The management definition of empowerment is the concept that if employees are given information, resources, and opportunity at the same time as being held responsible for their job outcomes, then they will be more productive and have higher job satisfaction.
That’s all well and good but, it is important to understand that a company cannot implement empowerment itself – instead, those in managerial positions have to create the right environment so that empowerment can take place.
So how does a manager set up this kind of environment where employees feel empowered?
Communicate the vision.
Ask yourself, have I communicated what I want to my employees and have I linked it back to the overall business goals? Once this has been done, stick to the plan! When staff have the necessary information of where they’re going, they are more likely to carry out that task.
Involve your team in business decisions.
When people have a say in decisions, they are more invested in the outcome. This is not always easy when decisions are made higher up the chain, but perseverance and managing upwards effectively can push the agenda to those deciding. Remember, those doing the bulk of the leg work will feel better about doing it when they know why they’re doing it.
Trust your team.
It is vital to trust your team to get on with the job you recruited them to do and to resist the temptation to over manage them. Trust will instil a sense of pride in their work, they will want to be proactive and as a result will be empowered.
Recognition goes a long way.
Recognition plays an important part in creating an empowering environment and it’s easy to see why. If you fail to recognise your employee’s hard work and initiative then your employees will soon lose the motivation, however, if you reward positive behaviours staff will be more motivated and empowered to keep up the good work. Recognising employees doesn’t have to be complicated, a simple ‘thanks for doing a great job’ goes a long way but is often overlooked.
Loosen your grip.
Let employees take some control, as a manager, you’ll be busy and sometimes chasing your team can put unnecessary strain on you and your relationship with them. So, loosen your grip, let the team run and stop monitoring them so closely.
Learning how to empower your team is a key topic covered in our management development programmes so come and talk to us about our pathways that could help develop you as a manager.
New Manager / Team Leader / First Line – Team Leader Structured Development Pathway
Department Manager – Department Structured Development Pathway
Leadership Development – Leaders Structured Development Pathway