This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Introduction Empowerment: Meaning & Methods Benefits of Empowerment Empowerment as a Motivational Strategy Delegation vs Empowerment Significance of Trust Participation & it’s Methods Conclusion Bibliography
1 3 6 9 11 15 18 23 24
2 Pratik Mohapatra, 46, FB2 Empowerment
FB2 Empowerment . If you keep in mind the secondary dictionary definition of "to give faculties or abilities to: enable" (Grove. "What is employee empowerment?” This paper seeks to answer that question in a simplistic way that it can be understood by a greater number of people. Ask a dozen different people and you'll get a dozen different answers to the question. then you will be on the right track for the purposes of this paper.Introduction Employee empowerment is one of those terms that everyone thinks they understand. with all that this word implies. and increased customer satisfaction. 46. increased productivity. it has been shown that employee empowerment results in increased employee satisfaction. but few really do. Others say that empowerment occurs when the organization's processes are set-up to allow for it. This paper also seeks to answer the question above in such a way that people who work within organizations can apply the information to enhance employee empowerment. if it is to be implemented effectively. p. Empowerment. Some writers indicate that empowerment consists of sharing power and authority. 1971.744). "Why would we want to enhance employee empowerment?" The detailed answer is provided in the in the paper under the heading "benefits of employee empowerment". However. calls 3 Pratik Mohapatra. "Aren't there some strong objections to the implementation of an empowerment program which must be overcome if we are to receive these benefits?" The short answer is yes.
What has become evident to me is that there are some speed bumps on the road to empowerment. some information about what must take place. often these so called failures are only rough patches which will be overcome. Each of these issues will be addressed in turn. Implementation of empowerment programs seems to be the biggest challenge organizations face. Leaders must learn to be visionaries who can provide an idea to which employees will want to dedicate themselves. Since this is an academic paper. it is also evident that the implementation often takes years. especially if the organization has a bureaucratic culture. I would be remiss if I did not include a section on the theoretical foundations upon which the concepts of employee empowerment are built. It also seems that empowerment implementation efforts are often haphazard. While there are few theorists who have delved very deeply into what makes up empowerment. what they have mined is rich. FB2 Empowerment . Supervisors must change their ways of supervising and learn to be coaches and mentors. an assessment of how empowering a workplace is. I hope to address unmet needs with this paper. The popular press often writes about "failed" empowerment efforts. Taking cues from their ideas. However. I have tried to put up a detailed report. All members of the organization must dedicate themselves to sharing information and to training. By providing an easily understood definition of empowerment. 46.for a culture change for the typical organization. 4 Pratik Mohapatra.
FB2 Empowerment . to build employee morale and to improve the quality of your employee's work life. "research suggests that empowerment exists when companies implement 5 Pratik Mohapatra. Ideally. "rewards based on the organization's performance [and] power to make decisions that influence organizational direction and performance. loyal and more confident. and the size and effect of the decision is up to the employer. "We define empowerment as sharing with front-line employees four organizational ingredients: [the first being] information about the organization's performance. The common dictionary definition of empowerment. Bowen and Lawler (1992) indicate." In a later article these authors conclude that. p. authorize" (Grove. 32). . 744) is the one most understood by most people.[another is] knowledge that enables employees to understand and contribute to organizational performance" (p. 1971. The other two ingredients Bowen and Lawler note are.Employee Empowerment Meaning and Features Employee empowerment is creating a working environment where an employee is allowed to make his own decisions in specific work-related situations. he will be more productive. . 46. when an employee feels vested in an organization. The decisions can be big or small. . "to give official authority to: delegate legal power to: commission. The logic behind employee empowerment is to increase the employee's responsibility.
p. FB2 Empowerment . information—in the form of a shared vision. diagnose issues. and encouragement of risk-taking—is provided. analyze and identify solutions. clarity on individual roles. knowledge. etc. 46. competency—in the form of training and experience—is developed. are provided. Employee empowerment is a process whereby: a culture of empowerment is developed. Managers believe in their capacity and have less or no control in processes that involve finding of solutions.team members participate actively in meetings. resources. 1995. and rewards throughout the organization. clear goals. decision making etc. 73) The features of employee empowerment are as follows. enthusiasm Decentralized control . Every employer uses employee empowerment to some extent. When the owner of a Mail Boxes. though it is often thought of as delegation. hires someone to work the weekends.practices that distribute power." (Bowen & Lawler. Open management . that person is empowered. and support—in the form of mentoring.each team member functions relatively autonomously: interlinking job descriptions. Team spirit .high morale. boundaries for decision making. No organization of more than one person can survive without some employee empowerment. When a 6 Pratik Mohapatra. or the competency to obtain them when needed to be effective in their jobs. information. and the results of efforts and their impact on the whole—is shared. cultural support.
no organization is ever done with its empowerment implementation. When the director of advertising chooses which slogan should go on the web banner. Empowerment is a process of becoming. 46. not a task or end result in and of itself. Each has the information to know how their decisions will impact the larger whole. that person is empowered. that person is empowered. FB2 Empowerment . no person is ever "completely empowered". Benefits of Employee Empowerment 7 Pratik Mohapatra. Just as with continuous improvement. if the implementation effort has been successful. Empowerment becomes part of the culture of the organization. And the assumption is that each will be supported in the decisions they make. but. Empowering others becomes a transparent act. Each has access to the resources he or she needs to be effective. nobody within the organization notices when an act of empowerment is exercised. In each of these instances the empowered person has been provided with the training and experience they need to be effective in their position. It may be noticeable in the extreme to outsiders.manager hires an accounting graduate to maintain the departmental ledger. it will be second nature to those accculturated within the organization.
Employee Retention By acknowledging each employee's opinion.Employee empowerment has been defined in many ways but generally means the process of allowing employees to have input and control over their work. McCormick and Company. They are eager to share ideas and can serve as strong ambassadors for their organizations. "Sometimes it takes an employee 8 Pratik Mohapatra. Improve Productivity . FB2 Empowerment . authoritative organization. encourages employees at all levels to participate in company decision making. and the ability to openly share suggestions and ideas about their work and the organization as a whole. Empowered employees are committed. but companies need to know how to ask for these ideas and listen. There is a higher chance of losing employees in a centralized. with a turnover rate of just three percent. If you respect your subordinates' views. The benefits of Empowerment are. they will respect yours. According to CNN. loyal and conscientious.Reduce Costs John Zink of the PHCC Educational Foundation says that employees have great ideas about how to improve productivity and reduce costs. 46. Companies noted for this style of leadership attract loyal employees who stay with them for a long time. honor and contentment. you create an atmosphere of respect.
" he says. often find that service to internal and external customers is improved. "Empowered employees have the power to make decisions without a supervisor. that may even sometimes fly in the face of established rules and protocol. More than any other kind of employee.stepping outside of their authority to show the benefits of employee empowerment an owner. Companies that give employees the freedom to make decisions on the spur of the moment. the empowered employee is able to create a feeling of true customer service that ultimately yields much greater customer loyalty. 46. FB2 Empowerment . bend the rules. empowered employees take pride and ownership in their jobs when they know that they can exercise independent judgment when necessary. They are entitled to go off script. benefiting employee and employer. a blogger who writes "The Empowered Employee". Embracing Change 9 Pratik Mohapatra. listened to and acted upon will be more likely to share those ideas." he says. Employees who feel confident that their input will be valued. Better Customer Service Simon Sinek. says that empowered employees provide exceptional service and he's experienced this first-hand. do what they see fit if they believe it is the right thing to do for the customer. In addition.
Unless employees feel comfortable questioning the status quo. those companies are likely to stagnant as competitors move swiftly past them. Employees and the companies they work for can become too complacent. challenge and offer new ideas can help to avoid this problem and benefit employees and employers in the process. technology-driven environment. doing things the way they've always done them. 46. says Lin Grensing-Pophal. FB2 Empowerment .Empowered employees feel free to challenge the status quo. Establishing an environment when employees feel free to question. Empowerment as a Motivational Strategy 10 Pratik Mohapatra. author of "Human Resource Essentials". which is critical for companies in today's fast-changing.
others may not be as accommodating. because old structures and processes are turned upside down. Intrapreneurship encourages employees to pursue new ideas and gives them the authority to promote those ideas. managers who welcome and choose to usher this movement in should also bear in mind that not all employees want to be empowered. Managers should get to know their employees in order to make better individual assessments. and they will require micromanagement at all times. Empowerment is designed to unshackle the worker and to make a job the worker's responsibility. intrapreneurship is not for the timid. trust. While some employees may be more motivated and welcome change.Empowerment occurs when individuals in an organization are given autonomy. In an attempt to empower and to change some of the old bureaucratic ideas. Precaution No two employees are alike. 11 Pratik Mohapatra. and they do not welcome new responsibilities. Obviously. and encouragement to accomplish a task. There are employees who can't be empowered because they are not motivated. managers are promoting corporate intrapreneurships. Considerations Although employee empowerment may appear to be a good thing for an organization. There are people who like being led. 46. authority. FB2 Empowerment .
FB2 Empowerment . Empowerment 12 Pratik Mohapatra. managers may have to find alternative ways to engage these employees. 46. Delegation Vs.However. that does not mean that those employees are not productive. In these types of situations.
One of the most influential books on my thinking right now is “Tribes” but Seth Godin. At the heart of delegation is a task that needs to be accomplished. Empowerment is different. while leadership is more or organic and more nomadic. A task is found for the development of the person. At the heart of empowerment is a person. so failure in the task can be a means to develop the person. Central to the idea of managing is the idea of survival. FB2 Empowerment . while central to the idea of leading is movement. The goal is not necessarily to complete the task but to develop and empower a person. Godin does a good job showing the difference between leading and managing. The measure of success has more to do with the person. Do I lead? Or do I manage? The difference between empowering and delegation is the difference between managing and leading. I think many churches are more concerned about management and survival then it is about leading and movement. leaders of the church often delegate 13 Pratik Mohapatra. The ideas that he brings to the table have caused me to think about leadership. Delegation seems to have more to do with this idea of management/survival and empowerment seems to follow more of the idea of leading/movement. As well. 46. In delegation a person is found for the task and success is measure on how well the task is done. Management builds monoliths and fortresses.
When people are empowered they take on the task of creating. To delegate means to choose or elect a person to act as a representative for another. they seem to be empowered to take that same inspiration and ethos and apply it to their given context by their giving abilities. FB2 Empowerment . 14 Pratik Mohapatra. when that might not be the case at all. for the sake of this blog I’m defining leading has having to do with movement. and the movement grows as the people grow. Part of participating in a movement involves making mistakes. to empower another means you give them enough power and authority to act on their own behalf. As people become inspired or begin to adopt a certain ethos. When people are delegated they take on the task of finishing with no conviction. Do you hear the difference? To delegate something to someone is to only give them enough leash to act on your behalf-as you would for yourself.tasks to people and it is masked in language of empowerment but in reality the task takes greater importance than the development of the person. 46. To empower someone means to give power or authority to someone else. If the task is completed well then leaders often assume that the person is developing. taking risks. Once again. When a leader empowers another they are in a sense giving the other person permission to live/create/move. fighting battles.
You tell them the “what” but the “how” is left up to them. 46. When someone is cutting their teeth on leadership then you want to teach them how to handle responsibility. Yet it is not a free for all-there should be an accountable aspect that helps them stay within the playing field of organizational boundaries. To truly empower someone you must grant them authority.This is not good versus bad. They have to have resources that are truly theirs to steward-people. and you must hold them accountable to organizational values and principles. They have to have enough authority to make some significant and important decisions-you have to give power away. In my mind there are three critical aspects to empowerment. FB2 Empowerment . There is a proper time for delegation. But these two scenarios leave a whole lot of opportunity for empowerment. money and tools. It is the principle of seeing if they will be faithful in little so that they might grow in to being faithful with much. I can think of two: when someone is truly new to the ways of leadership and in times of crisis. Here are some reasons why: 15 Pratik Mohapatra. While there is a proper time for both things I am pushing the action point towards empowerment. you must give them proper resources. In times of crisis there needs to be an authoritative decision maker and those who are willing to simply carry out those decisions to meet the critical need of the moment. They have to have enough of all three things to truly have the freedom to fail on their own efforts-and learn.
• Delegation largely raises up followers-empowerment raises up leaders. • Delegation keeps you in the center of leadership activity-empowerment places someone else at the center of leadership activity. FB2 Empowerment . Empowerment ensures that more leaders are your leadership legacy-which is almost always good. 16 Pratik Mohapatra. • Delegation ensures that you are your own leadership legacy-for good or for bad. • Delegation is more work for you in the long run-empowerment is less work for you in the long run. 46. • Delegation is less work for you in the short run-empowerment is more work for you in the short run.
as compared to trust. FB2 Empowerment . and ineffective.Significance of Trust When we talk of trust in correspondence with employee empowerment. I predict many of those same companies will soon find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. The empowering manager must be able to help maintain and establish not only the technical side of the information. we communicate easily. 46. paints a dire outlook of American workforce attitudes toward employers. instantaneously and effortlessly. but when trust is low communication is exhaustive. then we need to understand that trust is the stepping stone of employee empowerment. Employees’ trust toward their workplace has taken a severe 17 Pratik Mohapatra. but they find innovative ways to demonstrate their support. Techniques are relatively less important. A new Maritz® Poll conducted by Maritz Research. The foundational principle for every leadership level is trust. The best companies not only understand how important their employees are to them. a leader in employee satisfaction research. When trust is high. time-taking. but also an open climate to trust that results in the information being transferred smoothly to the employees and subordinates. Amazingly some businesses don’t get it.
and only seven percent strongly agree they trust their coworkers to do so. 46. Hospitality Research Group. Ph. this process starts at the top.hit. According to the poll.D. few (11 percent) employees strongly agree their managers show consistency between their words and actions. FB2 Empowerment . threats of layoffs and downsizing have only exacerbated the problem. often. but direct managers and co-workers as well. While workplace trust has been dwindling since the Enron.” 18 Pratik Mohapatra. trust is an especially critical issue. Maritz Research. “In times like these. and one-quarter of respondents disagree that they trust management to make the right decisions in times of uncertainty. with employees across all industry segments citing a lack of trust in not only senior leaders. In addition. Companies need their best people more than ever to be engaged and productive.” says Rick Garlick.. WorldCom. “You’ve got to maintain credibility with your workforce as a means of getting them to totally buy in to the mission and vision of your company. Approximately one-fifth of respondents disagree that their company’s leader is completely honest and ethical. and Tyco scandals of the earlier part of the decade. only seven percent of employees strongly agree they trust senior leaders to look out for their best interest. senior director of consulting and strategic implementation. But. Anything less fosters a disengaged workforce that puts self-interest at the top of its list of priorities.
For those with strong management trust. we can easily note the difference that trust in an organization creates. The study also revealed: • Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents with strong trust in management would be happy to spend the rest of their career with their present company.In cases where management trust was strong. the study found that employees were significantly more committed to working for their companies. 19 Pratik Mohapatra. This compares to only seven percent of respondents who have weak trust in management. • More than half of those surveyed (51 percent) with strong management trust would invest money in their company if they could versus only six percent of those surveyed with weak management trust. FB2 Empowerment . 46. Thus. • Only three percent of respondents with weak management trust look forward to coming to work everyday. while only four percent of respondents with weak trust in management cited they were completely satisfied with their job. More than half of respondents (58 percent) with strong trust in their management were completely satisfied with their job. 50 percent responded they look forward to coming to work everyday.
46. Employee participation is also referred to as employee involvement (EI) Examples of employee participation include: i. Often they will receive 20 Pratik Mohapatra. ii. Employees are trusted to make decisions for themselves and the organisation.Participation and its Methods Employee participation is the process whereby employees are involved in decision making processes. External customers are buyers and users outside of the organisation. This is a key motivational tool. Individual employees are encouraged to take responsibility for quality in terms of carrying out activities. The internal customer is someone within the organisation that receives the 'product of service' provided by their 'supplier' within the organisation. Employee participation is part of a process of empowerment in the workplace. rather than simply acting on orders. Project teams or quality circles in which employees work on projects or tasks with considerable responsibility being delegated to the team. Employee participation is also part of the move towards human resource development in modern organisations.where employees are given channels whereby they can suggest new ideas to managers within the organisation. which meet the requirements of their customers. FB2 Empowerment . Suggestion schemes .
Consultation exercises and meetings whereby employees are encouraged to share ideas. if information about the costs and effect on the bottom line procurement of resources has is shared with employees they 21 Pratik Mohapatra. In such situations decisions are not only made in a downward direction. iii. they also result from communications upwards. those controls must be removed and resources placed under empowered employees' control. If employee empowerment is to be implemented successfully. and in many other directions within the organisation. However. 1996. 22) Typically restriction of access to resources is in place to avoid employee abuse. p. FB2 Empowerment . sideways. access to support staff. Importance of Resources In many organizations access to resources is controlled by supervisory staff. or experts who have knowledge on which the employee can draw. iv. v.rewards for making appropriate suggestions. "Resources include items such as funding. Such employees need to be trusted to make decisions for themselves. Multi-channel decision making processes. Delegation of responsibility within the organisation." (Ward. In modern organisations ground level employees have to be given considerable responsibility because they are dealing with customers on a day-to-day basis often in novel situations. 46.
enhance the tangibles. "Once both employees and managers have received proper training. Nothing is more demotivating or disempowering than being stopped in your tracks because you either don't know how to proceed or lack the tools necessary to do a good job. 31). It can result in unreasonable responsibility for damage control placed on the front-line workers in a poorly designed. inadequately coordinated service system." (p. Caudron (1995) notes. make available state-of-the-art technology and market research." (Bowen & Lawler. This is very empowering. the next step is to give employees control of the resources needed to make improvements. 46. Bowen and Lawler (1995) describe what happens if insufficient resources are provided.are not likely to abuse them. 22 Pratik Mohapatra. 1995. p. Relying on people to provide service improvements without resources is called the human resources trap. "The HR trap occurs when managers expect their frontline people to provide better and better service without simultaneously trying to improve the core service offering itself. 82) Release of control to employees demonstrates management trust and confidence in their competence. FB2 Empowerment . and so on.
then any empowerment implementation effort will not be successful. A change in role perception is called for in this instance when implementing employee empowerment. providing appropriate supervisory support • a directing style for those tasks for which the employee has a low skill level • coaching for those tasks with which the employee has some skills but is lacking experience or motivation • a supporting style for those tasks where the employee knows what to do but is still lacking confidence in their abilities 23 Pratik Mohapatra. 46.Management Role If a manager does not perceive her or his role is to help those she or he supervises to grow. The supervisor must see potential in the employee and work to bring that potential out. FB2 Empowerment . The process is best described as mentoring or coaching and it entails: • determining the skill level of the employee • sharing information about the goal to be achieved and why it is important to the organization as a whole • providing for employee training as needed • depending upon the employee's skill level.
FB2 Empowerment . (Blanchard. Zigarmi & Zigarmi. 46.1985) • ensuring that the employee is consistently growing in skill by providing new responsibilities for which a higher level of supervision is needed • mentoring the employee such that they absorb both the organizational culture and the value of empowerment • removing barriers to empowerment present in the organizational structure • ensuring that appropriate resources are available for the employee.• a delegating style for those tasks where the employee is motivated and fully capable. 24 Pratik Mohapatra. or ensuring that the employee has the appropriate skills to obtain needed resources • providing support for the continued empowerment of the employee • and sharing information about the employee's and the organization's effectiveness.
FB2 Empowerment . It does not 25 Pratik Mohapatra. Work-related causes are the responsibility of the manager. Performance management requires clear standards and managers to be trained in interview techniques.Conclusion Not all performance problems are caused by personal ones. and many factors affect performance decline. 46.
(1985). Leadership and the One Minute Manager: 26 Pratik Mohapatra. D. 46. Bibliography 1. The primary role of the manager remains the management of employees and their work performance. K. P. Zigarmi.require managers to be taught counselling or pseudopsychological skills. It allows managers to show concern without getting involved in employee ‘counselling’ or losing focus on the performance decline.. Blanchard. FB2 Empowerment . & Zigarmi. The EAP model provides managers with a framework for appropriate work performance intervention.
5. Employee Empowerment . 20. S. Jack L. FB2 Empowerment .Increasing Effectiveness Through Situational Leadership. & Lawler. (1996). P.E. Warren R. 21-4. Springfield. Canadian Manager. Create an empowering environment. Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged. p. New York: William Morrow. 46. 2. Grove. (1995). How to empower. Nielsen and Barbara Welling. p. Empowering service employees. E. Caudron. 3.28. Simonetti.Nick Nykodym.73. Employee counselling and performance management Tony Buon 7. (1995).).E. Bowen. 4. Personnel Journal. Volume 2. (ed. (1971). 74-9.B. 6. MA: G&C Merriam. Summer 1995. 1994 27 Pratik Mohapatra. Ward. p. B. Sloan Management Review. D.