Every organization wants to do everything it can to improve employee productivity. This single factor plays a significant role in a business’s success, and achieving it is a core objective for management. Research shows that employee empowerment has been successful in helping team managers and leaders to boost motivation. Hence, I want to share a few tips for empowering your direct reports.
The key phrase in the above sentence is ‘direct reports.’ Although targeting the organization as a whole is beneficial, your solutions will only work through micro and macro policies. This blog will provide some context and empowerment tips to boost your success.
Firstly, let’s understand what we mean by direct reports. Direct reports are the subordinates on your core operations team. You are likely to have direct reports under you if you are a supervisor or a team manager.
This blog will address empowerment strategies that are effective for such team members.
Multiple research papers have explored these elements and concluded that increasing empowerment boosts performance.
Three critical changes happen when you empower your direct reports.
To start, empowering leads to `employee satisfaction. Most people, especially the younger generations, join organizations with the drive to achieve professional growth.
Therefore, allowing your subordinates to take more ownership of their work helps them encounter challenges better. Managers encouraging associates to take on such challenges also improve their professional and personal growth.
Empowerment helps people become more responsible, allowing them to show their talents and professionalism. Hence, the decision can help ambitious employees take the initiative and grasp incredible opportunities for career growth.
Empowering employees is one of the best ways to boost creativity and innovation. Taking more ownership of projects will push your direct reports to add novelty to their work in hopes of making their mark.
This factor is essential because several teams becoming more creative due to empowerment can set new performance benchmarks. Such achievements will push everyone towards excellence.
There is no doubt that delegating more responsibility is beneficial, but how will you empower your team? Following are some of the best tips for empowering your direct reports to increase team productivity:
Getting to know your team and becoming more comfortable with them is good for team spirit. Building better team relationships will improve internal communication and increase trust between you and your team members.
Creating such a dynamic encourages people to explore their potential and increases the likelihood of taking on more responsibility. Therefore, the better your team bonding, the more empowered your subordinates will be.
Delegating work is the first step to empowering your employees. Split projects into tasks and delegate them to your team members based on their proficiency and expertise. Assure them, let them take responsibility for their assigned task, and encourage them to do their best.
Work delegation is the primary responsibility of a manager, and your job is to assess how each person approaches their end of the task. Repeating this process and increasing task complexity will help your team ease into the responsibility and take on more challenges.
Micromanagement is one of the worst behavior a manager can exhibit and causes their direct reports to become frustrated. Getting elevated to a managerial role requires relinquishing control over individual tasks and shifting to the executive end.
Hence, you need to trust your direct reports to perform their relevant tasks independently without constant interference. Your role is to work with your team, understand their capabilities, and assign work accordingly.
The more you get involved in the minor details, the less opportunity they will have for growth. Such incidents eventually cause disgruntlement, and your team members’ motivation will drop.
Employee engagement is one of the first signs that indicate that people are likely to appreciate empowerment. Hence, create opportunities for engagement by organizing brainstorming sessions, feedback sessions, etc.
Maintain an open-door policy for communication to help your direct reports know they are welcome to discuss their concerns. The more actively your team members engage in such activities, the greater the likelihood of better empowerment.
Several team leads make the mistake of barely providing their direct reports any performance feedback. Not sharing performance feedback prevents your team members from knowing their strengths and weaknesses.
It will be challenging to know which aspects they need to focus on to achieve career development without such knowledge. Hence, schedule appraisals and feedback sessions to keep your subordinates in the loop about their performance.
There is a strong connection between rewards and motivation, and rewards don’t always need to be monetary. Recognizing your team members’ efforts in public will increase their motivation and push them to work harder and take on more responsibility.
It also motivates the remaining members to improve their performance to get recognized and rewarded similarly.
You are in a leadership role, which puts you in the best position to empower your direct reports. Take some time out to mentor them and help them become more confident about taking on more responsibility. They need assurance that they have what it takes to manage tasks independently, and your opinion as a supervisor matters a lot.
Mentorship will also help you understand them better and help you plan training to polish their capabilities.
We hope our tips for empowering your direct reports are helpful and enable you to achieve your goals and targets. Implementing relevant changes will take some time, but the effort and investment will be worth it.
Please also read our other blogs for more information and tips on the topic.
Managing teams is arduous, no matter how excellent your employees are. You need to keep track of each member’s progress, review their work, ensure they are okay, and sketch out their career progression. However, the role can be quite fulfilling if you know what you are doing. For example, giving autonomy to your employees is a tried and tested technique that can be fulfilling.
But what is meant by giving them autonomy? Giving your employees autonomy means assigning tasks and letting them control how to complete them. It requires refraining from micromanagement and relinquishing control to give people the opportunity to become comfortable with taking responsibility.
This blog will discuss the impact of employee empowerment and provide suggestions for incorporating it into your management strategy.
I understand that giving autonomy can sometimes be challenging. You’re working on deadlines and are responsible for the overall submissions and project completion. Hence, failure on their end will also reflect negatively on you.
However, that challenge is part of your journey as a leader or manager. You must train your team, communicate with them, and explain the task. Once done, you must trust that they will do the job correctly.
Following are some of the benefits of giving your employees autonomy over their work:
Employee empowerment is directly related to job satisfaction, which is responsible for motivation. Placing your trust in your employees instills confidence and pushes them to respond to this trust by giving it their 110%.
Job satisfaction boosts retention and employee happiness; therefore, you will achieve several goals by giving them autonomy.
A motivated employee is a creative employee. Giving employees autonomy will increase the chances of taking ownership of their task. They know their task performance will affect their evaluation, so they will be more creative and innovative when presenting their ideas.
Some team managers also throw in some recognition to create a little extra spark in the team and drive them to have a healthy competition.
Most people look for growth and learning at their workplace, which is impossible if they carry out tasks like robots. Giving them autonomy and the freedom to put their spin on things will get them more interested in the job and increase their engagement.
Employees typically engage more when they feel their manager or organization values their opinion. The best way to do that is by giving them more responsibility if they have the skills and aptitude.
Nobody wants to stay in the same position forever, especially the younger hires. Getting more autonomy pushes them to learn how to leverage their network, skills, tools, etc., to finish the task creatively.
Multitasking, time management, and learning are critical skills for leadership, and autonomy prepares them for it. They also learn to handle pressure and take responsibility, which is necessary for such roles.
The path to career progression will require you to evolve beyond your existing capabilities and improve your skills. Empowerment will push your employees to do that, especially when you add more responsibility to their task panel.
The more they meet new challenges, the greater the chance of developing their skills to give the best results.
Motivation goes hand in hand with productivity. As mentioned above, giving autonomy to your employees increases their motivation. Hence, giving your team members the freedom to explore their tasks will improve their productivity and overall performance.
Lastly, employee empowerment, or giving autonomy, improves the trust between managers and employees. Giving people more responsibility shows them you trust them to handle more challenging tasks. This trust boosts confidence and pushes them to give their best.
This situation has mutual trust, and both ends need to work to ensure it remains intact.
The list above shows that assigning more responsibility and giving people freedom is good for overall performance and motivation. However, how will you do it? Following are suggestions for giving more autonomy to your employees:
First, discussing your plans with your team before introducing any changes is vital. For example, if you want to shift to a model that focuses on giving them more autonomy, let them know and ask for their opinions.
You must also clearly state your expectations so everyone knows what they are expected to do. The clearer they are on the subject, the better.
Your communication doesn’t end once you discuss project or task details. You will need to stay in touch with your team members regularly to ensure they do not feel overwhelmed. You can also offer one-on-one meetings to encourage them to discuss issues they may be facing.
Some roles require specific tools, and your team members cannot complete them in their absence. Therefore, check with your employee and confirm if they have all the tools they will need to use to get the desired results.
Additionally, offer assistance when possible and encourage other team members to offer help.
Micromanaging is one of the first motivation-killing techniques you will ever use at your workplace. It destroys employees’ confidence, stresses them out unnecessarily, and pushes them to question their skills.
Keep your interference to a minimum unless they request it or if you feel the work is going too off track. Otherwise, let your team members work after a lengthy communication and check the results they get.
In short, giving autonomy to your employees is beneficial for the team and the organization’s performance. I hope you enjoyed reading the blog and will check out the other blogs for more information about the subject.