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How was one of my teams able to increase their profit by over 30% while also boosting their moral within the team? It’s probably not how you imagined. The reason that this team was different than any other team was due to the way the team had been organized. The team was able to reach a level of almost self-management from being very empowered in their decision opportunities.
In this episode, I break down the 5 steps that I believe were necessary for the team to be empowered and have amazing results.
Visions and Values
You do not want to just give empowerment with no background to what they should do with that motivation. You want to give the team motivation by empowering them to follow the vision set out. This allows the team to focus on an end-goal.
It Takes Two to Tango
You have to learn that it’s not just the people in the team who need to learn how to make better decisions but also the leader. The leader of the team has to learn how to let go of some of their control, give their team more freedom, and let their team make mistakes. As a team member some of the things that can make you feel empowered can be proper training, good systems, open communication, and investments. For the leader of the team, they will want to be informed of the decisions being made and make sure the processes are followed. It is extremely important to discuss the framework and within that framework what is needed to be empowered.
Take Baby Steps
It’s just like skiing, if you are just learning how to ski you are not going to want to go down the most difficult trail. First you will try an easy trail until you feel comfortable to move to more difficult trails. In case of my team, in the beginning I created the P&L reports and walked my team through my reasoning. The intermediate phase was to let my team create the P&L reports while helping them along the way and correcting mistakes. The last step, I gave my team control to take an action if the P&L report they created showed it to be profitable.
If you want to have true team empowerment, you have to have a systemic approach to your endeavors. Changing the systems and team structures in place can help increase empowerment. Having a more intermingled team system can increase profits as communication of department budget cuts within the team makes more sense for one team than for a whole department.
Increase Your Awareness
The last step to empower a team to reach record results is to increase your awareness. To be a good leader you have to understand your responses when you are under pressure. Mistakes will happen and you have to be aware to how you will respond to those mistakes. Learn to trust your team enough to make their own decisions, be there along the way for support and help, and learn how to properly handle the situation when under pressure.
By following these 5 steps, you will be creating the best possible circumstances for a team to be empowered.