Over the last couple of month, I have written many articles extolling the benefits of empowering your employees. In case you have not read them, the Coles Notes version of the concept is that you are no longer a manager but a coach. Your job is to train and support your people. Your success is determined by their success.
So what should you do to ensure their success?
Growth Most of your employees should be knowledge workers and they want a clear path for growth. For some, growth means going up the corporate ladder and for others it simply means developing new skills. Determine the skillset of each of your players then develop a plan to help them achieve it.
Give Responsibility After coaching and working with your people, you will quickly determine who has the capacity for additional responsibility [after growth and development]. Who is ready to move to a higher level of performance? Find those people and give them the responsibility and accountability.
Give Accountability Once you have given these select few more responsibility, you need to give them the accountability to deliver. Accountability means they have to find creative ways to “make things happen”. Make them accountable.
Get out of their way Nothing kills creativity and spirit like a manager that second guesses everything an employee does. Unless they give you a reason to doubt your decision to give them the responsibility, butt out. Read my articles on delegation.
Keep it simple
Go to the bookstore and check out the management section. You will be overwhelmed by the hundreds of authors hawking their latest and greatest “management breakthrough”. After years of work as a management consultant, I came to the realization that often the most powerful tools are the simplest and time-tested ones.
Remember to treat your people like you would like to be treated. Recognize the good, and coach when things go bad. Nothing is more powerful than loyal employees willing to go out of their way to support you. Support your people and they will support you.
Remember to lead with honesty and integrity, two character traits that cannot be faked.