If you’re a manager, you are responsible for your individual performance and for managing the work and lives of those around you. It can feel like an overwhelming task sometimes, which is why team empowerment as a manager is crucial to maintain thriving wellbeing for you, the team, and the organization.
Lean into Strengths
We talk about strengths a lot in these BetterYou articles for good reason. When it comes to leadership and wellbeing, strengths are foundational for success. Team empowerment as a manager starts with knowing your strengths and the individual strengths of your team. When you know what you do best and what your team does best you can put the right people in the right roles at the right time. Your team feels empowered when they operate out of their strengths. According to Gallup, “Managers — more than any other factor — influence team engagement and performance.” It’s critical to recognize, acknowledge, and use your strengths and the strengths of your team.
Practice Appropriate Vulnerability
You are a manager and you are human. The team you lead needs to see both of these sides. Team empowerment as a manager includes sharing how you struggle sometimes (and what causes it), talking about mistakes you’ve made (and how you addressed them), and acknowledging you don’t have all the answers (and how you will help them find the answer). Doing these three things encourages openness and sets the tone for good communication. Your team will feel empowered at work and in life when they know their manager has good emotional intelligence and can show it appropriately.
Ask Great Questions
In the age of COVID, many of your employees are carrying extra burdens. Asking questions opens the door to empathy and understanding. Assumptions, on the other hand, can lead to misunderstandings and frustrations. Your team needs your attention and your feedback on a regular basis. Good questions build strong bonds and are imperative for good communication. Team empowerment as a manager means teaching your employees to ask questions, too. As they get better and better at asking good questions, they will feel more empowered to seek answers, develop solutions, and improve their problem-solving.
Everyone likes to be appreciated for their work and character. It’s important to recognize achievements and accomplishments in the workplace. Team empowerment as a manager comes with the responsibility to know how each of your employees prefers to be recognized. Without knowing this your praise may backfire. You don’t want to give public praise to a private person or private praise to someone who prefers more public recognition. Celebrate your employees as often as you can in a way that matters so that they feel their value on your team.
Once you assign work or give instructions about a task, let your team take it from there. Micromanagement of your team will lead to resentment, poor performance, and frustration. Assure your team that you are there if they need you (and then make sure you are), but otherwise let them handle the work without intervening. For longer projects, establish pre-determined check points so that your team knows you will be asking questions and providing feedback during those times. Demonstrating trust is a necessary way to show team empowerment as a manager.
Focusing on team empowerment as a manager may be the difference between employees staying or leaving their job. Empowering your team will lead to a healthier them and a healthier you.