An organization that believes in empowering its employees is bound to be a happier, perhaps even a more profitable one. What is employee empowerment? As the term denotes, it is empowering the employee to take decisions flexibly and in a less bureaucratic manner.
An organization that facilitates employee empowerment is one that has given its employees more choices in relation to stretching themselves at work. It does not believe in laying out strict boundaries at work. Employee empowerment is different from employee engagement to a degree, because while employee empowerment is about actually giving employees the power to take decisions; employee engagement, while making employees feel good about being part of the organization, does not necessarily facilitate employee decision-making.
Why it is important?
Employee empowerment is very important for organizations for a number of reasons, and all these contribute well to the company’s growth chart. When employees feel that they are part of the decision process and that this decision has its rewards; it is natural that they will associate themselves more strongly with the organization’s decision-making, as well as its very culture.
Points of empowerment
An organization that believes in employee empowerment has to approach this area with some points in mind. It should first decide which of its employees it must empower and how much. This should perhaps be the first important point of empowerment, because when there is no clarity about this point; the idea of empowerment falls flat. If the employee who is not empowered to take decisions takes decisions; it can be disastrous. Likewise, when employees who are empowered to take decisions don’t, it could be equally bad for the company.
Moreover, the organization should also decide how much authority each empowered employee carries. This should be clearly defined, and care should be taken to ensure that employees neither overstep their authority nor fail to act when required to, for fear of being censured or prosecuted.
The organization has to make clear what accrues from employees’ empowerment and decision making. It should perhaps provide a clear list of do’s and don’ts. This will help to avoid confusion as to the nature and extent of decision-making. Further, if the organization provides a copy of its balance sheet to empowered employees, it will bring about a sense of accountability, because it can show how much the company earned or lost during empowerment.
Having given this list; the organization can take up training for its participating employees. It can periodically train such empowered employees in various aspects of decision-making. This will help such employees understand their role and the limits of decision-making, as well as save the organization any problems from wrong empowerment.
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