Leading by Empowerment

How often does your organization give employees responsibility without a clear direction or an understanding of the expectations?

This can, and most often will, result in low productivity, confusion, and lack of results, that creates low morale and possibly high turn-over.

However, employees that are empowered will produce amazing results in the workplace, and usually do it with a great attitude and enthusiasm.

When leaders and managers empower effectively, they don’t give up authority and responsibility completely; rather, they share these elements with the employees. They help the employees reach new heights and further their career.

A key to successful empowerment is to clearly communicate your expectations, establish clear boundaries of authority, and create an action plan for results.

Leader guidelines for empowering employees

Include Employees in Direction-of your company.
This includes a part in the strategic planning phase, writing goals and objectives and the implementation of the goals with a specific timeline. Let your employee’s help determine the timelines and rewards of the completion of the task.

Be Clear in Your Communication
Be sure employees understand what you are asking for. Ask them to recap the conversation, listening for gaps in what you said and what was repeated back.

Use Their Ideas
How much time do you spend listening to your employees’ ideas and suggestions? Ask for their input in how they would go about completing a project. Let them do it their way if the result will be satisfactory to you.

Demonstrate Your Trust
Determine what resources they need before they start the project and clear the way for the resources to be available. Resist checking in on every detail, but have controls in place so they know when they should check with you.

Match Their Interests with Your Needs
Meet with your employees and learn what they want and need. When possible, assign tasks that will allow them to grow and take on additional responsibilities.

Give Realistic Timelines
Determine together a realistic timeline. Be specific as to when a project is due, don’t say, “Return this to me as soon as possible.” If you need it by the end of the week, say so clearly.

Establish Priorities
It is helpful for employees to know which pieces are the most important to you. Make certain that they know what needs to be done first and why.

Coach, Don’t Manage
Coach employees to success. This means listen, ask questions, offer strategic advice, and always give direct feedback.

We encourage your participation and comments.

Also, please feel free to forward this blog to your friends and colleagues and to come back often.

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John Bentley

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