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It can be difficult for small businesses to compete in a global marketplace against large multinational companies. Small businesses have to manage complex business conditions which can involve a lot of investment in time and resources. One way that any small business can succeed in competing on a global scale is to empower its workforce.
A business that comprises of empowered team members will be a more powerful force that can effectively deal with changing conditions in its industry.
In this article, you will learn about many leadership tools that can benefit your small business and help it compete in the global marketplace. You will also learn about the benefits of empowering each individual in a team to take responsibility for their own decisions in carrying out their tasks.
The Benefits to Small Businesses of Team Empowerment
Managers are sometimes hesitant to allow employees or teams to take full responsibility for making decisions and seeing projects to completion.
However, by giving individual employees or whole teams the freedom to take the initiative in coming up with a plan of action, making important decisions, and taking personal responsibility for the outcome, you can do much to boost the success of the business.
Some of the benefits to small businesses that team empowerment can bring are:
- Projects tend to get completed more efficiently.
- There is higher morale among team members.
- Empowering employees boosts results.
- Team members have more respect for management.
- In general, employees are healthier and have more job satisfaction.
This doesn’t mean, though, that all you have to do to manage complex small business conditions is to give free rein to everyone in your company. Empowerment needs to be managed properly to achieve the best results.
The challenge is to provide effective leadership to guide employees to work in ways consistent with the values and objectives of the company.
How Small Businesses Can Manage Complex Conditions
Let’s look at some of the tools small businesses can use to empower employees to help them manage complex conditions in your industry.
Employees can never be empowered if they feel unable to communicate their ideas to team leaders or managers. Also, if they think that providing feedback is pointless, they will quickly lose interest in their tasks and feel no personal responsibility.
It’s important to develop a good workplace environment where employees and team members can easily and regularly make their observations, thoughts, and feelings known. If employees know that their comments have value and weight, they will be willing to share these. In the end, managers and team leaders may discover hidden talents in their business.
Define team goals
An ancient philosopher once said: “When one doesn’t know what port he is making for, no wind is the right one.” In a small business setting, if a team doesn’t have well-defined goals, then it will be difficult to make the right decisions. So, empowering an employee or team of employees means defining specific and achievable goals. This will help your team make decisions that are consistent with the values of the business.
When setting out goals, make sure that they are results-orientated rather than task-focused. In a small business setting, this gives individual employees or teams flexibility to get the task completed in the way they see fit and using tools that they are comfortable with. This means that there is less need to micro-manage, your workload is reduced, and the end result will be far superior.
Defining Result Orientated and Relevant goals (or ROAR goals) is one of the best ways to effectively engage every team member and allow their individual strengths to shine.
Enriching the jobs of your employees is another way to empower them and help make your small business more competitive in the global marketplace. Employees will feel that they are valuable members of the company if they are given a measure of authority and responsibility to complete their tasks. There are many ways to enrich employee’s jobs. Here are a few examples:
- Allow employees to make certain decisions without requiring approval from managers.
- Assign additional responsibilities that usually is the job of managers.
- Let employees have full input on their tasks from start to finish and reward them accordingly.
- Rotate jobs to allow employees tackle different assignments in your small business.
- Don’t just delegate boring tasks, delegate some of the interesting work that you usually take care of.
Of course, there will always be occasions when employees make a wrong decision. In these cases, it’s important to allow them the opportunity to fix the mistake without repercussions. If that’s not possible, then the company should step in to help them fix the mistake. Employees will always feel empowered when they never have to fear about making a mistake.
Use the latest technology
The latest advances in technology have given small businesses new amazing tools to manage even the most complex of business conditions. With the increased use of cloud computing, small businesses can connect with and use services from a worldwide network of professionals.
For example, a report carried out by RW3 Culture Wizard called “Trends in Global Virtual Teams 2016” found that corporate teams are almost entirely virtual and almost half of the respondents said that their teams include members from other countries.
The upsurge in mobile computing has given small businesses even more effective tools to increase productivity. There are online tools to help collaborate on documents, look after expense management, and organize task management, and take care of employee health insurance plans. These platforms not only save your company’s HR department time but also empower employees to manage their daily tasks much more efficiently.
One example that can boost your company’s productivity by simplifying corporate health insurance plans would be Bayzat Benefits, which can help both employers and employees to manage HR related admin tasks and company medical insurance plans. Employers can easily update employee records and add health insurance benefits through the platform. Team can also access to their medical insurance plan information through their mobile devices and quickly find hospitals and doctors that are covered by their medical network.
Taking advantage of HR automation platforms has made it easier for small businesses to manage complex employee conditions by allowing team members to focus more on strategy related tasks rather than spending time on admin work.
Other small businesses have found it advantageous for their employees to be allowed to use social media more to connect with colleagues and team members. A report by Microsoft found that employees feel more empowered when they can use their own devices and social tools in the workplace to get tasks accomplished. The report said that this can increase the competitive advantage of a small business because employees can work more effectively on devices that they are familiar with.
Looking after the general well-being and health of each employee is another way that small businesses can be more productive and competitive. A healthy workforce is one that will be effective in carrying out their tasks.
For example, having a comprehensive group health insurance plan in the UAE has helped many small businesses attract and keep the best employees. This is especially true when they offer adequate maternity cover, dental plans, and family health insurance in Dubai.
Rewarding employees also includes giving enough recognition for the work that they do. This can be the ultimate motivator to empower employees to do their best and achieve great results for the company. Recognition can come in many ways. For example:
- Show trust in employee’s decision making when they have been delegated tasks.
- Praise employees for jobs that are well done.
- Provide adequate compensation for completed jobs.
- Let employees take credit for their work.
In conclusion, there are a number of tools that small business managers and team leader can use to help improve efficiency and productivity. Many of these tools involve using the workforce that you already have and motivating individual employees by putting more power in their hands.
1. Trends in Global Virtual Teams by CultureWizard
2. Bring your own service by Microsoft