Guide: Empower your team

Empower your team and build trust

In the Project Oxygen study, the team found that high-scoring managers empower their teams and avoid micromanaging. Google encourages managers to build trust with their teams in the following ways:

  • Ask for input. Ask your team to be part of the decision-making process.
  • Ask for their ideas and insights. Also, ask how you can improve your style to be more effective.
  • Reinforce with positive feedback. Give positive recognition and feedback to team members when they are effective, especially when they take on a leadership role and are successful.
  • Develop leaders. Delegate projects and tasks to team members and give them authority over specific projects. This gives them a sense of value within the organization. Assign projects to high-performing team members and make them leaders on individual tasks. This will not only help alleviate your own workload, but it also gives your team members an opportunity to shine.
  • Stretch each team member's capabilities. Find ways to help each team member develop and contribute through using their strengths. Assign tasks that will allow your team members to grow and take on additional responsibilities. This can motivate them because it indicates that you feel they are valuable and competent. Explain the reason for this task being given to them and let them know "what's in it for them."
  • Mentor your team members. Focus on coaching them to success. Help them achieve not only the team or company goals, but their personal career goals as well. Find out where they want to be in the next year, or even five years, and give them the tools they need to develop and become successful.
  • Encourage open communication. Make sure that you clearly communicate your goals, projects, and ideas, and encourage your team members to do the same. Establish an environment where team members are comfortable expressing their comments and feel free to experiment with new ideas. Encourage your team members to contribute in brainstorming activities and commend them for their feedback.
  • Demonstrate that you trust your team members. Give them the amount of authority they need to complete the project without checking back with you on every detail.
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