Employee Empowerment in the Workplace

free essayIn pursuit of success, modern companies are forced to keep up-to-date and use creative and new technologies that include not only some techniques and methods to involve customers but also consider opportunities and ways of engaging employees. One of them is employee empowerment that is a process of management sharing the responsibility and the right of rule among the staff. It allows workers to create the most convenient work conditions, which leads to the growth of the efficiency of the work processes. The approach is very popular among growing and large companies like Google, Adobe, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Empowerment leads to the improvement of organization’s effectiveness since employees are more competitive in internal problems and needs than chairpersons. Therefore, it is the most efficient strategy in the development of companies and increasing the work’s productivity that will be discussed in the paper.

The Definition of Employee Empowerment

Employee empowerment is the transmission of authority and autonomy to staff members in pursuit of getting better results. Every team has a leader; however, it is very difficult to make decisions on one’s own. In addition, it is too long since the leader of the group should collect all needed information from team members to take a wise decision. Workers know the internal situation much better that the leader of a group or a chairperson in the company. That is why it is often decided to make employees rule the company themselves. Consequently, they can make decisions, feel that they are implemented and improve the company in a very fast way. Therefore, a lot of managers turn to the approach under consideration.

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There are several definitions of employee empowerment. Richard Kathnelson said that “empowerment is the process coming to feel and behave as if one is in power and to feel as if they owned the firm” while according to another researcher, Bowen, “employee empowerment refers to the management strategies for sharing decision-making power” (Chand). Hence, this is the process of sharing the power.

Benefits of Employee Empowerment

If employee empowerment were not efficient, the leading world companies would not use it in their work organization process. Hence, it has many benefits. The first one is a sense of ownership the staff members experience as ordinary workers that are always under someone’s control can feel themselves important. Consequently, it increases employees’ satisfaction and reduces stress.

The second advantage is employees’ engagement as workers that are trusted are more interested in the work they have to do that stimulates them to do their best in everything. They have a feeling as if they are owners of the company and, thus, are searching for the best ways of conducting the activities.

Lastly, staff members understand that they can improve the work process, which is very beneficial for them it motivates them to work harder and for the company in general. The experience of companies that have used employees empowerment proves that workers that are given the right to make authoritative decisions in the company foster innovations and different creative improvements.

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Employee Empowerment Examples

Employee empowerment is a complex process, and it can be conducted in various ways and have different results. The first one is called employee activity in social media that allows workers to be representatives of the brand online. Importantly, they should identify themselves as the essential part of the company but not temporary workers. Hence, if the organization trusts their workers, the latter will do their best to promote it in the most efficient way.

The next approach is consultation with employees since workers should feel that their opinion is important. However, group leaders should ask for an advice at the beginning of a project to avoid negative results.

Another method is empowerment through customer service that requires giving an employee more autonomy. For instance, a staff member can make on-the-spot decision without any approval of the leader when dealing with client. First, it will fasten the work process, and second, it will make the position of an employee more important.

Allowing employees to create their own team structure is the next example of employee empowerment. The most important feature of the efficiency of the work process is comfort. The given way lets workers decide themselves in which way they want to cooperate in creation of some products or making decisions. As a result, this will greatly increase the productivity of work. A very interesting technique is to involve employees in hiring decision when they can have a say when a new person wants to get a job in their team. It is good since this person is a potential coworker and may not fit the team is spite of a good resume.

The last but not least approach is the help of team leaders to their employees in the creation of a career path plan. Team leaders can foster employees to work better by setting the goal whose achievement leads to the worker’s promotion. Hence, there are different examples of employee empowerment, and all of them encourage better efficiency of the work process.

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The Methods and Strategies of Employee Empowerment

As it has already been mentioned, the employee empowerment is a complex process; that is why it should include several methods and strategies at once. The first one is the implementation of effective schemes and procedures. All reports, plans and other routine work are a very boring part of the work process but it is a needed one since the communication process between employees should be documented.

The next step is conveying management policy and vision. Although the employees can get more authority, there should be some rules that will limit or regulate their powers. It will increase their confidence since they will have the notion of what is allowed and what is not.

Another method is improving the communication in the organization that will foster different departments to cooperate closely and share needed information. As a result, this will lead to integrity of the company.

The reduction of time of business process training is the next strategy. There definitely should be trainings for employees both new and existing as they cannot do their job well if they do not have appropriate skills. However, it should not last long and contain only the main information.

Furthermore, staff members should be given enough authority. If they are supposed to discuss all their decisions even the small ones with a team leader, it is not autonomy; it is a vision of authority.

Additionally, one has to provide workers with adequate information and resources. This means that in pursuit of performing high-qualified work, they should have access to the databases and materials.

Lastly, one of the most important tasks is making an employee confident. If a worker believes that he can do something, he will succeed in it. Moreover, a team leader should give difficult tasks that will be a challenge for a staff member. In this case, a worker will be sure of a manager’s trust.

Therefore, all the mentioned methods and strategies create the one scheme and are little parts in a big plan that leads to better performance of daily routine that can make a company much more successful on the market.

How It Works

Ways to Empower Employees

Not every team leader can easily influence his employees; that is why there are several ways how to do this. They include giving a worker generous boundaries, listening intently, believing in them, forgiving mistakes, providing growth paths, praising efforts, asking powerful questions, earning trust, giving an employee time, and setting leader’s ego aside. Following those simple requirements, every team leader can create the perfect conditions for employee empowerment.

Company Xerox as an Example of an Affective Employee Empowerment

Xerox Company was created about 100 years ago that is a very long period for such a type of a company. It produces document technology. The world is changing very fast nowadays; thus, the organization has been forced to keep up-to-date and implement new strategies and innovations. Hence, the employee empowerment has been used. The company was good without it in the beginning of its existing; however, the times have changed, and the strategy of empowerment has helped Xerox to save the first position in document technology business in the world.

The company’s employee empowerment strategy encourages staff to take initiative in the work processes. Although workers in this organization know the border that they cannot cross during their autonomous activity, they are not punished for their faults. Additionally, the managers conduct surveys and questionnaires all the time to get to know what has been achieved and what needs extra improvements and revisions.

This is only one example of companies that are successful due to the employee empowerment, and other global businesses like Google, Twitter, Facebook, Adobe also employ this strategy to create a special culture of the organization.

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Conclusion

Therefore, employee empowerment is the process of sharing responsibility with employees, providing them with autonomy, authority and resources, and giving the feeling of being the owner of the company. This strategy includes many components and methods that are connected. Employee empowerment has made a great contribution into the success of such great companies as Google and Facebook. The results of this strategy can be observed on the example of the Xerox Company that has managed to keep the first position on the market for 100 years. Hence, it has been proved that the approach of employee empowerment is an essential one in any company, especially in a large one, and it should always be employed.

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