Employee empowerment is best achieved in a more democratic office culture.
Those bosses that like to have full control on the job will likely not be able to provide participation and a voice to their staff.
This tactic allows the employees to have a say in the decisions made in the workplace, and exercise control of their own work assignments. Houston Chronicle explains that “empowered employees are committed, loyal and conscientious.”
There are positives to the employees, the manager, and the company in this type of work environment, and the main benefits are listed below.
Increased Productivity – Some individuals believe that they need to keep constant tabs on their staff members, or they will slack off and not get work done. However, research that has been done recently proves that that is not usually the case. Just the opposite, employees that have more autonomy at work feel more confident, experienced and knowledgeable to tackle their daily tasks. These individuals know what they need to accomplish, how to do it, and have no trouble getting it done. They don’t have to worry about approval or criticism from their manager, which is usually a big hinderance to employee productivity. Just as Centre Forum explains, a well functioning employee representation system can play an important role in the…performance of a workplace.”
Employee Retention – It is very difficult for most people to work in an office culture that resembles a dictatorship. In this environment, they are prevented from making choices and voicing their opinions, and must follow their boss’ instructions without any questions. This stifles employees’ creativity and originality, as they know that they cannot drift from the standard set in place. While some individuals can handle this, others cannot, and begin to get stressed out, or simply bored. This usually forces them into making a decision to look for other employment where they can experience greater democracy. However, when workers are already offered more participation in the company, they will most likely stay loyal to that job.
Better Customer Service – If your business requires your workers to interact with clients, allowing them the freedom to speak to them as to how they see fit is a big part of employee empowerment. Do you notice the difference when you call a call center, and speak to someone that is reading from a script rather than speaking to you naturally? When employees are allowed to use common sense and good manners to provide customer service, that usually leads to happier clients. However, this needs to be done within reason, and employees do need to be trained on the proper way to talk to clients, and the dos and don’ts of the company’s policies.
“Employee empowerment has become a major approach in achieving employee involvement, commitment, and unleashing employee capability and creativity,” states the European Centre for Best Practice Management. It not only benefits employees, but also the companies that they work for.
Senior Trainer & Consultant
(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)