August 21, 2018

Delegation and empowerment

10 Tips on how to Step Back to Step Forwards

Empowerment has become a dirty word in the work place.  Often seen as an opportunity for a manager to delegate activities or responsibilities that he or she either sees little value in, or because they are must dos but boring or too menial to be bothered with.

But don’t let this stop you. There are significant rewards and benefits to empowering individuals and teams, and if applied well, empowerment will continue to give more benefits to you and your business.

What’s so important about empowerment?

  • It helps team members to develop and grow in confidence
  • It creates the opportunities to develop new skills
  • It truly engages people in the workplace and creates a positive environment
  • It makes available new space for personal development

In turn the benefits for the business are

  • Improved Accountability
  • Faster problem resolution
  • Higher quality products and services
  • Increased employee connection and engagement and
  • Improved Processes and Procedures

Here’s my 10 tips to ensure Empowerment will work for you:-

  • To empower and feel empowered relies on mutual trust between the giver and receiver of empowerment.  Like Trust, when it is abused, it is difficult to recover and when it is upheld, valued by the receiver.
  • If you do delegate, make it meaningful.  Delegating meaningless or menial tasks will devalue the empowerment you are giving in the eyes of the receiver and undermine the trust you are building.
  • Don’t be tempted to tell how goals needs to be met, focus on the outcome – here lies accountability, innovation and quality improvement.
  • Empower as much as you can, don’t hold back unless you have a regulatory constraint that means you must take part, and even then, give as much empowerment as you can.
  • Be there to support, when needed.  Stay interested in how things are progressing.
  • If things do go wrong, resist the temptation to rescue the situation by taking over.  Discuss calmly with the team member what can be done to fix things or recover lost ground.  Make it clear that you trust them to be able to complete the goal and continue to support.  Fail Fast and Learn quickly.
  • Take time to debrief – what happened, what went well and what would they do differently whatever the outcome.
  • Celebrate their achievements and say Thank You.
  • Don’t be discouraged by early challenges.  As you start to empower others it will take time for everyone to get used to the new approach and don’t be afraid to set the bar high.  The higher the bar, the more meaningful your trust is and the greater the benefits of the empowerment.

And finally…

  • Empowerment is not always given, we also empower ourselves.  The most important tip of all…create your own empowerment.  Step up, ask for forgiveness not permission and enjoy yourself.

Go on, Dare to Empower!

Louise Seabrook Scrase is a Heart-Centred Leadership Coach working with leaders and teams to build engaged high performance teams. Book a Discovery Call with me now to Accelerate your Personal Impact.

The Subtle Difference is all about enabling heart-centred leaders to step into senior positions where they can inspire others by creating an environment where people matter, the work they do is relevant and meaningful and that they are making progress for themselves and their organisation.

Happy and engaged employees deliver 20% higher productivity and increase shareholder value for the businesses they work in. (Source: Jackson Organisation Study)

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