Implementation and Benefits of Employee Empowerment
What is employee empowerment?
Basically employee empowerment entails giving employees the chance to develop their skills and make decisions that will benefit the organization and themselves. It constitutes delegating tasks to the employees and facilitating a suitable environment through which an employee can deliver on the assigned tasks without any interference.
Employee empowerment does not entail developing a laissez faire approach towards employees and the entire organization. Rather it is more about involving the employees and enriching their skills so as to make them more productive in the work place.
How can an organization carry out employee empowerment?
Most organizations define employee empowerment differently. Some organizations consider matters of organizational culture to be at the core of employee empowerment. On the other hand, there are those organizations that view job design as the essence of employee empowerment.
Ultimately, although employee empowerment means different things in every organization and touches on diverse aspects, there are three major concepts that form its basis:
- Job enrichment. This entails increasing the depth of the job by assigning an employee greater responsibilities which are traditionally carried out at higher levels of the organization. This may entail introducing new activities into the job especially those that are normally carried out at a higher hierarchy.
- Job enlargement. This involves altering the scope of the job and assigning an employee more duties and responsibilities at the horizontal level. Although this may not be a promotion, it entails giving an employee more responsibilities that are normally carried out within the same job cadre.
- Job rotation. This involves transferring the employee to a different department altogether, it may be in a different capacity or the same job group. The aim of this move is to enrich the employee and enable them learn new things about the organization as well as develop new skills on the job.
Generally, employee empowerment demands a lot of investment on the part of the organization and the employee. The employer must be ready to train the employee and enhance their skills in different aspects of the job. They must also give the employees a chance to exercise their newfound skills and listen to their ideas.
The employees must take initiative and be confident enough so as to earn the trust of their employers. They must also take time to learn and develop their skills as well as use them effectively in the organization. Employee empowerment is therefore a two-way process.
What are the advantages of employee empowerment?
There are several advantages that accrue from employee empowerment. These advantages are both for the organization and the employee involved. Such benefits include:
- High productivity amongst the employees
- Improved communication in the organization
- High morale and motivation amongst employees
- Better overall organizational performance
- Less wastage in the organization
- High levels of creativity amongst employees
- Resilience in the organization
- Organizational loyalty
- Better customer care
- Lower turnover rates in the organization
Despite all these benefits, employee empowerment is not to be misconstrued as poor organization management and absolute lack of hierarchy in the organization. In fact, this concept has to be accompanied with the right monitoring and evaluation techniques in order to be successful.
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