How to foster an empowered team

Rachel Baker

A team is most effective when all its members are engaged, enthusiastic and driven. To make this a reality, you need to empower people. After all, it’s hard to stay motivated if you don’t feel like you’ve got any influence or agency.

People thrive when they’re valued and given the power to make their own choices. A leader's job is to create and nurture the conditions for their team to do their best work. And for purpose-led businesses, it’s key that the whole team is involved in shaping the company’s impact. And it works both ways—you can leverage your purpose as a way to inspire and empower your team too.

·   Share the company goals and direction

As a purpose-led business, you likely have a clear vision of the impact you’d like to make on the world. For you, it’s not just about profit. Now, we all know that we make a bigger impact when we join together—so getting your team on board will really maximise that impact. Regularly sharing the aims and direction of your business will get everyone excited about what you’re doing and help them work towards these goals in their day-to-day.

·   Ask for ideas and feedback

Having your thoughts, ideas and opinions valued is key to feeling empowered. As well as asking for feedback on policies, working culture and specific projects, actively encourage your team to suggest their own ideas. They’ll be proactive about making them a reality because they’ll feel ownership over their work.

·   Give people autonomy

Let’s face it—no one likes being micromanaged. Giving team members their own sphere of responsibility and letting them make their own decisions makes for happier and more productive employees.

·   Provide learning and training

Most people want to learn and upskill as they progress through their career. Fostering your team’s development is a sure-fire way to empower them, and it’s good for your business too. And letting people choose their own paths means you get the best out of people. So, take the time to ask your team what kind of training they’d like and if there are areas that they’re keen to learn about.

·   Recognise great work

It might go without saying but recognising the great work your team is doing is so important. This could be simply acknowledging someone’s successes in a team meeting or giving them a pat on the back. But of course, monetary rewards are significant too. If someone in your team has brought more revenue into the business because of their great work, then a pay rise might be in order. Recognising this instead of leaving an employee to bring it up in their annual appraisal will make them feel valued and more motivated to keep up the good work.

Purpose as your North Star

Your team likely chose to work for you because they share your values and admire your business purpose. You can use this as your North Star to guide the team, inspire them and keep everyone on the same page. Empower your team, and they’ll work hard to help you make the impact you’re striving for.

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