I’ve mentioned in previous postings on this blog about a manager I once had that I used to get such a kick out of his impression of empowering employees. In his mind it was up to him to decide when someone was empowered and for how long they might have this “power.”
I used to respond that empowerment is not like a light switch that you flip on and off. Once you commit to turning on, or unleashing empowerment, you really need to step back and marvel at what is happening.
Allowing people to grow and stretch their wings will bring a lot of new energy to your work environment. And while it will bring a few challenges and errors, they are often outweighed by a more highly engaged workforce.
One empowerment method I would use in training development often came after someone returned from a professional development event. Maybe they learned a new design software that could be used in developing people. Not only did I encourage them to use the software themselves, we would often brainstorm how they could encourage others to learn it and incorporate it into their own projects.
Unleashing empowerment is not about directing every step, but rather a process of fanning the flames. Look for a spark in your employee and find ways to encourage the fire. Keep an open mind, and closed mouth, and listen to your employees. You will be amazed at how exciting your world will become!