7 Ways to Empower Your Team to Be More Productive

by Mike O'Neill

Are you struggling to keep your team productive? It seems like a simple task — but it’s never-ending.

You try different strategies for communicating with them, for building a company culture, for making them feel involved with the company’s success. But nothing seems to work for long.

I have decades of experience working with business owners & leaders to help them improve productivity, and I want to highlight a few key strategies that you can use with your team. 

Let’s dive into the first one.

Create a Trust Culture

Without trust, it’s hard to maintain a healthy relationship with anyone. Your relationship with your employees is no different. Trust is essential to make your business successful. Here are some statistics from the consulting firm Great Place to Work that show how establishing trust makes a huge difference.

  • Turnover rates are 50% lower than industry competitors.
  • Stock market returns were reported as two to three times greater than the market average. 
  • It creates more significant levels of employee innovation, engagement, and satisfaction.

Great leaders lead by example. They keep promises, demonstrate honesty, and encourage open communication. Great leaders are also excellent facilitators and are able to help employees resolve issues quickly. 

So, when you establish trust with your employees, you foster more productivity overall for your company, your team, and yourself. 

Give Honest Feedback

As a leader, it’s your job to make sure your employees are performing at their best. Employees will feel empowered when you give them honest feedback on their work and encourage them to do even better. 

Make sure you’re specific and clear when giving feedback, and make sure you also tell them their strengths to help motivate them. One study by Gallup showed that when managers focused on strengths, 67% of employees were wholly engaged in work, while 31%  received feedback that focused on their weaknesses. 

This information tells us that your honest feedback is key for your business and that including the positive with the negative is essential. 

Be Empathetic

Empathy is vital when you are a leader. 91% of CEOs say empathy is related directly to a business’s financial performance, and 93% of employees say the chances are greater that they will stick with an empathetic employer. Empathy is considered a top leadership skill and is something you should practice every day. 

You should always try to put yourself in your employees’ place to help you understand their perspective. This tactic allows you to understand their needs & wants better and strengthens your emotional intelligence. You can use this to ensure your employees feel valued and understood. 

Encourage Open Communication

Communication is another aspect of the work environment that is key for its success. As a leader, your job is to be a great communicator as well as a top-notch listener. 

Leverage your communication skills so you can foster employee empowerment with the encouragement of open dialogue. Employees whose bosses are approachable tend to be more engaged, creating a team environment where employees feel they can challenge one another and share ideas. 

Focus on Your Purpose

Your purpose is central to your company and its message. It should be reflected in everything you do and should be clear in your employees’ work. An online course at Harvard Business School revealed three critical needs that leaders must approach when encouraging employees. They include the following:

  • Orient your team’s beliefs, including beliefs about themselves and the opportunities and challenges they must deal with. 
  • Equip employees with habits and practices to deal with their challenges and opportunities and eventually meet their goals. 
  • Affect employees’ emotions, so their desire to deliver and learn comes from within them. 

If you center your employees’ goals around a specific purpose, you will instill a commitment to their goals and make them feel like their work matters. Giving your employees a strong sense of collective purpose drives employee satisfaction. So, your employees are happier when they feel they have a larger purpose. 

Assign Tasks and Responsibilities

You can’t do it all, and you must understand that. You should trust your team and delegate tasks and responsibilities to help get the work done and achieve the goals. 

When you delegate these things, state your reasons for assigning each one to each employee. Your employees will know how their work is a part of a bigger goal and point out what makes each task and responsibility different from the rest. Your employees will have more enthusiasm for the work they do, and the chances that the job gets done well and gets done on time increase exponentially. 

Support and Encourage Growth Opportunities

Even your best employees can learn more, so encourage chances for further training and education. Growth opportunities fuel employee empowerment. One study shows that employees who get to learn at work say they are:

  • 39% more likely to feel successful and productive
  • 47% less likely to be stressed
  • 21% more likely to feel happy and confident
  • 23% more ready to pursue additional responsibilities. 

Encourage your employees to keep learning and pursue ways to continue to grow. Whatever avenue they choose, supporting their growth will help them feel more valued and competent in their jobs.

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