Over the last decade or so, Employee Engagement has been one of the key areas of focus for HR departments. Surveys have been run, programs initiated to improve it and the impacts of engagement have been measured.
I do think engagement is important, if your teams are not engaged then yes, you business, project or initiative is going to struggle.
But to me, more important than engagement is empowerment.
So what’s the difference.
Engagement is about employees being committed to their organization’s goals and values and that they are motivated to contribute to organizational success.
Empowerment is about providing your employees with the resources, authority, opportunity, and motivation to do their work.
So engagement is about getting people to want to be involved, whereas empowerment is about making sure that they can contribute and have a positive impact.
When you have engagement without empowerment, then whilst your teams will start off as engaged they will soon become frustrated and demotivated that they can’t contribute, and then they will subsequently become disengaged.
Empowerment has always been important because without it, your teams cannot contribute, but in a remote working/virtual working situation it becomes even more critical.
One of the benefits of working in an office is that it’s an environment that is conducive to productivity, usually, it’s ergonomically designed, it has the necessary space and resources, and probably most importantly is has high-speed reliable internet.
These things are monitored and if anything that crops up that impacts them they get addressed.
Now that more of your employees are working from home, which can be great, I know that I have appreciated it and have benefited from it, it can be a challenge.
Do they have an environment that is conducive to work.
Do they have the tools and resources they need to do the work.
Do they have clarity of the goals and objectives and what is expected of them.
Do they have the decision-making authority and approvals to adjust their work if they encounter challenges that block them.
Do they have sufficient technical tools e.g. internet speed, conferencing tools, chat, and communication capability to foster collaboration and cooperation between staff and teams?
Without these things, your teams will not be empowered or feel empowered and that will negatively impact their ability to contribute and see progress, which ultimately reduces performance and engagement.
In today’s new world we need to be checking for, and measuring employee empowerment and implementing programs to ensure that is is addressed.
Empowered employees are productive employees.
Engagement without empowerment is about as much use as a chocolate teapot.
If you want to know more, or need help improving empowerment, click the link to arrange a call to see how I can help.