Empowerment—giving employees greater autonomy—boosts engagement and creativity. It builds job satisfaction and improves retention. However, the success of empowerment initiatives depends on the personality traits of the managers implementing them down in the trenches.
Middle managers who value behaviors like team orientation, collaboration, and respectful interactions are more likely to enable their teams to set their own goals and entrust them to complete tasks in their way. But many managers in hierarchical structures embrace a certain command-and-control reflex that gets triggered in positions of power. Empowerment means transferring power to someone else, something they loathe. The alpha dimension to the personalities of these managers ends up micromanaging and impeding the autonomy of those in their team.
Idea for Impact: Relinquishing control over others and trusting employees not to abuse that responsibility isn’t easy for most managers; it takes someone very self-confident and secure to discharge empowerment.