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.
Empowerment may not be a new concept to you, but many organizations experience problems because they don’t know how to ‘live it’. 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.
The best way to empower employees is not to manage them. Coach them to success. This is a process of developing their skills and providing them specific feedback to meet high standards. Employees want to be on the same team with their bosses.
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.
Employee involvement cultivates an atmosphere of collaboration, increases retention of talented staff, and intensifies dedication and commitment. Employees develop a sense of ownership over proposed changes when they are involved. Employee engagement can not only make a real difference, it can set the great organizations apart from the merely good ones.
The lack of ongoing employee involvement at the shop-floor level has been identified as a major reason for the non-sustainability of Lean in the organization. When there is a lack of staff involvement, and management fails to seek employee input on critical decisions, employees may feel dejected and detached from the organization.
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.
Empowerment is a desirable management and organizational style that enables employees to practice autonomy, control their own jobs, and use their skills and abilities to benefit both their organization and themselves.