During a recent interview, I was asked about how to do empower your employees to get them to work together better? There is much more to getting your team to work together better than just empowering them. Of course, if you don’t empower them at all; I think working together is going to a hard sell. Empowering your team is nothing new. It has been around long before I got into leading my teams.
Looking back on what I did and what I have learned – empowering the team – you need a few things.
- Be a strong leader. Many people think they are good leaders, but maybe they are good managers. There is a difference. Being a strong leader takes time and patience with your team. Starting out using the empowering word with your team, will make the team a bit skeptical. They will be watching your every move to see if your actions match your words. Some simple questions to ask yourself… Are you inspiring the team to be successful? Are you telling the team how to be successful? Can you let go?
- Insure the basics are well-known. I came across a post that helped to clarify what I mean about the basics and how to insure that the team is set-up for getting the most out if it’s teamwork. The post is Does Teamwork Really Make the Dream Work? In The Workplace, Yes. from Cornerstone University. Clear communications, Listening Well, Conflict Management and Resolution, Reliability and Respectful Attitude – very key to setting a strong environment for the team.
- Let your employees act. Decision making is critical. Having decisions made at the lowest level will help to keep things moving. Here is where the work is… Empower your employees and build their confidence by asking probing questions that help them arrive at their own answers. My favorite reply from an employee was – I come to you and you ask me my opinion and suggestion, then you pick my suggestion. Why? To me that is the training exercise for good decision-making. They build their confidence and learn.
- Encourage. Each employee within the team will learn and grow at different pace. Keep encouraging them to thinking creatively and share their ideas. The strength is in the team. Now more than ever the team wants to be included. People coming into the work environment are not there to just collect the paycheck. They want to do well, they want to make a difference and they want to be a part of a larger team!
I have had some pretty incredible teams that have done some amazing things. Those teams were empowered! I spent my time coaching, mentoring and removing roadblocks. They spent their time getting the work done – with some great results.