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Are You Enabling Decision Making By Employees?

Not all decisions need to be made by management. Some decisions are best made at individual contributor level or by workgroup/teams. Imagine if a manager tried to make every decision for his team! Not practical and, frankly, his won’t always make the best decision. Those closest to the problem should be involved in making the decisions that need to be made to move forward.

Of course, having said that, I do agree that it is not easy to turn decision making over to others without worrying about risks. Risks, however, can be mitigated.

To enable for more effective decision making by employees, set parameter around decisions that can be made. For example, a customer service representative should be able to make decisions when they have a customer on the phone with a complaint. The decision may be to credit the customer up to a certain amount or to enable for some give-away to the customer, or to provide an extended discount on another service. If a customer service representative has to check with the manager each time he wants to do something to address a customer complaint/issue, the company is going to have unengaged, unhappy employees and annoyed customers.

And, even more importantly, be sure that employees understand the vision and long-term strategic goals of the organization so decisions can be aligned to achieving that vision and goals. If the vision for the company is that customer service is number one, then enabling for decision making to support customer needs at the lowest level of the organization is essential to achieving that vision.

When companies enable decision-making throughout the organization and not solely at the leadership levels, they engage employees in the business and are better able to support their customer base.

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