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
Press the button to generate random icebreaker questions.
There are 300 more icebreaker questions at the bottom of the article
How would you describe your job to a five year old?
What season would you be?
What is a weird food you have tried? Would you eat it again?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
What is your favorite season?
Do prefer working from home or the office?
What is your earliest memory of this job?
What is the best thing you have bought so far this year?
What is the earliest book you remember?
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?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
What was the last thing you ate?
What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
What is a weird fact you know?
What is your favorite part of working from home?
Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Which fictional team is the best team of all time?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What do you usually eat for a quick lunch?
What simple food will you never eat?
Show us the weirdest thing you have in the room with you right now.
Would you rather stay at a hotel or an AirBNB?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
Who was your most unique pet?
Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
Is Hugh Grant funny?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
What actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
What is the best super power?
What is your New Years resolution?
You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
What is the best work holiday?
What is the first gift you remember receiving?
Would you rather join Metallica or Backstreet Boys?
What is the best example of a community you have seen?
What is an easy way to do something nice for someone?
Show us your phone background and tell the story behind why you picked this image.
What was your first job?
Pick any band to play at your funeral.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Which superpower would you give to your arch enemy?
What is the most obscure superpower you would want?
What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
What is your standard office lunch?
What is your most used phone app?
What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
Beach holiday or ski trip?
Have you ever been to a funny comedy show?
Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?
What is your favorite song to sing?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Imagine you could teleport anywhere. Where would you go right now?
What is the most unusual job you have heard of?
What was the last thing you ate?
You can visit any fictional time or place. Which would you pick?
What do your family and friends think you do all day?
What movie do you wish you could watch again for the first time?
Show us your most-used emoji.
What was the most unique style or fashion trend you ever embraced?
What movie defined your generation?
You are stranded on a remote desert island. Are you alone or with your worst enemy?
What is your favorite knock-knock joke?
Have you ever told someone Santa is not real?
Do you know how to speak more than one language?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much of a team player are you?
What is your #1 recommendation in this city?
What is your favorite holiday?
What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
What is your favorite mythical creature?
What was the first way you made money?
If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
When did you start liking/hating mushrooms?
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Do you take your PTO all at one time, or another way?
Which show do you remember most from your childhood?
Which beverage goes best with pizza?
Would you want to have a personal assistant follow you around everywhere and do what you asked of them?
Have you ever met your idol?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
What is your hobby?
When you are alone in the car, what volume is the music at?
Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
What is your favorite type of sandwich?

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
Employee recognition guide