One important talent of a leader is supporting and inspiring others to bring their best selves to their work. As a business owner, you naturally want to empower your employees to succeed. With the shift from managing task workers to leading knowledge workers, this is more important than ever.
Tapping into the experiences, collective insights, and talents of those you lead is a vital key to success. Further, it’s critical in determining an organization’s ability to adapt and respond to the changing needs of today’s global market.
To that end, here are seven things business owners can do to empower their employees to succeed. These will help you tap into your employees’ potential by inspiring and empowering them to bring their whole selves to work.
1. Pay Attention and Listen to Your Staff
The world keeps getting faster, but it doesn’t mean we don’t have time to listen to our employees’ problems. Making time to ‘walk the floor’ and listen to your employees keeps you informed about issues that may arise. It will also show your employees you care about the working circumstances they face.
The goal of listening in leadership is to make the other person feel heard and understood. It’s important your employees feel you want to better understand their reality and the challenges they face. In addition, it’s a big part of their success.
Furthermore, it’s a wonderful method to make sure you’re not just focusing on what matters to you. When you listen to your employees, you are taking into consideration the needs of others you’re responsible for.
2. Empower Your Employees To Succeed Individually and as a Team
When it comes to leadership, it’s easy to mistakenly believe that “being in charge” entails telling people what to do. While you can do so, there’s no doubt that you and your staff would struggle. This is because most of us dislike being micromanaged in our work.
The longer you maintain a leadership position, the more importance is placed on what your staff has accomplished under your direction. Employees want to know that those in charge are invested in their growth and success. Leaders, on the other hand, expect their employees to be invested in the work they do for their business.
3. Focus On What Is Going Right
Numerous psychology studies show what we choose to focus on has a significant impact on our perception. However, this emphasis is generally on what we don’t want rather than what we do want. Consider that multiple neuroscience studies have shown that our brains need three positive experiences to move past one negative event.
People often choose to focus on negative events rather than positive ones. However, no one is inspired to do better or to be better when we just focus on what’s wrong. Therefore, don’t be the boss who sits around waiting to chastise their people for making yet another error.
Instead, be the type of leader who shares in your employees’ joy and satisfaction when they achieve a significant goal. People need to realize that leaders care as much about their triumphs as they do about their failures.
4. Don’t Be Afraid of Harsh Discussions
We all have struggled with giving bad news or pointing out when someone is doing something wrong. However, if you want your team to believe in your abilities to lead, you must address these issues immediately.
We talk all the time about leaders setting an example for the people they lead. One important area where this applies is in what we’re willing to do in the face of adversity.
Demonstrate your willingness to speak up and say what needs to be said to get things back on track. As you do, you’ll remind your colleagues why they should trust you. In addition, you will remind them of your motivation to do the right thing by those in your care.
5. Share Your Vision With Your Team
Big picture thinking is something you do as you move up the corporate ladder. So, as a leader, it’s easy to keep your vision at the forefront. However, front-line employees may easily lose sight of how their efforts fit into the overall vision.
That’s why it’s critical to ensure your employees have insights into how their efforts are contributing to your vision. In addition, remind them how important their contributions are to the goals you share.
6. Empower Your Employees To Change
Many times, the most significant challenges we face are internal. For example, you may have an employee who is constantly negative about a team’s intentions. It’s easy to dismiss them, but it’s preferable to talk with them to figure out what’s truly underlying their resistance.
This allows you to address any legitimate issues they may have. If none exist, it gives you the chance to tell them such behavior is unacceptable and halts the team’s progress. Further, this also conveys to the rest of your employees your dedication to breaking any barriers stopping their joint efforts.
7. Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes and Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Your purpose as a leader is to create an environment in which your staff can execute their jobs successfully. As we all know, coping with the consequences when things go wrong makes us feel like we’re less than successful.
This isn’t to imply you shouldn’t help your employees learn from their mistakes. Instead, make sure that these failures don’t detract from your employees’ ability to accomplish their jobs. Let the mistakes serve as opportunities to obtain new insights rather than a chance to point fingers and assign blame.
Image Credit: Mikhail Nilov; Pexels; Thank you!