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Leadership Means Teaching Employees to Be Decision-Makers

Business leaders today need robust teams of employees who have the knowledge, experience and drive to make effective decisions. In order to avoid micromanaging, leaders need delegates in whom they have confidence.

But do the employees themselves have the confidence necessary to make those decisions? How do leaders give their employees the necessary confidence to be effective decision-makers?

Leadership development to build confidence
Confidence is an important skill for employees, and employee confidence demonstrates good business leadership on your part as well. Effective decision-making comes in large part from the repository of knowledge and experience an employee draws upon. It’s also a reflection of the culture and support of the organization itself. If employees have fear of repercussions for wrong decisions, they are less likely to want to make those decisions in the first place.

Below are 5 steps to help your employees gain the confidence needed to provide more value to the organization.

1. Play to strengths
While employee weaknesses should be acknowledged and worked upon, employers get far more traction from finding out what employees are good at and leveraging those strengths. If those strengths are not evident, it’s incumbent on managers to dig deeper to find what those positive attributes are.

2. Recognize successes
When an employee does a good job, she should know about it. Leaders should develop the habit of calling out outstanding work when they see it. This approach does not mean constant pats on the back, but rather, genuine acknowledgement of work well done. Managers who report to you should know that they should send you a note when great work is done and that you’ll contact the employee to give praise and show appreciation.

3. Focus on success, not perfection
Fear can be borne out of a desire for perfection, but that is rarely the necessary optimal state. Employees should know that your focus is not perfection, but success in the project, task, or deliverable assigned. This approach provides breathing room that gives employees the support they need to make decisions, knowing that those decisions may not always be correct and that that’s OK.

4. Encourage teachable moments
Along with an emphasis on success should come a new approach to missteps. Mistakes will happen. Leaders should make sure employees understand that mistakes occur and that employees use these experiences as learning opportunities. By using a mistake as an opportunity, employees build trust, resilience, and confidence.

5. Keep employees well-informed
Employees who know the latest trends and skills in their profession are likely better equipped to make decisions that will help propel the organization. To keep employees informed, companies need leadership development and training programs that give employees the skills they need to be successful. This training also allows you to prepare for the future, create the next generation of your organization’s leadership, and allow those waiting in the wings to step up when needed.

Employee confidence has its roots in a courageous, patient and progressive leadership team. With a commitment to empowerment, training, and recognition, employees will have the confidence to transform themselves and the organization.