How To Empower Your Team And Build Trust
How to empower your team and build trust? How to create a peaceful and stimulating environment apt to motivate your team members?
Do you sometimes feel like your employees are acting like teenagers?
They focus on their part of the job, but rarely identify the work around the edges or the messes that need to be cleaned up.
Having employees who feel accountable and empowered creates a much more pleasant and productive workplace.
What can you do to help avoid the never-ending excuse making when for instance deadlines are missed?
To build a billion dollar company, it turns out that it takes a leader that is surrounded by empowered staff.
ImportantEmpowering employees means giving your team members permission to take action and make decisions within your organization.
Empowering employees is important for growing a sustainable business.
WarningThis is not about proposing a free-for-all with everybody chipping in and doing what they think best. Instead it is creating freedom within a framework.
Empowerment builds trust and understanding to ensure the actions of the team are in line with company goals.
All you need to do is inspire your employees to see your own vision of the business and work towards achieving it.
And this can only be done through effective leadership.
So how do you empower your team to make decisions for your business and make it thrive? Here are five ways I have identified that well suited to empower your team.
When a workgroup leader is open and inviting about new ideas and opinions from team members, empowerment is significantly better.
ImportantPeople will sometimes have excellent ideas and other times will have stupid ideas. Either way, taking the time to respectfully listen sends the message that people are valued and respected.
Being open and inviting ideas from others will increase empowerment in your team.
WarningJust because you have been doing a task one way for your entire career does not mean that’s the best way to accomplish it. There are always problems to be solved and better ways to do things, so encourage your employees to share creative business solutions.
When possible, include your employees in decision-making and goal-setting.
If they can’t be involved in these preliminary processes, be open to hearing their ideas and input. Not only can being receptive to new ideas help empower your employees, it can also open up your organization to great new ideas.
Micromanaging is the process of controlling everything employees do. It can demoralize employees, limit creativity, and result in frustrated workers. It will only waste your time — time you could devote to leading and inspiring your employees!
True leaders give employees the freedom to come up with innovative ideas or processes on their own.
They must be confident in their hiring decisions so they know that employees are skilled enough to work independently.
Create a climate where it is positively encouraged for teams to go away and proactively make changes within their area of the business.
ImportantBe clear what’s in scope and what isn’t. Make sure the team has access to experts within the organisation who can help them to problem solve.
This way, you’re encouraging critical thinking, which will develop creativity.
You’re increasing their confidence. And best of all, you don’t look like a self-absorbed power hog. You’re showing that you trust your team, which makes you likeable.
Reward and Recognize
Every individual around you, from your closest leaders to the person answering the phone, yearns to be appreciated.
So brag on them every chance you get. It can launch even the most educated, sophisticated, high-level person into the stratosphere and send confidence levels through the roof.
Yes, you’re in charge. So do something great with your authority!
Surprise the team with doughnuts for no reason, or bring in a bottle of wine after a successful project completion.
Recognize team members for outstanding work and genuinely thank them for making your job easier.
ImportantOne of the first steps in becoming a true leader is to recognize that your team is your most valuable resource. With them, the sky’s the limit.
Success breeds success. Share stories of what teams have done and the impact that has had. The more teams learn from each other, the more others will want to get involved and the infectious energy of empowerment will spread.
Be thoughtful and specific about the feedback you provide.
WarningTelling someone they did a “good job” doesn’t give them any direction for what to continue doing in the future. Be specific about the actions or attitudes you’d like to see repeated and the impact it had on others.
Showing appreciation for work well done makes it more likely that a person will do it again (and do it even better).
It will also encourage them to continue to be innovative, take action, and to solve problems. Don’t be stingy with your thank you’s.
Rewarding positive behavior can be far more effective than punishment.
ImportantPositive reinforcement is an effective way of teaching and is a way to get those positive behaviors to be repeated. When you notice progress or a job well done, let your employees know.
Support and Encourage
Developing team members sends a message that employees are valued and the organization is willing to invest in them as people.
If your employees never have good ideas, it’s possible that they lack knowledge, skills, expertise or experience. These people need to develop new skills.
There is a very strong correlation between the emphasis a team has on development and high empowerment.
When your employees learn new skills, it’s better for the company as a whole. Some companies will even support continued education or classes outside of the workplace that enhance personal growth.
A better understanding of your team helps you lead them more effectively.
ImportantYou can give them more opportunities to shine by empowering them to tackle tasks and projects suited to their strengths. Then, invest in training and development to help them improve their understanding of concepts where they’re lacking.
Many leaders complain that when they start implementing empowerment, they still get employees expecting their problems to be magically resolved for them. Instead, offer tools, resources, and to be a sounding board for ideas.
Know that mistakes will happen — but that it’s easy to resolve most mistakes.
Trust that the people you work with are intelligent enough to solve problems on their own and self-aware enough to seek help when they’re in over their heads.
When there is a low level of trust in a team leader, employees resist empowerment.
ImportantIf employees trust their manager and feel the manager “has their back” and will support them, employees are more likely to feel empowered.
Show Not Tell
The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
The same holds true for your business. Let your team know where you want your organization to go, and share that vision often. They’ll become excited about hitting goals and reaching for the stars alongside you.
Teams will not believe that you want their input if that expectation is not role modelled and reinforced from the very top.
WarningEqually, if the leadership are seen to be sitting back and asking those lower down the pay scale to solve all their issues, that will go down like a lead balloon.
Make mentorship a priority. Create a culture where your team members feel respected and valued.
ImportantAsk your employees about their career goals, then provide strengths-based tasks and training and development opportunities to help them get there.
Mitigate conflict within a team by addressing it quickly. Get the parties who are involved together to identify a compromise they agree to. Have a positive attitude at work, and recognize employees who do the same.
Explain what measures you are taking to improve company performance and where you need input.
Help your leaders at every level to visibly empower their teams and take an active interest in their success. Little by little you will start to create a momentum.
Smile. Listen. Help.
ImportantThe best leaders, in a way, are servants; their priority is the well-being of the entire team, not just themselves.
Trust and Delegate
When a team member has the authority to make a decision, they feel more empowerment.
If they make a decision that gets reversed by their manager, the empowerment dissipates. Leaders need to make sure that employees are skilled and knowledgeable enough to make a good decision before they are given authority.
The more control people have over their work and how it is done, the higher their sense of empowerment.
They might not accomplish everything exactly as you would have, but they will get the job done with their own flair.
You will always delegate with the intent to grow and develop the capabilities and responsibilities of your employees.
WarningDelegating to take drudge work off your plate is often short-sighted and misses an opportunity to strengthen and empower your team.
Implement an “employee swap”. Some companies take the stance of making every employee learn to do the job of their supervisor. This ensures that employees are constantly improving and that they’ll be prepared for promotion when the time comes.
Empowered employees need to be challenged.
Once they have proven themselves capable, do not hesitate to delegate increasing responsibilities that allow them to push their boundaries, learn, and grow within the organization.
Great leaders find ways to help each team member develop and contribute through using their strengths.
ImportantAssign tasks that will allow your team members to grow and take on additional responsibilities. This can motivate them because it indicates that you feel they are valuable and competent.
Leaders are approachable. Being able to communicate with employees is an important leadership quality.
WarningEmployees shouldn’t be nervous to come to you with questions. Likewise, you should be direct with employees when things come up in your business.
Leaders are direct, clear and honest with employees.
ImportantYou want your employees to know that their opinions are valued in order to truly empower them. A simple gesture such as leaving your office door open can do wonders to communicate this.
As a leader, it’s your job to get everyone on the same page.
People that do not know what they are supposed to be doing won’t be able to accomplish their jobs very well at all. Clearly define the roles of your staff so they know their duties, and don’t step on each other’s toes.
Make sure that you clearly communicate your goals, projects, and ideas, and encourage your team members to do the same. Encourage your team members to contribute in brainstorming activities and commend them for their feedback.
Some decisions within a project will be more significant than others.
These may be ones that your empowered team members may still want to consult with you on. When questions come up, instead of providing your way of doing things, first ask the employee about their ideas.
Employees need to feel like they are contributing to building something as opposed to just another cog in the wheel.
ImportantBy clearly communicating the vision of the organization and how a team and its individuals contribute to that vision, you are empowering your employees with the knowledge that their contribution is making a difference.
Empowering people does more than raise engagement and motivation.
It allows the organisation to move faster than it has before and to achieve bigger, more sustainable financial results.
Leaders are excited to see employees develop. They don’t want to stifle their growth.
ImportantBy delegating tasks and accepting employee input, you show that you are willing to create new leaders in your business.
Employees that feel their opinions and insights are valued are more likely to invest in the company they work for on an emotional level.
This, in turn, can improve performance. So empower employees to speak up and then listen to what they have to say.
Empowering your team is just one piece of the effective leadership puzzle.
While your company can likely achieve a certain amount of growth under your direct management, true and sustainable company growth takes a capable team of empowered employees.
Start creating a ‘movement’ of people who actively care about business performance and are empowered to take action to continuously improve what they do.
How do you empower team members? If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!