People will forget what you said, people will also forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel” Maya Angelou
Why trust is important for empowerment?
Empowerment can be defined in a different of ways. But to be honest, it’s about trust. It’s when you give employees a certain degree of autonomy and responsibility for decision-making in their work. It is empowering employees to make their own decisions and grow their skills.
A business agile approach gives employees the trust, ability and opportunity they need to do their job and do it well. Empowered employees have the authority to make important decisions when and where it’s necessary, make their own path to success and create a better workplace culture.
It is all about trusting employees who are given the resources and autonomy to do their jobs more efficiently. Increasing the level of transfer of power to employees also increases the need for a higher level of development of their (new) competences.
What Leaders&HR need to take into consideration when nurturing empowered employees in the new age of agile organizations?
In order to adapt to the world we live in, the important prerequisite for organizations is the empowerment of individuals and teams. Having in mind purpose, when actively support employees, each employee can help nurture empowerment in the new age of agile organization in different ways. And it usually starts with leaders.
Leaders need to recognize the fact that people are most effective when empowered, engaged, and energized. Empowering individuals and teams is a skill that agile leaders need to possess when balancing emerging needs and tensions within an organization. Empowerment is not a one side concept. It is continuous and represents leadership behaviour that responds to the current situation and needs for change.
#1 Knowing each other and ourselves
To be successful, we must first know and understand ourselves. Only when we find a starting point in ourselves can we understand other people and their needs. A good knowledge of our own basic needs (intrinsic motivations) gives us a starting point for understanding other people and their needs, which we need to motivate them and grow empowerment. By knowing more about each other’s basic needs, we can create empowering and high-performing teams in organisation. Leaders should identify ways they get to know each other and that can truly empower employees.
Great question to ask yourself: does the person I am supposedly empowering actually want or need to be empowered? This can be the foundation.
#2 Empower yourself by empowering your teams
I believe that is important to learn how to be active creator of your own internal sense of empowerment. Self-empowerment.
In order to empower yourself and others, one needs to nurture mostly a growth mindset. Which is a belief that we are able to increase talent, ability and even intelligence through curiosity, learning, and new skills. When people are taught a growth mindset, they become more aware of opportunities for self-improvement, more willing to embrace challenges, and more likely to be resilient when confronting issues.
#3 Agile Leadership
Letting go as a leader is equally important as your organisation empowering and trusting its people. For an agile leader, it’s about letting go by co-creating an environment for empowered individuals and teams to stand up, where they can be themselves, can grow and lead. After that safe environment can be created, where everybody dares to be them self, express their opinion and try new things, learn, create.
Hold people accountable to big expectations and give them the autonomy to make their own decisions (with minimal guidance). This creates an atmosphere of resourcefulness and can strongly supports creativity.
By opening up towards each other, you can build a relationship, which leads to increased trust. Trust is at the core of building a genuinely authentic employee experience in organisation, which should be led by experimentation & authenticity.
Make sure your employees understand the purpose of your mission and are able to co-create the highest possible value for the customer.
Turn your walls into whiteboards. The moment you can start to draw and visualise your conversations, is the moment you can figure out if your perspective is aligned to those around you. Having blank, physical wall spaces in your workplace helps people to brainstorm and problem-solve. In a collaborative way. It encourages creativity, exploration, and innovation.
Ask questions as What was good this week, What can be improved, What should we start doing. Really powerful questions, where you can include whole team and have added value conversations with learnings and improvements.
#6 Continuous learning
Complex problems do not have simple solutions. You must dare to experiment, fail often and learn quickly.
Make it safe to fail. A key component of fostering an inspiring environment is giving people the freedom to fail. The fear of failure slows down creativity and the flow of ideas and, ultimately, productivity.
Give feedback, openly admitting mistakes and learn from each other.
Most importantly recognize people who continuously improve and gain new knowledge, since these are the people that will make a difference. Empowered people.
One of the most important competitive advantages for the organisations are employees who learns and adopts faster to changes and new reality. Empowered people.
It is time to evolve. It is time to give honestly our employees more accountability and autonomy to make important decisions. It is time to give them just what and why.
So that we can together deal with all changes going around us, also with the new way how we work and how we develop and lead our employees.
It's time to empower employees. And to create a competitive agile organization that always learns, transforms and has the ability to adapt to changes in the surrounding world and in the market.
Want to explore more about Empowerment and other Agile People Principles you need to increase for the future of work?
You can find more about in a new The Agile People Principles book that covers all key information and knowledge about the principles that successfully transform businesses across the globe https://www.agilepeople.si/Agile-People-Principles