The traditional hierarchical style of people management is quickly disappearing in the modern workplace. More companies are embracing a practical, progressive style of leadership that focuses more on employee empowerment. These leaders understand that strong people lead to successful companies.
When applied correctly, employee empowerment nurtures people to become leaders themselves, drawing out the best of their abilities and innate skills. Everyone has a "natural" gift, and good leaders will empower their people to use it so they can thrive in their respective roles and ply their skills toward the corporate mission.
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Over time, as trust builds with your team, they'll be able to make decisions and take actions aligned with your company's goals. It may require strategic delegation and clear communication on your part, but giving your employees ownership over their actions as a team is essential to growing a sustainable business. There are a number of ways you can start empowering your employees.
When applying these strategies, be sure to step back and monitor the employees to ensure that they stay on the right track. Allow them to grow and be the expert in their field without watching their every move, which can demoralize the person you're trying to empower.
Outside of the potential increases in workplace efficiency and productivity, there's one clear advantage for leaders when they empower their employees: it frees up a lot of their time. By delegating repetitive tasks to your team, you'll have more freedom to pursue the aspects of your work that you find more inspiring.
It also saves your employees time, as they will have the freedom to make decisions that solve problems instead of waiting for you to do it for them.
A significant caveat with employee empowerment is that there is some element of risk in allowing employees to make decisions and take actions independently. They might make a costly mistake, and if you feel the error wouldn't have happened had you taken on the task yourself, matters can be made even worse.
However, you can mitigate this by empowering employees to take on low-risk tasks and encouraging them to come to you if they're unsure about anything. This approach should minimize the effects of occasional mistakes. Loyalty and engagement can then easily be nurtured, and as their confidence grows, so will the strength of your business.
Tom Chopp is Managing Partner at SWS Warning Lights Inc. He can be reached at 905-357-0222 or email@example.com.
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