Leadership: Empower your Team!

by Silvia Pellegrini

Not too long ago, a study was conducted by Dale Carnegie in conjunction with MSW that indicated 29% of the modern workforce is engaged, around 45% is not engaged, and around 26% is actively disengaged. Dale Carnegie Training has been conducting such studies over the years and the latest statistics are definitely alarming.

In the same study, it was highlighted that companies lose over eleven billion dollars every year due to employee turnover, which is a direct result of disengagement. Companies that manage to have engaged employees are likely to outperform competitors that have disengaged employees by more than 200%. More than 70% of employees are not engaged and that cuts across all industries.

Fortunately, there are ways to deal with the problem. The same study highlights four attributes of engaged employees. By working on these four attributes, companies can have engaged employees. The four attributes are: enthusiasm, inspiration, confidence and empowerment. Employees need to be empowered, inspired, confident and enthusiastic to be engaged.

Here are three ways you can empower your team.

The seed of empowerment lies in freedom. Employees must have the liberty to do things their way. Sure, there will be a modus operandi, rules or guidelines, deadlines, and quality assurance or compliance. Despite having all these checks and balances, an employee can always be allowed to do their work in their own way. The simplest thing to avoid is breathing down the employee’s neck. Most bosses have a hands-on approach, despite contributing little to actually help the team. Such approaches create disengagement. Allow the team the freedom to make some decisions, to get things done on their own accord, and let the results speak fro themselves. Until then, don’t doubt their approach or potential for getting things done.

Teams must be given the power to decide for themselves and along with that they must be allowed to feel responsible. Power and responsibility go hand in hand with empowerment. Anyone who has no power or control over her own day-to-day affairs will not feel empowered. But don’t assign power without accountability. That would give your team a free run, and such approaches seldom bear fruit.

Finally, you must stand and fight for your team. Successful leaders don’t save their own skins and sacrifice the pawns. They take the fall, own up the faults, and shield the team members. Fighting for your team will empower each and every one of them. They will fight for you!

Silvia Pellegrini is Managing Director of Events Uncovered TV. Opinions are her own. She can be reached at silvia@eventsuncovered.tv.

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