The culture of empowerment was first talked about at KB during the 2011 business calendar. As I type in 2015, I think if you ask me do we have an empowered work force—my truthful answer would be—yes, kind of. It’s getting better.
Empowerment is interesting to me. I think I have learned in four years that the best way to get empowerment is to have empowerment. Really easy huh? It was easier to say I wanted an empowered work force than to trust that our team was going to be empowered to make a decision that wasn’t exactly what I would do, but I had to trust them to use the mission, vision, values as the guide to make their own decisions. Otherwise I had to be there all the time to make every decision. It seems like small businesses are usually in a catch 22. No one runs the business like the owner and the owner never teaches anyone behind the why he/she is making those decisions.
Four weeks ago our Employee Concierge, Danielle, took a message from me. I had an acquaintance send me someone as a potential employee. I don’t hire any of our team members so I sent his information to Danielle. I asked Danielle this week if everything worked out. She stopped shook her head and said no. Danielle stated that he didn’t live our core values so she told him that we couldn’t hire him. The value in question was consistent and he missed training twice. And that was it. The decision was made. It didn’t matter who this person was, or who he knew. He was terminated because his actions told her that he was not a value fit at KB. That was a hard transition for our team to make – to feel empowered to fire an employee that the boss sent their way. But it is the right decision, and the best decision for our company. And so if you ask me if we have empowerment….yes, we are getting it by having it. Great work Danielle!