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Strategies to empower your staff and claim back your time

Time is a precious commodity in many organisations

If you are a manager, you may feel that your time is being lost through having to deal with tasks that could easily be dealt with by your employees if they were provided with the right tools. Here we look at how you can empower your staff and give them more control in certain areas, enabling you to claim back valuable time.

The main problems in today’s workplace

A report by McKinsey Global Institute in 2012 found that on average employees spent 61% of their working week looking for information, dealing with internal communications and catching up with emails; meanwhile, data from the US at around the same time found that up to 31 hours a month were lost due to employees having to attend unproductive meetings.

This loss of working time caused by seemingly fruitless tasks is a cause for concern, as it reduces productivity. The more time employees spend on emails and meetings, the less time there is available for productive work. It also means that employees are less likely to build good relationships both internally and externally, makes their communication less effective, and has a negative impact on their negotiating skills.

This time lost by employees translates into time lost by the managers who have to step in to assist.

Strategies to empower staff in the workplace

The solution to helping managers to use their own time more effectively is to provide them with strategies for empowering their staff. A lack of motivation caused by a seeming lack of progress is a huge workplace problem, as is the fact that many businesses now have complex and complicated management structures that employees need to understand to recognise who makes the decisions. Armed with this understanding, employees need the ability to influence the decision makers within the organisation.

This is where empowerment strategies become important. These do not necessarily have to take place in the office environment; for example, empowerment could come from employees taking time off, being able to work flexibly and setting their own hours. It is also important for managers to have high expectations of employees and to let them find their own way to the solution to a problem.

Listening to employees and providing them with some sort of share in the business are also great ways to empower them. If employees feel that the business is listening and wants them to be part of it, they will be happier and more motivated. It then becomes easier for managers to trust employees and to delegate responsibilities, thereby gaining back precious time.

By implementing these ideas, you can ensure that members of your team are productive and motivated to complete the job in hand and can claim back some of your precious time. Empowering employees and giving them more control shows that they can be trusted and will in turn ensure their job satisfaction and motivation going forward. It also means that you can delegate in certain areas, freeing up your time to concentrate on other issues.

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