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Chapter 15. Power, Power. Who's Got the ... > Making Empowerment Work in the Team - Pg. 192

Power, Power. Who's Got the Power? 192 Training should be ongoing. Many organizations have excellent training programs for orienting and starting up an empowered team program, but after the program is underway, they assume that it will work smoothly. It doesn't always work that way. As teams mature, most likely new problems will occur. Hold reinforcement training meetings periodically to discuss and resolve complexities that develop. Build Trust Empowerment cannot work unless trust exists at every level: team members, team leader, higher managers. Here are some ways to develop and maintain trust: · Clear and consistent goals.Trust levels are low when members are uncertain what is expected of them. This is exacerbated when goals change frequently. · Fair treatment.Not only do people want to be treated fairly, they expect that their companies will treat everybody fairly. Trust is developed when members know that their leaders are inter- ested in what they say, listen actively to their complaints, and act to resolve them. Trust is main- tained when team leaders assign work equitably, help when problems arise instead of resorting to punishment, and are considerate of the opinions of their members. · Decisiveness.Most people don't trust leaders who are indecisive. They expect decisions to be made. The frustration of not knowing what course to take is worse than making a poor decision. When the decision is to be made by an empowered team, the process should be clearly estab- lished. If the decision is to be based on consensus, are the steps toward obtaining consensus clear? If consensus cannot be reached, is the decision delayed? made by the team leader? made by higher management? There can be trust only if everybody understands and agrees about the process. · Loyalty.Team leaders must support the team members, and team members must support each