Books On How To Empower Employees

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There is a lot of evidence that empowering employees is directly linked with increased productivity. Not only that job satisfaction and loyalty to the company are also improved.

One thing is for sure, the success of your company is directly linked with the success of your employees. When your employees are successful, so is your company.

So, let’s get down to basics, shall we? What do we exactly mean when we say empowering employees?

Who Are Empowered Employees?

In the Empowerment-at-Work website, we define the concept of empowering employees as follows:

“Empowerment is a process to improve organization effectiveness by increasing the capacity and capabilities of its workforce at all levels to make better decisions, be more responsive, take more responsibility, assume leadership, and become more committed to the achievement of organization goals”

Every Empowered Workforce Has These Four Core Components

The components that make up a given empowered workforce are:

  • Training
  • Personal Growth
  • Information
  • Control

By introducing a culture of empowerment into an organization, its employees feel more ownership of their areas of responsibility and strive to achieve higher levels of results. Such a culture is achieved through leadership actions.

Leadership actions and strategies are also crucial when it comes to creating a culture of empowerment. Every member of your organization must be led towards embracing their roles, and this is where most companies fail to sustain long lasting relationships with their employees.

As such, it is important that every member of your organization be led – you need to be aware of the your leadership style so you do not alienate anyone with it.

As the old saying goes, “no man is an island”, and that is no less true for organizations. If a single member of your organization is not receiving the support he or she requires – the whole organization suffers.

As a leader, you need to welcome any comments about your leadership style – do not think you are required to have all the answers, or that you are only supposed to be the boss.

On the contrary, by allowing other members of the organization to share their opinions and feedback, you will have a much clearer idea of what is going on, thus allowing you to correct any issues that might arise.

These are some of the things that should be taken into account, when implementing an empowerment strategy for your organization:

Keep The Focus on the Employee

Creating an untrustworthy environment can ruin all your efforts in terms of employee empowerment and morale. When you say one thing to your employees, and then do another, you are going to have a hard time achieving your true goals with your employees.

An easy way to do this is to lay out all your actions – actions that will be taken for the next quarter, for example.

The actions are given to everyone, and the most important part is that they are agreed upon by the team.

Giving the team the chance to create those actions enables them to feel like they have a say in how the organization is run, and that their ideas matter.

Never, Ever Lose Focus

However, it is your job to keep the focus – to ensure that everyone is still on track. If you do not keep the team focused, you risk losing them, fast.

By keeping the team focused, you preserve their enthusiasm and energy. Those are two of the most important components of creating a positive and empowering environment, which will ultimately result in the success of your organization.

Listen To What Your Employees Have To Say

It is important to listen to your employees. Not only does listening to them keep the team cohesive, but it also enables you to learn a lot from them, and that knowledge will likely help you achieve your goals.

Keep An Eye On The Small and Not-So-Small Things

The more empowered your employees feel, the more likely they will be to move their ways up the corporate ladder.

It is therefore important to pay attention to those small things – it does not take much to notice when one of your employees has been advanced in one of his or her responsibilities at work.

An excellent example of this is if one of your employees is running a project from beginning to the end, and his or her deliverables are always dazzling. If this happens often enough, you should keep an eye on this employee as he or she very well could be a high-potential employee.

If You Don’t Like What You See, Speak Up – Be Honest

You should never, ever be afraid to speak up if you see something going wrong.

Empowering achievements can be made a whole lot easier if everyone is rowing in the similar direction. Since you are the one in charge of the ship, you should be aware of how it is going and if unanticipated changes occur.

Follow This List And You Can’t Go Wrong

A good way to start is to set up the rules of the game. Sure, they may seem elementary, but you never know where people are coming from and how they interpret simple things.

In my experience, just by having the rules in place people feel more empowered, rules create boundaries that can be very soothing. Do not mistake me for an authoritarian, I’m not, but I know from personal experience that boundaries empower and encourage creativity and innovation.

There will be times when the rules will need to be broken, but that’s another topic to be discussed on another occasion. So, if you haven’t done so already, here are the rules that you should make sure are clear to every single member of your organization and are abiding by them yourself:

Think Small – Be Respectful

Do not build walls between you and your employees. It is important that you build relationships with your employees. Truly empowering employees is not a one-time standalone thing, it takes time, it takes effort and it will take patience.

You need to treat your employees like your friends. Even though you are their boss, you still need to be considerate and respectful. Remember, at the end of the day, you are the one who is in charge.

Remember, no man is an island. Your accomplishments are always a team effort.

Don’t Waste Your Time with Smoke and Mirrors

When you empower your employees, you help them get the things they want out of life by understanding them and making the necessary changes. You show that you value them and their opinion. You provide them with what they need in order to succeed in their work.

When all employees of a given company are empowered, it helps the company to operate more smoothly.

Empowering code-monkeys requires you to give them the opportunities to grow, challenge them and help them to manage demanding self-paced tasks.

Manage Your Expectations

As I said in the previous tip, you should never expect your employees to do something besides what they have been empowered to do.

Providing them with the right opportunities, coaching them along the way, helping them figure out new ways to approach situations, showing them that you care – these are a few ways for you to empower your employees.

In order for you to do these things you should have a clear understanding of what they need to do. The few things that I have been writing about in this book are great ways for you to empower your employees to do great things.

Remember though, empowering your employees does not mean paying less attention to them, on the contrary, it means pay attention to them even more.

Quitter by Jon Acuff

This product was recommended by Andrew Bushard from Free Press Media Press Inc.

Although this book encourages people to pursue their dream job, in the process, it encourages employees to make the best of their jobs while they are there, leveraging everything they can in their day jobs, which benefits them in the short term and in the long term.

Influence by Robert Cialdini

This product was recommended by Robert Perez from Leadership Brown Bag

Cialdini’s research-backed book provides insights into human behavior and the role of obligation in influence. Any employee can benefit from learning the inner-workings of the human psyche to improve their techniques and professional careers.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

This product was recommended by Robert Perez from Leadership Brown Bag

Creating good habits spills over to all facets of life. Duhigg explains why we need good habits, and how to break bad ones to improve our personal and professional lives. It’s an easy read, and the concepts are simple to follow.. Be prepared to put in some work to change yourself, though.

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink

This product was recommended by Robert Perez from Leadership Brown Bag

Ex-navy seals talk about professionalism and ownership in the workplace. All employees have some semblance of ownership at work and life, but the decision to employ that ownership is personal. All employees can benefit from personal accountability and an ever-learning and changing attitude to improve themselves.

Empowering Employees by Kenneth L. Murrell

This product was recommended by Samantha Moss from Romantific

This book is about how having responsibilities affects employees. It also discussed why employee empowerment is important in employee motivation. This book will also be of great help to managers who are planning to create a workplace where there is shared knowledge and mutual benefits.

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Gary Chapman

This product was recommended by Vince Massara from The PodCast Digest

A must-read and stable book for all managers, bosses, and supervisors who looking for empowering their employees and teams at the workplace. The 5 languages of Appreciation offers great ideas and practical tips to apply at the workplace, those tips focusing on the importance of showing appreciation and respect when dealing with employees. Moreover, it illustrates the remarkable results of using appreciation in different ways in order to encourage them to be more productive and practical. All of that will lead to consistent business growth and more job satisfaction.

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

This product was recommended by Gerardo Juarez from Sheep Buy Inc

One of the best books that describe and deliver inspiring ideas for leaders to empower others, particularly the employees and the teams they work with. These ideas are supported by many examples that illustrate in a practical way how can leaders deal with employees not just on daily basis but also, explain in details how to empower them even in tough situations that might afflict them. This book isn’t just for leaders or business owners, employees also can benefit from the inspiring tips within its pages.

To Lead is To Empower by Shar McBee

This product was recommended by Jeremy Ong from HUSTLR

Empowering employees has different aspects and ways, and this book explains to you how to use these aspects to empower your employees and, create a better workplace as well. The book contains outlined principles, basic ideas, and tips to assist leaders and business owners to make their employees feel the sense of belonging to the workplace and teach you as a business owner how to shift your perspective when dealing with employees from getting to giving. The author stresses on this book that once you apply these tactics day to day, employees will be more empowered and loyal for the company/business, which will lead to a more thriving business.

Linchpin by Seth Godin

This product was recommended by Reuben Yonatan from GetVoIP

As an employer, I value employees who have found ways to become so vital that certain aspects of the business would cease to run without them. This book teaches employees how to become indispensable; how to be the building block of any organization. Such employees last, and they fast track their journey up the career ladder.

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