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Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Empower Your Employees With the Right Mindset

Empowerment. It’s a word often said, a goal, a value, a hallmark of modern leadership. Yet it may be one of those leadership principles that can be misunderstood and difficult to put into action. Especially, when we are talking about empowerment at work.

Create an empowering environment by fostering trust and respect. An empowering leader is a wise teammate. They create the space where great work gets done. To become a teammate, leaders must truly know your team members, their goals, and their strengths. They must understand their sense of purpose and work to support them in achieving it.

For employees to be empowered, they must be part of the conversation. Employees must participate in discussions on achieving current goals and setting new goals. Doing so will enable them to develop a personal stake in these goals and successfully fulfill them. Employees should also be encouraged to participate in shaping new ideas and strategies.

By being part of big-picture conversations, employees feel worthy and valuable to the team's success.

Align individuals to organizational goals. An organization still has a “why” that drives the work and value of the organization. Empowerment derives from having relevant information.

To bolster empowerment at work, ensure team members understand the goals of the organization. Enable them to connect their contributions to these goals. Show them how and why their work matters.

Provide feedback so they will know when they have been successful. Aligning individual and organizational goals means coaching team members to unleash their strengths in service of organizational goals.

Redefine accountability. Individual accountability is at the core of empowerment, but how we define it is important. 

Accountability here means a commitment to achieving organizational goals. But it also allows for risk-taking and new approaches that might lead to temporary setbacks and failures. Accountability includes supporting team members in learning from these moments. It means refocusing their efforts towards the goals using new knowledge and experience.

Practice self-awareness. A leader may discover she feels uncomfortable with releasing power to others.  Feelings like “what if they get it wrong?” or “I don’t feel like I’m adding any value” can be challenging for leaders who may then inadvertently act in a disempowering way.  Empowering leaders know themselves well. They keep tabs on their inner dialogue to guard against disempowering actions.

Employee empowerment in the workplace is the key to unlocking the full potential of your organization. Empowered employees are more productive, engaged, and committed to achieving their goals. In addition, they feel valued and respected, which creates a better work environment for everyone. To create a workplace empowerment culture, you need to start by clarifying roles and responsibilities, providing necessary resources, delegating authority effectively, and cultivating a flexible work environment.

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