Empowerment through coaching and skills development is a powerful way to show respect to your team. When leadership walks away from command-and-control management, they start to empower their team to take control of their work. As servant leaders, supervisors and managers listen more, ask questions to understand, and take away barriers.
What is empowerment?
Merriam-Webster defined empowerment as the act or action of empowering someone or something, the granting of the power, right, or authority to perform various acts or duties. In business, it means to share information and some level of power with the employees to make decisions. Likewise, it delegates some tasks like problem-solving and improvements at the workspace level. As a result, it also comes with more responsibility and accountability.
At Barry-Wehmiller, they refer to empowerment as responsible freedom. Bob Chapman talked about it in his post, “Trust: Better to give than receive“. He indicated that responsible freedom summarizes two ideas, freedom and responsibility. Freedom is the opportunity to exercise personal choice, to have ownership of the work that you do and the decisions you make. Responsibility is to ensure to be careful and exercise concern for other people and the requirements of the organization while making decisions.
But give power or authorization does no good if leadership doesn’t fulfill some requirements first. Employee empowerment requires the following.
- Trust they will do their best
- Training in the skills necessary to carry out the new tasks
- Coach them how to use the new skills and model the behaviors associated with them
- Provide all required information or grant access to it
- Encourage testing new ideas and assist with guidance and resources
How do you entitle your team with more power and control?
Empowerment means people have power and control over their daily work. With this new power and control, they gain knowledge and trust in their capabilities. Similarly, they feel more engaged with their work and happier when they come back home.
As leaders, we need to watch out for our team’s needs. Not everybody learns at the same pace or the same way. The support they need on this new endeavor is not the same either. Some people need more help than others.
If you empower them, you need to trust and support them. Respect your team by providing adequate support. Visit the workplace often, talk with your employees and listen to their concerns. Ask how you can help and do what you said you would do. Equally important is to provide support. No idea is a bad idea. Respectfully ask questions to guide them. Challenge the situation or the method, never the person. Create a safe environment where the team is not afraid of sharing their ideas, try them, or fail. After all, in continuous improvement, you win, or you learn!