5 Ways Managers Can Empower Their Teams
Managers should always be looking for ways they can empower their teams. When you empower those around you, it connects everyone on your team and provides a better working environment. And the byproduct of connected teamwork is a healthier bottom line. Here are five ways managers can chart the course:
As the boss, you are responsible for laying out team-specific goals for the group. Provide both short- and long-term goals, some easily achievable and others difficult to reach (but still realistic). Get input and adjust the goals according to a discussion with your team. Collective answers will empower everyone because they’ll have a clear sense of direction.
Beyond team-specific feats, encourage individual employees to ideate and document their own personal and professional goals. Share these as a team. How can employees help each other accomplish goals? Encouraging each team member to reach their own goals will empower them to accomplish the team goals too. And it will make them happier, more well-rounded and capable employees. It’s a win for everyone.
With good communication, a manager will be in tune with what the team needs to be successful. One of the biggest frustrations employees have is when there are barriers to success which managers don't see or refuse to help remedy.
After understanding the snags in the process, ensure the team has the tools they need to be successful. For example, if your team needs a better system for sending and tracking email promotions, a manager should seek out an email service provider like MailChimp and Due to enable employees to execute the campaigns and present data without much fuss.
Maybe your business needs to start accepting payment on the road by your employees, rather than relying on a cash register or invoicing weeks later? Provide mobile payment processors, like Flint, to each employee to facilitate more efficient sales and cash flow. Payment on-the-spot ensures that there are no outstanding invoices (though Flint can send invoices, too), keeps your finances up-to-date and creates less work for you and your team later on with less of a paper trail. All of this can be done while maintaining control over payment deposits into your bank account.
Need a better system to track sales? Find the right fit for your needs and budget by researching the different package options offered by systems like SalesForce, Base and Tactile.
Nothing empowers employees faster than a manager who directs them and then allows them to make and learn from mistakes. When managers expect perfection the first time, every time, there is too much stress placed on teams and staff walk away feeling defeated when any error is made.
When teams are allowed to think freely and find results through trial and error, creativity ensues and results are better. If you aren’t already allowing mistakes to be made by your employees, give it a try. Almost any mess up can be fixed along the way. The risk is worth empowering your team and giving them room to explore.
Encourage Customer Relationships
Encourage employees to create real relationships with customers. Employees don’t have to get overly personal to create a strong bond. They can ask about families, pets, vacations or work. Small talk, though it gets a bad rap, can go a long way in relationship building. The point is to connect. Small connections over time make for a community of loyal customers. And connections keep employees engaged and invested in the process. Think more about lasting success, rather than short-term gain. In this case, it’s beneficial for both the employee and the customer.
Give Consistent Evaluations
Whether you decide to give performance evaluations to employees monthly, quarterly, biannually or yearly, have a system in place for evals. Halogen Software is a particularly great option. Evaluations keep a clear line of communication with your team and help steer your ship in the right direction, resulting in higher revenue and profits.
Don’t neglect daily and weekly feedback. Every staff needs managers to help guide them to become the best team they can be. And no one wants a surprise at a review.
About the Author
Adam Smith is an entrepreneur, writer and speaker. He resides in Colorado with his wife and two children. Read his blog at asmithblog.com and follow him on Twitter, @asmithblog.