Before you decide to open your CEO toolbox and pull out your empowerment device, you first must determine what you are looking for in an employee. Do you want an employee who is capable of problem-solving, creativity, and innovation, or do you want a machine that only does what you say?
No matter how great a product or service is, it can only exist, grow, and succeed with the help of other people: people to create, advertise, market, sell, fix, and implement it. There is no other way around it. However, there is a way to optimize your product or service– to make it better, and that is only possible through empowering employees.
The best way to ensure company success is by empowering employees. Add these “tools” to your CEO toolbox to help empower your team.
One of the most simple, yet impactful ways a CEO can empower their team is by allowing autonomy. The freedom to make choices and determine the course of action is liberating and is chock full of lessons for the growing professional. This form of empowerment not only shows the employee what they are made of, but it also allows them the opportunity to display their strengths to their superiors. This simple act of allowing autonomy also increases employee effort boosts engagement in the office and frees up time for managers to work on other things.
For a business to be successful, employee happiness must be factored in. For example, companies with unhappy employees experience a higher turn-over rate, which in turn leads to more money spent on hiring and training. Bypass that nonsense with a simple idea: ensuring employee happiness. But how can you do that? By engaging, listening and connecting.
CEOs can impact their employees day-to-day routine by merely being a part of it, and making their employees feel like a part of the company as well. Show genuine interest in people’s thoughts, opinions, and circumstances by listening attentively– in efforts to understand and connect, rather than show face.
As a leader, it can feel like a tough balance trying to determine when to step in and when to step back. It can be easy to fall back into a “let me fix this” kind of attitude, however, handling all of your employee’s problems allows them no opportunities to gain experience of their own; and this includes explaining to employees how to fix the problem. Instead, ask questions that help lead employees to a positive solution. The best CEOs and leaders help their employees navigate through tricky waters, rather than steering the boat by themselves.
While it may be seemingly obvious, company culture is a crucial factor in determining employee empowerment, autonomy, motivation and happiness. Gallup research reports that businesses with highly engaged teams outperform their peers by nearly 150 per cent in earnings per share. Zenger Folkman’s study showed that 4 per cent of employees are willing to put in more effort when empowerment is low, whereas 67 per cent are willing to do so when empowerment is high. Another study by the Corporate Leadership Council found that engaged employees are 87 per cent less likely to leave their organization. Studies have shown that employees will turn down more money if it means less empowerment. Therefore, by building a positive corporate culture that appreciates and rewards motivation, problem-solving, communication and teamwork, CEOs can empower their employees while also increasing the likelihood of employee retention and financial success.
CEOs must learn to practice generosity in all aspects from their thoughts to their actions. To truly empower, CEOs must give without expecting anything in return. While the reward is tremendous in time, you can not enable others while thinking about your gain at the same time.
Originally published on TheModernCEO.org