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Empowering People

I find it so strange that this is such a misunderstood topic. So much of a companies success rests on having motivated staff and in the last few years I have seen how empowerment affects people and their motivation.

Here are the simple truths, that no one can argue with:
The software, hardware and even technology you use can be easily copied by your competitors. I have even seen companies that were not direct competitors copy promotions and even structure. This is the fact of the matter.

Yet what no competitor could ever copy is the vibe, energy and fast pace that motivated, empowered people create. It is this that seperates your business from the rest.

So therein lies the key, empowered, motivated staff. Empowerment makes the difference between a successful promotion and one that was done because it’s a JOB. (If you understand what I mean.). Empowerment is what causes your staff to want to reach further and look to improving simple things like processes.

The Human element of life is what causes the initial problem. Managers just don’t know what empowerment is about. I have heard that empowerment means making our staff a manager – That thinking is plain crap. Hopefully by the end of this section you will understand what this empowerment is about.

Managers have some real fears when it comes to empowering their staff,
   1. Can the staff member handle more responsibility?
   2. What if the staff member excels further than the manager?

Empower starts like anything in life, small – simple things like keeping a neat office, is empowering. Looking at old processes and old promotions and trying to streamline it is empowering. Involvement in the way budget is spent is empowering. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean hand over the finance department to the sales team, that will end in failure – no I am referring to simple matters, like talking about new hardware, software. Deciding on what’s best for the department and then following through on it.

A big part of a managers job is to keep your staff motivated, in many cases this is easier said than done. You can throw money at the problem but in the long run you need a more permanant solution. Money resolves the matter briefly.

As a manager, one of the other tasks that is pretty important is finding ways of improving and developing solutions. Managers aught to lead by way of example and should be able to identify when your staff need to be empowered.

A gribe I have is when your staff have to tell you or remind you to empower them, this shows a lack of interest from you as a manager and is never a nice situation.

Empowering is listening to ideas and taking advice. A manager should by now also know that your well trained, skill staff need little or no supervision.

For empowerment to work, your staff as well as your managers need to be ready for a change of mindset. Only when both parties are ready can you continue.

Every employee wants to be empowered, not every employee is skilled enough or trained enough or ready enough. You has a manager need to judge for yourselves.



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