Empowerment as a management concept has been around for decades but it has never been as important as today. With the speed of everything in business today, organizations need to muster all its talent to innovate, outsmart competition, and to build collaborative teams that can work as fast as the industry is moving. How can you apply the principles behind people empowerment?
Hire the right people
It all starts with hiring the right people. Empowerment draws its strength from the individual talent – experience, ability, inclination to learn, and preparedness to work in a team. These qualities must be considered carefully by HR to make sure that its human capital has what it takes to take on the challenges at work.
The idea of empowerment depends on people that hit the ground running. They are intrinsically motivated, they understand the goals of the organization, and they are self-starters. Getting the right people is at the core of effective empowerment. Even if the organization is leaning towards it, without the right people, it will all come crashing down.
Unleash your talent
When you have the right people, the next step is for managers to get out of the way. This is how you unleash people. This is how you empower them. Allow them to learn as much as they can at work, and give them space to commit mistakes. Give them all the encouragement and support they need. Be clear about accountabilities and then never leave them out to dry when things go wrong.
Empowering people can be costly at first as you push people to their limits and let them learn from things they did right – and wrong.
This builds up confidence, allowing your talent to mature in their roles making them more productive at work.
Build up the culture
Empowering people is not just about people management. It is also about building a conducive culture inside the organization. This can mean opening up communication lines, allowing your talent to give feedback to the management as often as they need to. This can help streamline the communication process, which means things can be acted upon faster.
Building the culture takes time and a lot of intentional action from the management but it makes the organization more equipped to work closely with its workforce, allowing top talents to shine and contribute to the business best.
As your workforce become empowered, enrich their knowledge with continuous learning. Train them, allow them to learn new skills, expose them to another area in the business they are interested in. Additional training compliments their already heightened motivation to work. By equipping them you are sending out the message that they are valuable to the company, that their value is continually increasing, and that their professional horizon is widened significantly.
People empowerment is a means to strengthen the business. It sustains the success of an organization, allowing itself to fuel initial success towards the next waypoint. If you want to grow and retain good people, you need to embrace empowerment like a default part of your overall business strategy.