“Empower your employees to make decision on their own, even if it means making a mistake.”
By Shep Hyken
Empowerment is the process of giving power, authority of decision making, responsibility and resources to an employee in the organisation. It is the process of empowering the employees so that they take the initiative and utilise their skills, knowledge, abilities and creativity by accepting accountability for their work. In order to take such initiatives and decision the employee needs adequate training, relevant information, tools and resources. Empowerment focuses on employees so that they can use their full potential towards taking decision, setting goals, accomplishing the goals and receiving rewards. Empowerment takes place when higher level transfers the power, authority and responsibility to lower level employees. Employee Empowerment is a continuous or ongoing process as it helps in achieving the predetermined goals of the organisation. Through empowering the employee becomes “self directed” and “self controlled”, they feel motivated and develops a sense of commitment. It helps in increasing the confidence of the employees. It generally occurs in human beings as we desire for recognition and rewards, power, status and responsibility. The process of empowerment also helps in increasing the productivity which can further reduce the cost. As we know that individual and organisational goals are not different from each other rather they are interdependent on eachother and if we empower an employee his morale will increase and this will help in achieving our organisational goals.
Pros of Employee Empowerment
- Helps in saving cost – Empowering those employees who have years of experience and allowing these employees to suggest and make changes that can make their jobs more efficient, companies benefit by saving money.
- Boost Morale – Employees who are empowered in their jobs experience a sense of responsibility. They know that there ideas matter a lot to the success of the organisation. This can even reduce employee turnover rate as they experience satisfaction from the organisation.
- Less stress on Managers and Supervisors – As in employee empowerment, higher level transfers the power, authority, responsibility and accountability to lower level employees so now they don’t have to take day-to-day decisions and can focus on key areas like making strategies, network building, etc which reduces the stress on managers and supervisors.
Cons of Employee Empowerment
- Demoralisation – Although empowerment seems attractive to many people but not every employee wants authority and responsibility that comes to them. So, if we force those employees for taking the additional responsibilities they may become seriously demoralised.
- Security – Empowerment may lead to leakage of critical data as information comes and is shared by all.
- Delay in taking important decision – When employees get authority and responsibility to make their own decisions, it can slow down the process of decision making as quick decisions can’t generally be made.
- Increase in Risk – Empowering an employee who has lack of experience can increase the number of mistakes made and can put reputation at risk. So in order to minimise this situation proper training should be provided to the employee.
So, the key practices that will help you to empower your employees are delegate responsibility, share your vision and recognise good performance.
Last But Not the Least
We know that employee empowerment is a positive element in an organisation as it develops self confidence, commitment and loyalty among employees.