Empower Your Staff to Improve Time Management

By Dirk Zeller

When all decisions, both major and minor, need to be run through the executive, you end up with a tremendous waste of time. That setup does not motivate the employee and bogs down the executive. The solution is to empower employees to identify problems and come up with solutions — in other words, let them do their jobs.

In empowering others to make decisions, you have to accept that mistakes will happen. Give employees the freedom to make decisions and mistakes without fear of recrimination. If there are some areas so critical that you can’t risk an error, then identify yourself as the final okay for those issues. (And hope that you aren’t the one who makes the mistake!)

Some people claim they can do an activity faster than it’d take them to train someone, so it’s not worth it. Sure, you may save time on this occasion if you just do the job yourself, but this outlook is only for the short term.

This is the incandescent blind spot: Compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs may cost twice as much as traditional incandescent bulbs today, but adding up the energy savings and a lifetime at least twice as long, there’s no doubt that the CFL bulbs are the big cost‐saver. Likewise, when you train your staff to take on some of the activities that hijack your time, you save in the long run. Now that’s a bright idea!