Leaders in any industry know that empowering their staff is essential for boosting productivity. When employees have greater control over their work-life balance, they feel trusted and, in turn, are more loyal to your firm. This requires putting the right technology in place to fire up your team and improve your business.
The benefits of empowering your employees
While it’s true that top companies focus on their customers, it’s equally true that empowered employees greatly contribute to the success of a firm. A 2015 survey from SHRM showed that 70% of employees “ranked being empowered to take action at work when a problem or opportunity arose as an important element of their engagement.” Your staff must feel like part of an engaged team whose voices matter.
Trusting employees with a level of autonomy to solve problems and contribute to essential business goals builds trust and improves productivity. If your team believes they are contributing to the company’s future, that can lead to increased participation and better staff retention. Providing your employees with a measure of control and flexibility will help boost your business into a leading firm.
Ways to empower your employees
There are many ways that you can empower your team. These may vary by industry, but some key elements are useful in a post-pandemic business climate.
In today’s 24/7 world, you can provide your employees flexible work options, such as shifting their days or hours or providing days that they can work remotely. Research shows that employees who work remotely have more job satisfaction, get more work accomplished, and even take fewer days off.
It’s not enough to simply believe your employees are empowered. You must be open to listening to their ideas, suggestions, and concerns. Positive communication requires that you actively seek feedback such as surveys and questionnaires.
It’s also important to set clear goals for your staff and acknowledge their progress. When they have difficulties, open a dialogue by asking employees what they can do better instead of pointing out flaws. This back-and-forth builds trust and reliability.
Support employee development by helping your staff grow their careers within the company. Training, education, and coaching are some options you can offer. Setting clear, attainable work goals for team members with financial rewards can help build loyalty.
As a manager or leader, you should consider which of these options will help staff members to feel more like stakeholders in your company.
Top tech solutions for employee empowerment
To implement these options effectively, you’ll need to set up the right technology to improve your company’s digital workspace. Here are the top tech solutions to help your firm successfully empower employees:
As mentioned, facilitating employee communication is critical for empowerment. One way to help achieve this is by providing staffers with a company smartphone or reimbursing their cell phone plan.
This is a must for any remote employee. But even office-bound team members can benefit from a company phone, particularly if emergencies arise after hours. This can also be a perk to offer prospective hires.
To make this more cost-effective, you should develop a comprehensive cell phone policy covering how employees are expected to use the phone, whether or not personal calls or data can be used, and any other requirements or risks. Include costs, insurance, and what happens for lost, broken, or stolen phones. You may want to limit this option just for remote and key team members.
A virtual whiteboard is a great tool for group team communication whether your team is in the office, in the field, or working remotely. This visual tool can keep all your team members on the same page. It helps you expedite meetings, facilitate brainstorming sessions, and capture processes visually.
You can even store your whiteboard sessions so that all stakeholders can participate in projects that cover new products and services, change in corporate direction, and more. Team members can access this data and add their notes, concerns, vote, etc. This is a worthwhile tool to adapt to all your business needs, such as project management or new human resource policies.
Time tracking tools
If you offer employees flexible work options such as remote workdays, you will need a simple and effective time tracking solution. This software should work effectively to track hours, pay, scheduling, and projects.
One cutting-edge option is mobile time tracking. This app allows remote employees to clock in and out, provides project and time tracking, and helps managers administer schedules. Employees can even sign off remotely.
When deploying time tracking tools, be sure to develop policies that lay out clear requirements for employees utilizing flexible work options. Consult with your human resources team to put together guidelines and expectations to ensure that productivity and communication are optimized.
Virtual training is essential to promote professional development among your workers. Before deploying a training system, invest some time in creating a strategy that best serves the needs of your staff. For example, you may want to start by creating virtual orientation for new hires.
For your existing staff, consider what their learning objectives might be. Some examples include training on new products or systems, professional development such as leadership skills, or trends and changes that impact your industry. You can even use virtual reality to train remote teams like Walmart has instituted to train its sales and retail professionals.
When implementing virtual training, it’s important to get feedback before investing in software or regular sessions. Determining what was successful and what did not work on a test run will save you time and money. Delivering virtual training tailored to your company’s needs benefits remote and in-office workers, boosts staff confidence, and has the power to improve your business.
Empowering employees is necessary to hire, retain, and grow the best talent. Industry leaders in the corporate world know that their staff needs to be heard, seen, and engaged as valuable stakeholders. Creating a plan with the right supporting technology can help make your company an industry leader.
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Author: Jori Hamilton