Better Leadership Through Employee Empowerment

As we start the New Year, have you considered how you’ll become a better leader for your business?  The answer to this question may depend upon what you believe the definition of leadership to be.  Lao Tsu defined leadership as:

“To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence.  The next best, the people honor and praise.  The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!”

With these words in mind, if you’ve had a good year, you know it’s time for you to give credit to your faithful employees who made it happen.  If the year has lacked, it is time to give encouragement because the success of your business lies delicately in their hands.  As a leader, you can empower your employees to do better through various creative tactics.  in the end, the business will see benefits as well.

Top 3 Tips for Employee Empowerment

  • Involve Them in Volunteering

Being involved in volunteer programs gives people a sense of purpose and self-gratification.  Getting your employees into volunteer projects, working toward a common cause as a whole company, can give them a feeling of empowerment that has benefits within the work place.

Volunteermatch.org explains that company volunteer projects lead to job satisfaction, team building and better communication between employees and upper management.

  • Involve Them in Social Media Efforts

Social media is a tool that many of your employees most likely use outside of the workplace.  Many employees may be experts in this area, but are not engaged in efforts to support the company’s social media footprint.

In December 2011, Unilever launched a campaign putting all their employees as the “Head of Sustainability,” regardless of their actual position within the company.  The Australian Head of Corporate Affairs for the company claimed that employee involvement is the only way to complete the long term goals of their Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, according to Greenbiz.com.  Following this trend, A Brighter Planet 2011 survey on employee engagement said that employers who gave their employees an opportunity to share their ideas were six times more likely to be effective.

Although your initiatives may not involve sustainability, employee engagement has become a topic of conversation within the workplace.  Engaging them in something they are already experts in, social media, can increase the effectiveness of your efforts.  Employees feel empowered and the company sees growth.

  • Involve Them in Financials

Financially speaking, putting together your future projections can be a positive way to boost morale among your employees.  To do this, you want to employ an open-book management strategy, as it has been called by various small business professionals.  This is an excellent way to involve your employees in how their work is affecting the bottom line.  Whether showing your employees projections for the next month, or year, their feeling of involvement will have a positive effect.

When employees know the black and white finances of the company, it gives them a strong, but blunt introduction to how their job progress creates their paycheck.  Employees are compelled to do better work when they can see exactly how their efforts match up with the numbers.

End Results

Using your role as leader, you can empower your employees to make a significant difference within the company.  It works as a positive snowball effect: Your employees feel they are making a difference, in the community and within the company, they feel empowered, morale increases and you see the financial benefits.  You can make this happen by simply taking your leadership role in a more creative direction.

Bio: Jessica Sanders is a guest blogger for HRInsights and writes on topics ranging from social media to telemarketing services. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including background checks for the leading b2b lead generation resource, Resourcenation.com.

 

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