Empowering employees everyone talks about it. Everyone says to do it. Yet it’s a challenge.
Autonomy to employees to do their day-to-day role is where it all starts. Specially those who are in customer facing roles. Giving them the autonomy to make decisions as they are interacting with the customers, instead of having to check-in with a superior at every stage, helps immensely.
This simple autonomy is something that is, often, either not explained to employees or not given. As a result the front facing employees often find themselves in situation where they feel stuck.
Delegation and empowerment are two areas that are often misunderstood and misused.
Delegation is giving the responsibility of an activity to another to do it instead of the manager doing it. Empowerment is giving the authority and responsibility to execute the full activity, as felt best, by that employee.
Empowerment is underpinned by trust. It’s about trusting your people and letting go of your ego about the fact that the executive just may do a better job than the manager could have.
The key here is to take time and explain the scope of the activity or the role of the executive. That aids in having effective empowerment.
Trust is where it all starts. This involves 3 T’s– Training: you’ve got to train your people properly and long enough so that the person trained gets habituated with the process and equipment; Tools– ensure the correct tools are provided; Trust– as a leader spend formal time with your team. That one-on-one is what builds mutual trust and strengthens the relationship.
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