Employee empowerment is the process of giving employees an opportunity to exercise authority and responsibility regarding decision-making in the organization and in their departments for the improvement of customer satisfaction and product differentiation. The conditions relating to decision-making are removed and employees are left to make decisions and make them powerful. Before employee empowerment is implemented in an organization, employees are powerless in bringing desired organizational changes which increase the profitability of an organization. It is the current idea relating to employee motivation and has had a great influence on organizational change in the recent past.
Some of the advantages of employee empowerment include increased participation in the production process by employees which leads to great innovation and product differentiation. At the same time, it enhances the training and development of employees relating to the specialty of their profession and job. Employee empowerment has reduced conflicts among employees and with the management and administration. Job satisfaction has also increased or changed and currently where employee empowerment has been implemented, job turnover has reduced drastically. This job satisfaction has led to reduced absenteeism from places of work since members will wish to continue under the same conditions.
Factors that influence employee empowerment
The leadership adopted by the organization can be a source of employee empowerment. Take an example of the case of Samsung electronics where in the year 1993 Mr. Lee Kung took over and ensured that employees of the organization were given free hand to make decisions and ensure that the company’s products were improved. He encouraged teamwork where employees worked as teams and each team had a goal to accomplish. The goal was to be accomplished without employees being given conditions on how to make decisions relating to the products of the company. This led to aggressiveness and stability in the company (Robinson S. 2005).
An organization’s objectives can be set in a manner that allows employee empowerment. When the organization is setting performance objectives they should be challenging and influential to the employees. Performance objectives have many purposes that benefit both the organization and the employees. These objectives help to determine employee’s strengths and weaknesses. Also, they can provide an opportunity for the employees to discuss performance and performance standards often with their supervisor, Further, they can be used to recommend salaries to employees, therefore, this shows that they are important hence they should be influenced and challenging such that they can be used probably to achieve the organization goals and further it will bring that satisfaction to the employee that they are incorporated in setting them.
Take an example of Glasglow University which has allowed performance evaluation to determine the courses of action employees take to attain the objectives of the organization. They have set standards that should be followed but within the standards, the employee is allowed to make an independent decision relating to his employment. This is the best thing that the university has taken in ensuring employee empowerment (wwglasglow.ac.uk).
Organizational culture defines the way things are done within an organization. It can be a source of stability or a barrier to employee empowerment. An organization that takes a culture that is people-oriented, outcome-oriented, and teamwork-oriented will tend to attract employee empowerment which increases the profitability of the organization. E organization culture which deals with the way the employee views the organization in terms of leadership, delegation, and communication ensures that there is employee empowerment or no employee empowerment.
Take for example the case of the Coca-Cola marketing team where the employees of the company were allowed to make decisions and they made a good decision about the company’s plant. Had it not been for employee empowerment, the accountant who came up with the name Coca-Cola will not have come up with that name had he not been empowered to make decisions and think (ww.cocacola.com)
An organizational structure defines how job tasks are divided among employees and how they are coordinated. Organizational structure can allow employee empowerment if it horizontal.
While marketing services, the customers’ needs are more crucial. There are some services such as accounting and other consultancy services which are instant. An employee can be empowered to make decisions on which price is set for such a customer and the mode of delivery of service. In such a situation, the management does not have much to add to this form of empowerment. If the company does not adopt this process, it may lose a lot of customers. The best example of this form of empowerment can be found in the Ernest & Young consultancy where consultants are allowed to negotiate prices for services that they offer.
Allowing employees to contribute/participate in the decision-making process and giving them the necessary independence from any bureaucratic constraints. Employee’s performance will greatly increase if they realize that their ideas have been included in the general activities of the organization. This will motivate them and as a result, their output will increase making the company achieve its goals.
Further, if the employees are given authority, it means they will quickly solve problems as they arise and take opportunities without following any formal procedure which in most cases is cumbersome and takes longer to complete. This will improve employee performance and increase the achievement of the organization’s goals.
Performances standards established should be realistic and higher and there must be an indication of confidentiality in them. Performance standards should be clearly defined and communicated to the employee because they are important in a number of uses like to show employees strengths and weaknesses, show areas that need improvement, measure if the employee is attaining the standards of the organization and can be too used for a basis of salary recommendation. This will bring about employee motivation and increase employee empowerment and increase efficiency.
The system of rewarding should be performance-based. This means the best performance management should create a workplace that is capable to provide positive reinforcement necessary to bring the required (desired) results and attain business goals.
Further, there must be enriched jobs that give independence and control, task, activity, allow career development, and bring meaning to tasks. Employees should be allowed to advance their professions since technology is also developing. This will develop their skills and improve performance and achieve greater results. It will also further their understanding of how important the work they are doing is. This will facilitate employee empowerment.
Employee selection and training
Training is the process of acquiring knowledge, skills, and attitudes for the performance of a particular task. The organization should design employee selection and training programs to provide the recommendation technical skills including culture in them which motivates individual determination and collaboration and collaboration but not based on competition.
Employment empowerment is Motivation which means the process of energizing directing and sustaining employee’s efforts. It involves the process of leading people in behaving in a specific way. It varies in nature intensity from individual to individual depending on a particular mixture of influences. These influences are related to one need. Effective managers motivate people to join the organization, remain in the organization, come to work regularly, perform at high levels while at work, be good corporate citizens.
Bowen, David E. & Lawler III, Edward E. 1992. The empowerment of service workers: What, why, how and when, Sloan Management Review.
Du Brin; Fundamentals of Organizational Behavior; Pergamon Press, 1974.
Coca-cola Organization culture. Web.
Hom, P. W. & Griffeth, R. W., & Sellaro, C. L., (1984). The validity of Mobley’s model of employee turnover. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 34.
Pfeffer J, Managing with power: politics and influence in organization, Boston: Harvard business School press, 1992.
Samsung leadership. Web.
Robbins S,(2005); Organizational Behavior 10th ed, Pearson education.
Shim J; (1999); Operations Management; Barron’s Educational Series.
Thomas, K. W. & Velthouse, B. A. (1990). Cognitive elements of empowerment: An interpretive model of intrinsic motivation. Academy of Management review.