7 Must-Have Strategies to Empower Your Team for Success

If you’ve been drawn to this article, then you might be aware of the concept of empowerment and how it helps individuals bring out the best of themselves and their potential. 

But how about when you’re working with a group of people, as opposed to a single person?

Empowering an individual and empowering a team of people are two different things. Sure, there are similarities and shared concepts, but there are also differences. In this article, we’ll look at some of the things leaders need to keep in mind when working with a team, and we’ll provide you with a few different strategies and suggestions when it comes to ways you can empower your team.

Understanding the Concept of Team Empowerment

Empowerment in the context of a team means fostering a culture where team members feel valued, respected, and trusted to contribute their unique skills and insights. Operationally, this process can look like providing your team with the authority, resources, and support they need to make decisions and take ownership of their work. This allows for increased autonomy, engagement, collaboration, and innovation within a team. For the collective, this can feel like each person stepping into their superpowers willingly for the group’s highest intention.
An artful depiction of an empowered team, in the style of Picasso

Benefits of an Empowered Team

An empowered team experiences several benefits that contribute to their overall success. Measures of motivation and engagement tend to be higher, and this can lead to higher productivity and innovation. 

Some potential benefits include: 

  • Team members growing in ownership and responsibility over their work,
  • Improved decision-making and problem-solving capabilities.
  • Enhanced collaboration and effective communication,
  • Greater efficacy in achieving organisational goals.

A positive work environment like this can even help create or maintain a positive work culture that attracts and retains top talent!

Strategies Leaders can use to Improve Empowerment in the Workplace

1. Empower Your Team with Autonomy

When team members have the freedom to make decisions and take ownership of their work, it boosts their confidence and motivation. Providing autonomy allows individuals to showcase their expertise and creativity, leading to increased job satisfaction and higher levels of productivity.

Leaders should trust their team members’ abilities and offer support when needed, fostering a culture of autonomy and growth.

The Heart Of The Matter:

As human beings, many of us have a common human desire to have a sense of meaning and purpose, and to be of value.

2. Accountability vs. Micromanagement

Did you know that micromanaging can actually complicate true accountability in your team?

Micromanaging hinders team empowerment and undermines trust. To avoid micromanagement, leaders should foster a culture of trust and give team members the freedom to complete tasks in their own way, within appropriate constraints.

Providing clear guidelines and expectations, delegating responsibilities, and offering support when needed, will allow team members to grow in accountability and develop their skills. Trusting the abilities of the team (including their ability to reach out when needed), leads to increased autonomy, motivation, and has a significant impact on workplace culture.

Keep in mind that “micromanage” and “delegate” are not the same! A little more on this later.

The Heart Of The Matter:

A common human fear is loss of control and the vulnerability in not-knowing instead of learning to trust the process and building authentic lines of communication.

3. Empowering Team Members to Make Their Own Decisions

Empowering team members to make their own decisions is a key strategy that leaders can use to promote responsibility and ownership within the team.

By giving team members the freedom to make decisions, leaders foster a sense of trust and confidence in their abilities. This not only enables teams to be more proactive and responsive but also helps develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Empowered team members (becoming more engaged, motivated, and accountable for their work), lead to increased productivity and shared success; this forms an integral part of empowerment in the workplace.

The Heart Of The Matter:

A common human fear is failure and being limited within our own ‘known’ lenses / biases can inhibit the willingness to empower others.

4. The Role of Delegation in High-Performing teams

Delegation plays a crucial role in empowering teams.

Leaders not only distribute the workload but also demonstrate trust and confidence in their team members’ abilities, by assigning responsibilities and tasks; this is a prime way of promoting empowerment in your team.

Delegating tasks allows team members to make decisions, and develop new skills (keep in mind that it’s important to ensure that support is made available when needed, so that those new skills can develop!). Effective delegation is an essential strategy for empowering teams to achieve success.

The Heart Of The Matter:

Others may do things differently to ourselves. This does not make it wrong – in fact it may open up new possibilities we never imagined!

5. Build an Empowered Working Environment

Building an empowered working environment involves creating a culture that values and encourages employee autonomy, collaboration, and innovation.

Leaders can promote empowerment by:

  • fostering open communication channels,
  • providing opportunities for skill development, and
  • recognising and rewarding employee efforts..

By fostering a sense of trust and respect, leaders can create an environment that empowers team members to take ownership of their work and make meaningful contributions to the organisation’s success.

The Heart Of The Matter:

Co-creating a culture of trust requires each of us to disclose with authenticity and to accept our perfectly imperfect humanness together.

6. Implementing an Open-Door Policy

Implementing an open-door policy is one key to create a culture of empowerment. It may not be viable for all businesses or organisations, but when appropriate, can really help a team to grow with authenticity.

By encouraging open communication and transparency, leaders create an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas, concerns, and feedback. This kind of policy can promote trust, collaboration, and a sense of inclusiveness within the team. It helps solve problems faster, foster innovation, and builds stronger relationships between leaders and team members! 

The Heart Of The Matter:

Being heard and seen in our relationships is key to being able to positively support ways of working for everyone’s collective benefit.

7. Providing Constructive Feedback

Providing constructive feedback is a crucial aspect of empowering employees. Accurate (and helpful) feedback is a vital team need.

Leaders can help their team members understand their strengths and areas for improvement by offering specific and actionable feedback. This allows individuals to learn and grow in their roles, and instils a psychological safety net; they might not accomplish everything exactly as you would, but that doesn’t mean that their work is unacceptable! Empowering people sometimes means helping them push through challenges and roadblocks, other times it means supporting them to build the confidence they need or lack.

Effective feedback should be timely, clear, and focused on behaviour or outcomes, never on personal criticism. It should also include suggestions for improvement and recognition for accomplishments.

The Heart Of The Matter:

Enabling sense-making, in-the-moment is a powerful foundation for being able to sit in challenges and uncertainty individually and collectively.

Measuring Success

You can’t improve what you don’t measure.

It’s important before implementing any particular strategies, that you first establish some baseline metrics that you’ll measure before and after implementation (and that you are able to qualify how these metrics translate to business goals). For some businesses this may include metrics like employee retention or employee turnover. For other businesses this may be measuring employee willingness to openly share ideas and opinions in a public format, or measuring employee engagement or sentiment through anonymous self-reporting.

Whatever metric you choose, make sure you have enough data before and after implementation to know how to move forward. Lastly, don’t forget to include the human data! The feelings that you and your team carry, as well as the intuition you have, are important insights that can add deep value to your empowered results.

May you have a magical workday, every day!

Article by

Vee Haslam

I Help You Connect to the Heart of the Matter During Times of Change to Obtain Peak Performance.

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