So many leaders and organizations state that they “Empower” their employees, but so very few create an environment where risks are tolerated, let alone encouraged.

When considering such an environment, first consider your tolerance for mistakes or employees doing things their own way.  If you tend to want to control the activities of your team on every subject, then stay away from such concepts since they will likely confuse your employees and frustrate them.  If you do, you risk the possibility of making them dependent upon you for every detail.  This can result in your own burnout and high-stress level.

To being, start by telling your employees that you trust them and you believe that they will act with believing the best of intentions.  Second, that you have their back, meaning that if they do make a mistake, you will be there to dust them off, provide some recommendations, and send them out again.  Lastly, that if they are stuck or don’t know where to start or to begin, you’ll be there to remove or at least shift any barriers, and provide resources within reason.  Then actually mean and do those things.  Reinforcement of this is also very important for this to be successful.  Many will think that this is just talk that sounds good, but you need to live this practice in order to be successful.

But if you do want this level of engagement, first realize that things first, may take a bit longer to get the outcome you desire, second, that it will likely not be done the way you would do it, and lastly there will likely be mistakes along the way.  But the benefits in empowering your employees will result in a new level of ownership in their work, improved retention, improved morale, and increased creativity and innovation.  Benefits are certainly worthy of letting go.  RMHBaron

Rick Baron is a practicing HR Business & Talent Acquisition Partner.  You can contact him through