Four employees stand in a loose circle in the middle of a store. The two employees in the middle, a man and a woman wearing green aprons, are looking at each other and smiling. The woman is holding an electronic tablet. The other two employees, a woman in a chef's uniform, and a woman facing away from the viewer, are also looking at the two employees in the middle. The store in the background is a large space with freestanding shelves holding boxed and bottled goods.
To ensure your employees are properly empowered, provide them with the tools and resources they need, whether that's the right tech, the right people, or just time to work. — Getty Images/Hispanolistic

Employees who have more control over how they do their work perform better in their jobs and are more committed to the company. And by empowering your employees, you free up your time and attention to focus on other areas of the business. Listed below are six ways you can empower your employees at work.

[Read more: How to Be a Better Boss in 2024]

Delegate tasks

When you delegate important business tasks to your employees, you show them you trust them. You’re allowing that person to take responsibility for their work and manage the timeline and outcomes on their own.

However, delegating tasks only works if you pick the right person for the job. Get to know your employees so you’ll be familiar with their preferences and their strengths and weaknesses. That way, when you have a project to outsource, you’ll know which employee is up for the job.

Be flexible

As you begin delegating more responsibilities to your employees, be flexible about how the work gets done. Give employees the freedom to choose how, where, and when they do their work.

Allow them to structure their day around family obligations so they can create a better work-life balance. Being flexible shows your employees that you trust them and value their lives outside the office.

Of course, flexible working arrangements won’t be an option for every business. But you can still give your employees the autonomy to take ownership of their work and come up with their own solutions to problems. Avoid micromanaging or constantly commenting on their performance.

[Read more: Leadership Skills That Help Employees Thrive]

Give employees the resources they need

Give your employees the tools and resources they need to succeed at work, whether it’s office supplies, the right software, or flexible work arrangements. For example, leveraging the right software can save your employees hours of time and make it easier for teams to collaborate.

You should also give employees opportunities to learn new skills and find new ways to grow in their careers. For example, they could learn more about another department they have an interest in or attend an industry conference.

Start checking in regularly with your employees and ask them for their perspective on projects and what’s going on at the company.

Show appreciation

Find ways to show your employees that you appreciate their hard work. Employee recognition can be formal or informal, depending on the situation. For example, it can be as simple as publicly recognizing an employee for successfully leading a meeting or completing a project early.

You can also send personal cards to acknowledge an employee’s work anniversary or promotion. And you may want to offer a financial reward or time off to recognize big accomplishments.

Show employees their work is meaningful

According to McKinsey, 70% of employees said their sense of purpose is defined by their work. If your employees feel like their work is meaningful, they’ll be more productive, healthier, and more dedicated to the company.

To show employees their work has purpose, you have to start by defining the business’ higher purpose and contributions. From there, you can show your employees how the work they do contributes to the higher purpose of the organization.

[Read more: 4 Ways To Support Managers More Effectively]

Encourage open communication

Encouraging open communication is a key part of empowering your employees. Your employees must feel like they can share their ideas and feedback openly at work. When employees are encouraged to speak up, this creates more diversity in the workplace and helps everyone feel included.

Start checking in regularly with your employees and ask them for their perspective on projects and what’s going on at the company. When you ask for feedback, you’re showing employees that you value their opinions and recognize that you don’t have all the answers.

But most importantly, show your employees that you care about them on a personal level as well. When you get to know your staff, it breaks down many of the barriers that prevent them from being honest with you.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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