Leadership Tips: How to Empower Your Employees

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Female Team - Staff - Leadership

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been hard to keep up morale. Even the most positive people are finding it difficult to look on the bright side. With all the sickness, social and political division, and separation from the people you love, keeping your spirits up takes significantly more effort than usual.

As a manager of a team or an owner of a company, you’ve probably found that it’s difficult to keep your employees feeling empowered and motivated. How are they supposed to focus on the task at hand when all they can think about is their sick parents or the emotional trauma of living through a pandemic?

You can help your employees by giving them the tools to feel empowered. 2020 has made so many people feel powerless; there’s so little left that we can control in our lives. Helping your team feel like they can take control of their work will help them feel a sense of accomplishment and possess the empowerment to push forward in their day to day schedule.

Give them the power to choose

When there’s so little we have control over, getting the chance to control something helps us feel valued, useful, and empowered. Give your employees creative freedom within the bounds of the project. If you’re generally a micromanager, try to give them space to find their own solutions to the task. Feeling like they get to make an impact on the assignment will contribute to their sense of worth and value.

Give them the tools they need to succeed

Be a valuable resource to them while they work to complete their tasks. Make sure that they know that they can come to you for anything. Whether they need advice, support in completing the project, or more resources to successfully finish the task, giving them the feeling that you can be relied on will help them feel supported.

Give encouragement

Positive reinforcement can go a long way in giving an employee a sense of pride in their work. When they feel valued as a team member, they’re more likely to continue to excel in their work and continue making contributions in meetings or in their part of the project. Empower them through your leadership and make them feel valued through encouragement.

Give them space and leeway

Not everyone feels comfortable explaining their personal life to their supervisor. As a result, you may not know everything going on in their lives. If someone is taking a lot of personal days or seems to be distracted at work, there’s a good chance someone in their family is sick or they’re dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Understanding that everyone in the office is under significantly more stress than usual gives you the capacity to offer grace and understanding where you might usually take disciplinary action. Everyone is trying their best, in their own way, to make it through this pandemic in one piece. Working with acceptance and patience will go a long way in making your employees feel calmer and safer.

Sarah Margaret Henry
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