What It Takes to Become a “Best Place to Work”: Employee Empowerment
In our last article we discussed the importance of a family-like culture in our organization, and how it may help your company become an employer of choice. Today we’re going to discuss another trait that has could possibly boost employee satisfaction, and that is the practice of employee empowerment.
Why is Employee Empowerment Important?
You may think that employee empowerment is just another meaningless corporate buzzword, but in fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Research has regularly demonstrated that when employees feel empowered at work, it is associated with stronger job performance, job satisfaction, and commitment to the organization.” While it’s important to remember that there each company is different and there are no right or wrong answers, here are some of the things that has worked for us.
How Does Motorlease Empower Their Employees?
One of the main ways that Motorlease empowers their employees is by eliminating much of the “red tape” that can often be a real hindrance to customer satisfaction. One of the guiding principals at Motorlease is “Whatever it takes to keep you on the road.” It’s a saying that we take very seriously. Employees know that they have the authority make decisions that align with that saying, without having to go through 3 levels of approval. Showing employees that they are entrusted to use their discretion and make decisions without a manager looking over their shoulder demonstrates that they are trusted and valued members of the organization. “Speaking with customers on a regular basis, I’m often in a position where I have to utilize my best judgement to resolve whatever issue is occurring at the time,” said Paula Whitford, Customer Relationship Specialist. “Motorlease gives me the freedom to make those decisions without delay, which in the end, leads to a more satisfied client.”
Aside from showing that we trust their decision making, another way Motorlease empowers employees is by allowing them the opportunity to lead. This can take shape in many forms, whether it be running meetings, leading projects, or spearheading new initiatives, delegating responsibility helps raise an employee’s sense of worth and confidence in their abilities. “One of the ways that we focus on empowerment is by designating ‘Champions’ to lead special initiatives throughout the company,” said Jeff Perkins, Vice President of Operations. “These roles give employees the opportunity to develop project management skills, utilize their creativity, and hone leadership abilities. The program has been incredibly successful, and feedback from past Champions has continually been positive.”
Finally, Motorlease strives to create a culture where employees have the latitude to dream. We want our team thinking creatively and coming up with unique ideas and solutions. To encourage this, we’ve taken great care to foster an environment where employees know that they have the freedom to speak up. “One of the things that I really love about Motorlease is that they’re not scared to change,” said Wendy McLaughlin, Business Development Associate. “As a company that’s been around for over 70 years, it’d be easy for them to fall into the trap of just saying ‘we’ve always done it that way.’ However, that’s not the case here. Management is always willing to listen to suggestions and ideas, and isn’t afraid to try out new things. It’s quite refreshing to work for a company where you know that your ideas can actually help shape the future of the organization.”
When it comes to creating a Best Place to Work, the importance of employee empowerment can’t be stressed enough. Employees who feel empowered are more confident, productive, and ultimately get more satisfaction out of their jobs than those who feel as if they’re just another cog in the machine.
Be sure to check back next week where we’ll conclude this series with a discussion on the importance of employee recognition and team building.