Employee Empowerment

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Empowerment is a simple idea, but often misunderstood or misused by many. "It means granting latitude of action for how the work is done to those who do the work.” (R.E Sibson, Strategic Planning for Human Resources Management). This paper will define, describe and discuss Employee Empowerment used in today’s team based organizations. The paper looks at how this concept affects the company's diverse workforce. I will discuss the potential impact of these practices and the performance.

Employee Empowerment
Employee empowerment can be described as giving employees' accountability and ability to make choices about their work without managerial authorization. Good managers are expected to assist employees to improve job success by supporting, training, leading and giving advice. Employee empowerment can increase employees' motivation, job satisfaction, and loyalty to their companies. The power that managers comprise should now be shared with employees with confidence, assertion, inspiration, and support. Work decisions and the ability to control an individual’s amount of work are now being relied upon at lower-level management positions (Fragoso, 1999). Groups of empowered employees with little or no supervision are now being formed and these groups are being called self-managed teams. These groups can now solve work problems, make choices on schedules and operations, learn to do other employees’ jobs, and are held accountable for the quality of their finished products. Employee empowerment can be a powerful tool. The leadership style can increase efficiency and effectiveness inside an organization. Empowerment can also increase productivity and allow managers more time to work on more important business matters. Empowered employees can make decisions and suggestions that will improve customer service, save the company money, and save long, drawn out disputes with customers. Empowerment is the best way to promote a good long-lasting employee-customer relationship (Fragoso, 1999). Empowerment can also bring certain benefits to employees of an organization. It makes the employees give more input to company improvements; it promotes higher productivity, and is a good balance between their personal and professional lives. It exercises employees’ minds to find better solutions to problems on the job and increases the employees’ potential for promotions and job satisfaction. It results in personal growth, feelings of confidence and control in themselves and their companies. It makes workers utilize their potentials and it enables them to stand behind their decisions, assume risks, participate and take actions. It is a win-win-win situation: customers benefit from employees, organization benefit from the employees and the customers, and employees benefit from higher confidence and self-esteem (Fragoso, 1999). 10 steps to employee empowerment

Step 1: Define the reason for change
Managers should explain to employees what empowerment is and how it could have an impact personally. Managers need to be able to provide examples of what kind of authority the employee now has in making decisions. Will it include the ability to resolve customer complaints or determine work and vacation schedules? Alternatively, will empowerment be limited to problem-solving within the employees’ own work team and handling those issues? Step 2: Change senior-management behavior

The biggest challenge managers have to overcome in creating an empowered work environment is learning to let go. Step 3: Determine what decisions employees can impact
One of the best ways for managers and employees to understand how their behavior must change is by determining what kinds of decisions managers are willing to hand over. Take the transfer of decision-making authority slowly. Employees in traditional manufacturing environments are typically accustomed to having other people make major...
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