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Employee Engagement and Empowerment

Employee engagement and empowerment have become popular buzzwords throughout the business world, but what do they mean and how can they affect your company? This article will try to clear the mud for you and maybe show you why those two terms can be very important to your organization.

Employee empowerment

Employee empowerment is a term used to express the ways in which staff can make their own decisions without consulting superiors.

These decisions may vary in effect depending on the level of empowerment your organization wishes its employees to have. Employee empowerment usually begins with training, which can transition an entire company toward an empowerment model where employees are trusted to make responsible decisions that benefit the company as a whole. Or, it could merely mean giving employees the ability to make some decisions on their own, but still putting parameters in place to govern those decisions. With greater responsibility, employees feel appreciated and will work for the greater good of your organization. By offering employees choice and participation on a level that actually affects daily production, your employees are more a part of the company, and view themselves as ambassadors and will work to justify your trust with enhanced performance.

Employee engagement

Employee engagement is the concept that when employees have choices, they will act in a way that benefits their company’s interests.

An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work. Less than 30 percent of all employees actually feel engaged in their jobs, according to a 2008 Employee Engagement Report. Highly engaged employees believe they can positively affect the quality of their organization’s products or services. Those engaged employees work with passion and feel a strong connection to their company.

Installing engagement and empowerment

There are several steps that will help to empower and engage your employees. The top five are covered here.
1. Perception of job importance – If your employees feel that their jobs are important, they will feel valued, and you will have employee loyalty.
2. Clear expectations – Clear expectations, basic materials, and equipment must be provided or negative emotions such as boredom may result. Employees will become more focused on getting through the day than about how to help the organization succeed.
3. Regular feedback from superiors – Feedback is the key to giving employees a sense of where they’re going. Many companies are lacking in this department. This feedback has to be positive as well as constructively critical.
4. Use a suggestion box – Allowing your employees a say in what is being done in the work place will strengthen their pride in their job and let them feel as if they have an affect on the company’s operations.
5. Effective communications – Employees want to know what is happening in the workplace. Accepting that employees wish to feel involved in what they are doing is the first step in creating a more productive work environment.

Employee engagement and empowerment represent powerful ways to enhance productivity and profitability. Valued employees are happy employees; and happy employees are what drive business success.

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