A blog by Lisa Phillips, Confidence and Empowerment Speaker and Workshop Facilitator. Lisa is an award winning coach and the author of 'The Confidence Coach book'.
As a Manager or a leader, do you trust your employees? If not, it will be extremely difficult to create a team with the power and authority to make good decisions.
Empowerment is a simple concept but one which many managers struggle with. In working in organisations, I often see managers and executives pay lip service to empowerment, expecting their employees to simply take responsibility and become empowered without effective leadership. Many managers state they want an empowered team, but it is rarely practiced in most organisations.
One of the key reasons employee empowerment fails is due to the lack of trust by management. In my work assisting organisations and teams with empowerment, I am often asked to run empowerment sessions for teams. However, it is often evident that it is the managers that need help first and foremost in order to trust their employees!
Empowering employees requires a great deal of trust by a manager. The manager must first trust that the employee will make decisions and accomplish assigned tasks in the same way and to the same high level that the manager would.
And here is the issue. In all honestly, many managers are not keen to relinquish control of tasks or lack the confidence and faith that their employees will do the task as well as the manager would do themselves! As a result, they hesitate to hand over decision making authority to their employees and risk the chance of wrong decisions being made - especially if they are ultimately accountable!
I have also come across many managers who are perfectionists. In these specific cases, the manager often refuses to completely hand over decision making to their employees as they feel they need to be involved in order for the task to be completed to their own high expectations and perfection.
In all honesty, I have seen managers exhaust themselves and become highly stressed purely because they do not trust their employees to make decisions or complete tasks to their own high standards. This actually says more about the manager than the employees!
In addition, some managers struggle to let an employee work independently incase they 'are not needed' any more. In these cases, the ultimate fear is that the company may no longer need the manager anymore and they will be out of a job. Hence the managers are hesitant to give up power they believe ensures the need for their supervisory role.
In conclusion, managers and employees often struggle with the concept of empowerment because they both have a misconception of what real empowerment actually entails.
Lisa Phillips is an expert on Empowerment and Confidence and is a popular public speaker and workshop leader. To find out more, please see www.howtoempoweryourstaff.com.au or www.amazingcoaching.com.au
Lisa appears regularly in the Media, on TV, Radio and Print.