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Your employees are one of the most important assets that your company has. They can improve morale in the workplace, inspire others to work harder and convince customers to be loyal to your brand. However, to get the most from your people, you have to empower them to make some decisions or take some actions without anyone’s approval. How can a company do this?
Have Clear Guidelines in Place
The easiest way to empower your employees is to have some leeway in the decision making process. For instance, you may say that a customer service employee can give a 10 percent discount on a floor model product or approve refunds up to $20. This allows that employee to cater to the needs of the customer without living in fear of a lecture from management or fear of losing his or her job.
Train Your Employees Well
Your employees are apt to make better decisions when they know what the brand stands for. For instance, if the company prides itself on getting products to customers within 24 hours of receiving an order, that should be an employee’s top priority. Therefore, employees should be given the power needed to make decisions that will help achieve that goal.
Have a Process for Learning and Growing From Mistakes
It is a given that an employee will make a mistake every so often. However, it is most important that he or she is allowed to learn and grow from that mistake. This ensures that your people aren’t paralyzed by fear the next time that they are faced with a decision to make on their own.
It may be a good idea to have weekly or monthly meetings with employees either individually or in groups to talk about any issues that management has seen since the last meeting. This gives your people a chance to explain their actions and the thought process behind it.
It also provides real case studies that managers and employees alike can analyze to determine how a situation can be better handled in the future. If any policies need to be changed or eliminated, both managers and employees can work together to create a working environment that meets the needs of the company and the needs of the workers.
Give Them Autonomy Over Their Jobs
No one gets hired for a position because they aren’t qualified for it or because the company doesn’t have confidence in that person’s abilities. Therefore, the person who is hired to do a job should have autonomy over how the job is done. For instance, if someone is hired to be a store manager, the corporate office should give that person leeway to run the store as if it is his or her own. When a person is allowed to do a job his or her way, it generally leads to greater job satisfaction and greater success for the employee and the company.