A team leader, manager, director or supervisor is the individual often seen as in charge, making all the decisions, determining policy and procedures while more often than not receiving the credit for the entirety of the operation – good or bad. In some cases, this is true either due to a small team, the workplace model being used or far too often due to micromanagement.
A good team leader is one where the individual may be seen as in charge but consistently deflects that praise to other members of the team and allows other members of the team to make decisions as individuals or as groups and then defends those decisions to others. This is a level of empowerment – the dividing of institutional power and responsibility among the entirety of the team rather than within the hands of a single manager or supervisor. For organizations not currently doing this, it is both scary and difficult to implement.
Here are the benefits of empowering your employees:
- Increased Commitment. Your team will be further committed to the operations, to the decisions others have made and to the overall mission/vision.
- Knowledgeable Employees. Your team’s knowledge of the operations and ability to be involved and informed is much higher. The decisions they make will be better.
- Time Away. Your team will be able to be away from the office when they are supposed to be away from the office given vacations and other paid time off.
- Succession Planning. Your team will have an easier time operating in a continuous, effective and efficient manner when other team members – or even you – move on to another opportunity.
As the manager, director or otherwise leader of the team, there is a fundamental change needed from you to fully implement this level of empowerment into your organization and it is not easy to hear: Get Out of The Way. Allow your employees to fully embrace this path and to be afforded these opportunities.
There will still be decisions, escalations and meetings that will need you. You will not become unnecessary when you empower your employees – far from. You now have an increased opportunity for an even larger role with even more employees to empower.