The Seacoast Bank Note

4 Tips for Empowering Your Employees

Posted by Seacoast Bank on Jul 28, 2016 11:10:35 AM
It's important for Florida business owners to not only focus on their consumers, but their employees as well. The people who keep your operation going need to remain excited about the company's mission to provide excellent service and products to your customers. Empowering your team is the best way to create a lucreative cycle of commerce, while building a positive atmoshpere. Try encouraging the following methods among your team.

1. Explore Ideas Collectively

Ditch the cubicle every once in a while to share ideas.

If you stifle your employees' creativity, you'll wind up with an office occupied exclusively by mindless drones. To empower employees, invite them to share their thoughts and ideas in an open forum. Encourage conversations and suggestions so employees understand that their perspectives matter.

Writing for Inc magazine, entrepreneur Kevin Daum recommends creating an infrastructure for idea-sharing. For instance, you might reserve an hour every Friday morning for a round table discussion with your team. Make it clear that all members can freely voice their ideas during that session.

2. Recognize Employees' Comfort Levels

Overworking an employee can make him or her feel undervalued and disrespected.

In his Forbes article on transformational leadership, startup expert Drew Hendricks stresses the importance of pushing employees to reach new goals and gain more skills. However, he also cautions that it's possible to push employees too far.

If you understand your employees' comfort zones, you can respect them. Don't pile more work on their desks than they can reasonably manage and avoid asking them to confront tasks for which they're not ready.

3. Give Your Personal Attention

As a leader, it's easy to get caught up in the minutiae of business operations. You're adjusting the product line, applying for small business loans, investigating new markets, and processing payroll. However, if you want to empower your employees, you must connect with them on a personal level.

This could be as simple as asking about Bob's wife and kids or inquiring about Ann's new puppy. Show you're invested in their lives. SBA contributor Sarah Field also recommends expressing gratitude. If you can spare a few minutes to write a heartfelt thank-you note for an employee's stellar job performance, you'll garner significant loyalty.

4. Encourage Decision-Making

When employees have to run every question up the chain of command, they don't feel trusted. To empower them, let them make some decisions on their own. Encourage them to think through difficult problems and to exercise creativity in solving them. In addition to feeling trusted, they will become better decision-makers in the process.

You can also improve empowerment by loosening up the rules. Let employees personalize their work spaces and handle customer interactions in their own way. In addition to creating happier employees, you might see a rise in profits, as well.

Empowering employees is an excellent way to transform your business into a productive, satisfying environment. To learn about other ways to increase profits and protect your business's bottom line, contact us to discuss small business loans, lines of credit, and other financial solutions.

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