Working in a corporate milieu can be challenging especially when workers do not feel valued or that they are being given a chance to be themselves or fully exploit their creative skills. This can cause workplace burnout and other negative things that can affect the productivity of a team. Things do not have to feel this way when team members are being treated the right way and are allowed to express themselves, challenged positively and pushed to discover their different capabilities. This is actually simple to attain provided the manager focuses more on the team and its members. The company’s management team can change this feeling by empowering their team. What does it mean to empower a team?
When one talks about empowerment or empower a team, it does not mean letting team members do whatever they want to do without any form of control. Yes, you are giving them freedom to work better by working together but you have to be present to follow up what they are doing and not being bossy. What you are doing is actually promoting their empowerment via trust and these other techniques.
Let your team members make their own decisions
Does your team need to come to you for approval for any action, or discussion they need to take? Must consent be given each time they have to another task outside their jurisdiction or standard protocol or customers always say “Wait let me get my boss’ approval first” even for the basic things a normal staff can respond to – this can be a frustrating customer experience who may be running out of time.
Do not misunderstand me, I totally get that you have to be aware of every decision being made but giving team members the liberty to act with some limitations of course allows them to make quick decisions that can work positively for the company. It also makes the manager’s work to be easier and make team members feel like they have some sort of authority and they are not just mere robots who have to wait for the manager’s approval for every little thing.
Include them in vital decision making
Bring yourself down to the level of your team by including them in the decision-making process. This gives room for creativity and you may be surprised to how much you can learn from them or how productive their ideas can be. If you crack this wall and make them feel like their ideas are welcomed as long, they provide increased value to the project at hand, some strategic points about the project will be easily handled. After all it is often said “two heads are better than one”. Always remember than, they got to that team because the company felt they have the experience and expertise – so let them use it.
An empowered team is a plus
An empowered team is your biggest resource. You can make a bigger hit from their involvement in a project and always ensure that you ask for their opinions, thoughts, ideas and solutions to specific tasks at hand. Not only can their ideas actually help in making the project a success but make them feel like they are the reason the project was successful by letting them in. Team spirit makes them feel like they are actually part of a team that cares, and they can actually grow beyond who they currently are.
Always come back with positive feedback
Empowerment is not built in a day; it must be developed to grow and flourish. To achieve this, you will always need to provide the team with positive feedback. It is easy to probably neglect those small wins in a stressful project where a lot needs to be done and one keeps moving from task to task. But taking some time back to comment on your teams’ efforts goes a long way to boost them than you think, and it is equally essential for building an empowered team.
Give them authority- make leaders out of them
If you want to empower a team properly, let them have more authority, allow them to expand their abilities, build leaders and not some directed followers. Doing this gives team members power which in turn creates that feeling of belonging and sense of importance to the project and produces that zeal and fire while enhancing empowerment. You can aid team members grow by assigning challenging tasks to them and organize training programs for to improve their development.
Be their mentor and not just a boss
Do not be just a manger to your team but also be their mentor. Instead of being bossy or a boss that just gives instructions and is authoritative about everything, you can coach the team and let them do their stuffs independently. You can help your team members attain their potentials by aiding them achieve their goals. When you get to do this you are helping not just the company to retain talent and maximize productivity but you will make the project run smoothly, the team work efficiently and take the companies to higher heights. 9
Let team members take risks and let them know it is okay to fail
This sounds scary right but as a boss who knows his team well, you will be able to know their capabilities sometimes more than they do and do not be scared to push them towards it. Sometimes, your CSMs may come up with new ideas for the company – do not be quick to discard them but try to listen to what they are saying and let them act on it. If things do not work out well the first time, do not be quick to castigate them but let them know it’s okay to fail, do more research, train them and let them try again. This gives them the sense of empowerment or empower a team that they are trusted and pushes them to work even harder.
Rakhin has over 10 years of experience driving business development and client services. In his prior roles, he stayed close to customers to understand their requirements and help them achieve their business goals. He is passionate about customer success.
Published June 18, 2020, Updated May 15, 2023