Employee Empowerment: Leadership Factors
Two significant leadership factors involving employee empowerment include:
1) The growth and development of the employee, and
2) The ability of the leader to accomplish so much more.
For any high-performing employee promoted to a management position, they soon realize the demands for their time have increased exponentially. If they had not appreciated time management concepts before, they quickly realize how important delegating, empowering, and time principles are for reducing stress, and ultimately, their future success.
Employee empowerment has been described in many ways, but it boils down to enabling the employee to be in control of their destiny. This may sound philosophical, but it should not be about allowing employees to “make decisions” or “bend the rules.”
Instead, employee empowerment should be about providing the broadest possible boundaries, keeping them informed, and trusting them to make the best decisions based on the information you have made available! This is all part of the continuous employee development process. See how Lieutenant General William “Gus” Pagonis “moved mountains” using this approach.
Employee Growth and Development
Those serving in leadership positions realize how much more responsive employees become when they are treated with dignity, treated fairly, and treated like someone who has the potential to learn and grow.
Everyone appreciates being treated with that type of respect, and when leaders demonstrate this type of genuine interest in their employees, they sow the seeds for individual growth.
Similarly, everyone appreciates the opportunity to contribute. When leaders empower effectively, they delegate authority while sharing responsibility for decisions, and this demonstrates trust.
Once again, this is all part of the continuous employee development process. Leadership must take the time to discover employee strengths and areas for improvement, then apply the correct leadership style, whether directing, coaching, supporting, or delegating, appropriate for each employees’ level of development.
Not only will effective employee empowerment improve employee satisfaction, but it will also enable the leader to achieve so much more. Employees will be more engaged and there will be less resistance, as they will be acting on their own decisions.
As a manager moves up the ladder, it becomes increasingly important to leverage the abilities of every employee, and every manager.
Leaders can achieve this only by providing those broad boundaries and developing their employees so that they continue to make informed decisions.
Enough Time in the Day
- Are you always pressed for time?
- Are you getting the most from your staff?
- Could you accomplish more by doing less?
- Are you willing to empower employees in order to free up your time?
Top 10 Ways to Empower Your Staff
- Set the example; in every area. Your team will follow if you lead.
- Delegate and empower others. Everyone learns best by doing.
- Create enough space for individuals to make mistakes and grow. Step in only when safety is a concern or a potential gross misuse of resources.
- Teach others to accept responsibility, but develop trust by maintaining overall responsibility.
- Focus on developing your team; individually and collectively.
- Use daily situations to coach and develop others. Convert mistakes into lessons learned and coaching opportunities.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate; and do so clearly.
- Continually move towards creating a positive work environment.
- Apply the golden (platinum) rule; treat others as you (they) want to be treated, and the rest will come easily.
- Treat others with respect and dignity first; it will be returned beyond measure.
Give serious thought and effort toward empowering your team. You’ll have more time and accomplish more by doing less.
The rewards are beyond expectations!
Tom Crea is a leadership expert, decorated career Army Officer, and Blackhawk Helicopter pilot. Because of his proven skills, he was hand selected to run the Army’s leadership development program at two Boston colleges, where he and his team transformed college students into combat leaders.
Tom has a B.S. & M.C.S. in Computer Science and a M.A. in Political Science and loves coaching basketball and spending time with his wife and two boys.
Creating a Culture:
Tom’s proudest leadership moment came when his unit was called to war in Iraq after he had rotated out. His replacement was not able to perform, so members he developed stepped up to lead; they attribute their success to the leadership Tom instilled in each of them. Today, the Blackhawk leadership way.