The to do list is dead. Gone are the days when managers are providing office team members with step by step instruction on how to accomplish a project. As managers continue to take on multiple roles and increased responsibility, it is more necessary than ever that they have a strong team of individuals with which they can trust major projects. Managers risk becoming ineffective when they cannot give their team freedom to accomplish projects without also controlling how they go about doing so.
The most effective managers today are those that believe in empowerment – those that can couple the objective they assign their team with freedom on how to reach it will be most effective in accomplishing their department’s tasks. These team members have been recruited, interviewed and trained to do the very projects that are put in front of them. The process is both expensive and extensive. Therefore, it is a waste of both the manager’s time and the company’s resources to provide specific instructions by which to complete a project each time a team member is asked to do so. In order to avoid this type of waste, managers must empower their teams to develop a process all their own.
Not only is empowerment of team members an effective way to avoid waste, it is also a great way to foster community. When team members are entrusted with a project, they begin to feel a stronger tie to the company. These team members who are empowered to create their own process in order to achieve an assigned objective are the most likely to eventually become managers themselves. With empowerment comes a sense of ownership. With ownership comes loyalty. These team members accepted the offer to join the company because they wanted to make a difference there; they wanted to be a part of the process. In order to retain and foster this type of talent, a manager must give their team the power to make decisions.
So, next time you see a manager at your office compiling a to do list on what needs to be accomplished and how to go about doing so, suggest to them that they instead educate their team on what needs to be accomplished and give them the space to do so on their own. Let them take it and run. Because, without giving them that power, how will you know what they are able to do? And without having that power, how will they show you?
How do you empower your team?