These skills shouldn't be reserved for only executives, and they aren't. When valued employees are empowered to act or think like the president of the company, great things can happen.
While empowering employees may sound like something simple that can be added to everyday interactions, to reap the full benefits -- which are plentiful -- systematic changes may need to be made. That means possibly reevaluating things like core values, hiring processes, and workplace policies.
To learn more about the benefits that these changes bring, I sat down with Scott Taylor, president and COO at Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar, a leading full-service family sports bar that provides gourmet takes on gameday favorites.
The benefits of letting employees think like execs
My discussion with Taylor revealed that even though building a work culture that encourages high-level thinking may require more than a few monthly pep talks, the impact of this shift will be well worth the time and energy, with notable benefits. To that end, Taylor shared four leadership strategies to put into practice.
1. Expose employees to high-level work.
A recent study has shown an undeniably strong link between engaged, satisfied employees and a better customer experience. Therefore, training managers to prepare and encourage employees to assume full responsibility of future projects is critical.
When team members are given accounts or projects to own, Taylor says, take the time to tell them why you specifically chose them to see this project through to completion.
When employees are more emotionally invested in their work, they're likely to operate with more care, approach situations with strategic thinking, and ultimately exceed customer expectations.
2. Foster more accountability.
Having a sense of accountability is a quality that should radiate throughout an entire organization. By encouraging critical thinking across the team, more voices will be brought to the forefront of meetings, brainstorming sessions, and strategic planning.
This boost in ideas, high-level thinkers, and communicators will give way to accountability, creating an environment where everyone is engaged and supporting one another.
Even more, an accountable team moves faster and more accurately because it acknowledges mistakes, learns, and moves forward, helping your company surpass growth goals to succeed.
3. Hear varying perspectives for better decision-making.
When a team is filled to the brim with strategic thinkers, stress related to decision-making will fall by the wayside as better and faster decisions are made.
Noting that leadership teams have the tendency to meet regularly, Taylor advises setting up scheduled times for mid-level managers to put their heads together and problem solve once a month. When Taylor sits in on these meetings, he says, "I'm reminded of the importance of hearing different approaches to problems."
He adds, "Major decisions that were once reserved for leadership meetings should be introduced to other team members with varying perspectives, and filtering these decisions through different viewpoints has led to increased innovation, stronger client relations, and refined company vision."
4. Get real-time feedback to improve your processes.
The ability to make fluid adjustments to systems and processes within a business is critical for growth and requires an analytic mindset.
Accepting ideas and suggestions from the entire team will only make workplace processes that more effective, as you're encouraging real-time feedback from the people who use these systems day in and day out.
Taylor says, "We'll often invite hourly staff from a variety of positions to meet with our leadership team. Listening to issues your teams face will speak volumes to how much you value them, adding to their job satisfaction while streamlining your organization."
Empowering employees to emulate strong leadership qualities, like that of the company president, strengthens the entire organization. And, renewed accountability, improved processes, better customer service, and sound decisions are just a handful of benefits that will come from encouraging high-level thinking at every single level of an organization.