To “empower your employees” sounds great, but how do you actually do it?
I recently spoke to a business owner who had a couple of challenges for me during our coaching session. This business owner (“Tom”) runs a retail business that has a solid social media following and has gotten a lot of business through marketing on social media. But one of his challenges was with one of his marketing people (“Joe”) who does a great job completing assigned tasks but is weak at taking initiative.
Tom told me that he ends up feeling bogged down because Joe is an excellent employee who is willing to do any assigned tasks. But Tom is frustrated that Joe isn’t stepping forward and being proactive. Tom believes that Joe has a lot more potential but isn’t exercising it.
A conversation to empower your employees
So we developed a plan to sit down with Joe and thank him for his efforts. Then we planned a few questions that Tom could ask Joe:
- “If you were totally in charge and did not have to get approval, what would you suggest for our company?”
- “What are the priorities that we need to focus on in our marketing?”
- “What kind of budget do you think we need?”
- “What are some opportunities that we are not taking advantage of?”
This is an excellent discussion to have with any employee. It’s empowering for them, and it can help you liberate some of your time. It’s possible that an employee can’t work completely independent of you, but you can gauge that over time.
Let your employees be proactive
I would encourage you to release your employees to be as proactive and autonomous as possible. Help your employees reach their potential by empowering them. Instead of merely giving them tasks to accomplish, ask them what they would do if they were in your shoes.