Now more than ever, we understand and appreciate the importance of employee empowerment.
The pandemic decentralized the workplace, essentially scattering the power structure from headquarters and regional hubs to dozens and hundreds of home offices across the country. Meanwhile, the customers weren’t waiting around for approvals or double-checking via Zoom. In order to maintain customer satisfaction and keep business moving forward — especially in a challenging economy — businesses were forced to entrust more responsibility and decision-making to their frontline employees.
But this is a good thing. Actually, it’s a great thing.
Even before the pandemic, it was increasingly clear that, in order improve business processes, management needed to tap into the expertise of the people who know the best way to do their jobs — the frontline employees who do them daily. And now, with widespread staffing shortages and talent acquisition and retention at a premium, companies must do everything in their power to make employees at every level feel like a valued part of the operation.
One tried and true method of empowering employees is an employee involvement program. Hearing and heeding the employees ideas not only ensures that the employees feel appreciated, but it can also benefit the company in terms of saving money, time, and trouble. For instance, factory workers and supervisors are often quick to spot inefficiencies on the line and unnecessary waste in process and materials. (The key is to actually act on their ideas as often as possible — if an employee realizes that their idea is not implemented, even if they are otherwise rewarded, morale is bound to suffer.)
And as we suggested earlier, employee empowerment does more than just profit the company and please the employee. Perhaps even more importantly, it leads to improved customer satisfaction. An empowered employee, who has the authority and confidence to make on-the-spot decisions, expedites the customer interaction and gives the consumer faith that their needs are being met in timely, efficient, and agreeable manner. And that can only improve their perception of your company.