Why you should empower your employees to overcome their weaknesses

I was reading an article the other day on businesses and teaching institutions that have a culture of highlighting weakness. It was found that when this 'name and shame' occurs publicly with no regard to informing the employee/student about how they could overcome their weakness then it can cause the person to simply say "I'm just not that good at it".

When management uses this method of humiliation in the workplace they create an environment where people are no longer willing to try, or take risks or make decisions on their own. This is because they feel they are 'not good enough', no matter how much positive reassurance you try and give them later. The employee will eventually leave your business, maybe not physically, but certainly mentally, and you're unlikely to see it. They turn up for work every day and appear to function normally but they're not really attached to the business anymore.

One way to overcome this is to encourage people, even when they do something wrong, and empower them to find a better solution. Although this may 'feel' counterintuitive, by treating the situation as a learning opportunity you will further develop your employees because growth means trying. And through this respect you show them, they will have a greater appreciation for you as a manager and their engagement with, and contribution to, the business will improve. It relates back to a fantastic insight provided by Henry Ford: "If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right".

In your business, would it be beneficial to create an environment where staff want to do well by the business? The article calls this "discretionary effort", when a staff member can say "I am so happy with you, how can I make you as happy with me?" Good fuel for any business, don't you think?

Posted: 16/06/2010 12:12:00 AM by Andy Klein | with 0 comments
Filed under: employees, empowerment, leadership, management, motivation, staff
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