Empower Your Team to be Leaders in 2020
Empowerment is the creation of a motivational climate that releases power, resources and responsibility to each team member to foster maximum engagement, involvement and commitment to achieve the desired results. No matter how ambitious, talented, or self-disciplined you are, at some point it becomes necessary to involve other people in achieving your goals and creating better results.
As you plan for the new year in 2020, consider how you can achieve better results, increase productivity and success by empowering your team to become leaders. Empowerment is the means for accomplishing your goals. Empowerment extends productivity beyond the organisational skill and knowledge of one person. It is the art of enabling others to take action.
Empowerment is an essential building block in win-win interdependent human relationships, regardless of your position and responsibilities. Allow others to make more decisions and they will bring more commitment to any team or department endeavour. Impart a degree of ownership to others and they will become involved in your vision and action plan. This is true in sales, education, hospitality, customer service, management, manufacturing or any other field.
Empowerment allows anyone striving for personal and professional development to develop and move forward. Because it is the essence of true leadership and influence, empowerment achieves results and progress through enhancing the involvement and commitment of others. In the past only leaders were allowed to control information flow and decision making, taking full credit for the results. Today, however, it is widely recognised that all team members can make valuable contributions to the plans and decisions and share in both the responsibility and credit for outcomes.
Empower those who are in the best position to take action by giving them the direction, knowledge, resources and authority they need. Communicate your respect for your team members through delegating some of your traditional authority and power to them. Handled correctly, empowerment multiplies your efforts to accomplish your vision and goals. Empowerment takes many shapes and forms – self-directed work team, asking for ideas, turning over the leadership of meetings, delegation of training responsibilities, flex-time policies, surveys, cross training and other methods that encourage participation, input and feedback. These strategies are just some of the tools for empowerment.
Recognising the expertise of all team members will unleash their creativity. In today’s diverse, internationalised, information culture, top down autocratic control is obsolete. Mutual respect, reasonable delegation of authority, open communication, and mutual commitment to the team and organisational goals are the hallmarks of an effective organisation. Give employees the responsibility to adapt, respond and take advantage of opportunities.
Experimentation and innovation must occur regularly to keep up with any work characterised by customer interface, information or techonology change. Consumers increasingly demand instantaneous service and faultless quality whilst expecting low prices. To address these demands, train your team members in more that just the required procedures. Help them to understand the spirit and purpose of their work. Even temporary workers need information and training to function as empowered, dynamic team members,
Tapping into the existing values and vision of team members is the key to nurturing accountability and commitment of the team. The story is told of a traveler who visited a stone quarry and asked three of the workers what they were doing.
“Can’t you see?” said the first one irritably. “I’m cutting a stone.”
The second replied, “I’m earning a living.”
The third put down his pick and thrust our his chest proudly. “I’m building a cathedral.” he said.
How people view their work makes a significant impact on both short and long term productivity. All workers perform and respond to change best when they are accomplishing work or goals that matter to them. A synergistic, empowered and productive team consists of individuals who view their input as meaningful and significant.
The Benefits of Empowerment
- Retention of creative, skilled people as they participate and share in the success of the group
- Higher engagement and commitment from team members
- Logical, reasonable policy and decision making based on information from diverse sources in the organisation
- High calibre information flow as people know their ideas are welcomed, respected and acted upon
- Decreased waste and inefficiency as people closest to situations take improvement initiatives and activities
- Ideas captured in time to respond to market needs
- Unique competitive advantages derived from maximising the talents of all of the individuals in the organisation
- Increase “High Payoff” time for upper management
- Improved morale as group members enjoy belonging and becoming emotionally and intellectually involved in projects.
Initiating the process of achievement through empowerment can take longer than imposing an agenda upon others. Strict, top down control fails to fully use the potential of individuals. As a result, team members show only short-lived effectiveness along with little or no responsiveness or adaptability to outside events. In contrast, once people experience the fulfillment that comes through empowerment and involvement they are eager to adapt and make full use of their potential. They recognise the many personal benefits they reap as the organisation succeeds and their responsibility and effectiveness expand through empowerment.
Set your goals in 2020 to empower your people to become leaders.
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