In most organizations, the number one reason for employee turnover is: the lack of opportunity to make meaningful contributions.
This is often due to communication breakdown and management issues.
Empowering employees to take a stance and voice their opinion can be easier said than done, especially in larger organizations where they might feel as if they’re just a number.
This age-old conundrum continues to repeat itself in a cyclical manner, and no business is immune from the problem.
While empowering and engaging employees may be a challenge, there are many tools available that make it easier than ever, like social intranet software.
intranet software brings the power of social networking to the business world, allowing users to contribute knowledge and ideas in a streamlined, efficient manner.
It may be a relatively new addition to the modern business landscape, but it’s growing in popularity at an incredible rate.
6 Reasons Why You Should Empower Employees
Before setting out to empower your employees, it’s important to understand why you should do it in the first place.
There are many benefits of having a more empowered staff, and they become clear almost immediately.
Add up the perks, and it’s no wonder why so many of today’s CEOs place importance on helping their employees be heard.
1. Improved Productivity
Improving productivity in the workplace is at the top of any business owner’s list of priorities. (Or at least it should be.)
Employee empowerment comes with an increase in productivity …
… as those who feel they are being heard are more likely to put in 110% than those who do not.
Treat your workers as if they’re an important piece of the puzzle, and you’ll see changes in the way they approach daily tasks.
2. Better Communication
Communication plays a key role in any successful business, regardless of industry.
When communication breakdown occurs, things inevitably begin to fall through the cracks, leading to many logistical problems.
Empowered employees are more likely to communicate properly with their coworkers than those who are stuck within a shell, regardless of what their roles may be.
3. Effective Ideas and Solutions
The cornerstone of any organization in the professional world is the ability to solve problems.
Creating effective ideas and solutions isn’t easy when your employees don’t feel as if their input matters or can be shared freely.
When employee empowerment is in effect, great ideas begin to flow.
4. Great Customer Service
Never overlook the importance of providing the best customer service to your audience.
It’s common for employees who feel stunted in their work to put less effort into providing great customer service. This can have major negative effects on customer retention.
Empower your employees so that they know as much as possible about the products and services your company provides, and issues with customer service should dissipate entirely.
5. Reduced Turnover
Employee turnover is a common problem in any industry, and keeping it at bay isn’t always easy.
Employees who don’t feel comfortable or happy at work will seek other employment.
This happens more frequently than most people would like to admit.
When employees feel empowered, the chances of them leaving are drastically lowered.
6. Employees who are Empowered are Happy, Fulfilled and Engaged
Perhaps most important is that employees who are empowered are happy, fulfilled and engaged. It goes without saying just how beneficial this attitude can be to your business … especially if it is collectively felt among everyone in your organization.
You could offer high salaries, great benefits, and half a year’s vacation, but none of this would make an impact on an employee’s attitude and work ethic. True empowerment comes in the form of inclusion and recognizing their abilities.
11 Benefits of Using Social Intranet Software to Engage and Empower Employees
There are certainly plenty of ways you can increase employee engagement and empowerment.
Sometimes, simple recognition for a job well-done is enough to have a tremendous impact on an employee that might otherwise feel oppressed in some way.
It’s impossible to ignore how much of an effect modern technology has had on today’s business landscape.
Social intranet software brings together all the tools necessary to improve employee empowerment in a single package …
… and the benefits of using it can be seen very soon after implementation.
Social intranet software empowers and engages emloyees in many ways, with the following being just a few examples:
1. A Shared Platform Accelerates Employee Engagement
?Companies that recognize the natural tendency to share information can harness it by offering a platform where employees can voice their opinions and ideas.
Employees are more likely to share ideas and engage in meaningful discussions when they feel valued and their suggestions and feedback are heard.
By establishing a foundation for communicating, sharing, and collaborating, companies can improve employee engagement and interaction.
This, in turn, will strengthen trust and brand loyalty among employees, leading to greater employee retention and satisfaction.
2. Being Heard Leads to Meaningful Contributions
Feeling valued is an essential aspect of employee satisfaction.
In fact, the primary reason that employees leave organizations is a lack of opportunities to make meaningful contributions.
A company that leverages social intranet software is able to provide its employees with a single, unified platform to voice opinions, ideas and feedback.
By making this information available throughout the organization, the business succeeds in strengthening employee engagement and getting thoughtful feedback from all levels of the company.
This can help solve current problems, address new issues that surface, create strategies and solutions to improve processes, develop new products or services, and ultimately, grow the company profitably.
3. Your Knowledge is Unified & Accessible
Making better decisions requires access to knowledge gained from previous experience, current endeavors, and insight from employees.
Having access to all of this knowledge in one centralized location enables employees to make better decisions. It also avoids information silos that happen when information is tied up in notes, emails, or limited to specific employees.
Having a single, convenient knowledge base empowers employees to take action and to improve processes, products, services and customer relationships.
It also helps prevent repetition, as employees no longer have to reinvent the wheel, but instead, have access to the insight of previous employees who have gone through similar experiences.
4. Enables Informed Action and Greater Productivity
By having access to shared information more quickly and in one place, employees learn and adapt faster, thus solving problems faster. They can also collaborate more easily, boosting productivity as well as discovering new methods of solving problems. Companies can also set up collaboration with partners and vendors on activity streams and specific projects.
This all enables comprehensive feedback and insight, while sharing best practices and experiences within a specific context.
Employees benefit from having access to all knowledge expertise on any given topic at one time, leading to deeper insights and greater productivity.
Information in an intranet platform can be shared as needed and private groups can be created for project teams and individual clients.
5. Spurs Innovation
By giving a voice to employees, intranet software and employee engagement software enables them to share their ideas and feedback within a steady flow of conversation, keeping information relevant and up to date. Employees can spur new discussions that lead to new ideas.?
Your company’s growth ultimately depends on the capabilities of your employees and how much they are engaged and enjoy working for you. When they are actively contributing, they are going to feel more like they are making a difference. However, for them to actually make a difference, they need to have access to information they need to make informed decisions. They need to be empowered to shape outcomes of projects.
Social intranet oftware gives you this immediate engagement because the tools are inherently similar to public social networks, which they are already using in their personal lives, probably on a daily basis. There’s little learning curve and almost immediate adoption. Forget about the time you’ll need to spend on training them how to use the tools, because it’s time better spent elsewhere … digging into actual projects, teaching them about the problems your company runs into, and then empowering your employees to start the ideation and innovation process to find solutions.
6. Employee Engagement and Retention?
Employees engage more in organizations where they feel heard and have an avenue to express their ideas, opinions and offer feedback. Employee engagement is linked to empowerment, which in turn, leads to greater employee satisfaction and happiness.
Case Study: Gallup & Hotel Chain Accelerate Engagement and Profits
In an extensive study conducted by Gallup Business Journal in the second quarter of 2013 to solicit employee feedback, Gallup discovered that lack of employee engagement in a global hotel chain, a Gallup client, was integrally tied to lack of adequate information access as well as meaningful engagement.
Company executives were interested in learning best practice methods. They also wanted to tie employee engagement to metrics in order to understand the actual impact of having engaged employees on the profitability of the company.
What did they find?
They discovered that sharing best practices led to increased employee engagement.
Next, the company took a closer look at employee engagement at corporate offices that had declined the study, despite having a corporate employee engagement program.
After interviewing 25 employees in different departments, they discovered that information silos were rampant in the offices with lower performance. While some departments had high performing teams, those that experienced problems, such as information silos, suffered from lack of employee engagement.
Over the course of the next year, Gallup implemented a new employee engagement model for its client that was directly tied to metrics for financial return, customer retention and the workforce such as average daily rate (ADR), revenue per available room (RevPar), and customer satisfaction.
By engaging employees more effectively … by listening, providing a common platform for discussion and collaboration, removing information silos, and challenging the status quo, Gallup succeeded in improving employee engagement significantly from 2010-2011 with a net profit of $100 million.
Both the global hotel chain and Gallup learned that growing engagement and accelerating performance need focus and effort.
Engagement does not happen from a report, but rather it requires regular communication.
While data has its value, business communication must also include employee and customer insight … and use knowledge pulled from best practices.
As Gallup’s client discovered, taking the time to discover what your customers and employees really want and need, results in genuine improvement in the company as a whole and greater satisfaction among employees and customers, and ultimately, greater financial success. ?
7. Ability to Speak & Share Freely
Communication is a central factor in any public social network, and the same can be said for social intranet software.
Intranets allow employees to speak freely with each other in a safe, constructive environment, without having to worry about taking criticism.
Whether someone wants to contribute an idea, voice a question or concern, or even craft content that can be shared with a public audience, social intranet software makes it possible and breaks down any boundaries that might get in the way.
8. Encouragement to Create Content
Content creation is a big part of social networking and a HUGE part of business.
Whether it’s to be used internally or pushed out to an external audience, the more content you can amass within your network, the more your organization stands to gain. And the more compelling the content, the more it teaches and guides, the better off you’ll be.
Social intranet software not only makes creating blogs and wikis easier than ever, but it actually encourages it.
When an employee feels as if their knowledge can serve as a true contribution, he or she is one step closer to feeling empowered.
9. Tools to Get the Job Done
Sometimes, a lack of empowerment comes from not having the right tools at his or her disposal to get the job done.
Social intranet software incorporates many effective business communication tools that can be used on a daily basis, such as group and personal calendars, document and file management, robust messaging and more.
When properly utilized, the tools inherent in social intranet software can take an employee’s productivity level to an entirely new level, thus leading to empowerment.
There’s nothing like feeling as if you’re part of something bigger than yourself. This is a major part of what it’s like to work with others on a team. Social intranet software doesn’t operate properly without teamwork … which leads to solidarity as you and your co-workers address and tackle problems. As one might expect, solidarity can be a huge motivating factor and serves to empower employees, especially as a team becomes more and more tight-knit.
11. Less Supervision
In many cases, supervision from managerial staff is important. Too much supervision, however, can make employees feel as if they’re being controlled and unable to contribute or handle tasks on their own. With intranet software, employees are given the ability to work at their own pace and stick to their own unique style. This takes a great deal of pressure off and allows people to stand on their own two feet.
Most people who are familiar with intranet software are well aware of how powerful it is when increasing productivity in the workplace, but its effects on employee empowerment are sometimes overlooked. Implement it into your organization, and the benefits it has on employee fulfillment and engagement will be difficult to ignore.
Today, there are many intranet software platforms to choose from. Boiling it all down, companies that implement an intranet solution can benefit from increased employee engagement and accelerated productivity.
Increasing employee engagment extends beyond employee engagement surveys and group meetings.
It is essential that employees have a platform for expressing ideas, concerns, insight, and feedback … and most importantly, that they feel valued and purposeful.
Being able to make a meaningful contribution is the most important factor. To retain key talent, companies must offer a positive working environment that enhances collaboration and communication and boosts employee engagement by offering tools to use that are easy to learn and engage with.