I am often asked how do I empower my staff to take on more responsibility? How do I ensure that they are self-motivated and that they will initiate action on their own?

The rapid advancement of technological change today requires highly intelligent and skilled workers. These individuals value their skills and professionalism far more than loyalty to any organization. Therefore, the first step for any leader in an organization is to match carefully the skills and intellectual capabilities of the individual or team with the task, project, or strategic plan for the organization.

The next step is to ensure your organization is clearly communicating the vision and the mission of your organization. A leader must also ensure employees see the direct value that their work performance has on the product of the organization.

When we have the emergence of an informed workforce and enlightened leadership that clearly communicates the requirements and expected outcomes, you will find a high level of engaged employees. Empowerment is not a tool we grant employees, but rather, intellectual stimulation that challenges employees to think outside the box. It is inspirational motivation that encourages action in the face of mistakes and individualized consideration that provides constructive corrective action and encouragement even when a project is behind schedule.     

Empowerment is a state of mind, a holistic environment.

Author: Michael W. Lomax, MLD is a managing member of (SLS) Strategic Leadership Systems LLC, a management-consulting firm. After thirty-four years of management and executive level experience in the insurance industry, Michael and his team built a consultant organization dedicated to the education of leaders, support for local communities and restoration of the earth’s resources. Michael has a Bachelor of Science degree from Saint Joseph’s University and a Master’s degree in Leadership Development from Penn State University’s School of Professional Studies. You can find additional education and leadership development materials on the SLS website.