Empowering leadership: Four behaviours that contribute to employee empowerment

As we have mentioned in previous blogs about leadership, your staff can only perform as well as the best leader within your organisation (to learn more about your ‘leadership lid’ click here).

So if you are not demonstrating empowering behaviours, then your staff aren’t going to easily follow suit. 

What can you do as a leader or business owner to behave in a way that fosters empowerment within your staff?

Here are four behaviours that assist in developing employee engagement.

1. Participative decision-making 

Leaders must involve employees when making decisions that affect them. 

If they don’t feel like their ideas, contributions or submissions are of value to you, or they are continuously being ignored, shut down or overlooked, a staff member is likely to feel powerless in the decision-making process and therefore disempowered. 

2. Open communication 

Organisations that keep a high level of communication, transparency and openness in their processes are more likely to develop feelings of empowerment in staff. 

This can also increase feelings of being valued, respected and listened to.

Actively provide feedback to staff, and allow them to opportunity to provide feedback to you as well. 

3. Show concern

Leaders must show genuine concern for their employees and treat them as equals. 

If a staff member feels like their boss or manager simply doesn’t care, or is not interested in their concerns/pain points, then it is likely a staff member will begin to disengage. 

Open up a conversation regularly with staff, check-in and see how they’re doing, and ask them directly if there are any concerns they would like to share with you. 

Not only communicating but showing that their success is of importance to you, can dramatically help a staff member to feel supported and resourced to succeed in the workplace.

4. Trust 

Leaders must be transparent in explaining rules, expectations, decisions and actions.

Without this, it is difficult for open communication, and also for staff members to critically understand roles, responsibilities and standards within the organisation. 

Trust takes time. It is something that is built sturdily by being clear in communication, and open in reasoning for decision-making processes. 

The OCC Method

If you boil down empowering leadership to its rawest terms – there are three pillars of empowerment any leader can use to not only empower, but inspire, grow and nurture any staff member.

The OCC Method requires leaders to:

1. Be Open

2. Coach

3. Communicate

By keeping these three points in mind, and actively practising openness, coaching, and communication – a staff member is more likely to feel empowered by you within any level of the organisation. 

Other things you can do to empower your staff (according to Forbes):

  • Give employees generous boundaries
  • Listen intently 
  • Believe in your employees
  • Forgive mistakes
  • Provide growth paths 
  • Praise effort 
  • Ask powerful questions
  • Earn trust
  • Set your ego aside
  • Give employees time

How do you think your staff would rate you and your organisation in workability? Are your staff satisfied and feel empowered working in your business?

We provide a free comprehensive and thorough assessment of 64 touch points that can greatly affect a team’s sense of work satisfaction. 

To take the 64-point Culture IQ assessment, click here.