Empowering employees is the ongoing process of providing the tools, training, resources; encouragement and motivation your workers need to perform at the optimum level. If your organization is looking for a way to speed processes and still produce quality materials and services, focus on employee empowerment. When you show an employee you trust them, and give them timely information and the authority to find solutions, they will be able to solve problems and provide solutions more rapidly than someone without that empowerment.
Most corporations, however, fail to recognize and empower their most important assets: employees. Empowerment in the workplace is an often-misunderstood concept. Employee empowerment is a term that many managers and organizations think they understand, but few actually do, and even fewer really put into practice.
Many managers feel that by empowering employees, they relinquish the responsibility to lead and control the organization. This is not the case. Empowerment is actually a culmination of many of the ideas and tenets of employee satisfaction.
Employee empowerment has been described and defined in many ways but is generally accepted as: the process of enabling an employee to think, behave, act, react and control their work in more autonomous ways, as to be in control of one’s own destiny.
For an organization to practice and foster employee empowerment, the management must trust and communicate with employees. Employee communication is one of the strongest signs of employee empowerment in an organization. Management must be willing to communicate every aspect of the business to its employees in an open and honest manner. This communication may include: elements of the strategic plan, financial performance, key performance indicators and daily-decision making.
Effective employee empowerment not only has positive implications for employee satisfaction, but also many other organizational facets. Empowerment of employees results in increased initiative, involvement, enthusiasm & innovation. From large corporate giants to a small business operation, this concept holds true. This is because; empowerment caters to an important human need which is common to any employee, regardless of work setting. This is the need for recognition and self actualization. In some people, this quality is high while you may find others with a limited level of these needs. Sometimes, the need may exist yet, overshadowed by other more pressing needs or hides deliberately to suit organizational culture. Yet, it is important for managers to realize that each employee can be given responsibility, decision making rights, and resource allocation powers so that they can complete an assigned task successfully with minimum management intervention. This in fact creates “mini managers” who are self directed across all levels of the business.
Good people that are enabled to make decisions and take autonomous action are a competitive force that can transform every aspect of your business.