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Creating a good working environment where employees are happy, motivated and productive, and therefore engaged, has never been more important. The question is, how can an organisation go about empowering its people?

Marshall Goldsmith wrote in his Harvard Business Review blog, “It isn’t possible for a leader to ‘empower’ someone to be accountable and make good decisions. People have to empower themselves.” Whilst I agree with statement, I do believe there are things managers can do to help their people feel more empowered and confident to make the best decisions.

Give a clear definition of strategy

In some organisations, employee turnover can be due to a lack of opportunity or a lack of knowledge on how individuals contribute to the business and its goals. Therefore, it is important for employees to understand the business strategy, where they fit into it, and how they can support it on a day-to-day basis. In fact, Towers Watson’s Global Workforce Study found that 88% of employees that were highly engaged, understood how their job contributed to the organisation achieving its business goals.

Training for management

Training line managers on how to let go and trust their teams is really important. In many cases, micromanagement can disengage employees and lead them to feel undervalued and unmotivated. If people feel trusted and appreciated by their manager, they are more likely to feel secure and valued, and empowered to make decisions.

Make use of 360° reviews

360° reviews provide a great opportunity for managers and teams to give and receive as much feedback as possible and celebrate success. They can also help identify areas for development, helping people to improve their skill set. Encouraging dialogue between a manager and a team member is vital in building confidence and helping people develop.

Develop appropriate KPIs

Setting key performance indicators on employee retention rates for example can help with measuring rates of employee engagement within the organisation. While many businesses set KPIs for profits and customer feedback, often little is done in formally measuring employee morale.

Ultimately, for people to feel empowered to make decisions they need to feel supported and confident. Managers can play a key role in ensuring this happen by regularly giving constructive feedback and praise, whilst also ensuring their team members understand the bigger picture of the organisation. After all, if more people are empowered it can only result in positive results such as improved engagement and productivity.