Employees need access to tools, information, and all kinds of resources to feel successful at work. Supported and well-trained employees are more likely to stay with a company—they operate and collaborate better too, leading to greater revenue and ideal outcomes for everyone.
We've put together some employee enablement ideas that will support your people to perform at their best while aligned with the company's broader goals and vision.
Employee enablement is the sum of your efforts to help workers do their job better. From L&D, internal policies, employee communications to knowledge management, all of these support your employees' success.
1. Access to the right equipment and supplies
Is your team equipped with the appropriate tools as it grows? The hardware and supplies employees need to do their jobs vary greatly from every industry and office environment. Only when employees are enabled with the right equipment will they be able to perform well and exceed expectations.
Since the rapid shift to remote work, we’ve seen how organizations scrambled to update their virtual communication channels. As many acknowledge domestic distractions as a challenge to focus, leaders are also supporting employees to set up a productive home office.
Conduct an audit of your tooling: In a survey, ask your teammates for a wishlist of resources and add the most desired ones to your organization’s toolkit. It might be as simple as a whiteboard for the meeting room, a project management software, or an update of your tech stack.
2. Self-reliance of resources and institutional knowledge
Enabling self-sufficiency can directly improve overall performance. Imagine needing to ask your manager every two hours how to do a task. You feel like a burden, and they probably have better things to do than to work alongside and hand-hold you. How are you supposed to perform without the information or tools you need to carry out the job?
Internal training programs can enable worker independence by streamlining processes and allowing employees to learn at their own time.
Providing your employees with access to all the relevant files they need is more powerful than you think. A knowledge library makes it easy for you to share access to all of the important files your employees need. Without asking, they can check out their benefits package, security protocols, and emergency floor plan at any time.
Implementing departmental performance indicators and making human resources initiatives transparent can also develop accountability for high-performing teams.
Actionable tip: Auditing your existing corporate documentation—are there any gaps you should prioritize and fill in? While you’re on it, check if all the right stakeholders have access.
3. Streamlined communication and a culture of transparency
Most people think of internal communication as being top-down from management. The truth is that communication should happen from the bottom-up, across departments, and all-around peers within your organization.
Transparency especially helps people feel grounded to a collective vision, encourages employees to ask questions, and eases the turmoil when internal change happens. Implement multi-channel and open communication such as email, instant messaging, news board, and async working tools according to your team’s needs and make leaders accessible for feedback.
Unite people by looping them into ongoing initiatives so that they can understand your efforts and their team goals more quickly. You can do this by creating a regularly scheduled company-wide news article and even allowing your employees to communicate highlights more broadly within the organization.
Over to you: Don’t neglect your mobile and distributed workforce. Ensure your communication initiatives are available and accessible on any device.
4. Identify what success is and what your employees desire
It’s much easier to execute a duty when you know its impact on the wider organization. When employees feel they have a stake in the organization and an opportunity to grow, this spurs engagement and enables them to succeed. This makes them more inclined to problem solve, boosting employee performance.
Ultimately, you should dedicate time to obtain a holistic view of what your employee needs. Only then will you be able to enable them and help them maximize performance by connecting them with collaborators, resources, and knowledge in different scenarios. Start by noticing how much time they need to complete projects and identify opportunities to help them, such as automating certain tasks.
Pro tip: Have a thoughtful career conversation with your teammate in your next 1:1 or quarterly planning session. Find out what skills they want to level up, who they might want to work with, and generally, what makes them tick.
5. Effective work processes enable employees
You accomplish essential tasks and leverage the power of productivity through your work processes and documentation. This makes it all the more critical to review and optimize them regularly. Having a clear workflow keeps your team on track while ensuring everyone understands what needs to be done.
While deadlines and processes are significant, autonomy is increasingly vital in the asynchronous working world today too. To eliminate confusion, establish best practices for identifying stakeholders and the method of collaboration early.
Support project execution: Create straightforward briefs or repeatable and standardized action plans for your direct reports. Remember to outline deadlines, objectives, and desired results. If they’re multi-tasking, help them execute with ease by making sure priorities are clear.
6. Create a supportive and collaborative work environment
Are random, cross-department spur-of-the-moment conversations encouraged at work? Maybe there’s an opportunity to add a mentorship program to enable other learnings and engage employees. The point is, we now know more than ever the importance of creating an environment where it’s easy to build connections across the business.
Enablement must-do: Conduct a formal virtual workshop for new managers on how to provide feedback. Ask customer success to open up training for a new product offering to the whole organization.
Invest in employee wellbeing as the organizational benefits are often overlooked. Celebrate your people, their milestones, and the quality results they achieve.
7. Opportunity for learning and sharing
Creating a culture of knowledge sharing is essential to improve employee engagement and highlight the unique perspectives of your employees. This improves how you work, elevates the products you create, and fosters unity. Consider sustained learning and development in the employee experience to increase long-term knowledge retention. Ensure that there are ample opportunities for growth so people feel empowered and know that their contributions matter.
Facilitate enablement: Build in feedback mechanisms during the work process and conduct regular retrospectives after your team completes a major project to increase employee satisfaction. Offer frequent training workshops and create a thorough onboarding program that bakes in learning from day 1.
Leaders can better support the success of their teams by providing them with access to the tools, knowledge, and resources they need to get work done. Hopefully, these employee enablement ideas will allow you to boost your people to perform at their fullest potential. Supporting employees when, where, and in the format they need is the essence behind employee enablement.
Enable each individual to enjoy success at work, so they’re inspired to contribute more.