Workplace Empowerment

By empowering employees you are providing them with opportunities and the freedom to make their own decisions with regard to their job. But providing freedom doesn’t mean leaving them alone. For empowerment to work well you need to be involved … but not too involved.

If you are not involved at all, you are not communicating, measuring or coaching those whom you are empowering; you are sending the message that they are on their own and you are giving employees a sense of insecurity. This is just the opposite of what you want. If the employee or the team fails, you are to blame for providing no guidance.

Conversely, if you are too involved, you are not demonstrating confidence in your employees. You are undermining their authority by meddling in their work and they become frustrated by your lack of trust. There is a delicate balance between the two situations and you need to be sure of how to act based on the personalities involved, the training they have and the complexity of their job.

Make employees participants of the decisions by soliciting their input while retaining authority to make the final decision yourself. Make it clear that their input is important and will be considered but you will retain the authority to make the final decision.

There is a belief among many business owners and leaders that employees don’t care and always try to do for the company as little as they can get away with. For these bosses to be able to implement empowerment, first they need to get over this thinking.

The truth is that each case is unique, there is a wide spectrum of situations and of people and you need to know your employees, yourself, and the work environment well enough to know where on the spectrum it is appropriate to start the process.
Check back this week for part 2 of this article, and learn the steps to creating empowerment.

If you would like to learn the ins and outs of empowering employees now, you can do so by reading the SkillBite “Create A Culture of Empowerment” at our website by going to http://resources.skillbites.net/create-a-culture-of-empowerment-by-oswald-r-viva/

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