A few weeks ago I was sitting at a restaurant watching waiters step around some food that was spilled on the floor. This went on for almost 10 minutes before the restaurant manager came out with a mop and bucket to clean up the spill. I am fairly certain that cleaning the floors is not part of the restaurant manager’s job description.
The incident reminded me of how much I loved having dinner with my family when we had teenagers. As soon as they would finish their meals, they would excuse themselves and exit quickly from the dining room only to hear their mother say, “Pick up your dishes!”
As a manager, do you sometimes feel like your employees are acting like teenagers? They focus on their part of the job, but rarely identify the work around the edges or the messes that need to be cleaned up. What can you do to create more empowerment and accountability in your team so that team members move from talking about their work, their job and their goals to our work, our project and our objectives? What can you do to help avoid the never-ending excuse making when deadlines are missed and to have an employee acknowledge, “I missed the deadline; it’s all on me!” Having employees who feel accountable and empowered creates a much more pleasant and productive workplace.
To confirm the impact of empowerment, I looked at data from more than 7,000 employees where we measured empowerment along with employee engagement. Employees who felt a low level of empowerment were rated with engagement at the 24th percentile, whereas those with a high level of empowerment were at the 79th percentile. Clearly, empowerment counts.
To answer that question, I looked at data from three different organizations compromising approximately 19,000 employees. I identified the items most strongly correlated with empowerment and then factor-analyzed the data to identify the six factors that were common across the three organizations.
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