How to Empower Your Employee to Take Initiative

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If you can successfully empower your employees to take initiative on their own, you know you're doing a good job. Empower your employee to take initiative with help from an accomplished attorney, author and speaker in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Human Resource Tools
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Video Transcript

Welcome, this is HR That Works, President Don Phin and today I'm going to answer the question how do we empower our employees to take initiative. Let me begin by responding, you hear the question that says how do we empower people. That means you can't control people, you know, the whole idea of controlling people to do anything is dead, it's very old concepts. In fact, in today's environment, the person you can't control, you don't want working for you because they're going to want you to be responsible for them. So control is not how you're going to empower people. So what is the answer? It's encourage and inspire. So when we coax people, think of a pat on a baby's back, it doesn't happen in a leap. There's too much fear in doing anything in a leap. One step at a time and the best way to encourage people to take one step at a time is to make it a process. So Peter Drucker made this recommendation, Dr. Demings made this recommendation and we have quality control circles or monthly suggestion meetings and everybody is required. It's not voluntary, it's part of your job description, every month you are required to give one or two suggestions of how you can do things better and when you have those monthly meetings you reward every suggestion with a raffle ticket, a lottery ticket, a $2 bill, something like that. That's coaxing people one step at a time. Now the second work is encouraging people and the way you encourage somebody is to find the good in them. You know, when we run 75 miles an hour we tend to nit pick, we tend to make a lot more negatives to positives than positive ones. A very good book about it called "Leadership and Self Deception". So we have to make a concerted effort, have I encouraged this person today, what did I do to find something good in them and let them feel good about themselves because I don't know about you but when somebody makes me feel good about myself I want to do more for them and that's exactly what will happen for you. Now the last word is inspire people. So if we can't control them, we have to empower them and inspire them. One of the best ways to do that is through stories. So you tell stories of other people who have been innovative. You can blow up stories, picture of them with what they did, let those other people talk to those employees and tell them what motivated them to do that so they can learn from them and feel that energy and want to do that themselves. So the three words coax, encourage and inspire, there's no more important job as a manager that you can possibly do. Thank you.


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