Tips To Empower Team Members & Leaders

12 Tips for Empowering Co-Workers and Employees

Today’s workplace is a challenging environment, often demanding a careful balance between friendship, professional interest, and education. Empowerment can be a tricky thing. Helping others to be the best they can be, is more often than not, a mine field which one can become the primary casualty. Helping others is not always career suicide! In fact, most of the time it can be a positive way to demonstrate one’s expertise in a generous and even charitable manner.


1. Importance of Timely Feedback

Employees thrive on feedback. Being able to respond to demands in a way that is both timely and constructive can make or break an employee’s career. Helping co-workers and employees understand the direction they should be moving, is not only essential to their progress, but also yours.


2. Challenge the Team

Every great employee needs a reason to grow. What motivates is something bigger than the initial scenario, something that conveys to them, ‘Yes, you can do this, but with a bit of a nudge, you can do this just as well’.


3. Communication Is Key

No job is successful without communication. No company either. To not appropriately convey the importance of effective communication to employees… is not only career-, but business-suicide. According to Lee Iacocca, “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” As studies have shown, it is not only essential to doing business, but is crucial to the basic understanding of workplace performance measures.


4. Well Defined Roles

There is a trend that suggests, “wearing many hats” is the business of the future. Most employees struggle with this concept, however. Employees and co-workers need to know what is expected of them. Without roles, people have no way of measuring the progress of themselves or others. Quite simply put, roles help define culture in business.


5. Skillset Maintenance

So you get a degree in 2015, but what about your knowledge base in 2020? if you don’t take steps to manage and maintain your skillset, you’ll likely be left in the dust! The world is an evolving presence, and with it, knowledge. Employees need to be encouraged to maintain that knowledge and to understand that learning is an ongoing endeavor.


6. Allow for Failure

Sometimes really great ideas just don’t work out. Perhaps the timing is off. Perhaps it’s the environment. Being allowed to make calls, even if they’re ones that don’t work out… and having the opportunity to understand why, is critical to the development of knowledge and the expansion of any great business. Companies and people grow from failure. Robert F. Kennedy put it best when he said that, “Only those who dare to fail greatly, can ever achieve greatly.”


7. Accountability

Everyone needs to feel responsibility for his or her cog in the wheel. This is what accounts for failure. It’s also what leads to greatness. It’s true that people learn from their mistakes! Feeling as though they are a valuable contribution to a business, increases vestment that people make in themselves and their careers.


8. Similar Values

If everyone in the organization does not share the same values, the battle is already lost. The vision of a similar outcome, on behalf of all employees and co-workers, is critical to the success of every organization.


9. Comprehensible Measurements

Evaluation is more than what dictates pay raises and compensation. It’s a way for employees to understand their competency level. If there is no system in place for them to be able to measure their competency levels, then there is no way for them to measure their performance!


10. Don’t Micromanage

There are proponents of micromanagement in the world; however, most people don’t respond well to it. Workers need a certain amount of autonomy in being able to adequately demonstrate their skills. If you spend most of your time at work standing over co-workers and employees, it might be time to back off.


11. Be Human

Business transactions are often very inhuman. However, co-workers and employees need to understand that those who work with them understand this factor. No human wants to be thought of as merely a number. People want to be recognized for what they do in their daily roles.


12. Sharing Visions

Here’s the clincher. Most people are not gifted with psychic abilities. They need clear communication on a regular basis in order to maintain vision. This means that they are looking to those in supervisory roles to share their ideas of success as a way of providing guidance.


There you have it. In twelve easy steps, you can be an effective co-worker or supervisor. Smart thinking is the key to smart business in this era. Successful co-workers and supervisors are equal part: guidance counselors and sages. As Peter Drucker (business consultant and the brainchild of management by objectives) stated, “”Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

Photo credit: Knight Foundation / CC BY-SA 2.0

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