How small businesses can empower employees

You can empower your employees through communication, technology tools, data results and proper example. 

Allow employees to make their own decisions.

Employees are your company’s representatives. The actions performed by your workers will demonstrate the value of your small business to your customers.

You want employees who are motivated to exceed customer expectations. A security dealer should create a company that welcomes staff communications, provides its workers proper tools and empowers employees to succeed.

Begin at the hiring stage
To create an atmosphere of empowerment, you want to begin with the right people. Some employees aren’t interested in contributing or doing anything more than earning their paycheck.

A U.S. Small Business Administration article suggested that when searching for candidates an employer should be seeking out employees who have the same values as the business. An employee who is eager to learn and adapt is great, but it is important their core beliefs are in line with what the company is trying to accomplish. During the interview process try to locate candidates who ask questions and offer their opinion.

Job applicants who express interest in taking on responsibility and going above and beyond are prime candidates for empowerment.

“Your employees are the ones in the field with customers.”

Create open communication
Efficiency expert Frank Gilbreth discovered a remarkable fact when studying American industry in the 1920’s: Workers classified as lazy were more likely to figure out the simplest method for performing tasks than the business’s most praised employees. In Popular Science magazine, Gilbreth discussed how employees are truly innovative at improving processes, but hide new ideas due to poor communication.

Now, it is not suggested you hire lazy employees, but rather you encourage worker innovation. Your employees are the ones in the field with customers. While performing service calls and installations, they may stumble upon a way to improve speed or techniques that will lead to faster service and happier clients.

These employees may not share their discoveries because they do not feel their opinion would be welcome or they feel a company’s resistance to change. Several steps can be taken to create an atmosphere of open communication. Establish regular check-ins and a system for submitting suggestions and questions. You should really weigh each employee idea. Are they over simplifying or have they discovered a new and efficient way to do their job?

Let them make decisions and see results
When you empower an employee to make his or her own decisions, you should also be able to show them the effects of their choices.

If an employee decides to implement a new practice into his or her daily routine, its goal should be to improve processes or customer satisfaction. Do you have the tools in place to capture the results of changes? A security dealer software program can track daily activities and measure results. A properly implemented software system collects profit numbers, work order times, customer feedback and other data to compare and contrast old and new ideas.

Inc. stated employees need timely results that reward self improvement and makes them aware of the consequences of their mistakes. Hard numbers provided by data systems can show them where they need to improve or can be the backbone for specific praise.

Give them tools for success
Software data is not just a tool to give managers supervision, it can provide employees with the information they need to resolve issues on their own.

Demand Media suggested empowered employees lead to better customer service. You want your workers and staff members to be able to perform first contact resolution. Whomever the customer reaches out to with a question or concern should be able to resolve the issue without passing it off to another person.

Phone representatives should have access to all relevant customer data.

Phone representatives should have access to all relevant customer data.

Using an integrated data system means information can be accessed by anyone who needs it. There should be no need to seek out a different department as the customer’s history, available products and service schedules are available to all software users. You should find a software partner who provides for mobile access, so service agents in the field are just as informed as the people in your office.

Lead by example
Empowered employees shouldn’t feel leadership breathing down their neck. You need strategies for managing your office that don’t involve hand holding or constant supervision – and technology can help.

Data visibility means you can see the results of process changes and employee decisions without having to physically follow them around. An open communication system that allows for messaging through phone, mobile devices and in-person conversations, will make it more likely for employees to approach you when then have an issue, rather than forcing you to seek them out.

One of the best strategies is to lead by example. If you wish to implement new strategies and tools, you can encourage employee participation by utilizing them yourself. If you want employees to communicate more, start by contacting them. You can empower employees by showing them decision making, adaptation and customer service are values practiced by everyone in your business.

Is This You?

  • You've outgrown your software!
  • Billing & Collections is too time-consuming!
  • You have too many slow pay accounts
  • You need to automate your processes!
  • You enter the same data multiple times!