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Let's define Employee Empowerment

Whenever we begin to discuss Employee Empowerment it automatically makes me think about Baseball.


Why Baseball? The game has all of the attributes needed to define Employee Empowerment.


Let us start with the "foul" lines. Imagine the game being played without any foul lines? The batter would have to constantly ask the umpire if the ball he hit was fair or foul before being able to run towards first base … just imagine how long and boring the game would become.


The visual establishment of the foul lines not only becomes important for the players but also for the spectators who can now anticipate what is going to happen next.



What is critical is the distance between the foul lines. If the foul lines are too narrow the game will not proceed with any speed (micro-management) and everyone will get frustrated and if there are no foul lines, the game will make no sense and likely result in chaos.


The result is employee empowerment within limits. This is very important to establish, I visit many organizations that boast about Employee Empowerment but then find the limits are so limited employees really cannot make a decision. In other instances, the limits are so wide that you never see consistency of performance. … You need balance and potentially this is what it should look like:


  • Demonstrate Your Trust

  • Communicate a Clear Vision

  • Encourage Self Improvement

  • Delegate


More Than Just Work !! As a boss or manager, it’s inevitable that you’ll have to delegate work, but make sure that’s not the only thing you’re passing down. Ask a staff member to lead an important meeting, even if it’s just while you step out to take a phone call.


  • Learn Flexibility

  • Inspire

  • Creative Thinking


Just because you have been doing a task one way for your entire career does not mean that’s the best way to accomplish it.


Show You Appreciate Their Efforts

Sure, your employees are paid to show up every day, but it’s always helpful for them to receive some encouragement. Whether it’s a sales call that was handled exceptionally well or a report that was put together flawlessly, let your employees know when they are doing a good job. This will ensure continued high-quality work in the future, and they will feel more job satisfaction.


Believe in your employees. The best managers get outstanding performance from

ordinary human beings. If you wait for a team of superstars, you will be waiting forever.


Discover what each person does best. Find better ways for people to support each other. Bring people together to support and encourage each other. Then believe 100% in these partnerships and collaborations.


Forgive mistakes. If your team isn't making mistakes, then you are not reaching high enough. But if you punish mistakes, you will encourage overly conservative behavior. Establish clear differences between acceptable mistakes versus mission critical offenses.


Example

It is OK to test a new advertising method and discover it does not work; it is never OK to engage in false or deceptive advertising.


Our job as Leaders is to A) Lead B) Follow or C) get out of the way!!

Getting out of the way means that you trust your team and have granted them empowerment, just know the limits of the empowerment you have granted them to keep them on the highway of improvement.



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