As a team leader, you cannot be there all the time to hold the hands of your team – and we know you don’t want to.
In business, one of the most important things that you can do when managing a team is to empower them because ultimately it will make your team run a lot smoother. Everyone has a role to play, and in empowering team members in theirs you can trust them more with important tasks, and focus on your own task of running the team and the business.
So here are some of the things that we would recommend trying out with your team in the New Year.
It’s so cliche to say this but it is really important
– it’s truly the foundation of having your team empowered in their job. Your team members will only be as relaxed trying out a new task as you are giving it to them. Delegate tasks liberally to those whose job descriptions fit it, always keeping their overall workload in mind, of course.
Bonus Tip: Breaking more senior tasks into smaller ones and delegating can really help your team members feel that they are contributing in a bigger way, gain more skills and develop a better working relationship with senior team members.
Leave Your Door Open
No, this doesn’t mean literally leave your door open, you can have privacy. But it’s important to consider what happens after you delegate, and it really is on you to maintain an open door culture. Share as much necessary information with team members about delegated tasks and then keep a line of communication open for them to ask questions and consult.
Bonus Tip: When tasks are given, schedule a call with that person immediately for the midpoint of the deadline. This means that the team member can be assured that you are there to support them to talk about it, but also knows how much time they have to work through their tasks on their own.
Not something you have considered doing for team members before? Decision-making is a huge part of any team leader's day. One of the things you can do is to ask a team member to make an important decision on your behalf. They don’t have to submit their decision but provide them with all the information that they need to make it and ask them to evaluate and come back to you with a succinct plan of action and an explanation as to why. If you disagree with them during your feedback meeting, simply explain your thinking on the matter, and make the decision-making collaborative. This way, junior members of your team can learn more from you about how you think and how you make decisions.
Bonus Tip: Irrespective of how this goes, keep empowering team members to do it. Eventually, it should come to them naturally and you will end up with a really strong junior team member or someone who is ready to transition to something more senior.