Empowerment is the process of enabling or authorizing an individual to think, behave, take action, control work, and make decisions autonomously. This is a very useful managerial tool; especially as empowered teams are beginning to play an increasingly more prominent role in the modern economy.
An organization with empowered teams encourages creativity, innovation, communication, and productivity amongst its members. With a focus on effort rather than “staying busy”, each member is evaluated on their individual performance and contributions to work towards major goals, reinforcing team members to take greater initiative and accountability. Empowered teams help people work together, support each other, and accept responsibility to help individuals and their company to succeed.
Rather than a team leader who makes key decisions and is in charge of the team, the empowered team leader makes sure that the team operates effectively. They understand the importance of checking in from time to time and ensuring that every member is heard, and their skills are being fully utilized. Their goal is to find the perfect balance between coordinator and manager. Throughout the project, they will determine whether their skills are best used in the process of coordination and communication, or if their extensive knowledge will be most helpful in directing and managing tasks.
One useful managerial tool for helping empowered leaders analyze the effectiveness of their team and assess options for improving performance is the Team Leader Checklist:
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