Delegation and empowerment are two of the most important skills any business owner can practice to build a team and a business for the future.
Staff members that will play a role in future years must be ready to grow with the business and that means the sooner they are tested the sooner any gaps they may need to fill can be addressed.
Delegation is Key to Staff Development
Delegation is step 1 to your business development.
Delegation is the “assignment, temporarily or permanently, of any responsibility or authority” to another person (normally from a manager to a subordinate) to carry out specific activities, such as facilitating the weekly staff meeting.
Delegation is used to test the ability, capability, and willingness of specific employees identified to have the desire and experience to assume more responsibility. Delegation occurs under the direction of another.
Employee Empowerment Helps Develop Future Leaders
Empowerment is step 2 for developing effective leaders.
Empowerment is the “giving of authority and decision making” to another person to increase the degree of autonomy and enable them to represent their interests as they see fit, acting on their own authority but contributing to the clearly defined vision of the organization.
A simple example is giving the responsibility of planning, scheduling, and follow-up on any details that result from the weekly staff meeting. Empowerment is also a test of ability but without consistent oversight.
There are some great side effects of employee empowerment. Staff members who are empowered are more likely to be engaged in promoting the mission, vision, and values of your business. Once empowered, staff can be encouraged to take ownership. Taking ownership promotes a sense of pride that translates into better performances and unique outcomes. Every person on your team has something unique to offer. Taking advantage of that means you serve your own needs and theirs.
Empowering others means you give up some control to get the best of what others have to offer.
It also comes with the responsibility to provide them with the knowledge, clear instruction, training, and opportunity they will need to perform. This includes giving them permission to devise their own approach and act on it as long as it meets the overall goals you have defined for them. For that reason alone empowerment is not as easy as it sounds.
Business owners often resist relinquishing control.
The motivation to do so must be clear and of great value. The success of your business has often been built on your own sweat and sacrifice. Giving anyone else the opportunity to find their own path to your vision can be difficult. It is worth it.
The right people, in the right positions, with the right support and empowerment are very powerful strategies. They make you better. They make your business more successful. They often contribute ideas and talent that are not available to you.
To reap the full benefit of empowering others, you must do your part to ensure they are ready and willing to accept the challenge. You must monitor, not micromanage, progress along the way so that you are certain to get the highest level of benefit to all stakeholders.
10 Tips for Developing Effective Leaders in Your Company
These effective tips will help you practice your empowerment skills and realize success:
1. Choose the right employees.
Every employee can be empowered to some level. Choosing the right employee for the task, project, or role is your job. Be sure they are capable and willing.
2. Make sure they have the tools and resources they need to succeed.
Having the right tools to do the job is critical to maximizing the success of the project. Start the practice of empowerment by having them identify what they will need to succeed. If you agree, provide it. If you do not agree, take the opportunity to develop both your skills for negotiation to come to an agreement on what is needed.
3. Provide training.
If the role or project requires training, be sure it is provided. “Train as you go” or “train on your own” is often a recipe for lost time and mistakes.
4. Be clear on your vision for the company and on the goals of specific projects.
Your job as leader is to clearly define the vision you have for your business and share it with all key stakeholders, including anyone you have empowered to contribute to the success of that vision and any goals that are a part of that vision.
5. Clearly define roles and authority.
Let your employees know where their role and authority begins and ends. Once that is established, back away and let them perform inside the boundaries you have set.
6. Keep the lines of communication open.
It would be uncommon for questions not to arise in any new role, responsibility, or project. Be clear on the best way to communicate questions and what to expect from you on responses. Comply with your agreements. Make it easy for them to get the answers they need.
7. Hold them accountable to the agreed upon dates, deliverables, and outcomes.
Give your employees the responsibility of reporting back to you on specific dates and deadlines or when specific milestones have been reached or missed. Mark your calendar to be sure they comply, but be careful not to micromanage the schedule.
8. Inspect the results. Make adjustments to the goals.
Take the time needed to review the outcomes and performance and make adjustments that are aligned with the vision and goals to reach that vision.
9. Reward results.
Reward the results you want and avoid rewarding missed goals and outcomes. Rewards do not have to be monetary. They can be public recognition, more responsibility or expanded authority.
10. Create a safe place to make mistakes.
While we always hope everything will go just right the first time, it is not uncommon for missteps and mistakes to occur. Make it safe for those to happen and work with your employees to make adjustments.
My philosophy is the best way to build a world class team is to surround yourself with people that can challenge, inspire and, yes, replace you. These should be people that fill your “gaps”, people that make you stronger as a team and better as a leader. Do not be afraid to be challenged.
Empower those around you and reap the benefits for everyone.
Achieve Future Success with Sherry Jordan
As a business owner, you take on an enormous amount of responsibility. Building a reliable and strong team that you can trust with delegated tasks wherever possible can help you relieve stress. Additionally, empowering your team members will develop future leaders that can fill any gaps in your business as you continue to grow.
Whether you’re planning for your company’s future or you need advice on how to better manage your business strategy, Sherry Jordan can help you develop a plan that fits your goals. Contact Sherry today & set your business up for future success!