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  • Writer's pictureJenn Donahue

How To Grow Your Army!

Why is empowerment an important thing to focus on this year?

I think a lot of people woke up in the middle of COVID and they questioned where they were working, the job they were doing, and if it was something they enjoyed.

Employees and workers are a little bit more aware this year about their working conditions, how they are treated, and whether or not they feel valued for the work they do.

As leaders, we have less control over everything now. Our employees are working remotely, our business model has likely changed, and we’re having to adapt to new challenges and obstacles quicker than ever before.

Leaders are having to figure out what people are doing without being able to see them in the office. And, as a result, many leaders and managers are micromanaging the situation. And in turn, employees are saying, “no thank you.”

So how do we make sure our people can still do their job, produce great results and not be micromanaged?


Empowering your teams builds trust, forms loyal bonds, and inspires more productivity and engagement in your business.

Here are 4 ways you can make others feel empowered and grow your army.

I know what it’s like to have big dreams and not know how to get there. I have always set out to achieve great things and inspire others along the way, but I had to figure out how to build that bridge (sometimes literally) one stepping stone at a time.

And those stepping stones need to be built with trust.

As leaders, we have to give up a little bit of our power and empower our teams with it. Trust is the building block of everything that we do.

It can be hard to do sometimes, but when we stop and realize that we have team members who are really looking to do the work (and do it well), it becomes easier to entrust them with pieces of your business.

Trust that each person on your team is there for a reason and that maybe they know how to do some things better than you can.

I know I hired a personal assistant to help keep me organized, on track, and up to date with my events, meetings, and emails. And let me tell you, she kicks ass at it! She manages the day-to-day aspects of my business greater than I can and it frees my time up to do more speaking engagements and build my business.

Trusting your team looks like:

  1. Giving a task, project, or responsibility and then taking a step back from it

  2. Asking, “What do you need to be successful?”

  3. Creating clear channels of communication

  4. Letting go of control and DELEGATING!

  5. Being vulnerable and open with your team

When you trust your team, big things can happen. Employees feel more engaged, confident, and eager to show up and do a great job.

2. Ask Empowering Questions

Think about it, how would you like your boss to relate to you? Do you want them to just give you demands with no context or would you rather them understand your problems, get to know the details of your project, and help in a way that you actually need (not what they think you need)?

The answer seems obvious to me. That’s why when I speak to leaders, I help them to understand how important asking questions is.

It may seem simple, but try out a few of these and watch how the individual opens up.

  1. Is there anything you need to be more successful?

  2. What’s going on? How can I help?

  3. How can I help you to feel more confident in your role?

  4. Are there any roadblocks or challenges you are struggling with?

What are you enjoying most about your project/task/job?

When you ask questions, you often find that the individual might have a different or better way of doing things. You can then empower them to do it the best way and provide them with the resources to do it.

And don’t forget to listen! Asking questions is only half of it. Listening is just as important.

Listening goes a really long way because sometimes not being heard is actually the problem. When we listen to our team members, we are showing empathy, care, and respect. Isn’t that something you’d like to receive from your boss or leader?

“Listening is the most helpful action of all and also the best way to create a change.”

3. Provide Freedom and Flexibility

Today’s workforce has drastically changed and the trends for 2023 shouldn’t come as a surprise. Many companies and businesses have hybrid employees who work both at home and in the office. As we embrace a more virtual work reality, it can be hard to make sure your employees are getting their jobs done.

Many leaders may take this as an opportunity to crack the whip even harder.

However, from personal experience, I know that having a leader who yells, demands, and criticizes only creates resistance and loathing in people.

Instead, I’ve found that providing employees with more freedom and flexibility creates more positive outcomes and a better working environment for everyone.

If freedom and flexibility are new concepts to you as a leader, it’s important to start small. Start by providing clear directions and clear deadlines. Do your best to let go. And then be patient. Trust that your employee is going to provide the results you are looking for. And if they do, that’s a win-win! You got what you needed without spending time and energy micromanaging and your employee was able to step up to the plate and complete a project that they can feel confident and empowered about.

If they don’t meet your expectations, then pull back a little bit and give them a smaller project. It doesn’t mean they completely lose all hope in their abilities. Just give them something you know they can do and use that as a milestone for success.

4. Facilitate a Roundtable

One of the best ways to do this is by holding a roundtable.

At the start of the year, sit down with your team over coffee or lunch and lay out the high-level goals that you’re wanting to achieve within the year. Then crowdsource for ideas around how you all will achieve these goals. This creates buy-in with your team when they feel involved in the planning process. It also will give you ideas that maybe you didn’t think about before and are a better solution than what you had in mind.

Then, go around and ask each individual what their goals are for having a successful year. When the entire team is aware of each individual’s goals it creates a culture of inclusivity and support and you’re much more likely to achieve goals quicker and easier together.

After you’ve had a roundtable, it’s important to follow up on the goals shared. Have a quarterly review meeting to see how everyone is doing on the overall business goals and their individual goals. This keeps people motivated and focused on achieving great things.

Empowerment Wins Over Micromanagement

Burnout is very real right now. And as employees are deciding to leave their jobs in search of a more empathetic and trusting workplace environment, leaders are struggling to understand how to retain their people and grow their army.

When we turn to empowerment instead of micromanagement, it gives our team an opportunity to grow, thrive, and become confident in their role. Which, in turn, alleviates you from having to put so much time and effort into getting things done.

“empowerment plays a very important role in every organization and directly reflects in employee morale. Good employee’s empowerment helps to lead to the success of the organization.”

An empowered workforce is powerful, unstoppable, and magnetic. And it’s up to you as a leader to make your team feel empowered.

If you’d like me to speak to your team or organization about the benefits of an empowered workforce and how to get there, reach out to me and let’s talk!


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