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Team empowerment

How do you improve team empowerment with minimal micromanagent?

When first conveining the team remind the members why they were chosen, specifically for their knowledge and experience to come up with solutions to organizational problems. The most critical factor in empowerment is the team's "ownership" of it's recommended solutions. They must know that their recommendations will have direct impact on the implemented solutions to the problems they have been brought together to fix. In doing so this they take ownership of not only the solutions but more importantly the implementation process. If they don't have ownership then they may not endorse and support the solution.

Be clear, in the beginning, what the team goal is. Finally, make sure the team gets credit for their actions.

Identify the team goals and encourage members to share their ideas form the beginning. Let them know how valuable they are to the success of the project. Create an environment of acceptance.

One can select from different methods for assessing the quality of the team's success such as benchmarking using Six Sigma processes, (defect analysis) observation, occasional team discussions about process improvement.

I use ownership as the empowerment cataylist. I try to refer to projects, equipment, students and other tangible things as if they belong to that person. "How is your Class doing?" "Your project is coming along well." I have found the leaders I have and had in the past got the most productivity and satisfaction from me when I felt I owned my position.

Ownership is a powerful tool. Great use of ownership to empower your team. I also find that giving public recognition works well to motivate employees. These psychological tools are easy to use and can have dramatic results.

Well done!

I feel that having your communication very clear when setting our goals is a must. I feel rewarding the employee for reaching the team goals. This should be done in meetings which will motivate other team members.

Ben ,

Good point! Public praise and private coaching definately encourages employees to take risks. If they know that they won't be ridiculed for their ideas, they will feel more empowered to contribute.


Empowerment given that allows the team to be creative while making changes is one of the best methods I have seen to develop a strong team. I have observed this used successfully in the Army and in business.

The Army teaches team empowerment by training the team to be self supporting. They allow the team to find their own way to accomplish the mission while management is there in a support role.

Lean mgft team empowerment is very close to this concept. It gives the team the green light to think outside the box and to be creative. Teams make changes while working through issues they discover. Management empowers the team to "fix" bottle necks and problem areas that allow better performance and low cost to follow.

Finding the solution and being empowered to act upon that solution creates a very strong bond within the team. With empowerment and the bond that is created within the team their ability to find solutions and solve problems is limitless.

Hugh Clark
National College Instructor

Excellent response incorporating many aspects of team empowerment. One of main themes I take away from your comments is that a team leader needs to empower teams is different ways, depending on the goals of the team. It is equally as important for senior managers to use this same principle with their line managers to keep them motivated.

Well done!

Dr. Jamie Morley

Hello Everyone,
I have been in a leadership position for 2 years now and I know that my employees would like to be treated as “partners” in our business of teaching Adults. They want communication from me often and I have done that since the beginning. Many of my employees are older than me and they have lots more life experience than I do.
I realized 2 years ago when I started as their manager that they know what they are doing and they need me to guide them through all of the new processes that our company has imposed on all of us.
I learned that my role is to encourage and support the decision-making environment, and to give my employees the tools and knowledge they need to make and act upon their own decisions. By doing this, I help my employees reach an empowered state.

Following are a few things leaders can do to build an environment that empowers people.
This is from a blog that I read from Harvard Business Review by Dr.Marshall Goldsmith

1. Give power to those who have demonstrated the capacity to handle the responsibility.

2. Create a favorable environment in which people are encouraged to grow their skills.

3. Don't second-guess others' decisions and ideas unless it's absolutely necessary. This only undermines their confidence and keeps them from sharing future ideas with you.

4. Give people discretion and autonomy over their tasks and resources.


You have the wisdom of somebody that has been managing a team for a lot longer than two years, so congratulations! Acknowledging that everybody is an expert in something and finding and cultivating those hidden talents is the primary responsibility for a manager.

You have taken your role one step further by also incorporating evidence-based strategies into your decision making process. Very well done. Your team will appreciate your attempt to bring in multiple perspectives to help them efficiently get the job done.

Dr. Jamie Morley

I have found that by giving clear objectives of what needs to be accomplished and by giving bench markers this helps to keep my instructors on task for what needs to be done. I also give deadlines as to when bench marks should be met and this allows them to work as a group without me having to micromanage them. When they meet their bench markers I always give the team a lot of praise and encouragement and check in with them to see how they are coming along and make sure they aren’t experiencing any obstacles or hardships. This seems to help them stay motivated and moving along with projects without having to micromanage them.


You are correct, Stephanie! Encouragement is essential, especially when the team has achieved a bench mark goal. Too often, team leaders do not have the authority to give awards, bonuses, or monetary incentives, so praise is a great way to keep your team motivated. Many team members also appreciate being given additional assignments or responsibility. This doesn’t motivate everybody, so the leader should know their team before determining if a stretch assignment is a motivator.

Dr. Jamie Morley

I have also found it effective to take the different styles or approaches of team members and turn them into strengths rather than weaknesses. Creating a safe environment to express new or different perspectives or approaches has proven to be an invaluable resource for my team.
Thank you,


Again, you make some excellent points. Focusing on strengths -- and cultivating strengths is an important job for a team leader. By giving team members “stretch assignments” they have the opportunity to grow and develop, thereby becoming move valuable members of your team. One downside to this strategy is that you should be prepared to provide guidance, in case they fail, to ensure that the team or the project does not suffer.

Dr. Jamie Morley

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