It has been proven time and time again that a manager who empowers his or her staff by giving them authority to make decisions and control outcomes is many times more successful than a manager who holds the control. Management teams in Westchester County NY that have been following this advice have been seeing their sales increase and their employee turnover decrease. Clearly empowerment of staff creates better outcomes.
Unfortunately, managers and executives find it very hard to let go and allow their staff to drive results. In some cases the need to be right prevents the manager from trusting his or her employees. If this fear of not being right is stopping you from letting go then you might want to ask yourself these two questions. First of all, have you provided your staff with all of the tools they need to succeed? And secondly, have you clearly communicated the objectives and desired results?
Here are some of the basics of creating high performing employees. Instead of giving assignments with very specific instructions try something different. Here are two different approaches to giving an employee an assignment.
Let’s say that you are controlling and you have a project the needs to be completed. You give your employee a complete set of instructions detailing what you want done, how you want it done, and specific steps to get it done. You follow up to see that each step is completed as prescribed. Although it is important to communicate with your employee this type of micromanaging is detrimental to your employee’s progress. It also impedes creativity resulting in less success for you and your team. According to Gallop, one of the major motivators for employees is the belief that their opinions count. Did you ever ask for your employee’s opinion? Quite frankly, in this example, your employee is more concerned about following your instructions than creating the most desirable result. He or she might think it would work better with another approach; however, he or she does not want to take the chance of upsetting you.
Now here is an empowering approach. You tell your employee that you have a special project and that you would like him or her to take charge. You explain the nature and purpose of the project and the end goal. Maybe you offer suggestions on the process but you stress that you are looking for the employee’s suggestions in the process. You let him or her know that any useful modification would be welcome as long as the general goals are met. You then ask him or her to come up with an action plan for completing the project. You assure the employee that you are depending on him or her for the final outcome and the employee has your support and confidence.
The second approach has engaged the employee to take ownership in the project with will lead to a more successful outcome. The employee is feeling accountable for the results and feels the sense of pride in accomplishment.
And you are having more success and are feeling less stress.