This is arguably more important with a manager than with the rest of the workforce, as leadership can often have an impact on how their colleagues feel, act and ultimately work. Empowering managers with the confidence, skills and autonomy they need to be the best leader possible is crucial for HR.
1. Give them confidence
Managers need to be confident in their decisions but also know that the organization as a whole has confidence in them. Ensure that HR is meeting with leadership on a regular basis to talk through any concerns, problems or opportunities that have arisen. This communication will allow the company to positively reinforce the confidence it has in each manager, while also reiterating the best course of action to take.
In order for HR and the rest of the business to support managers in this way, it's essential that leaders are engaged with policies and initiatives alike. If you've picked the right professionals to become leaders, you shouldn't have any problems motivating them to get behind changes or understand the importance of following certain policies to the letter.
2. Support the right skills
Empowering managers should always start with ensuring they have the skills necessary to complete their job to their full ability. This is often a mixture of theoretical training on company-wide policies, personal management best practice and even health and safety practices, and coaching from more experienced leaders.
Training professionals in this way makes sure they have the right combination of skills but also shows that their employer is happy and willing to invest in their role. Often, managers are neglected when it comes to upskilling, as people assume that if they got the job in the first place, they have the skills needed to succeed. However, like any professional, leaders need to constantly work and evolve their skills to get the most out of them.
3. Allow them autonomy
Autonomy isn't just about giving professionals the freedom to make their own decisions but it also communicates that they have the full support of their employer.
This can be shown in a number of different ways and is likely to depend on the type of organization in question, but it's important that you strike the right balance between autonomy and support to ensure leaders feel empowered, not stranded.
Speak to managers about their level of autonomy and whether they want more or less, as this will give you a clear indication of their own confidence in their abilities.
Giving autonomy should also be about ensuring that you're not chastising leaders for making decisions that may be different to your own. Instead, talk openly to them about why they decided on a certain course of action and discuss any potential negatives or positives to it.
This will empower them not only with the fact that the company has faith in them but also that they are still being helped and supported through their actions.
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