Employee Satisfaction through Empowered Employees:
Five Ways to Give Your People the Power to Make Themselves Happy at Work.
Employee satisfaction can take a lot of different forms.
It can also take a load off your shoulders.
But taking responsibility, engaging with the job at hand and moving on every day to something newer and brighter and better is part of YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
That said, all of us sometimes have to deal with dinosaur management environments – and a few dinosaurs, too. We can’t always change things as fast as we’d like, but we can present a better, smarter and more profitable business model.
Employee satisfaction is front and center in that business model.
Satisfied employees are empowered, autonomous and able to take full responsibility for their work. Their development and performance are also key to that satisfaction. They’re working in a continual process of improving themselves. They’ll make their own decisions, argue for their efficacy and they’ll do it from early in the morning until late at night. Accountability is everything – and they know it.
In addition, you get better customer results and more productivity while relying on the true leaders that you’re helping to create. And leaders need to actually feel the power.
These are the five things you can do to increase employee satisfaction by building an autonomous and self-directed workforce – and while watching your turn-over numbers drop. Empower everyone, and make sure management gets a good dose of the same.
1) Insist upon Goals
Not your goals. Their Goals. Make your employees write their own goals up and submit them. Work with them, or instruct management to work with employees, to understand their priorities and to coordinate them with the larger organization’s goals. But making your people a part of the organization makes them accountable within it.
2) Self-Directed Development and Learning
Same thing. Insist on employee-drafted plans for education and training. You can give them outlines, but not specific courses or plans. Let them base what they’re going to do on their own learning styles, study habits and success rates. Make sure the organization is willing to put budget or hours or space and if limits need to be in place, put them there. Again, make sure managers understand and have a voice in reviewing and directing.
3) Employee Auto-Evaluation
Lots of employees know that they are better qualified to evaluate themselves than anyone else – so let them do it. Employee satisfaction comes from having true responsibility for success, achievement and progress. Strengths and weaknesses and areas for improvement never stand out like they do when you’re assessing yourself. And many performance indicators will come as an enlightening surprise to management.
4) Now Let Employees Evaluate Management
Time to grow some backbone managers. Nothing is more satisfying to employees than righting true wrongs. And both parties need to see to the success of the other. Be sure that the dialogue is safe, secure and as anonymous as it needs to be. Truly valuable but unpopular managers may be costing you more than they’re contributing. And employee satisfaction means a regular fair review of management. Sorry.
Transparency can mean continual feedback moving in both (or all) directions simultaneously. That doesn’t need to be a buzz-saw environment of mutual destruction. Evaluating performance at every level will ultimately increase accountability and autonomy – but it does wonders for employee satisfaction too. Set it up. Get employees to see how and why others are perceiving their own activities this way and make sure that they can have an affect on others too.
Ultimately a team with a high level of employee satisfaction is going to be a far more competitive and cost-efficient team. Empowering more people in your organization doesn’t mean giving up power, it means working in a smarter, more focused and professional atmosphere and the rewards are everyone’s to share and celebrate.