Empower Your Team

Nov 1, 2023 | Industry

By Sandy Blalock • ARA Executive Director

We should all know that trust is a foundational element of a positive workplace culture.

A healthy organizational culture empowers employees to take initiative and make decisions within their roles. When your management style disempowers employees by limiting their autonomy, it can have unintended consequences. This lack of empowerment can hinder growth and create a culture of dependency.

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What we need now more than ever is a sense of trust within businesses. We should all know that trust is a foundational element of a positive workplace culture. When employees feel that their every move is scrutinized, it erodes trust and creates an atmosphere of suspicion. Leaders need to send a message that they trust their employees to perform their duties effectively.

We must put a system in place that does not require constant monitoring and interference as that can lead to a decline in employee morale. When employees feel that their efforts are not appreciated, and their abilities are constantly questioned, it can lead to frustration and disengagement.

For your business to thrive you need to stop focusing on maintaining the status quo and follow established procedures. This can stifle creativity and innovation as employees may feel hesitant to propose innovative ideas or take calculated risks. A culture of innovation often requires a degree of autonomy and freedom to explore innovative approaches.

Do you feel the need to constantly tell employees exactly what to do and how to do it? You may need to decide if your management style leans towards micromanaging or if you do not have the right employees in the role best suited for their success. This leaves little room for employees to take ownership of their work and develop new skills. A thriving organizational culture encourages continuous learning and professional development.

Good managers see themselves as career developers; they know their employees well enough to uncover their skills and motivations. Employees are more likely to leave an organization where they feel their skills and expertise are undervalued. It is not a secret that high turnover can disrupt team dynamics, increase recruitment costs, and negatively impact the overall culture of the workplace.

Make sure to put in place good standard operating procedures so your team has a good understanding of what is expected. Once established, let the employees collaborate and make the system function. A culture of collaboration and teamwork is the most successful way to manage a business. When employees are constantly focused on following instructions from above, they may not communicate effectively with their peers or contribute to a collaborative and supportive team environment.

While micromanagers usually have the best of intentions, their behavior can impact team morale and performance. It can also slow down productivity if a manager does not fully trust their team members to perform their jobs. Recognizing whether you are being micromanaged requires a thoughtful self-assessment of your situation and something you should discuss with your manager.

A culture that prioritizes well-being and a work-life balance is more likely to foster positive morale and productivity. Cultivating a positive and empowering culture involves providing employees with the autonomy and trust they need to thrive in their roles. Build your teams to empower them and you will see productivity and performance go up considerably.

Reach Sandy Blalock at sandy@a-r-a.org. Share your thoughts pertaining to the advancement of professional automotive recycling. Your letter could be published in an upcoming issue.

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