whether big or small, they feel they have had the opportunity to give their opinion and have their say. So when any change happens, they feel part of it. And when success happens, they feel proud of it.

The Ikea Effect in action again.

How does this affect your business?

There is a scale to measure the benefits of empowered employees. At one end, there is ‘business success’. At the other end, there is ‘society’.

At the business end of the scale, it comes down to money. Did you know the “real cost” of recruitment can be upwards of 50 percent of a person’s salary (SmartCompany, 2017)?

Add to that the decrease in employee loyalty as a trend in the younger generations. In one survey, 44% of millennials said they expect to stay in their job for less than two years, and it’s even worse with Gen Z, with 59% expecting to leave their employee within two years.

So on top of the cost of recruiting someone new, there is also the cost, in time and money, of onboarding that person, upskilling them as needed, investing in their continued learning and development, and then the likelihood that they, too, will move on in 18 months time.

At the ‘society’ side of the scale, we’re talking about human beings. Organisations have a responsibility to be conscious of the mental and physical health of their employees. An employee who feels bullied, micromanaged, not-trusted or invisible within an organisation is not going to come to work every morning feeling happy. They are probably not going to want to come to work in the first place. This, inevitably, will have an impact on their home life, their relationships, their overall motivation and happiness, and their health – physically and mentally. And so you can start to understand the repercussions of unhappy workers on society in general.

And like everything comes full circle, this human impact of disempowered employees again impacts on your business. A happy employee is a productive employee, an engaged employee, a creative employee, a motivated employee. An employee who is helping your business to succeed. Don’t believe me? Check out these stats:

Individuals who are happiest at work are:

  • 180% more energized than those who are not happy
  • 50% more motivated than those who are not content
  • 60% more confident in themselves and their role
  • Feel they have 65% more control over what they do
  • Experience 155% more happiness in their jobs

(Source: Happiness at work; Maximising your Psychological Capital for Success: J Pryce-Jones)

How to empower your employees

What is it that motivates people?

When you peel back the layers, often a key motivator for staying in a role isn’t money. It’s job satisfaction. It’s being able to go home on time at the end of the day to see your family. It’s being able to work flexible hours so you can still pursue your personal passions. It’s feeling part of something ‘bigger’. And it’s being a part of a company that understands all this, talks to you about your dreams and goals, and works together with you to help you achieve them.

So, when considering whether your organisation is empowering its employees, think about these things:

  1. Are there processes in place to involve employees, at every level, in making decisions about the business? And not just “for show”. Is there a way to ensure everyone’s opinion is heard and considered.
  2. How good are internal communications? Does every employee feel they are kept informed about what’s going on within the business?
  3. Is there a system in place for performance reviews and feedback to be given? And are follow up sessions scheduled? Does everyone in the organisation understand the goals they are working towards in their job and how they will be rewarded for achieving them (a pay rise? A promotion? A bonus?)
  4. Do your managers show genuine concern for their team members? Do they put time aside each month for a one-on-one, outside of performance reviews, for a general catch up?
  5. Is everyone in the company paid a fair and competitive wage for the work they do? Are requests for pay rises taken seriously and dealt with professionally and appropriately?
  6. Does the business culture encourage open lines communication at all levels?
  7. Are the regular all-staff sessions, where everyone is updated about the company’s vision, business strategy and success?
  8. Is everyone in the company treated by senior management, and by their peers, with equal levels of respect?

Empowered employees result in increased productivity and profits, as well as a happier society in general. The people in your organisation are the heart of your organisation – your business is only as good as the people that work within it every day. So prioritise them. Any leader who leaves thinking about their people as a last resort, leaves their organisation vulnerable in the face of competitive activity and modern day business demands.

Need help working out strategies to empower your employees?

Pure Magic International Business Solutions is an award-winning company, passionate about helping clients achieve strategic business outcomes through leadership, management and people development strategies and techniques at all levels and by using a range of easy-to-implement HR and Organisational development strategies.

To find out more about building empowered teams, head to http://www.puremagicbusiness.com.au/services/team-building-course/.

If you’d like to discuss any concerns or ideas you have about empowered employees, book a free discussion on https://my.timetrade.com/book/QGY21 today!

Photo by David Siglin on Unsplash