9 Great Ways To Empower Your Employees

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One way or the other, everyday, we manage people. In business. At home. In our families. In our relationships. Religion. Sports. Talents. Endless list. If you manage other people, specifically in business, the first thing you need to understand is that your success depends on their success. The more you empower your employees, the more they will grow and thrive. Here is a look at nine great ways to do this:

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Image credit: powersites.com

1. Give Employees Large Boundaries:

Contrary to conventional wisdom, boundaries don’t restrict team members; they empower them. Define the boundaries within which an employee can make his or her own decisions. In doing so, you give them freedom to act. They act in this freedom, and proffer solutions to so many problems on their own.

2. Listen Carefully:

One of the great attributes of a good manager is to have a listening ear. Don't try to talk your employees to 'death'. Take time to hear what they have to say. They are engine of the business, they run the business as the case may be. They are the ones on the field to know where things are going wrong. As a Manager, don't try to let your employees say what you want to hear (like an exaggerated performance). No. Listen carefully to the truth and and then act on that truth.

3. Believe In Your Employees:

This is pretty important. You must have so much confidence in the people that work for you. The best managers get outstanding performance from ordinary human beings. If you wait for a team of superstars, you will be waiting forever. Discover what each person does best. Find better ways for people to support each other. Bring people together to support and encourage each other. Then believe 100% in these partnerships, collaborations, and team efforts.

4. Forgive Mistakes:

Humans err. Mistakes are unavoidable in business. If your team isn’t making mistakes, then you aren’t reaching high enough. But if you punish mistakes, you will encourage overly-conservative behavior. Establish clear differences between acceptable mistakes versus critical offences.

5. Provide Growth Paths:

People change. Everything in life changes. If you don’t give people room to grow, you will force them to either leave your business or be stagnant. Even if it is inconvenient for you or your business, you must provide robust ways for your employees to grow. If they grow, your business grows.

6. Praise Effort:

Don’t focus on talent. No. Focus on effort. Over the long run, effort is far more important than talent. Also, by praising effort you will encourage people to learn and grow, rather than to simply stay focused on the one or two things that come easy to them. Knocks are necessary too, but when employees receive too many knocks, they get weighed down, and affects their optimal performance.

7. Ask Powerful Questions:

Instead of making demands or constantly telling employees how to do something, try talking less and observing more. Then, when you start to actually understand what’s happening, express your observation in the form of a powerful question. Remember this question, and wait as long as necessary for a good answer.


8. Earn Trust and Loyalty:

Trust is essential in business relationships. You should learn to trust and have the loyalty of the people that work for you. Be there in their good times, and support them in their lone moments. Layoffs are not the best practice in business. Don't always cut your workforce each year. It doesn't speak well of your business. Businesses thrive on trust and loyalty. Even if your employees will later leave, let it be on a good note that they served you well, and are rewarded for their efforts.

9. Give Employees Time:

As a Manager, you can’t always give each employee as much money as they would like, but you generally can give them time. This includes time to learn, time to try out new things, and time to manage their personal affairs. Time produces better results. Giving them time is giving them 'life' away from everyday work.
 
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