As a new leader, you may be wondering how to effectively manage your team in today’s complex business world. With issues such as diversity management, downsizing, outsourcing, generational work conflicts, and the information age, it’s clear that a one-size-fits-all leadership model no longer works. Instead, empowered leadership is the way to go. Empowered leadership shares power between management and workers, thus empowering both groups.
Empowered leadership is a leadership style that shares power between management and workers. It is based on the idea that when those in power relinquish some of that power by sharing it or giving it to their employees, they gain more than they lose. Empowered leaders create a need-satisfying environment for themselves and their workers, where both parties feel respected and valued. This leadership style is the opposite of coercive leadership, where managers rule with an iron hand and instill fear in those who work for them.
Why Does Empowered Leadership Work?
Empowered leadership works because it creates a positive work environment where workers feel respected and valued. When workers are listened to and respected, they want to give their supervisor their best. Without fear, their minds can be creative and innovative. Empowered leaders gain the loyalty of their workers, who are more likely to be productive and engaged in their work. Empowered leadership also helps to create a culture of trust and collaboration, where workers feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions with management.
How Can You Implement Empowered Leadership in Your Workplace?
Implementing empowered leadership in your workplace requires a shift in mindset and a willingness to share power with your workers. Here are some steps you can take to implement empowered leadership in your workplace:
- Hold the bar high: As a manager, you must expect great things from each and every one of your workers. If you only expect mediocrity, mediocrity is exactly what you will get. Set the standards and lead by example. If your workers see you giving it your all, it will be difficult for them to perform below standard.
- Accommodate special requests: When managers are willing to accommodate special requests and it doesn’t interfere with product or service delivery, then their employees will be sure to give back their best in return.
- Enlist the help of your employees to set goals: Always enlist the help of your employees to set goals, with the underlying premise being continual improvement. This will help to create a culture of collaboration and trust.
- Communicate effectively: As a manager, you have a two-fold job – you are to represent your employees’ desires, opinions, and suggestions to management while at the same time communicating management’s issues, concerns, and expectations to your employees. This is not an easy line to walk, but effective communication is key to implementing empowered leadership.
- Create a need-satisfying workplace: As a manager, you have the responsibility to create a need-satisfying workplace for yourself and your workers. You cannot emphasize one to the exclusion of the other without there being undesirable consequences. When you focus on production only and forget the human capital, you will end up with resentful, resistant, angry workers. On the other hand, when you only focus on the people’s end and allow production goals to be compromised, you will have workers who do everything they can to take advantage and to get out of doing the work.
- Hold non-negotiables: As a manager, you cannot be a doormat for your employees to walk over. If they believe you have no bottom line or non-negotiables, then they will never be satisfied and always ask for more. You must hold the bar high while still being willing to share power with your workers.
- Lead by example: Finally, as a manager, you must lead by example. If you want your workers to be engaged and productive, you must be engaged and productive yourself. You must be willing to share power and create a culture of trust and collaboration.
Empowered leadership is the way to effectively manage your team in today’s complex business world. By sharing power with your workers, you create a positive work environment where workers feel respected and valued. Empowered leadership helps to create a culture of trust and collaboration, where workers feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions with management. To implement empowered leadership in your workplace, you must hold the bar high, accommodate special requests, enlist the help of your employees to set goals, communicate effectively, create a need-satisfying workplace, hold non-negotiables, and lead by example.