A good leader understands when and when not staff needs guidance. Empowering employees is allowing them to make daily job performance decisions without having to get managerial approval. A manager who understands the benefits of empowerment can apply that knowledge to assist in employee development.
Developmental goals that the manager and employee set at the annual appraisal become a road map for the employee to use during the course of the year. A manager should check in occasionally to ensure the employee is following the plan as outlined at the appraisal, but the plan’s execution is up to the employee. The employee is given the opportunity to create his own success based on how aggressively he pursues his career developmental goals.
When a work group looks to itself to solve operational issues instead of relying on management, this is an example of productive employee empowerment. A manager can turn the responsibility of dealing with daily production and job performance issues to the staff, thereby empowering the staff to develop its own problem-solving process. The staff's improved ability to independently solve problems makes it more efficient and helps to increase group productivity.
A manager identifying leadership qualities in an individual can help develop those qualities through delegating that employee greater authority. This helps create a hierarchy within the group and strengthens the team's ability to make decisions and develop the team members' careers. The leader remains as a resource to team leaders, but the leader empowers those employee leaders to make their own decisions and develop their managerial skills.
Managers use various methods to create a higher sense of responsibility in employees. One of those methods is to empower employees to be responsible for many of their own administrative tasks. For example, employees are required to submit their own time sheets and make their own time-off requests with human resources rather than going through the manager. This gives employees more of a feeling of autonomy and makes them directly responsible for their own company record keeping. The increased sense of responsibility transfers over to other areas of employee performance and creates a more productive staff.
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