Creating a culture of collaboration through employee empowerment can be a challenge for companies because of unclear expectations, lack of feedback, or simply due to the presence of employees that lack the skill or desire to collaborate.
We believe these challenges can be overcome by fostering effective employee empowerment throughout your company and by learning to transform your workplace culture to be a more collaborative one.
What is employee empowerment?
Employee empowerment is giving employees a certain degree of autonomy and responsibility geared towards making decisions regarding their specific organizational tasks.
This process authorizes employees to think, plan, behave, take action, and control decision-making independently, allowing effective decisions to be made at the lower levels of an organization.
Employee empowerment facilitates distinct advantages. Specifically, it validates the unique views employees could have regarding challenges facing the organization at a certain level. Also, empowered teams lead to increased responsiveness, increased productivity, a greater degree of employee commitment to organizational goals, increased accountability, and enhanced communication within the workplace.
There’s evidence that supports the fact that employee empowerment correlates to improved job performance, job satisfaction, increased workplace productivity, and commitment to their workplace and colleagues.
What does it mean to have a collaborative workplace culture?
To collaborate means to share ideas and to effectively communicate among colleagues to accomplish a common goal. Simply put, it’s effective teamwork. If your workplace fosters a culture of collaboration, it would help you maximize the knowledge and capabilities of your employees.
When your employees effectively communicate and collaborate across functional and departmental lines, it can have a positive impact on company performance and progress. Evidence suggests that companies with a collaborative culture are 5.5 times more likely to be high-performing compared to companies that don’t have one.
Set clear expectations
Smart leaders are aware that each employee offers unique strengths and skills to their teams. Don’t be ambiguous or vague about what you expect them to deliver. Define the boundaries within which your employees are free to take action.
Clear expectations will allow your employees to make decisions that align with company goals.
Let your employees take the lead from time to time. Give your employees the assurance that you trust them and support them when they make decisions and take actions that align with your expectations.
Communicate a clear vision for the company
Collaboration can take different forms from company to company, therefore, communicate and constantly reinforce desired behaviors and attributes you envision for a collaborative culture in the workplace.
A clear vision that flows throughout the company, starting from senior leadership, helps employees to never miss the light at the end of the tunnel, allowing them to demonstrate more commitment and move closer to realizing team vision.
Support collaborative transparency for increased productivity and revenue
Team transparency means there’s a clear understanding across teams on who’s working on what, where they are in the process, and how they’re adhering to the deadlines. Educating your employees about the importance of transparency helps managers to keep track of employee progress and give constructive feedback without micromanagement.
Incorporate solutions that help team activities become apparent to others in the company as well. When people across your organization understand which projects are making progress within accepted deadlines, your employees are more likely to stay on track.
Since all teams are on the same page, you might even meet goals sooner than expected.
Empower your employees to sustain a collaborative workplace culture
Employee empowerment not only creates a collaborative workplace culture but can also be used to sustain collaboration across teams and departments. Communicate what you envision and expect from fostering employee empowerment in the workplace.
Bring out the best in your team and celebrate their uniqueness.
Embrace change and leverage tools that promote collaboration. Be patient and reinforce your employees regularly to achieve your vision for a collaborative culture. With a clear vision, clear expectations, and transparency that supports collaborative behavior, you will be able to create a collaborative workplace culture that also supports employee empowerment.