You have big plans for your company and it’s obvious you can’t make your operation a smashing success on your own. It takes teamwork to get ahead and that, of course, means you need help.

Help from people putting forth a concerted effort to achieve the same goal, but if those people feel alienated and abandoned, their only goal will be strategizing their exit.

Are you empowering your employees? Or are you derailing your own success by sabotaging the very people you need to win?

Here are 5 ways you might be undermining your growth by keeping your employee’s empowerment at a minimum.

  1.     You don’t communicate

A company without communication is like a sailboat without a sail. Do you provide feedback to your employees? If not, it’s time you open up the channels of communication on a daily basis. Consider implementing a plan that fosters communication and makes your goals crystal clear to your employees. Reward ideas, and always let your employees know that you value their opinions.

  1.     You express distrust

Do you trust your employees? If you don’t, why did you hire them in the first place? When you add someone to your team make sure they are absolutely perfect for the job and then allow them to perform. Hovering over them, micromanaging their every move, not only wastes your time, it hinders their growth as an employee. Without trust there is no empowerment.

  1.     You never delegate

Are you working 90 hours a week even though you have an office filled with employees? You may have a delegation issue. The concept of delegating duties usually comes down to point number two (above), you don’t trust them. Or you have control issues. Regardless, you need to leverage your employees. Use them to get the job done and possibly save your sanity in one fell swoop.

  1.     You criticize but you avoid rewarding

If your employees go above and beyond the call of duty, do you reward their efforts? For some, criticizing comes easy but giving a pat on the back is very difficult. Constructive criticism and a system for rewarding exceptional performance are equally as important. Provide your employees with measurable goals they can attain and then reward them with cash bonuses, gift cards or extra vacation time when they meet or exceed those objectives.

  1.     You never challenge your employees

An unchallenged employee is a bored, disengaged employee. Empower your workers by challenging them to venture outside of their comfort zones. For example: an employee who fears leading others should be placed in a leadership position even if for a short period of time. You never know that employee may go on to lead your company to record profits.