Want to inspire your employees to a higher level of performance? It may be time to apply a generous dose of employee empowerment, best described as “in command but out of control.”
Be it large or small, picture your enterprise as a bee hive and yourself as the “queen bee.” (Gentlemen, please don’t be offended; like it or not, in bee hives women rule.) You have neither the time nor the inclination to direct the daily activity of every worker bee but you must ensure that your hive survives and prospers. To establish and sustain a positively humming “out of control” hive, you need to actively consider the following:
1. Keep everyone informed. Today’s technology permits us to spread real-time performance data and competitive intelligence far and wide. Routinely inform participants at all levels how well their department, the enterprise as a whole and your competitors are performing. You gain little but lose a lot by withholding vital facts and figures.
2. Establish and enforce a strict uniform code of business conduct. There can be no slack or misunderstanding of enterprise-wide ethical standards.
3. If possible, grant every employee a unique personal franchise. (This may be difficult in a unionized environment.) For certain employees, the franchise will be very limited, for others extremely broad. Each contributor must continually validate his or her franchise and should be challenged to expand it by demonstrating initiative and favorable performance, both as an individual and as a member of your team.
4. Seek consensus in advance for ambitious yet realistic personal and collective goals. Truly effective goal-setting goes far beyond the traditional budgeting and annual performance review ritual. Your loftier objective is to inspire individual employee commitments along with personalized work plans which combine to support lofty consensus enterprise-wide objectives.
5. Encourage leaders at every organization level to divorce themselves from hands-on, day-to-day micro-management. A worthy goal is to redefine the ideal leadership model from “boss” to “coach.” A coach sets direction, establishes priorities, motivates team members and monitors results. “Coaches” most honored are those who develop their “players” along with meeting or exceeding department or profit center objectives.
6. Routinely monitor results and provide timely and consistent feedback. Shift direction as necessary. Senior leaders may relinguish hands-on control but they remain responsible for the bottom line. The best of leaders effectively delegate initiative but routinely inspire excellence and dispense healthy doses of constructive criticism, never simply to “assign blame” but always to motivate improved performance in the future.
7. Base bonus rewards, profit sharing and promotions upon measurable individual and collecctive accomplishments. In your enterprise, “favoritism” should be viewed as a dirty word. Performance rewards should generous and widespread when your business prospers but never handed out indiscriminately to under-performing participants.
Want to learn more about recharging your business and motivating seasoned employees mid-stream? Visit our website www.middleagerenewal.com. While there, preview the latest book by MART founder and CEO Roy Richards