Empowering employees is a culture. It takes an increase in trust, clear communication, and strategic delegation.
The Importance of Empowering Employees
Empowering employees means giving your team members permission to take action and make decisions within your organisation. It also means there is trust and understanding in place to ensure these actions are in line with company goals and values.
Empowering employees is important for growing a sustainable business. While many companies may grow ground-up from the hard work and dedication of one or two entrepreneurs, true growth is the product of multiple people working together. “Multiplying” yourself (as opposed to a strict leader-follower mindset) multiplies your organisation’s strength and capabilities.
How do you empower employees?
Empowering employees is a culture. It takes an increase in trust, clear communication, and strategic delegation. To empower employees, consider the following steps:
1. Delegate to develop
Delegating to take drudge work off your plate is often short-sighted and misses an opportunity to strengthen and empower your team. Instead, delegate with the intent to grow and develop the capabilities and responsibilities of your employees.
2. Set clear expectations
Define clear and healthy boundaries with your employees. By setting clear expectations (but not micromanaging them), you’re giving your employees permission to make decisions while ensuring the decisions are in line with company goals and values.
3. Give employees autonomy over assignments
It’s okay if an employee doesn’t get from point A to point B using the same means as you would. When you delegate, accept that this may mean your employee may complete the task differently than you. Relinquish control, refrain from micromanaging, and accept that your way may not be the only (or best) way to complete a project.
4. Provide necessary resources
Many leaders complain that when they first start implementing employee empowerment practices in their organisations, they still get employees coming to their offices and expecting their problems to be magically resolved for them. Instead, offer tools, resources, and to be a sounding board for ideas.
5. Give constructive feedback
When debriefing on a project, be thoughtful and specific about the feedback you provide. Telling someone they did a “good job” doesn’t give them any direction for what to continue doing in the future. Be specific about the actions or attitudes you’d like to see repeated and the impact it had on others.