Empower employees to take ownership and unlock high performance

It’s no secret that higher engagement leads to better performance and that people are more engaged with what they help create.

In business, we need people to have three fundamental attributes:

Competence - employees need to be competent in a set of skills and behaviours necessary to perform. Their attitude plays a vital role in this too as whilst you can train for skill if necessary, attitude is far more ingrained in a person.

Autonomy - employees need to have autonomy as this has a significant impact on intrinsic motivation.

Purpose - employees need to act intentionally with a purpose and be aware of the business purpose to realise how they can make the biggest impact.

Cascading OKRs, Objectives and Key Results, from the CEO level throughout all teams at all levels of an organisation allows the business purpose and vision to be communicated effectively, encouraging employee autonomy. Whilst the Objectives cascade from level to level, the Key Results are largely employee-led, in an upwards direction, allowing the freedom to decide how to achieve each objective by creating suitable key results to help. This employee-led approach allows individuals to shape their work and take ownership of their roles and responsibilities, significantly impacting business performance. For more information on this, visit our blog How do OKRs Cascade?

As a business leader, to ensure you get the most out of your employees, keep them fully engaged and empower them to become great leaders themselves, you need to look inwards at your leadership style.

Top 10 Tips

Here are 10 ways you can empower your employees to take ownership of their work and become fully engaged with the business:

  1. Share your business vision so employees realise the importance of their role in the bigger picture. Check out our blog offering 8 steps to cascade your company vision effectively.
  2. Share goals and make decisions together, where possible, and invite ideas and knowledge contributions. This will help employees feel their input is valued and an essential part of the business. Learn more about the importance of shared goals.
  3. Share the bigger decisions and their reasoning so they understand the leadership team’s decision-making process.
  4. Cascade objectives to each employee and agree on what a successful outcome looks like, but then step back and allow them the freedom to choose how they arrive at that outcome, allowing them to set their Key Results.
  5. Encourage employees to take the lead on certain projects and tasks to identify their leadership style and practice.
  6. Encourage problem-solving etiquette - it’s much better if an employee comes to you with a solution to a problem, rather than just the problem itself. It shows they have really thought about it and how best they could overcome it.
  7. Trust is vital for employee autonomy to be effective. When employees feel trusted, it gives them great confidence and motivates them to succeed. Show trust early on.
  8. Hold employees accountable for their actions. Autonomy allows freedom to choose how, when, where the work is done. However, this only works if pre-defined deadlines and goals are achieved.
  9. Encourage a culture of open communication, constructive feedback and coaching as this is beneficial to allow employees to continuously improve their work.
  10. Recognition goes a long way so take time to recognise and celebrate the achievements being made by all employees, not just sales.

Introducing OKRs in your business is a highly effective way to achieve many of the points listed above. Check out one of our other blogs to assess if OKRs are right for you - OK R you ready to raise your game?

Alternatively, if you are ready to really empower your employees to take ownership and unlock their true potential of high-performance, book a 15-minute discovery call today! Our 1-3-5® OKR software and expertise provides the perfect platform on which to share your vision, engage employees and align your teams for high performance and faster results.

Posted by Pete Wilkinson

Last updated: 6 August 2021

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