10 Steps To Empowered Employees
It's of no doubt that 'giving permission' to your people to carry on without the need to check back with you every five minutes, makes your life so much easier.
You see, by empowering your people, they grow and develop and take more of the 'stuff' in your business on. And, in the meantime become far greater assets to you and the work you do.
Freeing you up to do bigger - and not all the 'doing' - things in your business.
What we have here is an enormous win-win opportunity, where everyone benefits. Empowerment comes from the team's culture; a way of being in how you do business.
Think about it. You may have to work at it a little, but in essence, it is how you behave that dictates just how empowerment is 'just the way we do things around here'.
But wait, there's more - you can't force this, like 'we're doing empowerment today' - it doesn't work like that at all.
That's why, the best managers with empowerment...
1. Are Comfortable With Letting Go
They realize that part of developing others is about them.
That they, themselves have to learn to stand back and let go of some of the things in their day.
2. Recognize Potential
A big part of empowerment is having the ability to notice hidden capability and then extrapolate that to the business context.
This sometimes means letting go of assumptions or previous experiences and changing context.
For managers this can require a big shift in their thinking which can be tough to do.
3. Converse Well
They are able to get into their people really well.
This builds trust strongly so that when they do support growth in individuals, their encouragement is trusted.
They listen at least as well as they talk, recognizing that what they hear will help them understand their people much better - and that has value too.
And they are able to nudge, cajole, enthuse about moving up a gear, going to the next level.
They push gently when they know there is potential and they have such a relationship that their people go with them.
5. Are Generous
When employees are empowered, it has to come with some safety features. Because - for many people - taking the responsibility that comes with being empowered is a scary place to go.
In life, with the wrong sort of parent; teacher; boss etc., they can have experienced full-on with blame and consequent feelings of failure where they took ownership of something a little risky. And felt the heat when it went a bit awry.
When managers are good at this, review and learning is the worst case scenario. That's all - and, for your people - that feels so good!
6. Support Development
To get the best from empowerment it has to be growth focused.
Individuals need to experience and learn. So the best at it spend time working closely with capable people to lift their performance to a higher level.
Generosity is the time, experience, mentoring and coaching that the very best managers share with pleasure.
7. Praise Success
There is nothing more empowering than reinforcing the performance with an endorsement of people.
We all love to be recognized for having done a job well. So when we are - we come back for more. This is very powerful indeed.
8. Allow Space
Great managers give their people space to think. Space to process their ideas and to work out the 'how' of the task or project.
Best of all, this takes the pressure off managers too, because they have one less thing to think about.
Employees realise their potential and the business wins too.
9. Find Projects
The sharper 'empowerers' are always on the lookout for things to stretch their people with.
They develop a break in their thought patterns which says, 'I wonder who might benefit from this experience'.
10. Plan Ahead
And to set themselves up, they have done the work; they have a fun and flexible plan in mind, as to where they are going with their people.
So as opportunity presents itself, their people fit.
Being empowered in the workplace creates loyalty; motivation; excitement even as well as leveraging performance upwards.
Many managers have the opportunity to help their people grow, whilst significantly lifting the results they - and their team - are much more able to achieve.