January 24, 2023

The Power of Empowerment

Why Leaders Should Rethink Their Approach

Leon Chew
Senior Director @ Great Eastern Financial Advisors
Leon Chew

"Empowerment is about giving people the opportunity to develop their full potential and to take control of their own lives." - Nelson Mandela

Empowerment in financial advisory industry

As a leader in the financial industry, I know firsthand how important it is to empower my team, particularly my financial advisors. According to a study by Forbes Insights, "Empowerment is a key driver of employee engagement and performance, and it's a top priority for successful companies." In fact, the study found that companies that prioritize empowerment saw a 20% increase in employee engagement and a 15% increase in performance. But it's not just about making them feel good – empowering them has some serious benefits for the company as well.

Motivation and Upskilling

Empowering my team not only motivates and upskills employees but also helps retain talent – when people feel like they have a say in things and are able to grow professionally, they're much more likely to stick around. According to a survey by the Association for Talent Development, "employees who feel their company is invested in their development are more likely to stay with that company." In fact, the survey found that employees who felt supported in their development were twice as likely to stay with their current employer.

Creativity and Innovation

Empowering my team also leads to increased creativity and innovation. At our team, we believe in fostering an environment of open communication. I always encourage all my associates to share their thoughts and ideas openly. I believe that it makes us more daring, not afraid to be creative.

One specific example of how empowering through open communication drives innovation and success is 3M, a multinational corporation known for its innovative products. 3M has a long-standing tradition of encouraging open communication and collaboration among its employees, including its "15% rule" which allows employees to spend 15% of their work time on projects of their own choosing. This approach has led to the development of numerous successful products, including Post-it Notes and the Littmann stethoscope.

Creativity and Innovation for Financial Advisors

As Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, once said, "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." It's like giving them a blank canvas and saying, "Paint me a masterpiece." We can create some truly spectacular solutions if we allow people the freedom to think independently and provide fresh ideas.

Personal and Professional Growth

Empowering team members also supports their personal and professional growth. By giving them the opportunity to take on new challenges and responsibilities, and providing them with the resources and support they need to succeed, we're helping them to achieve their own goals and develop new skills. This not only benefits the individual team members, but it also benefits the team as a whole.

"The most effective leaders are those who create an environment in which high performance can flourish." - Warren Bennis

Increased Productivity

But perhaps the biggest benefit of empowering my team is increased productivity. When people feel trusted and supported, they'll go above and beyond to get things done. It's like giving them the tools they need to succeed and then standing back and watching them shine. In fact, a study by Deloitte found that organisations that are digitally enabled, which often requires empowering team members to make decisions and use technology, are twice as likely to be in the top quartile of financial performance within their industry.

Staying Competitive

And of course, there's the added bonus of staying competitive in the market. By giving my team access to the latest technology and resources, and empowering them to make decisions and take ownership of their work, I'm giving them the edge they need to stand out. It's like arming them with superpowers – they'll be able to tackle any challenge that comes their way.

Stay competitive and build sustainable growth for your insurance agency

Challenges of Empowerment

Of course, empowering team members isn't without its challenges. It can be difficult to let go of control and trust team members to make their own decisions. It's also important to ensure that team members have the necessary skills and resources to be successful in their roles. Additionally, it's important to establish clear expectations and guidelines to ensure that team members are making decisions that align with the overall goals of the organisation.

Despite these challenges, the benefits of empowering team members far outweigh any potential drawbacks. It's a win-win for both the individual team members and the organisation as a whole.

So, to sum it up, empowering my team is a no-brainer. It motivates, upskills, and retains talent, leads to increased creativity and innovation, supports personal and professional growth, and increases productivity. Plus, it helps us stay competitive in the market. All in all, it's a pretty sweet deal.


Forbes Insights. (2017). The Business Case for Empowerment.
Association for Talent Development. (n.d.). Employee Development and Its Impact on Engagement.
Deloitte. (2017). Digital Business: A Leading Indicator of Financial Performance.

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