Why would you want to empower them?
You need it – there are too many things to do, questions to answer, choices to be made that you simply must share the load with your people.
They need it – people want responsibility, flexibility, growth. They want to be part of making decisions, feel that they have their say in how they do their job and choices to make about it.
Empowerment is the way how to achieve both – you free up your time and energy and they will get their needs for satisfied.
Empowerment starts with hiring. Then you let your people make decisions, take responsibility, make choices. You help them overcome obstacles but let them be accountable for results that need to be delivered.
4 ways to empower your people
i) let them make decisions
Show them they don’t need to come to you for approval for every little thing. That they don’t need to fill 3 forms to get couple signatures in three weeks for something that can be decided in 2 minutes. Let them make decisions. Decision making is like a muscle – if you do many decisions you will get much better in them – your decision making muscle will grow.
ii) let them make mistakes
Hey, what did you expect? Of course, they will make mistakes. Let them learn from those and you’ll get people who will not be afraid to take risks and who will grow and learn at every opportunity.
iii) let them get things done
If you empower people they usually get things done. Partly it is their sense of pride and partly they have nobody to blame for not getting things done. Sense of ownership grows exponentially with empowerment.
iv) let them solve problems
Don’t give them solutions. It surely feels great to be perceived as one who knows everything and can solve every problem. Don’t give them answers. Ask them questions, probe, provoke. They know, they just need your help.
I am big believer in empowering people – in letting them do things, make decisions and taking responsibility. Saves me loads of time and energy, makes them learn and grow.
What will happen if you don’t empower?
i) they will be afraid to make decisions
(don’t get mad when they will come to you with everything – good bye quality thinking/working time)
ii) they will be afraid to to anything because of the fear of mistakes
(as we all know, it’s better do nothing than screw up something)
iii) they will prefer activities vs results
(always waiting for instructions, always something / someone to blame)
iv) they will not do anything without you telling them what to do
(better wait what boss have to say, we all know he know the best… right he does)