This is the age of independence. From the high school teenagers to the retired senior citizens, no one wants to rely on another person. By becoming independent, they get a sense of empowerment and accomplishment. But the question is, is it just the personal life that needs independence? Is that everything there is to having freedom? What about the workplace? Don’t people want to feel empowered at their workplace too? Yes. Yes, they do want to feel empowered at the workplace. But the big question here is how to empower Employee at work and, more importantly, Why?
How Can An Employer Empower His Employees?
Given below are some ideas that answer the ‘How’ part of the question asked above. These are the ways in which the employer can emancipate their employees at the workplace.
Be Open To Their Ideas And Opinions
Let’s take an example of our younger selves. Long back when we were in our early teens, we were in a very perplexing position in the family. There were many family decisions that were taken without asking for your input. I’m sure that when you tried to give your opinion, you were told at least once, ‘You are too young to say anything about it.’ We felt a little disheartened, didn’t we? A few years later, when we reached our late teens, our opinions were asked and valued, and that gave us a feeling of affinity, right? The same applies to your employees. When you keep your ears open to their ideas, opinions, suggestions, and feedback, you give them a feeling of inclusion and enhance their loyalty towards the organization.
Don’t hold back on Thank-You’s
It is necessary that the employees understand their importance in the organization. When a person knows how essential they are in organizational growth, it is natural that they will feel empowered and would be willing to contribute even more towards the cause. A little heartfelt employee recognition can go a long way! Never be afraid to thank them and appreciate them for their hard work towards the business.
Hype Employee Self Service Technologies
There is a lot of red-tapism that needs to be completed within the organization in order to maintain the correct employee data at all times. This requires the employees to depend on the human resource department. Employees’ need to know their leave balance or the status of their applications (leave, attendance, or otherwise) also require them to pin their hopes on the HR department. Such reliance on employees in HR departments can affect the psyche of both the employees and the human resources.
Many businesses use software that provides Employee Self Service (ESS) to assist the organizations in empowering employees in the workplace. Other organizations that do not use software with inbuilt ESS integration use APIs to integrate them with the ESS portals. If we take the example of ESS in a payroll and attendance management software, the employees do not have to count on the HR managers to upload or update their documents, nor they have to wait for the manager to check the status for the applications that they have filed.
There are no chances of errors as the entire payroll process is automated. Moreover, the employees can get their schedules, know their leave balance, regularize their attendance, and generate their payslips. They can do this in their own time, at their own convenience. The HR managers can focus on more weighty issues as their time is saved from such trivial matters, more like a complete HR transformation!
Why Should Companies Bring Employee Self Service Technologies Into Play?
It is clear that ESS systems are a strong option when it comes to empowering your employees. Now comes the ‘Why’ part of the question – why should the companies use these ESS technologies? How do the companies benefit by empowering their employees using such tools? Freeing up the work of the HR managers and allowing the employees to associate themselves with the organization are not the only advantages provided by these systems. Here is how the Employee Self Service Technologies prove to be a boon for the organizations.
Similar to what we discussed above, ESS saves a lot of time for the employees and human capital managers. As the employees do not have to adjust to the schedules of the managers and can operate the portal as per their convenience, they can focus more on their work. Similarly, the managers can focus on tasks that are more significant by delegating these tasks to the employees.
Crystal Clear Information
With ESS, the employees can access all their information with valid authentication. They can obtain their work schedules, shift schedules, upcoming holidays, project heads, company policies, leave balances, and much more through these portals. They can get reports about their attendance. Moreover, they can receive email notifications when their applications are approved or rejected and do not have to bother themselves or the managers by continually asking them for the same.
Mint Fresh Data
There are many employees in an organization. These employees have their own stories being played at the same time. These circumstances do not remain the same forever; they keep changing, bringing forth a need to update the information every once in a while. With the employees having responsibilities to update their data, the organization receives the freshest and the most recent data in their database. In case of any emergency, this data comes to the rescue. ESS allows the employees to have complete authority to update their individual information.
Magnified Data Protection
Information that the HR department holds can be sensitive and confidential. Employees may not be comfortable sharing this data with their colleagues. When the organization maintains the information in physical form or in an excel sheet, there is no protection to it. It is difficult to stop data theft when you use these outdated systems of record management. The ESS portals enable the companies to store employee data on cloud platforms. These platforms are not only safe from physical damages but also come with a bank-grade security system that makes it difficult for the imposters to hack. Moreover, only a limited number of people are given access to such files except for the employee to whom it belongs. This way, the data is safe from misuse, theft, destruction, or mislay.
A Step Towards Greener Earth
Did you know that a forest, approximately the size of a football field (yes, you read that right!), is cut down EVERY SECOND. Instead of decreasing, paper usage has seen a substantial rise in the last decade. Storing the employee information on paper just adds to this burden. Although the world is working digitally, we somehow manage to use so much paper.
The real question is, for what? Paper is easily destructible, can be copied, can be stolen without much hassle, and occupies rooms that can be otherwise used to accommodate new employees! ESS portals are based on the cloud, are secure, cannot be accessed unless authorized, and take zero physical space. And still, we refrain from using such systems and do not loosen our grip on the traditional ways of data storage. With ESS, you can reduce the use of paper and contribute to the cause of making the planet a little greener. Although it may seem like contributing a drop in the bucket, but remember, it was through these drops that the bucket was filled!
Putting It Together
Empowering your employees is a task that is similar to a vacation. You need it, but you do not realize you need it until you use it. Employees that are accredited tend to feel satisfied with their work and hence generate more output – another benefit for the organization. However, it depends upon the organization to weigh all the factors and come to a final decision regarding employee empowerment. These factors include the business’ budget, scale, integrating ability, and training capacity. Although to survive in the market in the current day and age, it is necessary to unshackle the employees and let them take over the more trivial and subliminal tasks in the organization.