As leaders, it’s essential to understand the types of employees you have on your team. Every individual is different and possesses their own unique skill set. Some are great at coming up with creative ideas, while others excel at executing plans quickly. As a leader, it’s your job to ensure everyone is empowered to use their strengths.
What Is Empowerment?
Empowerment is the process of giving employees control over their actions and duties without compromising your business’s goals. Achieving empowerment isn’t easy because you must consider so many different factors. You’ll need to determine if empowering your team would be beneficial or hurt them, and that involves a lot of trial and error.
To empower your team, you’ll need to set a few guidelines. First, you must establish a clear direction for your business and your employees. That way, they know what’s expected of them and will have an easier time reaching their goals. You should also clearly communicate any changes that might affect how they do things, especially if they lead to new results.
Most successful leaders nowadays recognize the importance of empowering their employees, and there are many examples of this philosophy in action. For instance, many small business owners allow their employees to use virtual credit cards for business.
The Benefits of Empowerment
Empowering your employees can have plenty of benefits for both you and them:
- You’ll begin to see a lot more passion from your employees, as well as an increase in trust, morale, and engagement.
- Those who previously performed poorly might also step up their game if they see that you support and appreciate their efforts.
- Empowering your team will also help them take ownership of their actions, resulting in better productivity and less time spent on internal politics.
- Everyone will be focused on the end goal instead of trying to outshine each other.
How Empowerment Impacts Your Business
Empowering your employees is great for you because it’s likely to lead to more success. As your employees are motivated by their new responsibilities, they’ll also become more committed to furthering the goals of your business. And with less time wasted on internal politics, you can expect happier customers and better brand loyalty.
If you want to drive growth in your business, you need to start by empowering your team members. Here are four ways leaders can empower their teams:
1. Offer Feedback Regularly
One of the best things a leader can do for their team offers regular feedback. You may think that giving feedback is overrated, but constructive criticism can lead to better business results. You may take advantage of every opportunity to give your employees critical feedback to help them grow and reach their goals.
One way is by having them build mentor-mentee relationships. Ask your more experienced employees to work with those who require guidance, and then give them regular feedback that will help them succeed at their tasks.
Another excellent opportunity for feedback is during one-on-one meetings. During these meetings, you’ll be able to give your employees immediate, personalized attention and gauge their progress.
2. Offer Mentorship Opportunities
Empowering your team doesn’t just mean offering them guidance; it also means allowing them to lead others as well. The more your employees can lead, the more opportunities you’ll have for growth. One great way to do this is by offering mentorships to your promising employees.
Mentorship can be very rewarding for both parties involved, so ask your most productive team members if they’d be willing to mentor their less experienced teammates. It’ll help them build their leadership skills, help their teammates learn new skills, and become more valuable team members.
3. Let Employees Make Decisions
As a leader, you can’t be everywhere at once. It’s unrealistic to expect that of yourself or your employees. You need to prioritize your time, which means letting go of some responsibilities.
When you feel like your employees can make decisions independently, make sure to let them. It’s a perfect practice that saves time and allows your workers to develop essential crucial skills for success.
One way is by empowering your employees to take responsibility for their own mistakes. It might seem counterintuitive, but some employers encourage their team members to make decisions and then learn from any consequences that may result.
4. Give Your Employees Ownership
One of the best things a leader can do is allow employees to feel like they have true ownership over their work. If employees know that you trust them to get the job done, they’ll be more likely to go further and do extra to meet your expectations.
If an employee knows that their work is important and that you appreciate what they do, then it’s likely that they’ll become more motivated. They’ll also take the time to understand and study your business more thoroughly, which can help them make better decisions.
For example, if you were to give your employees the responsibility of creating a new product, they’d be more inclined to work hard on it because they knew that their input was valued and sought after.
5. Build Employee Trust
Aside from motivating your employees, you should also build good working relationships with them. Trust is the foundation of any relationship, and it can affect business growth tenfold.
Creating an open line of communication between team members will help build that trust over time. Encourage your workers to voice their opinions openly, even if they’re critical of your management.
You should also be open to being critical of your employees, especially if you want them to improve. Of course, you must communicate with tact and courtesy because not everyone will respond positively to criticism.
Trust is vital for creating a productive working environment, especially if you want your team members to share ideas. To build trust among your employees, you’ll need to become a role model.
Be transparent in all your business dealings, and be a team player. Additionally, make sure that your employees feel valued by showing appreciation for their efforts. These actions can help build trust within your team, allowing them to trust each other when making decisions.
6. Understand That Success Comes At A Cost
Lastly, your aim as a leader should be to set your team up for success, not immediate results. A business isn’t built overnight, and it won’t turn a profit overnight either. You need to remember that even though some factors are outside of your control, you’re still ultimately responsible for the outcome of your employees’ efforts.
You can incentivize your employees to work harder, but it’s also possible that these efforts may not yield results right away. You need to recognize when you’ve made mistakes and then be willing to learn from them.
No one said that empowering your employees would be easy; there are always tradeoffs. While the road to team empowerment is rewarding, you’ll have to work hard to get there.
Empowering your team can lead to growth for your company if done correctly. By following these empowerment tips, you may find that empowering your employees is the key to success.
However, make sure that your workforce is ready before empowering them. If you’ve got a group of lazy employees who are more concerned about catching a break than they’re about achieving success, then it would be counterproductive to push empowerment on them.
You should only start this process with your team if you have people willing to work hard and trust one another. Empowerment is only possible when you get everyone involved and start thinking together. And lastly, there’s no such thing as a self-made man. The best leaders are those who build up their team around them.