There is so much advice for managers on how to empower their staff.
Sources explain how this process can reduce employee turnover, raise moral and productivity and create a better company culture.
Your team can offer valuable assistance in achieving your goals and objectives, but only when they are given the opportunity to do so. Many managers are reluctant to offer more power to the team because it is risky and diminishes their control. But it is also motivational and offers more opportunities for growth and advancement.
So how can you empower people and reduce the risk associated with it? Here are some ideas:
1. Tell people what their responsibilities are. Unless people are absolutely clear on what the expectations are for their performance, there’s always the risk that they will misunderstand what your expectations are. Agree those responsibilities and get them to tell you what their level of performance should be. That way, they own more of the results
2. Give them authority equal to their responsibilities. If you want them to carry our specific responsibilities, allow them the authority to make decisions commensurate with that level. Always having to ask permission for trivia will only decrease drive and morale
3. Set standards of excellence. They will follow your example. If that example shows you cutting corners, willing to accept mediocrity or bypassing rules when it doesn’t suit you, they won’t believe your lip-service to commitment to excellence
4. Provide people with training that will enable them meet these standards. Coach and train them relentlessly to achieve the best. No back-up assistance to achieve success will result in excuses and reasons for average performance
5. Give them knowledge and information. Open communication is a pre-requisite for empowerment. Without it, you are practicing ‘mushroom management’ ….. keeping them in the dark and feeding them manure!
6. Provide feedback on performance. Unless they know how they are doing, how will they know they’re on the right track? Allow them to see how they progressing and to take responsibility for improvement
7. Recognise them for their achievements. There has to be something they can aspire to, even if it’s only praise and thank you’s. Without some kind of recognition, what’s the point of empowerment?
8. Trust them. Giving them responsibility means letting go of some of the apron strings and attachment to methodologies. Discuss outcomes, set the ball in motion and let them get on with it
9. Give them permission to fail. If they don’t take risks, they will never grow. Offer the safety net for failure, but encourage decision-making and you’ll see the growth in their performance
10. Treat them with dignity and respect. Many managers still say they need to micromanage or the job won’t get done. That’s more of a reflection on the manager than on the individual they are trying to empower. Respect breeds respect, so allow people the space and opportunity to show how capable they are. They may surprise you.
Empowerment isn’t an abdication of responsibility on your behalf; it’s a recognition of how important your team members are and allows them to show their potential and willingness. By offering this level of connection, you prove the value of each team member and morale can only go one way…upwards!
A long time ago we talked about the concept of empowerment and how it applied in the workplace. Your employees will work more effectively if they feel empowered but what I want to know today is whether or not you feel empowered in your own life.
I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say you’ve tried but nothing has really worked. You’ve worked hard to take control of your life but things just never seem to go your way. Today I present 5 tips to help you gain a sense of self-empowerment.
Do you really know what you want out of life? Most people say they do but I think in many cases we’re lying to ourselves. We’re always quantifying and justifying the things we want so that they make others happy as well. Forget the rest of the world. If you had no one else to answer to, what would you really want to do?
Get a piece of paper and make a list of your personal goals – both long and short term. It’s a proven fact that having a written plan is more effective than simply having one in your head. Put that piece of paper in your wallet or purse so that you can refer to it as often as necessary – especially on bad days when you need to remind yourself what you’re working towards.
Yup – you read that right. Go out and find yourself a mentor or life coach. The mentor you work with doesn’t necessarily need to have anything to do with your professional career. You need an impartial person to work with you as you plan your goals and move forward on your self-empowerment journey. A coach or mentor will hold you accountable for what you do or do not do during that journey.
It’s not enough to simply write out a list of goals and carry it around with you. It’s time for you to decide what steps you will take to meet each goal. Once you know, start taking those steps. Becoming empowered means taking control of your life and doing things – not just thinking about them.
Once you feel in control of your life on a personal level your professional life will fall right into place. Your management career will blossom and you’ll have a lot more to offer your employees as they learn to become empowered as well!
As a manager, especially if find yourself in upper management, you’re going to eventually realize that you’re in a relatively powerful position. You will have access to information that others in your workplace are not allowed to see and you will have the option to make decisions without consulting others for input. For many, this leads to an incredible feeling of empowerment.
Empowerment has both pros and cons and the way you respond to the level of control you have makes a huge difference. Some people use their feelings of empowerment to help others while some use it to build up their own esteem and act as if they have total control. Managers who do the former as opposed to the latter are usually preferred.
There are three main things a manager can and should do with empowerment:
Sounds complicated? It’s really not. You’re in a unique position, but you’re there for a reason. Use your skills and knowledge to help others grow instead of holding them back and you’ll be surprised at the dynamic team you end up with!