How to Better Empower Your Team

How to Better Empower Your Team
Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

What Empowering Employees Can Do for Your Company
To better empower your team, give them the authority or power to do what they need to do.  When done right, employee empowerment increases employee engagement. It’s just common sense.

If employees feel that they have skin in the game and control over their work, their ability to meaningfully contribute to their team and to their company expands.  Empowered employees care more about what they do, try harder, and perform better.

Employee Engagement Research Backs This Up
Employees who see action after an engagement survey are twelve times more likely to be engaged the following year, and higher levels of employee engagement correlate to:

  • 18% greater productivity
  • 12% higher customer satisfaction
  • 51% less voluntary turnover
  • More discretionary effort, advocacy, and loyalty

What’s not to like? The problem is how to effectively empower your team. Simply adding on more unsupervised responsibilities is only a way to neglect your role as leader and to risk disengaging your team.

One Way to Empower Effectively
During our action learning leadership development workshops, many leaders advocate thinking of your leadership role as fulfilling two functions:

  • Managing WHAT gets done
  • Managing HOW work gets done

Managing WHAT Gets Done
In this role, managers need to set clear and meaningful goals, make sure that their employees understand what is being asked of them, and ensure that people have what they need to be set up to succeed.  We like using the terms Mandated, Guided, and Autonomous to provide clear boundaries and to manage expectations so people know where they are empowered to take the initiative and why.

Managers then need to evaluate performance, provide constructive feedback, and offer guidance when needed. In essence, managing what gets done requires making sure employees have a clear line of sight and understand the strategic priorities, their role, and the rules of the game while having the confidence and competence to be successful.

Managing HOW Work Gets Done
The other role of a manager is to ensure the work environment is primed for peak performance. This means making sure the right people are in the right role and that how work gets accomplished, rewarded, tracked, and measured is fully aligned with what you are trying to achieve.  Any workplace misalignment will create disengagement and dilute productivity.

If you want to be able to empower your team, your workplace culture must motivate employees to behave in a way that aligns with the overall company mission, vision, and values.

The Right Balance
Finding the right balance between the two roles is key. The best leaders combine the “what” and the “how” so employees are prepared and willing to do their best. Once empowered, they are engaged and everyone wins — the employee, the team, the manager, and the organization.

The Bottom Line
Knowing how important engagement is, are you doing all you can as a leader to empower your team?

To learn more about how to improve employee engagement, download Research Report – The Surprising Relationship Between Employee Engagement and Manager Effectiveness

Evaluate your Performance


Get key strategy, culture, and talent tools from industry experts that work


Health Checks

Assess how you stack up against leading organizations in areas matter most



Download published articles from experts to stay ahead of the competition



Review proven research-backed approaches to get aligned



Stay up to do date on the latest best practices that drive higher performance


Client Case Studies

Explore real world results for clients like you striving to create higher performance