“I don’t like to micromanage,” says the executive. “I like to give my people the freedom they need to be successful.”
We all know that to get the most from our people we need to empower them. Right?
Some employees are discovering there’s a dark side to so-called empowerment. It’s when their managers fail to provide sufficient direction. When they don’t identify boundaries. When they don’t supply the needed tools. And when they come down hard for results that were never defined to begin with.
These employees don’t feel empowered. They feel abandoned. Set up to fail by managers who lack focus and discipline. Managers who have fooled themselves into thinking that management no longer involves managing.
How can you ensure that you’re empowering and not abandoning? First, make certain your people clearly understand the goals, what’s expected of them and why. Next, ask yourself if they have the knowledge and skills to be successful. Then determine if they have sufficient resources.
Empowering your people when any of these elements is missing could be disastrous. The right results happen when you create an environment in which everything aligns with winning.
Yes, empowerment can be effective. But it’s not enough.