No living creature wants to feel that they are being overpowered by an employer, or anyone else for that matter. There is a distinct difference between feeling that there is an effective leader on site and the feeling of being oppressed.
Empowered Employees Are Engaged Employees
Empowering employees is a simple process that begins with the mindset of the management. The first rule in empowering the staff of which you have been chosen to lead is by looking at the responsibility as a privilege. Understanding that no human being is in charge of another human being is key. Your responsibility is to get a certain work goal achieved with the help of some other staffers. Those staffers should be useful in the process. “Underlings” are never useful, they are burdens.
Staffers who may hold a subordinate position at work are ultimately equal. Having a leader with the right mind set doesn’t make the people in subordinate positions feel overpowered. Having an effective leader makes the staffers feel confident that the work goal will be achieved if all work together. Naturally, someone must be a responsible leader to avoid anarchy and chaos.
Here are three ways to empower your workforce. When things work in harmony, it creates a much more productive and enjoyable work environment.
Let the Staff in on the “Big Secret”
Having a clear understanding of how all of the different roles at the company interplay to achieve a certain work goal is a great idea to make your staff feel empowered. Many supervisors make the mistake of doling out orders without explaining to the staff why they are completing a task, or what others in the company are doing in relation to one another. Consider that your employees are intelligent and capable people who can handle the idea of the bigger picture. Be transparent so that they can understand how to become a leader as well.
Let Them Manage Their Own Work and Time
Being overpowering doesn’t necessarily mean being too dominating or assertive, it can also be when you don’t give your employees any independence. You will find your employees will become much more productive when they’re able to manage their own time, as opposed to being told when they must work. A great way to accomplish this is to make use of time and attendance software which your staff can use to allocate their time to tasks, as well as clock-in their hours.
Such software is also beneficial to management, as it provides reporting data which gives accurate insights into employee progress. Because it’s system based, managers do not have to worry about independently observing staff. They can still manage the entire workforce without coming across as overpowering.
Innovation in Practice
Having a clear defined sense of yourself will lead to becoming a great leader. Terrible and overpowering bosses are born out of intimidation and insecurity. Consider using a “suggestions box“. Staffers can make their ideas anonymous if they choose or let everyone know their suggestions. If the employee wants to try a different approach to a work problem, try implementing it for a period of time! Can you imagine the empowerment benefits of this effort? It will make the employee feel like he or she is contributing to the company in a major way. If the new idea is useful, incorporate it into the structure of the company.
Resist the notion of taking credit for the idea yourself or the idea of competition in the work place. As an effective leader, you will get credit for having the audacity to try the idea. Only healthy competition is allowed on your team. Encourage the other staffers to come up with a more innovative approach.
Stimulated brain cells can exist in any work place. Having genuine relationships with the staff about what the work goal is keeps every one focused on what needs to be achieved. This empowerment approach works from the largest corporation in the world to the burger joint on the corner. People are employed at a certain venue for a period of time. Even what could be considered a dead-end job can be done well with empowered employees who are on their way to something bigger and better. Encouraging leadership potential in a concrete and realistic fashion will stay with the employee for a lifetime. The right attitude is the key.
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