Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Empowering Your Employees

I think this concept has been around for quite a while and many would back this and say that it's an effective way of motivating employees to do more for the company. 

Question: is MORE always better? 

Often times you get employees that love the feeling of being in control of what they contribute at work...BUT, don't know what they can do to contribute to the overall BIG PICTURE that you're building.

Don't get me wrong, the whole empowering people concept works for people that see the big picture as you do and know what they can do to enhance it.  That's your problem, developing the ability to see who these people are that "get it", and are able to manage their goals to create an opportunity where 2+2 = 5 (yes, I like simple math, don't you?)

Most of the time company executives read about great management concepts in a book or from a blog and decide to throw it at their employees for implementation, and what happens?  Employees run around like chickens with heads chopped off.  Before implementing ANYTHING, figure out whether your team of employees can handle it.  It goes back to who you hire.  The right people can handle the right concepts and make them great.

So should you be a dictator and tell your employees what you want them to do?  Or should you let them take full responsibility of how and what they create and give you what they believe creates value for your company?

I think the balance should be to set the overarching vision for your company yourself.  For example, the vision statement for Walt Disney is "To Make People Happy".  So if this is your vision, make sure everything your employees create and put in front of customers has that impact.  Your vision should be simple to understand for everyone. 

Internally you would need to provide more detail on your vision, because just telling your employees that they have to create things to make people happy is pretty hard to ensure that they would be creating anything similar to what you had in mind.  Narrow it down for them by telling them who you want to sell to - kids, teens, adults, females, males, single/married...you get the picture. 

In conclusion, choose the right people to empower; not everyone is made for it - some people do need directions.  One of the toughest jobs of running a business is selecting only the best to work with yourself.  Good luck with that.

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