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Managing Your Employees: Part One

Employee Empowerment

There’s no doubt that empowerment is a buzz word when it comes to best practices in management.  But what does it refer to, exactly?  Employee empowerment means allowing members of your team to act autonomously in their work and make decisions on their own.  This level of trust in the workplace ultimately fosters honest leadership, open communication, and employee job satisfaction. 

For all intents and purposes, empowerment is the direct opposite of micromanagement.  It is not, as many mistakenly believe, the practice of relinquishing all managerial power.  Alternatively, it involves trusting your employees so that they feel confident and empowered enough to perform to the best of their abilities.  

Here are a few tips on how to generate employee empowerment in the workplace:

Give Credit

If an employee consistently performs well or does a particularly great job on a team project, don’t be afraid to give credit where credit is due.  A verbal compliment can go a long way in helping employees feel empowered and dedicated to the success of your company.   

Be Passionate

An important part of empowerment is feeling passionate about one’s role and the work at hand.  Ignite enthusiasm amongst your employees by maintaining an upbeat, positive outlook – they will surely respond in kind.     

Be Accountable

Accountability is a key aspect of employee empowerment, but you’ll need to set the bar high.  Own up to the things you say and do on a regular basis, even when the results aren’t favorable.  If you express accountability for your actions, your employees will be more likely to follow suit. 

Delegate

Not only does sharing the workload help you manage your responsibilities more effectively, it also shows your employees that you trust their skills and abilities. Be clear on your expectations when it comes to delegation, as this will allow the work to be completed without your supervision and create performance
standards for future projects.    

Respect

Always show respect to yourself and your employees.  If someone has an idea that may not work for one reason or another, don’t brush the effort under the rug.  Instead, say something along the lines of, “I don’t think that will work for this project, but do you have any other ideas?” 

Invite Feedback

You already know that providing employees with regular feedback is necessary for improving job performance.  However, did you know that a major aspect of workplace empowerment also includes inviting employee feedback?  Asking employees for their opinions shows them that their input is not only invited, but valued.  Simply put, people enjoy feeling like they matter in the grand scheme of things. 
 
Employee empowerment goes hand in hand with overall job satisfaction.  It will prompt members of your team to take action, make decisions, and work towards a common goal. 

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