The empowerment journey

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People in your organization, do they feel that they are empowered? Do you have a structure to it? Do you have a plan on how to empower people or not?  

I'm thinking a little bit about the experience that you get in the workplace, the things that happen to you. How often do people feel in your organization that they are really are in charge of what's happening? What I mean with that is that if a person doesn't feel respected, listened to, appreciated, and somewhat also being allowed to be accountable and responsible for what they do, it's very hard to get the maximum of anyone.  Sometimes we make improvements way too complicated. If you go back to basics a little bit and think about what is needed in your organization, to make sure that people can perform?

First, they need to know what your strategy is, and your overarching goals. They need to know their immediate goals themselves as well. 

Surprisingly often people don't know that. They need to have a way to find the information that they need. 

You don't have to serve them with information all the time, but obviously, people don't know what I don't know. Sometimes you need to make them aware. You also must make sure there's a way for them to contact you, to discuss, to ask for help, to whatever they need to do when they need any sort of contact with you. You need to find a way where it's obvious. So, people meet you once a week, once a day, whatever it could be. 

You also need to make sure that the people are trained to do it. Just measuring them and saying that if I measure them, everything's going to happen. We all know that doesn't work.  You know, you need to make sure people have the capabilities. That's a portion of the trust. If you feel that you cannot trust the person or them, they feel more important that you don't trust them, or even worse, they don't trust you. There is something you need to address. You need to sit down and have a discussion on that and establish some type of ground rules around it. 

Then also the side of making a mistake. If people can't make mistakes, they never going to do anything that is worth doing when it comes to improving.

It's going to be more about adjustments than improvements. And they're going to make sure that they don't mess up. As soon as an organization is worried about messing up, then that organization is not going to do a lot of dramatic steps forward. Obviously, people need to be awarded as well for the right things. If you have a strategy, you award people towards the strategy. If you have these things in place, you're going to build them a very strong, empowered organization and empowered people who will be very happy coming to work. They also have a chance to grow as a person by being allowed to be responsibly accountable for the work that they do. I think a lot of people need to notice. And I think that there's a trick to it. There are things you can do and things you shouldn't do. I think that it's not common knowledge for people in the industry. Let people know and let them think about these topics themselves.

Johan Majlov, Founder & CEO Lean Dimensions International
[email protected]

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