What Benefits will Your Organization Realize when it Discovers the Importance of Empowering Employees?
In the modern business world, companies that have ‘the edge’ outperform and increase market share. In today’s leading organizations, this edge is produced by empowering employees to be more responsible for their jobs, take decisions, and control their own destiny at work.
The importance of empowering employees in the workplace should not be underestimated: it breeds individual and group confidence, enabling people to work both more efficiently and more effectively. When people are confident within their work and with their employer, they are more willing to identify problems and suggest ways to improve quantity and quality of output. This culture will jumpstart change, increasing agility in the market and providing the impetus to grow revenues.
Realize the importance of empowering employees with these five benefits
The importance of empowering employees is clear when the benefits of doing so are understood. While there are many areas in which empowerment provides a positive impact, the following five are perhaps the most recognizable.
1. Quality of work produced
When given the autonomy that allows them to make a difference to product or service outcomes, employees will produce higher quality work. The finished product becomes a matter of personal pride, and the benefits for both the customer and the employee will become self-evident. The real benefit to the organization of increasing quality is a respective upturn in customer loyalty, which directly leads to increased revenues.
2. Satisfied employees
Various studies have shown that empowered employees are more satisfied in their work, and less likely to seek employment elsewhere. This decreases employment costs and the need for training of new staff.
Toyota hands over responsibilities of identifying and solving production problems to its shop-floor employees. They are encouraged to solve cause rather than firefight symptoms, and management know that workers are best-positioned to do so. This responsibility runs so deep that any worker can halt the production line.
Toyota conducts an anonymous employee satisfaction survey every two years, and its latest results show that employee satisfaction in all areas is the highest it has ever been at between 69.2% (shop floor) and 73.9% (administrative and engineering).
3. Collaboration grows
With increased confidence, employees are more willing to share information and best practices with others. Honesty and openness increase, and this directly impacts the ability of people to work as part of a team. Participation becomes more active and proactive, and this greater collaboration will in itself feed through to organizational capability to achieve strategic goals.
4. Productivity increases
As confidence and self-esteem grows, and a more quality focused and collaborative approach takes hold, productivity will increase. People who are accountable for their work become owners of process and product, and energy to do the job better follows. Organizations that have discovered the importance of empowering employees find that waste is eliminated, bureaucracy is reduced, and time is spent more efficiently.
5. Employee empowerment reduces costs
Costs will be reduced across the organization:
- An empowered workforce is more satisfied with their job and career path, and staff turnover falls accordingly
- Retention rates rise, training costs fall, and experience remains in-house
- Operations become more efficient and productivity rises
- Solutions to customer complaints are found proactively, and customer loyalty increases. This reduces the costs of marketing and finding new customers
Gallup’s 2013 Employee Engagement survey, which studied nearly 1.4 million employees across 50,000 work units, found that those companies that understand the importance of empowering employees and are most active in their employee engagement practices benefit with:
- Better customer ratings
- 22% better profitability
- 21% more productivity
- Significantly lower staff turnover
- 37% less absenteeism
- 41% fewer quality defects
In our next article, we’ll look at how Google empowers its employees and what lesson can be learned from their best practices.
Contact Forward Focus today, and we’ll help you realize the benefits of empowering your employees.