27Feb, 2020

How to empower your manager to motivate their teams  

The hierarchy of a typical Indian organization is usually a tall one. There is an organizational head, usually a visionary who requires help in executing his vision. Therefore he appoints people and divides them into various teams and sub-teams within the organization. These teams are usually led by their respective managers who are responsible for executing the vision of the company, with the help of their respective teams. The average working Indian will find that they fit in at one of these levels in the organization.  

Having said that, it is extremely important for a manager to be able to execute the organizational goals, or else we see no growth or profits. Thus it becomes necessary to not just hire proficient people at managerial levels, but also empower them appropriately. So they are equipped to implement company goals easily. Empowering managers means giving them permission to take action and make decisions that make a positive impact on the performance of their team members and company goals. It also means they are trusted and have an understanding in place to ensure these actions are in line with company goals. 

Managers are usually given tasks and asked to “do whatever it takes” to get it done. Now a lot many of them resort to aggressive tactics like setting over-ambitious targets, strict work rules, micromanagement and sometimes even firing employees. This usually leads to a lot of discontent among teams. Employees may end up leaving too soon, resulting in high turnover rates. Which is not good news for the company. Managers must understand “ With great power comes great responsibility”. Not only are they supposed to drive targets, but they also develop their teams and ensure they are happy and productive. When trying to achieve this delicate balance, aggression is hardly the best way forward. So what then should a manager do to motivate their teams to perform?  

It is observed that managers are always trying to drive outputs. They have the authority to reprimand failures. For Example verbal or written warnings specifying lack of performance, overtime duty, delayed promotions and so on. However, there is no mechanism in place to reward positive actions such as instant perks or recognition for good performance or social appreciation for demonstrating positive behaviour and professionalism. Managers are not given the authority to reward or appreciate team achievements. How often do you hear about motivational tools used for motivating employees? Does your company use employee engagement tools to motivate your workforce?  

Empowering managers is important for growing a sustainable business. For this purpose, it is necessary that managers are given the correct tools and associated flexibility to motivate teams and extract the best performing potential out of them.  

While many companies may grow ground-up from the hard work and dedication of entrepreneurs, true growth is the product of motivated people working together. “Multiplying” self-motivated employees, also multiplies your organization’s strength and capabilities. 



This goes beyond delegating authority to the managers. Many leaders today often try to empower their employees by delegating authority and decision-making, sharing information, and asking for their input. But this style of leadership works best in motivating certain types of performance and certain types of employees. As an effective leader, your aim should be to empower all your team members to perform better. There is a simple 3 step secret sauce to empower managers, here goes: 

Step 1 – Identify Employee Engagement Tools: Empowering employees is a cultural shift. Once you decide to bring about this shift at an organizational level, it is important to start identifying tools that will help enable this cause. Motivating team members is a factor that does not come naturally to many, especially when working a monotonous 9-5 job. Hence it becomes important to have tools that increase engagement levels among employees. There are many efficient tools out there such as Let’s Buzzz that allow managers to motivate employees. It offers features like social recognition, which allows managers to openly praise employees for demonstrating positive actions. They can also offer incentives and micro bonuses in the form of points that can be redeemed against gift cards or vouchers. These not only make employees feel good, but they also encourage them to work harder towards gaining points and appreciation in order to get noticed for the hard work that they put in. 

When an organization decides to adopt engagement tools to bump motivation levels, the next step is to decide the level of autonomy that should be granted to the managers.  


Step 2 – Figure out what tools to pass on to the managers: Many leaders complain that when they first start implementing employee empowerment practices in their organizations, they still get employees coming to their offices and expecting their problems to be magically resolved for them. However, this is an indication that the authorities operating these tools need to be reviewed. Many organization leaders find it difficult to pass the baton of employee engagement to managers because they feel it might interfere with their time or responsibilities. However, it is important to remember that managers work very closely with their teams and will be able to better assess the growth and motivation levels in their teams. As opposed to the organizational leaders, managers would do a better job in hitting the right chords when addressing team motivation. Hence, it is important to understand what tools and accesses must be passed on to front line managers, while still ensuring you have access to all the action. 

Add examples here as you have added in the next point. Some examples of tools that can be passed on to the manager could be allowing them to choose what they will do with budgets for their departments, Flexi working, giving an extra bonus, allowing for free time, allowing time for educational purposes, etc. Examples of tools that can be held with the management could be approved on loan against salary, approval on compassionate leave, approval on funding education of an employee, etc. Doing so may actually ensure employees feel heard and the tools can actually act as an enabler for company goals and be a sounding board for ideas. 


Step 3 – Allow Flexibility to Managers: Managers who are allowed flexibility by their management are more capable of providing workers with greater latitude about the way they accomplish goals. They assess the needs of employees and provide feedback, guidance, and recognition individually to optimize performance. When managers are given the authority to reward and motivate. They deliver high performing teams that yield better results. Besides this, managers should take the time to understand their team members and their needs. They should be granted the authority to give team members the flexibility to work remotely or work from home when deemed necessary. It helps to allow more flexibility to managers so they become more failure tolerant too. In some cases, they can also allow team members to set their own deadlines for tasks and accomplish them accordingly. Taking time to cater to your team’s needs and allow leeway wherever necessary requires the managers to have a certain authority. This will make employees feel that they are taken care of and motivate them to perform better. 

Being flexible is good for everyone. Managers will often need to adjust schedules and delegate routine tasks as they focus on reaching the company’s priorities. They will have to adjust their management style to suit the individual. One employee may require more structure in their job duties and another may function better working independently.

The need for motivating and engaging employees is increasing with each passing day. Having high performing teams that motivate employees is the need of the hour. Hence empowering managers with the right tools is imperative. Let’s Buzzz acts as a catalyst and enables managers to develop team potential and deliver results. To see Buzzz in action click here for a demo! 

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