As we dive in to 2020, typically we’re refreshed and ready to engage in reaching our personal and business goals. You may be considering how to up your game with your people related strategies, here’s some food for thought. Now more than ever, we believe that focusing on and investing in your people will be the difference maker for business performance improvement in 2020. Here are 3 ways that managers can up their game with their staff this year:

  1. Participative leadership
  2. Empower – Inspire and delegate responsibilities
  3. Grow from within – develop, coach
Participative leadership

It is a misconception that effective leaders and managers must always be prepared to provide crystal clear direction with all of the answers pre-determined. By definition that approach eliminates critically relevant input from those closest to the action. Most team members, especially those who have experienced the problems, already have great practical ideas how you can deliver better results and resolve issues while reducing waste. What mechanisms do you have in place for your team to share challenges and opportunities with others? Do you actually encourage feedback and listen to the input others provide before the plan is finalized.

When a leader asks for input from their team members, ideas and pathways for success may become clearer than when they try to solve problems on their own.  Leadership through openness, with the point of view that you don’t have all of the answers, can open up huge pathways for success, leading to a more engaged workforce.

This illustration developed by Psychologia, Illustrates how participative leadership works.


Giving authority to the level closest to the action leads to empowerment. Team members that provide ideas and suggestions will most likely have a great deal of drive to see them come to fruition. When employees are given the opportunity to take ownership over projects and activities that they have passion for, their effectiveness and productivity can grow exponentially. Consider a challenge meeting where team members work to solve a business issue together.

It may seem counter intuitive. But the more you delegate the more you actually accomplish. Leaders and managers who delegate the right responsibilities to the right team members can improve the quantity and quality of the results achieved. It also frees up management time to work on higher order business needs. If you trust and coach your staff for appropriate levels of independence, you get more done and prepare them for future growth and personal success.

Grow from Within

As the unemployment rate continues to remain low, competition for talent will continue. Today’s workforce is concerned with opportunities to learn and develop. If employees feel stagnant, they will likely look elsewhere for their next opportunity. Engage with your team members and ask about their personal and professional goals? What skills and experiences do they need to develop to be able to grow or expand their current role and what other opportunities interest them at your business? Be a partner in guiding them along their career path. Even if that means at some point they may leave your organization. Employees who feel supported are more likely to be motivated to give their employer their best efforts.