Empowering your employees can be a challenge. But it’s worth the effort.
As an Assistant Executive Director at a Senior Living facility, part of my duties included auditing i9s and resident contracts. I was responsible to sort and audit the contracts of all 100+ residents. I was also responsible to do an audit of the i9s on file.
The work was the opposite of empowering to me. The level of detail and lack of people interaction was not a good combo. Details are not a strong suit for me and repeated tasks are just plain awful.
The job description gave the impression I would oversee the activities staff, the kitchen staff, and oversee maintenance. People work. While some of my work (let’s say…30% ) fit these categories, the rest didn’t. It was busywork. Some simple tweaks would have made my job much more empowering and beneficial to the facility.
What Does It Mean To Empower An Employee?
The example above would be the exact opposite of empowering an employee. In the 6-months I was there, we completed the audit of the contracts and the i9s, turned several apartments, and helped many people move in.
But the problem was I was too busy messing with the details to feel empowered to use my natural knowledge, skills, and abilities. This limited my ability to contribute and help the organization move forward. Ironically, there was an employee on staff that would have loved the work I did.
While some of you reading this would cringe at the people part, you would love the auditing part. When you truly empower an employee, you give the authority and power that fits their motives and what they naturally are good at doing.
Empower Your Employees By Understanding Their Motivations
If you want to empower your employees, start by understanding why they were interested in the job in the first. What motivated them to accept the job? What are their expectations? These things should be known upfront. When they are not, empowering your employees is a real challenge.
If you truly want to empower an employee, discover what motivates them. If you know what motivates your employees you now can use this information in powerful ways.
Empower Your Employees By Knowing How They Get Work Done
The next step in empowering your employees is understanding how these motives are turned into action. When an employee’s job fits their motives (values), performance improves (source). They will get their work done by leaning into their natural behavioral tendencies. In other words, a detail-oriented employee will do a great job with details because that’s a value to them. This value is then shown by the way the employee does their work.
Unfortunately, when employers miss on understanding this, the less empowered an employee will feel.
Employers that take motivations and behaviors into account have a much more empowered workforce. These employees are more collaborative, satisfied, and productive (source).
Fortunately, it is simple to determine what motivates your employees to action and what actions will likely follow.
Empowering Your Employees Using Motivators And DISC Assessments
Using the Motivators framework, we get seven core values or motivators that everyone has in varying intensities.
- Aesthetic – drive for balance, harmony, and form.
- Economic – drive for economic or practical returns.
- Individualistic – drive to stand out as independent and unique.
- Political – drive to be in control or have influence.
- Altruistic – drive for humanitarian efforts or to help others altruistically.
- Regulatory – drive to establish order, routine and structure.
- Theoretical – drive for knowledge, learning, and understanding.
A Motivators assessment will reveal the intensities of each of these core values. Teams and individuals can then use this information to empower employees to do work that fits them and the organization best.
My experience at the Senior Living facility is a good example of what could have been. Had they known my profile, I likely would have been far more empowered than I was. My profile shows that I have a people-first orientation. I use this orientation to get results following a fairly rigid pattern of thinking and doing.
Additionally, my DISC profile would show I’m a doer that loves to interact and doesn’t like details. My pace is fast and I feel things more often than think things.
These are just a few pieces of information of many that would help an employer. The profile would then serve as a starting point to help empower the employee to perform at their best and to the greatest benefit of the organization.
To empower employees, organizations need to know what motivates their employees and how those motives turn into actions. At Gillette Solutions, we provide a Be that will give clarity in these areas.
If you want to learn more about how to empower your employees, let’s schedule a free Discovery Call and chat about your situation.