The concept of empowerment has become a vital aspect of the human life cycle. Employee empowerment means different things in different organizations based on culture and work design. People discuss and understand employee empowerment in different ways, often contextualizing it to their company culture and business needs.
Self-sufficiency: In efforts to empower employees, the roles of both HR professionals and managers become important to enable employees to make better and more effective decisions. Self-sufficiency in most cases forms the bedrock of most employee empowerment programs and ensures their effectiveness. This can be done in the following ways:
- Identify strengths and create meaningful job roles: Identifying the strengths of your employees helps managers better understand core competencies. This also includes the management reshuffling job roles that help employees increase their competency levels. Giving employees roles that fit their individual strengths leads to efficiency and organisational success. HR professionals and managers can determine the best course of action that will maximise employee contributions.
- Streamline processes and procedures: When an organization is structured properly, employees know where to turn to for what they need. By creating clear, well defined ‘rules of engagement’ within the workplace, managers enable their employees to take decisions on their own. It also reduces the chances of error in decision making as clear guidelines are established.
- Establish smaller teams and enable access to knowledge resources: Setting up smaller teams helps employees create social bonds among each other and as a result work more focused towards one common goal. Managers are usually aware of this and use this option in times of high delivery needs. Smaller teams provide a good environment for meaningful work.
Building Trust: Building trust, along with enabling self-sufficiency, are vital for empowering individuals within the company. An employee is bound to function more effectively if he/she is trusted upon by managers and leaders alike. One way of doing this is by allowing employees to craft their own jobs. Employees become empowered and self-sufficient, capable of making better decisions and exploring their full capacity.
A culture that while promoting self-sufficiency also fosters interdependence and trust within team members is successful in helping the team members grow. Empowerment is often thought of as being able to figure it all out on your own. But rather, in an organizational sense, it means creating the abilities to be able to use your friends, co-workers, and environment continuously and consciously advance your own and common goals together.
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