Empowering others to do work that they would not otherwise do is a leadership tool, that when used effectively, will yield greater results than if they were to do all of the work on their own. When empowerment is used effectively, it is the perfect balancing agent to delegation. When delegation is effective with clearly defined empowerment parameters outlined upfront, leaders can expect individuals will be more successful with the task or project.
Delegating is a way for a leader to get more work done with those on their team than they can get done on their own. When work is delegated to competent and skilled team members, it may free leaders up to work on the work that only they can do. Delegating is simply entrusting some task or work to someone by giving them specific parameters and a goal. First time supervisors may find this a challenge especially if they are used to doing it all themselves.
A part of empowering, that cannot be overlooked, is the how much authority may be given to any person as apart of the empowerment process. They must have the authority to make decisions in order to be successful. What guidelines will be shared with them when communicating the work to be done. It is necessary to know what authority they have when it comes to gathering the recourses to complete their assignment.
Being able to enable a person or team to do the work they have been empowered to complete will play a big role in how successful they are with it. When they are enabled with what to do and how to do the work with guidance and support, they may be more successful with their outcomes.
Helicoptering is counter productive to empowering and the opposite to the goal of enabling and empowering.
Leaders who know the value of supporting others will develop stronger relationships with their team members while achieving successful results. Supporting may be expressed in many ways with encouraging words or a coaching meeting. Supporting the people doing the work is crucial in every way.
Empowerment can me misunderstood by leaders and can result in disastrous outcomes when used ineffectively. Empowerment is not just handing it over to another person without regard to the principles or guidelines. When someone is empowered, they are being trusted to complete the task completely.
Employees are empowered when they have been given clear direction on what is expected. In some cases, it may be that coaching or directing associated with empowering the individuals is more detailed because they will be completing the work assignment or project for the first time. The level of support given is unique to the individual in the empowering process and is critical to their successful completion of the task. A proficient or skilled leader will recognize what it takes with each individual to make sure the empowering process is clear and concrete.
Empowerment is best utilized when any number of outcomes are desired. It is an excellent way for to develop others by giving them assignments for the first time with the expectation they will learn in the process and become more productive going forward. Employees want to be engaged and want to feel valued with the work they do; when they are empowered to do things that are new or outside of their normal job scope, they may become excited and enthusiastic. The aim of empowerment must include a focus on developing the individual for it to be successful and create the win-win outcome.