Employee enablement: best practices and business benefits
Employee engagement is a top priority in all organizations. But what if you can maintain engagement, whilst allowing employees to reach their full potential and become truly exceptional?
Employee enablement helps your people grow
Employee enablement: the practice of giving employees everything they need to work to the best of their ability. It’s what takes employee engagement to the next level.
What is the difference between employee enablement and employee engagement?
Employee engagement is all about aligning company values and maintaining productivity to keep employees on task.
Employee enablement is an ongoing process. Advancing efficiency by giving your employees what they need to be the best they can be, consistently. For example, providing ongoing training or benefits and initiatives.
What is the difference between enablement and empowerment?
Although there’s a lot of crossover, employee enablement and empowerment are actually quite different.
To put it simply, empowerment teaches employees to be confident decision-makers. Enablement is supplying the tools for consistent and high quality performance.
By giving your employees the authority to problem solve in your organization, they’ll feel like a valued member of the team. Therefore, they’re empowered.
Employee engagement: producing a motivated workforce that is committed and connected to the values of your company.
Employee enablement: supplying all the tools your people need to be exceptional.
Employee empowerment: allowing employees authority over decision-making and problem-solving responsibilities.
Why does employee enablement matter?
Helping your people to reach their full potential will almost certainly have a positive impact on meeting your business and employee goals.
Enabling your employees with the right tools will help performance skyrocket.
Gallup reports that increasing engagement can result in a 17% increase in workplace productivity. A big plus for everyone.
Alongside engagement and productivity, you’ll see employee autonomy shoot up too. When your team is able to recognise what they need to succeed, and how, they’ll always make the extra effort to perform to their best.
If you consistently enable employees by providing opportunities to grow and develop, there’s less reason for them to seek other opportunities.
When workers can constantly learn and improve their skill sets without tedious training days and seminars, you’re training a workforce that has an outstanding level of knowledge, both in terms of their role and the wider organization’s culture.
Potentially the biggest win of employee enablement is the savings to recruitment costs. Deloitte has calculated that if a company loses an employee paid $130,000 per annum, it would cost over $109,000 to replace them.
Improved business performance
Retaining your best employees will always be great news for your businesses’ performance. But when these workers are provided with the best tools, this is only enhanced.
Gallup found employees who are engaged and enabled at work are at least 21% more profitable.
The nature of employee enablement means it’s an ongoing process.
Giving your team the right resources and opportunities to grow can create a massive positive impact on business performance further down the line.
Employee enablement best practices
What are the best practices for workforce enablement?
For the most part, it’s a collaborative effort between you and your employees, but how can you do that effectively? If you’re unable to collaborate as a company, efforts will be wasted.
1. Set SMART goals and intended outcomes
Most of us are familiar with SMART goals, but here’s a quick reminder what they stand for:
SMART goals are an easy tool that both you and your employees can use. They’re great because they’re a quick method of creating a concise list of goals, whilst ensuring they remain as detailed as they need to be.
All unnecessary admin, detail and guesswork is eliminated. Everything you need is there, making tasks more streamlined, and easier to complete.
2. Uncover individual learning needs
Everyone’s different. And because of that, we can’t expect employees to learn in the exact same way.
Asking your employees their most preferred method of learning will not only make workforce enablement easier, but also make them feel valued in your team.
That’s why you should make your L&D as accessible as possible. It’s a win-win.
3. Identify areas of improvement
As well as uncovering individual learning needs, identifying any spaces in an employee’s skill set is a sure fire way to kick-start workforce enablement.
Providing the right training to fill any knowledge gaps will set your team up for success.
4. Eliminate roadblocks from existing processes
In almost every organization, there are processes that could be more streamlined.
What areas could be simplified? Is there software out there that could save resource for your whole company?
5. Empower employees to deviate from the SOP
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are there for a reason, but sometimes it’s okay to deviate away from them. Allowing your team to do so is a great way of showing your employees that you trust their decision-making skills.
6. Invite open discussions and collaborative learning
Continuous, honest conversations are a really important part of employee enablement.
When your team knows they always have the opportunities to be heard, and that their opinions matter, they instantly feel valued. As a result, they become enabled and empowered.
7. Create an open knowledge base for your team by your team
In order to truly allow employee enablement, you need to give your employees power over their learning.
Your employees can offer valuable insight into their skills gaps, and areas that Learning and Development (L&D) managers might be missing.
How to measure and improve employee enablement
Employee enablement is a continuous process. If you’re doing it right, it’ll evolve as your business grows.
Technology is always advancing and developing, and so are your employees. As they become more enabled, empowered and engaged, they’ll need new growth opportunities.
Research through regular employee reviews and KPIs will help you to determine whether or not your processes for workforce enablement are working.
This can be reflected in checking they consistently have the right tools to reach their full potential. If the way you’re implementing these processes is allowing your team to do the job right, this will be reflected in the growth of your company.
There are plenty of evaluation models out there when it comes to reviewing progress. We’ve listed a few of the best here.
From powering your people, to nurturing top talent and growing revenue, there’s a lot to be said for being a champion of your employees and their progress. Employee enablement allows you to do just that.
If you’d like to join our learning revolution and give your teams everything they need for success, talk to one of our Attensi team today.