What Employee Empowerment Is And Why You Need It

Discover how to empower your employees to bring their best selves to work each day.

July 26, 2022
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How would you describe your job to a five year old?
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Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
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Do prefer working from home or the office?
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If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
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What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
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Were the Spice Girls a good team?
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Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
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Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
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Is Hugh Grant funny?
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Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
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What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
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What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
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What is your favorite season?
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Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
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Which song could you listen to over and over again?
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Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
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Research shows that empowered employees enjoy their jobs more, stick around for longer, and have a bigger impact on your organization’s bottom line.

Read on to get to grips with how to empower your employees to bring their best selves to work each day.

What is meant by employee empowerment?

An empowered employee is free to implement their own ideas and be accountable for them. They’re given the autonomy to make judgment calls about their work rather than run every little thing past their line manager. And they’re encouraged to take control of their career growth and personal development. 

In short, staff empowerment is the polar opposite of micromanagement. And it can bring a whole host of benefits to your business.

Why is employee empowerment important?

According to a meta-analysis of research into work empowerment, empowered employees:

  • Are more satisfied by their jobs.
  • Are more committed to their organization.
  • Have higher “task and contextual performance”.
  • Suffer from less workplace stress.
  • Don’t think about leaving their job as much as unempowered staff.

Give your staff autonomy and you’ll reap the benefits of a happy and healthy workforce. In fact, studies have shown that job autonomy has a significant impact on both job satisfaction and performance.

Want a more effective team that enjoys their work and sticks around for longer? Focus on empowerment in the workplace.

Five simple ways to empower your employees

Enjoy the benefits of employee empowerment in your workplace by making these simple changes:

Make sure your people are heard

Employees who feel their voice is heard are almost five times more likely to feel empowered at work.

Giving your staff ample opportunity to provide you with honest feedback through simple Flows that help your managers get meaningful feedback from their reports (and your employees to give useful feedback to their managers) is therefore a simple way to empower them.

Try Assembly to schedule one-to-one meetings in just a few clicks.

Of course, you’ve got to take action on that feedback for your teammates to feel like they really have a voice in your organization. Adapting your corporate policies and company culture to reflect the needs and wants of your people is a surefire way to empower your employees. 

Recognize your team

To keep your employees empowered, it’s important to recognize their winning ideas – and praise their initiative after their less successful ones.

Worried that telling an employee they’ve done a good job might come across as patronizing? Don’t be: 40% of employed Americans say they'd put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often. And yet 65% of employees haven’t received any form of recognition for good work in the last year.

So, be sure to bake regular recognition into your company culture to keep your employees empowered. The most meaningful feedback is honest, authentic, tailored to how the individual likes to receive recognition, and comes from their line manager. Tick all these boxes by following our simple employee recognition template – as well as celebrating your teammates with weekly wins

Try Assembly to make recognizing your employees as easy as possible.

Set your people up for success

For an employee to truly be autonomous, they need to feel like they're in control of their career trajectory.

Part of empowering your employees is therefore providing them with the opportunities to develop the skills they’re interested in learning, take on the responsibilities they’re interested in, and grow into the role they want to be the next step on their career journey

So, make sure managers are regularly touching on your staff’s career trajectory in their one-to-one meetings

Try Assembly to schedule one-to-one meetings in just a few clicks.

Having an open dialogue with each of your team members about their career growth and how they feel that’s developing is one of the most effective things you can do to keep your staff empowered, engaged in their work, and wanting to stick around.

So, don’t make the mistake of leaving a candid discussion of your reports’ career aspirations until their annual performance review. Instead, invite them to let you know how they’d like to grow their career at least once a quarter and then do what you can to make that happen for them.

Help them find meaningful work

People crave a sense of purpose and meaning from their work. Your employees won’t feel empowered unless they feel like what they’re doing connects to one of their core values or is putting their unique talents to use.

But helping your employees find meaning in their work can be tricky. Even if they enjoy the tasks they do on a day-to-day basis, a teammate might not be engaged with your organization’s mission or feel like they’re getting to exercise their best skills.

Employee engagement and job satisfaction surveys can help give you an idea of how meaningful your employees are finding their work. Then managers can dig deeper into this during one-to-ones and help make sure their reports are given plenty of opportunities to do work that’s meaningful to them.

Empower your line managers

For an employee empowerment strategy to work, your managers are going to need to be comfortable giving their reports autonomy. A single micromanager can undo all the hard work your organization has put into empowering a team.

So, be sure to empower your managers with all the training and resources they’ll need to lead teammates that you encourage to take the initiative and implement their own ideas.

Book a demo of Assembly to provide managers with all the tools they need to manage an empowered team.  

Be sure to check in with your managers regularly to make sure they’ve got all the support they need to give their team autonomy and feel confident handling any issues within their team without affecting how empowered their reports feel.

The bottom line

Empowering your employees can have a huge impact on their productivity, engagement, and job satisfaction. Stick to the tips we’ve laid out in this article to reap the benefits of a team that’s comfortable with coming up with their own ideas of how to improve your organization.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

Explore Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at support@joinassembly.com.

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered