How well do you Empower your Employees?

by Dr. Ron Arndt

What is the possibility you are “enabling” your employees? If you are enabling, you are offering help that perpetuates rather than solves a problem.A doctor who allows a team member to arrive late routinely to the morning huddle because she claims she has to drive through heavy traffic is enabling irresponsibility. The doctor that tolerates an employee who constantly has to get up and down from the chair to retrieve additional instruments or materials is enabling inattention to detail and inefficiency. The team member who is “barked at” by the doctor in front of the patient is enabling disrespect.

dental staff accountabilityIt can be a fine line between helping and enabling. Some leaders enable people to remain dependent or unengaged. Stop making excuses and covering up for others!

The word empower is often over-used. Many employers talk about empowering their employees but, often, employees feel disempowered. Here are four of the top 10 things you can do that will really empower your employees, according to employees, not employers!

  1. Allow employees to actively participate in team and company goals.
    Look for every opportunity to include employees at every level of the organization – in being active participants. Employees often report getting one-way directives instead.
  2. Allow employees to suggest better ways of getting their jobs done.
    Ask for employee suggestions for other ways of getting the task or project accomplished. Listen and be willing to really hear the employees’ comments. Employees often report that they have no input and are told exactly how to perform their jobs, leaving no creativity.
  3. Provide positive reinforcement.
    Always listen and acknowledge your employees. Employees often report that their decisions and actions are second-guessed and that most, if not all, feedback given is negative.
  4. Clearly delegate responsibility and give the employees authority along with the responsibility.
    Do you give inconsistent messages? Do you ask the employee to handle a problem or project and then give them negative feedback or give them an assignment and then say “never-mind?” Employees often report that they are given tasks and then told they did it wrong.

To receive the remaining six of my Top Ten Ways to Empower Your Employees, send me an email with Top 10 – Empower in your subject line.

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