6 ways to empower your team
I’m pretty sure we’ve all had a manager who followed our progress meticulously. You know the one, they needed regular progress updates and only just fell short of wanting to be on the phone with you when you called a client.
When you were managed in this way, how productive were you? Did you feel like you were able to reach your potential and get creative in your job? I can guarantee the answer to both of those questions was a loud and resounding NO!
The thing with managing people is, to do it well, you need to take a step back, rather than forward. The key to being a successful manager is to empower your people in order to get the most out of them. Let’s go through 6 ways you can empower your team and create a successful and high-achieving environment:
- Be an open-minded manager – if you regularly presented your ideas to someone only to get them knocked back, you’d probably stop trying. It’s important to remember this when you’re tempted to dismiss someone’s suggestions. Not many things are perfect on their first draft so, rather than replying with an outright no, see if there’s a way ideas can be refined to better suit your needs.
- Be a supportive manager – the best teams remain united. For this reason, your team need to know that, no matter what happens, you have their backs. Of course, this doesn’t mean they’re always right but, keep any less-positive feedback for behind closed doors. Be forgiving of their mistakes. In fact, you could even try being encouraging of their mistakes. For true innovation to take place, there are going to be a few bumbles along the way.
- Provide development opportunities – ask for their perceived areas of development and work on them together. Encourage your team to find courses or training they may be interested in and, where possible, facilitate it.
- Reward, recognise and encourage – everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, loves to be told when they’ve done a good job. You don’t even necessarily have to shout it from the rooftops but, acknowledging an achievement or, when someone has gone above and beyond is THE very best way to ensure it happens again.
- Create a positive environment – this is similar to point #2 above but, it goes one step further by encouraging your whole team to be supportive. As the saying goes, “You can’t push someone down and pull yourself up at the same time.” Basically, if you’re too busy worrying about how other people are doing, you’re not focussed on the right things. Foster an environment where all your team celebrate each other’s successes and empathise with their struggles.
- Give them authority – but, with a few clear boundaries. If you have a team member with an unhappy client, they should know how much they can spend and/or do in order to turn them around. You don’t want to be in a position where your employee has wasted crucial time chasing you down for approval in a situation where a simple gesture could have resolved things straight away.
With these 6 tips, you’ll find yourself with a team of empowered and successful people! They’ll feel trusted to make their own decisions and driven to achieve, leaving you to turn your focus to where it’s most needed.
Shannon Wood, Managing Director S8 Expert Recruitment Solutions. I have over 15 years recruitment experience specialising in the animal health industry across the ANZ region. Areas of expertise include sales and marketing, technical roles (Quality Assurance, Quality Control & Regulatory Affairs) and operational & financial positions. I work extensively in the veterinary, ruminant, monogastric, aquaculture and the pet specialty industries and I look forward to the next 15 years.