Empowering Your Team
Trust and calculated risks
Steve Jobs famously explained us that it doesn’t make sense to hire smart people to tell them what to do but we need to hire smart people so they tell us what and how we have to do it.
The key to leadership that empowers is trust. If we surround ourselves with smart people developing new ideas, we need to forget a micromanagement attitude with a leadership top-down and support the team new ideas even if we have to move out from our comfort zone and take calculated risks.
A calculated risk is a risk they’re willing to take to grow their business. Oftentimes, we can find owners don’t take a risk because they don’t trust the idea or the person who brought the idea.
Build personal relationships
Building personal relationships with your employees is best way to make sure they feel heard. A coffee break is not a waste of time, listen to their needs, ask what matters most to them, and find out what are their motivation, keeping open and informal conversation, will create an environment where employees personal and professional goals can be met. It’s necessary to create the atmosphere where the idea comes up without previous judgement.
Some employees do not provide ideas just because they don’t want to be judged when they think out of the box as weird or freak. keeping a strong culture that allows your top employees to grow and be heard is vital to success for any business. Just put an ear to the ground and keep listening.
Freedom goes a long way in keeping employees happy and motivated. Offer them guidance, but also be confident that they’ll succeed. Let them made mistakes and fail creating a leeway to happen safely, make them learning from their mistakes.
Be willing to compromise
Goals are moving targets and as a leader your role should be to keep tabs on the evolving personal and professional goals of your employees. Learn how to cater to these evolving needs while still doing what’s best for business. As a manager it’s important to realize when your business goals and your employees’ goals don’t align. When it’s clear they differ, do your best to find a compromise as long as it doesn’t hurt your business in the process.
The final piece to employee-empowering leadership is compensation.
If we’re going to expect innovative and entrepreneurial behaviors from the people we surround ourselves with, we need to be willing to incentivize those behaviors. As we get up to the higher levels of the organization, bonuses should be driven more by company performance than by individual goals to incentivize leaders to get results for the company.
In my last company a year bonus was given to all Management by company results, system was opaque and not linked with performance and result unknown so all managers expected a bonus as a complementary salary and not as reward for their business contribution.
A well-designed executive compensation system is a key to galvanize leaders because they will be focusing on the goals, trust them to get the job done and then incentivize them to do it.
Control emotions and spread positive attitude.
Be positive doesn’t mean to do not recognize fails in the organization or mistakes at management level, see them, explain to your employers all aspects of any situation, positive and negative and practice adopting the positive would help to improve a positive emotional contagion. Some management complains about negative attitude of employees, considering that their negativity doesn’t help to drive business, but most part of employees frustration comes from this positive message from a management that is far away from their daily problems.
Trust, Listen, Explain, Understand, Offer freedom, Compensate, Compromise and Show them the positive way and you’ll harness the power of your team !
Inigo Mayoral, founder of Insbuildrive.