Using the potential skills of human resources is essential for any organization, so achieving the goals of the organization requires effective management of these valuable resources. In this regard, human resources experts have focused on employee empowerment in recent years.
Empower in dictionaries:
- To empower someone: to give her the means to achieve something, for example, to become stronger or more successful.
- Make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.
- The concept of Empowerment, which can be expressed by the words “to give power to”, “to energize”, “authorization”, is defined as the extension of the freedom of choice and action of employees.
Importance, purpose, and benefits of employee empowerment
Importance of employee empowerment
Experts claim that empowered employees create a powerful organization. Empowering employees will help managers and organizations achieve their goals faster and without wasting resources. Empowerment makes them feel like they belong to the organization. Without employee empowerment, neither managers nor organizations can succeed in the long run.
Purpose of employee empowerment
The purpose of employee empowerment is giving employees more authority so that they can play a more effective role in developing workflow. Also, their needs for direct supervisors will reduce.
Benefits of employee empowerment
- It allows companies to make organizational decisions as a team.
- It helps organizations to engage employees more in organizational responsibilities and authorization.
- It can create flexibility in the organization and help employees to adapt quickly to environmental changes.
- It increases the satisfaction of employees as well as the customers.
- It makes employees feel positive about their job and themselves.
- It increases employees’ sense of commitment to their jobs.
- It develops communication between managers and staff by streamlining workflows, which can solve many of the employees’ problems so that no more meetings will be required.
- It clarifies boundaries.
- It makes assignment of tasks easy.
- It encourages Risk-Taking.
Factors affecting employee empowerment
Employees must be aware of their responsibilities and the purpose and mission of the organization.
2. Creating a culture of belonging at work:
For this purpose, senior management needs to respect the staff and help them with their problems. Also, they must provide the right tools for innovation and ensure that employees are willing to do their assigned tasks.
3. Trust, closeness, and Honesty:
The organization should create a positive atmosphere and friendly working relationships between employees. Besides, it ought to increase trust between managers and employees.
4. Recognition and appreciation:
Getting paid in direct proportion to the amount of done work, the appropriate distribution of welfare facilities in the organization, and the proportion of employees’ job promotion with their competence, can affect employee empowerment in the organization.
5. Participation and teamwork:
Applying the suggestions of employees in decision making and contributing them to the improvement and advancement of the organization, delegating the authority to the employees can be an effective factor in enhancing employee empowerment in organizations.
Includes the ability of employees to communicate and to have easy access to managers and supervisors, the transparency of working relationships, and to inform employees of the company’s current affairs related to their field of business.
7. Information, Knowledge, and Job Skills:
To get these factors, providing opportunities for developing job skills in the organization by effective training would be beneficial.
Organizations need employees who are active in problem-solving and feel responsible for their tasks and overall performance of the complex.
Implementation of performance improvement programs requires the allocation of the organization’s financial and human resources.
Managers are the most important factor in empowering employees because they affect all factors of the organizational environment. By providing employees with more power and authority, giving them independence and freedom of action, providing a collaborative atmosphere, creating a team-working culture, managers provide the necessary empowerment.
Executive methods of employee empowerment
- Information sharing
- Determining the scope of autonomy
- Team building rather than hierarchy
It helps to:
- Increase the ability to analyze the current and future conditions of the organization.
- Be more prepared to accept higher responsibilities.
- Facilitate the relationship between managers, supervisors, and employees.
- Promote and enhance the atmosphere of trust and intimacy.
Ken Blanchard and colleagues see Information Sharing as the key to empowerment for reasons such as:
First reason: If we want to make people responsible for making decisions that affect the life of the company, we must provide them with the same information that underpins management decisions. The uninformed people are unable to make decisions and are not motivated to risk.
Second reason: We can expect people to risk and accept responsibility for making business decisions when they trust management and organizational systems. Information sharing is one of the most useful and easiest ways to boost the spirit of trust in the organization.
Determining the scope of autonomy
Autonomy without boundaries causes disorder in the organization. Autonomy should be proportionate with the type of work and responsibility that the person has. The purpose of setting boundaries is clarifying ambiguity and uncertainty for people, and allowing individuals to use their talents and abilities to achieve their goals.
Team building rather than hierarchy
Forming work teams reduces management and supervisory roles and removes some of the jobs and leads decision-making from the top of the organizational hierarchy to the work teams.