How to Empower Employees to Make Decisions
How many times have you wanted to empower employees to do something like “Draw up a plan for ‘X'” that you complete, only to realize later, “That’s not what I wanted!” or “That’s not how you do it!” while at the same time they were thinking, “You didn’t tell me exactly how you wanted it done.”
If you find yourself saying “That’s not right” to your employees after the job is supposed to be complete, you have a communication problem — one that’s resulting in general inefficiency, as well as bad feelings and low morale. Perhaps it’s time you thought about creating a Policies and Procedures Manual.
A properly developed company manual focuses communications between employees and management on what’s really necessary 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.
5 Great Ways to Empower Employees
A Policies and Procedures Manual is a communication tool designed to empower employees, managers, and employers by assuring a consistent approach to accomplishing daily tasks. It provides a set of policies, plans, reports, forms, and work routines that convey the mission and vision of the organization.
1. Convey Management’s Vision
Your manual should be used to communicate both corporate policies and the appropriate company procedures for implementing the policy in a combined style and format. If employees know the company vision, they feel confident to make decisions. Policies should not be confused with procedures. What’s the difference between policies and procedures?
A definite course or method of action to guide and determine present and future decisions. It is a guide to decision making under a given set of circumstances within the framework of corporate objectives, goals and management philosophies.
A particular way of accomplishing something, an established way of doing things, a series of steps followed in a definite regular order ensuring the consistent and repetitive approach to actions.
2. Improve Employee Communications
A company manual serves to translate the company’s business philosophies and desires into action. A well-designed company 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 it requires to process a task then that information is easily captured in a form that accompanies the task. Forms are a common place in business acting as a guide for such things as purchase orders, employment applications, or asset requisitions.
Your 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.
4. Improve Productivity
Policies and procedures speed up employee decision making by having a handy, authoritative source for answering questions. Well-developed and documented company manuals can ensure compliance with regulatory agencies affecting your business such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), government contracting authorities, and independent certification organizations (e.g., ISO). If your employees don’t have to ask twice about what to do, then you have increased your business productivity.
5. Strengthen Your Operations
A comprehensive company manual covering all departments within your organization can become a quality manual for the whole company. This will help ensure optimum operations and consistent delivery of the finest in product or service from your company.
This will empower employees to make decisions independently without the need or time delays of involving various levels of management. A well thought out company manual will enable just about everyone in your 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 or 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.
The goal of a policies and procedures manual is to identify the ways and means of communicating, 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 employees and your organization, but it will also have the added benefit of increasing job satisfaction and morale.
Try it, it works! Download free policies and procedures now.