An organization that centralizes decision making to a tight select group of senior individuals is missing a significant opportunity to utilize the leadership and intellectual resources of its employees. Failing to empower your staff to make decisions increases turnover, limits creativity, and innovation lowers productivity and stifles leadership development. Stewardship is one of the qualities of a good leader. Therefore, as a leader, it is your duty and responsibility to take the initiative and empower your employees. So, you should consider training them in decision making skills.
A good leader is not just a person who makes all the decisions alone. If you want to achieve more, involve your employees in decisions affecting the organization. This does not only make them feel empowered, it can also earn you their loyalty. Of course it is not just everyone who has good decision making skill; however, that is no excuse to leave out anyone. Decision making skills can be learned.
Benefits of Decision Making Skills
- Increased productivity: Empowering employees to make decisions results in a small turnover. They complete tasks and meet timelines. Also, the more employees feel they are directly useful to the company, the more connected they get to their jobs. Promoting a greater role for staffers in decision making serves as a strong motivator. In turn, there is an increase in productivity. Remember, happy employees equal to a successful business operation.
- Improved communication: When employees participate in making decisions, they feel comfortable talking to management hence share new ideas and concerns improving morale as well as the work process. Excellent communication brings about a workforce with more engagement. This means management will care about the staff. Also, employees will pay more attention to clients and their co-workers. In short, everyone in the firm will strive to improve the business.
How to Promote Decision Making Skills in 5 Easy Steps
There are several ways to help your employees learn decision making skills. However, you can only provide the tools, knowledge and supportive environment. But individuals have to empower themselves.
1. Train Employees on Decision Making Skills
Your staff might be willing but not able to make individual decisions. Therefore, provide regular training lessons that involve role playing. During such lessons, invite motivational speakers and career coaches. This way, employees can get a sense of everyday decision-making scenarios and how each decision affects the organization. Training employees on decision making skills will help everyone in the firm who has authority over which decision.
You can also provide training through professional enrichment opportunities. Send outstanding staff members to trade shows and corporate conferences. Also, you can reimburse promising employees for programs that focus on decision-making skills.
2. Outline Decision Making Expectations
Often, when a staff member is not willing to make a decision, it’s because they don’t realize that they are supposed or expected to do so. Communicate your message and ensure that all employees know that you want them to start taking responsibility. Outline the level of authority you are granting and discuss accountability.
Your employees need to understand when they are meeting decision making expectations and when they are not. People have a tendency of being lazy when they don’t receive a reward for a job well done or face consequences of failure. Always acknowledge employees that depict better decision making skills.
3. Provide Mentoring
By sharing your decision-making skills with others, you are also likely to learn a thing or two. Sometimes, your subordinates will need your guidance on decision making. This can be either because they need you to help the make a decision or define who should make the decision. Being a mentor means that you are willing to provide your employees with the full extent of your expertise in leadership and decision-making skills.
Discuss with them in detail what corporate decision making processes entail. Let your staff know that they can rely on you for guidance. Having Q&A sessions will not only teach but also build confidence in your employees. Acting as a role model will improve communication. But it will also make it possible for you to understand your team better.
4. Instill the Company’s Vision, Ethics, and Priorities
Employees cannot acquire decision making skills if they do not fully understand the organization’s values, goals, objectives, and priorities. Employees need to align their decisions with the company’s goals. They need to know that their decisions contribute to the strategic priorities of the firm. Then, they will be able to tailor their decisions to support the organization’s priorities.
However, emphasize that making a decision is a matter of choosing among different options. Company goals help narrow down the choices. They also sponsor a feeling of direction that will have a positive and long-lasting effect on your organization.
5. Support Independence
Remember, you are a leader and not a babysitter. Therefore, you don’t need to be stubborn and opinionated. Provide a conducive environment for your staff to stretch out on their own and perform some leadership tasks. They may stumble now and then. But their errors will allow them to hone their decision-making skills.
You can also encourage independence by allowing some employees to run internal or external committees and advisory boards. Assign independent projects to qualified personnel. Then, give them a leeway to proceed as they see fit. Not only does supporting independence promote decision-making skills, but it also frees up your schedule for more pressing issues.
On the Whole
Employee empowerment has become the secret tool of your staff. So, should your employees develop better decision-making skills? By equipping your staff with decision-making skills, you allow them to have more say in the daily business operations. Besides it makes sense to have staff making decisions at the lower levels of the firm. This is because people closest to any process are likely to have the best insight concerning particular issues.
However, as the employer, it is up to you to determine which decisions to leave to regular employees. Exercise caution. Some workers could take advantage of the situation. They may even try to influence company policies for selfish reasons or even become negligent in their duties and responsibilities.
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