Employees become more responsible. Taking a risk on your employees is not everyone’s strength: but it should be most managers’ goal. This type of risk is well worth the effort and hair pulling if necessary. As a manager, one has plenty of work stacked up on the desk and cannot afford to be swamped with minor operation details. I am obviously not suggesting that every person is fit to be empowered with high ranking responsibility and the company cheque book, but there are capable individuals that become stronger team members upon being told by the boss that they are strong and capable.
In other words, as an employee it is easy to be in that typical ‘I am a 9-5 and collect my pay check from a boss that holds all the power and responsibility’ attitude. But once an employee is valued by the company, the page begins to turn. They begin to view the broader picture; it’s the difference between Renting vs. Owning -yes I have rented a car before!
Some birdies never fly until they are pushed over the edge of the nest, so push them out of the nest and reap the benefits. Some sure signs to watch for are: looking into the future/schedule, careful planning, detail-oriented, customer oriented, problem solving and if applicable cost effective. How horrible is that?!
Better Service. If I were selling my car for cash to buy a new car, I would have a shiny new advertisement up, be accommodating to potential buyers and clean that vehicle up real nice. This applies to empowered employees; suddenly their job becomes their space; thoughts of appearance and service become highly important and self reflecting. They are no longer selling someone else’s car for someone else’s gain, but for their own gain. If an empowered employee realises that the problem is theirs and not someone else’s, they handle it in a multifaceted manner. A cube effect: noticing all the angles and the best solution.
Less work and worry for you. Have you ever seen those managers that are slowly sinking deep into a mound of paperwork? Their hair is frazzled; mind scattered all over the place and quite slow at finishing even minimal work. These are the managers that have not empowered those below them to view the work place as their own space. By teaching your employees and pushing them forward with your blessing; you now have someone sharing the load with you-which can be quite a heavy load. This allows you to focus on the things that only you can do, the real glue that keeps a company surviving and hopefully flourishing.
The pay check. Once an individual is empowered with a department or task, it is time to explain to them the seriousness of this assignment. This type of explanation is especially vital for two reasons: perspective on what is expected of them and secondly- finances. The last statement pretty much says it all.
If an employee understands that any slight mishap or financial loss is reflected upon them, they begin to view each transaction/ interaction in a more financial view. Each customer, new or old contributes to their personal pay check. In other words, the customer pays them their monthly pay check. Or another view: if a company/department is not making money, how can a company afford to pay out? No cash in= no cash out. Sometimes basic figures explain it best and are enough to stimulate forward thinking.
Smooth Operations. A focused company is a smooth operating company. The analogy of a production line is a perfect example for visualising an empowered organisation. If there are three people cutting boxes but no one taping boxes, how can the boxes ever be fully completed? Each person must have a position in the line of production, each job filled by a person that sees the importance of their position and takes responsibility for their position. This also helps a company identify if there has been a mistake in the line, if a box is not taped than we know it was the ‘box taping person’ not the ‘box folding person’. A basic concept with exceptional rewards.
About the Author
Michelle Kuehn is an operations consultant for W & M Watson Packaging Ltd (http://www.wmwatson.co.uk) in Glasgow UK. Her background in business management and eco-friendly packaging comes from her experience with international companies throughout the U.S. and UAE as well as with W & M Watson packaging Ltd, UK.