Empower Employees for Better Decision Making Capabilities

Empower Employees for Better Decision Making Capabilities
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Who Should Decide
Do your managers feel overwhelmed by all the decisions they must make day-by-day? You have plenty of company. It is estimated that decision making can take up to 70% of a manager’s time. Managers need to gain better decision making capabilities.

Understandably, many managers would like to offload some decisions but, unless they do it right, results and relationships may suffer. Delegating decisions can backfire unless you have properly prepared people to take on and make decisions that matter.

How to Empower Employees to Make Better Decisions?
First, according to new manager training experts, managers need to determine which decisions can be delegated and to whom. Typically, easily delegated decisions are rather simple and everyday decisions that can be entrusted to the person or team most familiar with the situation or problem. But even seemingly innocuous decisions can have far-reaching consequences.

For example, a client team member recently chose a cheaper part for their product to meet budget targets, but it ended up compromising overall performance to the point that more money had to be spent to fix the unintended consequences.

So, the answer is twofold. First, be crystal clear about which decisions employees can and cannot make. Then, ensure they have the decision making confidence and competence to make those decisions wisely.

The best managers not only give employees the authority to make decisions in certain circumstances, but they also act as coaches to provide the appropriate level of guidance at the right time. To decide well, employees need to understand clearly what to do and have the unfettered ability to do it.

How to Support Better Decision-Making Capabilities

  1. The Right Culture
    Not just any decision making culture will do. The culture should promote open communication, continuous learning, mutual trust between managers and their team members, leadership support, and an understanding that missteps are part of the learning process. In addition, the behind-the-scenes processes like performance management and training must align with cultural values.
  2. Strategic Clarity
    Our organizational alignment research found that strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing teams.  From the front lines to the C-suite, be sure that your organization has a clear, well understood, and agreed-upon strategy. This enables everyone to move in the same direction and keep on track.
  3. Transparent Roles and Responsibilities
    Transparency matters.  Employees need to know who is responsible for what, why, and when. There should be no confusion about the role each plays in furthering the organization’s strategic objectives and who is accountable for each step along the path toward the project goal.
  4. Coaching Skills
    Managers need training as coaches to help build decision-making capabilities in their team members. Help employees improve their problem-solving skills and improve their ability to analyze risk. It is worth spending time upfront in guiding your team toward making sound decisions so you can step back bit by bit and feel confident in the decisions they make.

The Bottom Line
Seems like you have a choice: save time by delegating decisions willy-nilly and suffering the consequences or invest the time to coach your followers and empower them with better decision-making capabilities. Are you ready?

To learn more about how to empower employees for better decision making capabilities, download 7 Immediate Management Actions to Create Alignment with Goals

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