December 7, 2008

Empowerment Skills – Developing Your Management Capabilities

It’s amazing how many managers feel that they just cannot be absent from their workplace because they are ‘irreplaceable’. By empowering their employees, much more is possible…

When a manager feels unable to be away from their business, because they do not have capable people in place, it must be a very frustrating experience.

Empowerment – A Management ‘Must-Have’

Many managers are taught to be “hands-on” and not pass on tasks of any importance to their subordinates.

When they try to take a step upwards into a full management role, it makes them feel uncomfortable – as if they are not working ‘hard enough’.

So they find it hard to notĀ  do the whole job, despite having people around them who would willingly do a bit more.

Without Empowerment Employees Will Do Less

Some employees enjoy being able to say, “call back on Monday”, or “I can’t make that decision, you need to speak with the manager”.

That way they can get off making a decision and risk less.

Why be dealing with an unruly, dissatisfied customer, when they could be doing something less stressful with their time?

Only The Manager Is Responsible

Many managers unknowingly encourage this type of behavior.

It’s quite a step to recognize that employees will evolve their capabilities when they have the trust of the manager and are allowed to do more.

Particularly for customer-facing employees, the ability to act fast and delight customers needs to be a given in any business.

Customers Want Employee Empowerment

Customers like to have their problems fixed by the first person they approach. Having an employee call for the manager only causes irritation and frustration.

They believe that the manager is waiting in the back office, or that the employees have been trained to give this response, and therefore, it becomes an excuse for the employees to blame it on the manager, and the customer to blame it on the manager.

It’s a no-win situation for a manager that wants to portray that they are in control.

A Manager’s Strength Is His Team

A manager cannot do it all – their performance depends on how they get the best from their team.

For example, if you let your employees know that you expect them to make a reasonable decision in your absence, let them know that they are the manager in control when you are gone.

You will stand behind the logical decisions they make, and then let them know what you might have done different, you are teaching them to become a manager.

Any manager with that sort of team ethic will benefit hugely from the freedom that comes as a result.

With Empowerment Everyone’s A Winner

Of course, when a manager has been used to keeping every tricky decision to themselves, it’s a bit of a fear to let things go – and it can be one of theĀ  best things they can learn to do.

Their people start to feel that they are contributing more fully and, perhaps most importantly, recognize that they can personally make a difference to the success of the organization.

This is the principle of management development through empowerment.

Turning Teams Around

It’s an amazing experience as a manager when you turn someone on to the hidden capabilities they have within them already.

They begin to reach a level of management development that all managers should desire-a staff that can exist without them.

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Filed under Developing Your People by Martin

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