No matter where you currently are in your career, there have probably been times when you have asked yourself — or been asked by others — what you think it takes to make an effective leader.
While that is no doubt an important question, you should also consider this: What makes an effective team?
Across different industries and departments, it is rare to find employees that function at their best when being micromanaged at all times. Of course, there are occasions when that may be necessary, but the vast majority of the time, employees work best when they have the tools, ability and freedom to simply do their job.
Creating a working environment that encourages employees to be empowered helps not only the employees but also helps your organization overall. Keep reading to learn how promoting employee confidence can benefit your team and discover ways to start fostering this type of important environment in your own workplace.
Benefits Of Empowering Employees
Of course it seems logical that creating empowered and confident employees helps create better employees, but exactly how that happens may not be as obvious. Here are five benefits your team and organization may see take shape when you seek to promote confidence in your employees.
Developing more-skilled workers
As more jobs are becoming dependent on, and sometimes completely eliminated by, technological and AI advancements, many workers are taking this opportunity to expand their skill set. In a 2018 study about the skills gap, 80% of respondents said they would quit if their employer didn’t offer training on the newly required skills. It is obvious that employees not only welcome the opportunity to learn new skills, but actively desire it.
Improved work output
Employees who feel confident in their autonomy tend to take more pride in their work. Additionally, they will feel more capable of executing their given responsibilities without consistent oversight. Even a small amount of freedom — and trust — shown from a manager or other leader can encourage employees to work harder to produce better.
Increased employee satisfaction
There are many ways training helps boost employee morale, from making employees feel more valued to reducing turnover and creating an overall better company culture. Regardless of whether you see a direct corollary between training and how an employee feels about themselves and their work, it is undeniable that showing you care about your employees is beneficial.
An added benefit that typically comes with increased employee satisfaction is improved recruitment. Happier employees who are able to complete their work without being stressed and micromanaged are more likely to help spread the word about your organization. Remember — satisfied employees make the best recruiters.
Better customer service
This will not directly impact your entire workforce, but it should be obvious how this is a benefit. For employees who interact directly with customers, they can be certain they are capable of making the right decisions in any situation. And while those in back-end roles may not work with your end user, they still likely have “customers” within the organization. Self-confidence helps to build and maintain strong working relationships.
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Ways To Empower Employees
While not every one of your employees will have the opportunity — or even the need — to lead their own team, they should feel empowered enough to do so. Instilling employees with self confidence will help them, your team and your organization.
But empowering your employees is not the easiest task and must be handled carefully. Here are five ways to begin shifting toward creating a workforce full of empowered and confident employees.
Encourage self-paced learning
Employee empowerment begins with training. However, training is not one size fits all. The better we understand, the more confident we are, and the best way to learn is at our own pace. When employees learn at their own pace, they control how much time is needed to digest a certain concept instead of rushing through more “complex” ideas (and let’s not forget that what is considered “complex” can vary from person to person). Self-paced learning offers the benefit of increasing learning efficiency and competency development in a shorter time, as well as the ability to scale and reuse techniques.
Provide the resources needed
When you give your employees work tasks, you probably make sure they have the right tools to complete the job or project. That same mindset can apply when trying to empower your employees: Make sure they have the right tools. This could include access to templates, organizational or job-specific documents, training content and more. Employees won’t be able to feel they have done a good job if they lack the resources needed to accomplish their tasks. But remember to still be open to employees needing or wanting feedback, or just someone to act as a sounding board.
Delegate to develop
One of the most important ways to show your employees you trust them and their work — and therefore help grow their own confidence — is to delegate tasks and projects to them. But make sure you are not simply passing off difficult or time-consuming work simply so you don’t have to do it. Instead, delegate with the intent to grow and develop the capabilities and responsibilities of your employees. Show them how important they are and how they provide real value to your business by allowing them to work on meaningful tasks.
Communicate corporate visions
As younger generations become the majority of our workforce, it is also becoming more important for employees to feel like they are contributing to something rather than just being a faceless number at an organization. By clearly — and regularly — communicating the vision of your department and your organization, employees better understand their role in the big picture. Empowering employees with the knowledge that their contribution is making a difference creates more excited and more invested workers.
Provide continuous development opportunities
Throughout your life, it is very unlikely you went about learning something new using a “one and done” method. Repetitive learning opportunities increase the likelihood of retaining the information, which, in the context of a working environment, makes for a more effective employee. One of the best ways to empower employees through training is through repetitive, habit-forming methods. After all, practice makes perfect, and by continuously practicing the art of learning, you can create an environment that can reshape its functions at the snap of a finger.
Start Training More Confident Workers Today
For more than 30 years, SafetySkills has helped train employees around the world on both workplace and off-the-job hazards, along with numerous HR-compliant topics and valuable soft skills. All our training can be individually assigned so you can create a custom training program that can be completed at any time, from anywhere, on any device as long as the user has access to the internet.
Contact SafetySkills today to learn more about ensuring your employees have access to the training and tools that will allow them to gain more confidence in themselves, in turn making them better employees for you and your entire organization.