Let’s face it. The working world is changing. More and more jobs are becoming remote, but outside of that, the structure of the workday is also changing and becoming more fluid. Along with these changes come challenges for those in leadership positions. How do you, as a leader, adapt to the changing workforce? Furthermore, how do you use these changes as a learning experience in order to be a better leader?
If you’ve been in a leadership position before, you know that managing others is often a daily learning experience. While you’re in charge of being a mentor, you also have to focus on what’s on your plate, in addition to making sure all of your direct reports are staying focused on their tasks.
Here are some ways you can empower your employees.
Check your ego
This is naturally the first thing that needs to be said when it comes to empowering your employees. If you can’t get on their level and earn their trust, you’re never going to get very far. When you’re able to level with them, they will see you as being trustworthy and are much more likely to come to you when they’re having issues.
When your employees feel comfortable enough to come to you with their problems, you will likely minimize time spent fixing mistakes.
Every manager, supervisor, a person in a leadership position, for the history of time has done it some point. When you’re busy managing people and trying to focus on all of your tasks at hand, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed. The natural instinct is to pass items off to others in order to free up some of your own time. If you’re delegating without a thought process or strategy behind it, you’re missing the opportunity to provide value to your employees.
Consider the tasks you’re handing off. Are there areas that a certain employee could benefit from if a task was handed to them? Consider challenging your employees and delegating tasks to them with intention, rather than just passing off tasks because they need to get done.
This one should be a no brainer, but there’s a reason I’m including it. Stop micromanaging your employees. Think about how you feel when you’re micromanaged. You probably feel self-conscious and anxious, which results in you not performing at your best.
The same goes for your employees. When they feel that you’re confident in them, they will likely perform better. Your employees were hired for a reason. Just because they might do things differently than you, doesn’t mean they’re wrong!
Encourage growth opportunities
It’s easy to get attached to employees, especially if they’re good ones. When you have favorites, it’s normal to want to keep them! You probably already treat them well and do everything listed above, but do you encourage them to go after opportunities for growth?
Yes, it might mean hiring someone else less great. Yes, it might mean losing that person from your team. It also means being a great leader and helping an employee grow to their best!