DR. E. CAROL WEBSTER’S
EMPOWER YOUR EMPLOYEES
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2012
Many managers pay lip service to employee empowerment but don’t really do much to make it happen. The process takes a lot of time and organizational change, but can reap great benefits for you as well as your staff. And as the economy improves, expect some of your best people to jump ship – especially if they’ve only been sticking around for a paycheck. So this is a great time to make changes that empower your team and help you retain the great workforce you’ve cultivated.
Value What Your Employees Think
You may know a lot, but you don’t know everything so make time to listen to what your employees think about things. They can provide valuable information, including important institutional history that you may not have, so provide predictable forums for discussion. Make it safe for your staff to air concerns and criticisms, taking special care to avoid becoming argumentative or defensive. There is much to learn from their feedback and, while this may be uncomfortable at times, show that you take them seriously by making note of their concerns and find ways, no matter how small, to take action based upon their input whenever possible.
Delegate Tasks that Further Organizational AND Employee Goals
Often managers have trouble implementing employee empowerment initiatives because they resist giving up some of their own power and control. They also fear that any mistakes made will make them look bad and tarnish their reputation. Relax and look for tasks that aren’t central to your own job but that help advance the organization’s goals and that you can treat as “teachable moments” should mistakes occur. Your staff will learn not to repeat these errors and their competency will grow. And employees like to feel that they are doing work that is important to the company’s mission, not just busywork or projects you don’t want to be bothered with. They understand that tasks will be a mix of good and bad, but need to feel that they are valued activities. Try to identify opportunities that tap their interests and, even better, advance their career goals too. This boosts motivation and morale, deepens job satisfaction and commitment to the company – and to you!
Allow Employees to Make a Difference
Ultimately, your staff will feel empowered when they feel they’re making a difference in the organization. While there will always be those who just want to collect a check and that’s it, many are motivated by knowing that their ideas, opinions, and energies are helping their agency to be the best in the community, in the nation, and maybe -– in the world! This drives higher task quality, sparks innovation, and results in greater productivity when employees feel that what they say and do matters.
Employee empowerment is important but your initiatives will take time to bear fruit so be patient and hang in there for the long haul. Read up on best practices and if your efforts never seem to be working, get the leadership training or individual coaching you need to empower yourself so that you can empower those you lead.
About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at http://drcarolwebster.com or call 954.797.9766.
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
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