The workplace can seem like a tug of war between who gets heard from one day to the next. This can seem like it is even more true for a small business where each role has more weight, and delegation is less frequent. The more roles and responsibilities an employee has, the more frequently they will communicate with others to ensure that they are on the same page with every moving part in the business. When talking, it is essential that they communicate concisely, succinctly, and effectively. A great way to assure that an employee can communicate that effectively is to ensure that they are empowered and that they know they have a voice in the organization. Empowering employees’ voices will have staggering ripple effects within your organization.
The first step to empower employees by giving them a voice is giving them a role coupled with responsibility. A role encompasses the behaviors an associate must do to meet an objective. The responsibility is a measurable or deliverable that can prove they can accomplish their role. A conceptual level of compliance with any associate starts when he or she has a clear grasp of their roles and responsibilities. A role has actions associated with it and those actions affect a number, or the responsibilities. This conceptual level of compliance that is being instilled is also known as ownership. Once an employee feels that they have ownership, then they know that they have influence. Whether they are responsible for productivity, efficiency, adherence, attainment, yield, or several other operational metrics or performance indicators, the point of ownership will put them in a position of empowerment.
This will naturally bring any manager to the second step of giving your employees a voice. The most obvious step: Give them a platform to speak. Empower employees by giving them a platform to be heard. A daily morning huddle, hourly check and reviews, mid-day management check and reviews, weekly all-hands meetings, or some platform where they must tell other people in the organization, “This is my role, and these are my responsibilities.” It ties back toward ownership and conceptualizing their role. Allowing your associates to speak will hasten the time it takes for them to find their voice. You will also be surprised by the affinities empowered employees have for your organization when you begin empowering employees by providing them the opportunity to have a voice. You may learn that one associate is keen on safety when they are reporting their metrics. You can then allow them to encourage their role even more by letting them take a stake in leading any safety initiatives that arise throughout the organization. Of course, you will have a safety officer, but if someone has an affinity, then let them own a stake. These natural synergies emerge when you give your associates a voice. Have scheduled daily, weekly, and even monthly events that allow different associates of varying levels within the organization the opportunity to speak loudly and speak proudly.
The third and last step, structure those platforms. These aren’t just ‘get-togethers’ or time away from work. This is a time when plans are made, actuals are verified and communicated, and variance from those plans is discussed. Plan – Actual – Variance must be communicated and communicated well within the organization. This can not be done if the employees do not feel that they have a voice. A great associate wants to be part of the plan, part of actualizing the plan, and a part of any solutions that arise from missing the mark. If you can hit all three of these, then congratulations, you have just empowered your associates. At these meetups, throughout the days, weeks, and months they will speak to everything that you have enabled them to be a part of. Ownership shoots through an organization like lightning. The structure is as simple as:
- Results from yesterday’s operations
- Why did we meet or not meet our goals?
- Plan to meet today’s goals
- Safety tip
If those four areas are spoken to daily, then that can be imprinted on your weekly and monthly speaking platforms, as well.
Continue to empower employees by praising them regularly and support them leading up to, during, and after the times they communicate to others in your organization. This will lead to one voice coming from within your organization that is focused, energized, and owns the vision of your business daily.
At Cogent Analytics, we never stop looking for ways to improve your business and neither should you. So, check out some of our other posts for helpful business information: