Chris Anderson discusses how to empower your employees
and encourage self-motivation. Learn how to open up communication
and get the best from your employees for everyone's benefit.
Top 7 Methods to Empower Employees
How many times have you asked someone to do something like “draw
up a plan for such and such project”? Your employee completes
the plan, but then you say, “That is not what I wanted” or “That
is not how you do it”. And so the employee thinks: you didn’t
tell me exactly how you wanted it done.
If you find yourself having back and forth
misunderstandings with your employees, then you might have
a communication problem. And this could be creating bad
feelings, low morale and inefficiencies. To remedy this,
perhaps it’s time you thought about creating a Policies
and Procedures Manual.
Let’s look at 7 methods to strengthen communication and performance.
1. Implement Effective Policies and Procedures
A Policies and Procedures Manual is a communication tool
designed to empower employers, managers and employees with
a consistent approach to accomplishing their daily tasks.
It provides a set of policies, plans, reports, forms, and
work routines that convey the pulse of the organization.
A properly developed manual focuses your everyday business
communications between employees and management on what
is really important to get the job done. This focus is the
first step in empowering your employees. Empowerment requires
a shared vision, the communication of necessary information
and adequate training.
2. Convey Management Policy and Vision
A manual should be used to communicate both corporate policies
and the appropriate procedures for implementation of the
policy in a combined style format. If employees know the
vision, then they feel confident to make decisions. Keep
in mind, though, policies should not be confused with procedures.
Policy - A definite course or method of action to guide
and determine present and future decisions. A policy is
a guide to decision-making under a given set of circumstances
within the framework of corporate objectives, goals and
Procedure - A particular way of accomplishing something,
or an established way of doing things. A procedure is a
series of steps followed in a definite regular order that
ensure the consistent and repetitive approach to actions.
3. Improve Communications and Efficiently Run Operations
A manual serves to translate the company's business philosophies
and desires into action. A well-designed manual is an invaluable
communication tool for efficiently running operations within
departments and bridging the gap between interrelated departments.
If a department has specific information that it requires
to process a task, then this information is easily captured
in a form that accompanies the task. In business forms are
commonplace, acting as a guide for such things as purchase
orders, employment applications or asset requisitions.
4. Reduce Business Process Training Time
A policies and procedures manual is a functional guide
for training new and existing employees. It prevents difficulties
in performing duties due to lack of understanding or inconsistent
approaches from personnel changes. And it will assist you
in developing a consistent method in handling any task.
5. Improve Productivity and Decision Making
Policies and procedures speed up employee decision making
by having a handy, authoritative source for answering questions.
Well-developed and documented manuals can ensure compliance
with regulatory agencies affecting your business, including
the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA),
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), government contracting
authorities and independent certification organizations
6. Strengthen Organization and Quality
A comprehensive manual covering all departments within
an organization can become a "quality" manual
for the whole company. This will help ensure optimal operations
and consistent delivery of the finest in product or service
from the company.
It will "empower” employees to make decisions independently
without the need or time delays of involving various levels
of management. A well thought out manual will enable just
about everyone in the organization the ability and flexibility
to make the right decisions in his or her job responsibilities.
For example, a customer service representative should be
able to handle a customer's problem and have the authority
to resolve the problem right on the spot. In addition, a
production team should be able to diagnose a quality problem
and formulate and resolve the problem in conjunction with
engineering without having to go through various channels
up and down the corporate ladder.
7. Meet Objectives with Policies and Procedures Manual
The goal of the policies and procedures manual is to identify
the ways and means of communicating, as well as getting
the service performed or the product manufactured at the
least cost in the minimal amount of time. Not only will
it be used to empower the organization, but it will have
the added benefit of increasing job satisfaction and employee
About the Author
Chris Anderson is the managing director of Bizmanualz,
Inc. and co-author of policies and procedures manuals, producing
the layout, process design and implementation to increase
To learn how to increase performance, visit: Bizmanualz,
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