I know a leader who frequently tells his people they’re empowered. However, when it came to problems, he regularly jumps in to make decisions, take control, or find the person to blame when they couldn’t resolve it.
Empowerment doesn’t happen because a leader says someone is. It is a result of people taking responsibility. In other words, empowerment is a quality that is the result of culture and leadership. It isn’t something you can accurately measure, nor create by telling them they are empowered.
Empowerment will emerge as a result of your leadership. Look to leadership skills such as coaching or mentoring to help them work through the tough times and grow through their experiences. One day, as a result of you demonstrating that they are empowered, you’ll notice they’re behaving as if they feel empowered.
You’ve got this.