One of the biggest challenges of leading a team is encouraging others to take initiative and providing opportunities for growth. If you don’t give people the chance to succeed on their own, they never will.
So what can you do to lead in a way that brings out the best in your team members?
It starts by creating a team culture that encourages everyone to use his or her unique abilities to the fullest. Read on to learn how to empower employees to increase their impact on the team.
1. Give Them a Voice
A common roadblock for employees is a fear of stating their opinions or disagreeing with managers. Put yourself in your team members’ shoes for a moment and understand that while they may have something to say in a meeting or brainstorming session, there could be a fear of saying something “wrong.”
Make it clear to your team that even if you disagree with something they say, there will not be repercussions for having a different opinion. The power of collaboration lies in the fact that people from different backgrounds can provide their unique viewpoints on an issue. When employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions, they have the opportunity to contribute real value and grow in their careers.
2. Encourage Failure
It might not seem like it, but failure is almost always a good thing in the long run for a an employee. There is no better way to learn and grow than to correct a previous mistake — and everyone’s going to make mistakes here and there.
Understand that many employees like to avoid risks at all costs. They won’t take a chance doing a side project, for example, because they ask themselves, “What if I fail?” Tell your team that sometimes it’s OK to take a chance on work they believe will provide value to the company. Even if their idea doesn’t pan out, creating a task or project they can call their own is sure to build an employee’s confidence.
3. Details Matter
You might know everything there is to know about your company, but not every employee will. There are meetings they are not part of and pieces of company history they’re not aware of that can change the way they perceive the company and its goals. As a leader, it’s your job to ensure they receive all of the necessary information they need to succeed on a project or task.
This responsibility goes beyond small details. Your company’s core values and general direction are just as important for every employee to understand. Fill them in on your vision and where you see the team heading. If you’re excited about future opportunities for the company and share that enthusiasm, it will have a positive effect on your team.
4. Communicate Progress
An employee who doesn’t understand what is expected of him or her has no chance to succeed. Outline a plan that sets six month and yearly goals to create a trajectory for success. Whether you’re hoping to train the employee for an eventual managerial role or simply help them become more independent in their position, there should always be a plan for improvement.
In the same way, it’s important to let an employee know when they’re doing something wrong. Most people appreciate constructive criticism when a manager explains their reasoning clearly. Provide examples of previously completed work to give the team member a better idea of expectations. If they adjust and come back to you with better work, show that their effort is appreciated.
Empower Your Employees
If you need a little help encouraging your employees to reach their full potential, we’re here to help. An onboarding program is a great way to empower new hires and set them up for success, so check out our blog post, “5 Key Steps to Developing an Employee Onboarding Program.”
Looking for ongoing guidance to improve training and development? Take a look at the ways we can help your company develop managers so your team can improve processes and leadership tactics. Reach out before the end of the year to make 2018 a year of growth and improvement!