The power of empowerment in business comes when the executives and managers in the organisation use it to benefit his or her employees; this in turn benefits the business when empowered employees provide higher quality work. The fact is that most people who are accountable for producing business results are scared of giving more power to people in their teams. This may be for a number of reasons: whether he or she feels that staff will slack off, will not have the best interest of the business at heart, or some other reason. However, the person accountable will benefit immensely through empowerment of the staff reporting to them.
Empowerment in Business: Leadership Roles for Everyone
In terms of empowerment in business, the idea of everyone having a leadership role may sound silly at first; the fact is that people who are given responsibility although they may not be ultimately accountable will work harder and feel empowered in business. Not everyone has to be in charge of others. Simply being in charge of certain activities or daily functions will give a person a sense of leadership and responsibility. An executive or manager who incorporates a high level of micromanagement will often find that their staff stop thinking independently and only do the bare minimum amount of work.
Fighting Back Against the Resistance to Change
Very few people like change and even fewer employees embrace change; this often occurs when ‘upper management’ implements changes without consulting the people affected by the change sufficiently. Some changes are a must – for example in emergency situations such as a safety breach. However, in many cases, it is possible and productive to aim for empowerment in business. By incorporating input from as many employees as possible, an employer will be able to make richer, more informed decisions. Employees will feel empowered by being a part of the decision and not feel ‘done to’.
Empowerment in Business: Dealing with the Paradox of Power
One way to reach empowerment in business is by giving away power; many people do not understand this paradox. The fact remains that by giving away power, a leader will gain more power with his or her subordinates; this goes back to the idea of providing leadership roles to everyone and building loyalty through trust. When an employee is given the responsibility of making important decisions, he or she will invest more thought into the decision; this will build camaraderie, responsibility, and self-worth within employees.
Lacking of Self-Worth
Some employees determine their level of self-worth by position or even title. Sometimes, employers use this as tool to create empowerment in business. This action is counter-productive. Once a trend like this is in place, creating a situation where either title or position is threatened can lead to an employee that is more concerned about looking good than doing good; this can cause a major reduction in efficiency, amount of work, and the work atmosphere. Keeping employees up to date will go a long way in ensuring that they feel secure in their position and not constantly worried about being fired or demoted.
Job Security is a Must
Job security ties into self-worth issues and the lack of one will cause a loss of the other. No employer likes to have to let someone go, but by being honest with an employee he or she can ensure she gets the best possible work from them. Another odd paradox of empowerment in business is dealing with being dispensable. When a leader can assign duties to the point where he or she does not need to be there, the leader has reached a point where he or she is not necessary to do the tasks, but at the same time is absolutely necessary to ensure that responsibilities are maintained.
Empowerment in Business: Identify Potential for Promotion
Teaching managers how to watch for potential is a must. By doing this a manager will know who to assign additional responsibilities to.
The number of paradoxes in leadership can be confusing for today’s manager. The tension between trusting people to take more responsibility and ensuring results are delivered can be very confronting. The art of empowerment in business lies in this very paradox. Giving up leadership is the key to being a good leader, because a leader who is obsessed with his or her own power will reveal that to his or her employees. Employees that know a manager only cares about his or her own power will rarely do their best and often resort to just doing the minimum amount of work required. Empowering in business comes from being a great role model. Asking employees to do things the manger will not do only leads to poor performance. Poor performance is poor empowerment in business.