Being a leader is a privilege. When you lead and empower your employees, it can increase employee engagement and innovation, where employees will respect and admire you as the leader.
Ever heard of the saying “a leader is only as good as its team”? Yes, well, it’s important to remember your success is dependent on the success of those you lead. The more empowered your employees are, the more they grow and thrive.
Leading and empowering employees is essential for the growth of a sustainable business. A leader knows and understands that company growth is the result of not just one individual but numerous people who are not only committed but working towards the same goals, which in turn increases the strength of the organization.
Empowering employees in any organization must be engrained in the company culture where leaders demonstrate this genuinely.
So what does empowering employees mean? It means…
1. You trust the employees
2. You’ve provided the employee with all the necessary tools and resources to complete their task successfully
3. Encouraging them to make and own their decisions
4. Setting clear expectations
5. Trusting their potential, talent, creativity, and capabilities to tackle all assigned responsibilities
6. Freedom to manage and prioritize their day
7. Employees trust their leaders which creates a sense of safety
8. Employees feel valued and listened to
9. In turn, employees are motivated
So how can you empower your employees?
• Delegate for growth
Don’t delegate to take work off your desk. As a leader, you should delegate roles with an intention for the employee to grow from the assignment. You already know the employee’s capabilities, their potential, and skill strength; tap into that. This will not only stretch the employees but help them to realize their own potential.
• Communicate expectations clearly
Communicate clearly with the employee what the task is, along with the deadline and anything else that’s needed for the employees to meet what’s expected. Be specific. It’s also important to make sure the employees understand what’s expected to ensure they know how far they can go with their decisions. Don’t micromanage the employee; instead, let the employee know that you are there to support them if they need anything. Remember, when employees know what’s expected, they don’t waste time or energy worrying. Instead, they maximize their time and skills.
• Allow autonomy
A leader understands that not everyone thinks the same or leads the same. Encourage creative thinking and let the employees have “self-directing freedom” and “moral independence” to complete the assigned task.
• Appreciation goes a long way
When leaders show their employees appreciation, employees are encouraged and feel valued. It’s a simple gesture of “thank-you,” “nice job, or “I appreciate all your hard work” makes for a motivated, engaged, and productive employee.
Remember, leading and empowering your employees can motivate and fuel your employee’s creativity but can also create some burdens on the employees when they are assigned and empowered to take on or complete a task. Make sure to check in with the employee to understand how these factors may affect their everyday lives.
Sound out in the comments other ways leaders can empower their employees.
Nadidah Coveney is a GovLoop Featured Contributor. She is the CEO and founder of CTM Consulting Group and a certified coach, speaker, trainer and Forbes contributor. She has been in the Banking Industry and has over 19 years of leadership experience in management, coaching, and training. As a leadership expert and executive coach, she is dedicated to growing leaders while helping them create meaning in their own lives. She helps individuals get to the next level by connecting who they are to what they do, which results in motivated employees, customer commitment, and bottom-line performance. You can read her posts here.