Empowerment in the Workplace
The ability to affirm one’s self is an act that involves many facets on how an individual can be perceived, and the manner in which others perceive the characterization of the individual. The main form of this elasticity to exercise this affirmation is by the action of empowerment. Empower – in the form to equip or supply with an ability or enable, is the most fervent assertion of self independence one can bestow to themselves and to outside entities. It is a declaration that can be demonstrated with an affective realm mentally, emotionally, and communally.
Empowerment is a word that many people know, but not a skill that very many people have been able to master. For me, empowerment is the process of enabling an individual to think, behave, take action, and control work and decision making in autonomous ways. It is the state of being able to take control of one’s own destiny.
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Empowerment comes from the individual. Stages of empowerment can be described in the following ways to ensure the expansion of the individual, and to gain prosperity in all aspects of human existence. Within the flat organization model, employee empowerment becomes a mainstay.
Just because the traditional model is not in place, that doesn’t mean that management does not exist. Employee empowerment is a critical tool that can be utilized to create a better environment while amplifying the support of employees. People are the most important asset. Technologies, products and structures can be copied by competitors. No one, however, can match a company full of highly charged, motivated people who care. Empowering the employees stresses a few major points: personal responsibility, injection of new ideas, and open lines of communication.
Empowerment is the oil that lubricates the exercise of learning. Talented and empowered human capital is becoming the prime ingredient of organizational success. Placing personal responsibility on each employee also ensures employees take ownership of their actions. Personal accountability also breeds interpersonal discipline. While holding each and every employee accountable, employees will begin to police themselves and take into account any shortfalls of fellow employees. People want and need to feel that they are insiders, that they are aware of everything that is going on.
There is nothing so demoralizing to a staff member than to be kept in the dark about their work and what is going on in the company. Not only this deal with personal responsibility, it supports the ideas of better communication not only from management but within the employees themselves. A critical feature of successful teams, especially in knowledge-based enterprises, is that they are invested with a significant degree of empowerment, or decision-making authority. Basically, with the introduction of empowerment and personal responsibility, successful teams and companies are created within the flat organization model.
With the empowerment and personal responsibility in action, people within the workplace will feel more comfortable speaking up and having their voice heard. At this point, an injection of new and fresh ideas will begin pouring in, aiding in creating successful process improvements and new policies and procedures. As stated before, people want and need to feel like insiders. Giving the empowered employees the opportunity to have their thoughts and ideas taken into account can go a long way. New, innovative ideas can come about by just letting the voices be heard.
Employees may have more descript ideas for projects or improvements made within their area of expertise. For an example, if an employee has an idea about increasing the productivity, others outside that area may see this task as non-value added and not feel comfortable with the prospective changes. If the same subject was to come up within the disagreeing employee’s area, it may be construed as a good idea but with the same outcome. Have a voice of all employees creates the idea that an input matters and so called resident experts can have their say.
There should be a distinguishable line between an innovative idea and something that may be of preference. This is where the leadership and management should step in and create those boundaries. With set boundaries, the employees will realize that empowerment is a good thing, but all ideas need to be well thought out before they are proposed. Using the flat organizational model creates that level ground and enables all the employees to propose ideas that can better help the entire company, not just their specific area. Although this model gives the power to the people, none of it can be accomplished without the aspects of good communication.
Effective communication is the basis of all things successful. All communications flow through one clear, precise, documented policy or procedure to make the task as streamlined as possible with no shortfalls. The flat organization model places everyone on a level playing field, transferring communications from one end to the other ensuring all parties involved have the same idea. Without effective and successful communication paths, resident expert may not be able to convey their message as thoroughly as needed to get the point across.
This also pertains to keeping new ideas at a level that can be understood by the organization. For example, if an Engineer is speaking in technical jargon, other employees may get confused in what the Engineer is trying to accomplish. Communication should also be documented in clear, precise wording so that there is no loop holes to get through or derail a prospective idea. This will also help maintain the educational shortfalls of some employees if the information gets too technical or out of their scope of thought.
All the communications that are used should ensure they can be clearly translated into manual processes in order to see the light at the end of the tunnel and see it through to completion with the least amount of snags in the process. While employee empowerment through the flat organization model can be successful, only when employees are issued personal responsibility, get an injection of new and innovative ideas, and communicate will the process work for a company. Keeping a watch over all the tools and employees that are put into place will help ensure a smooth transition to this type of model.
Empowerment is the process of enabling, through the development of competence combined with the authorizing of an individual to think, behave, and take action, and control work and decision making in autonomous ways. The payoff for the organization, a more effective and presumably customer oriented operation and for the employee a feeling of being self-empowered and being able to influence the outcome of their own future. Empowerment is not something someone bestows on the people who report to him, it is a personal development process undertaken in an atmosphere of mutual trust, understanding, learning and shared responsibility.
Management has the responsibility to create a work environment which helps foster the ability and desire of employees to act in empowered ways through the removal of barriers that limit that ability. The concept of empowerment is conceived as the idea of power, because empowerment is closely related to changing power: gaining, expending, diminishing, and losing. Traditionally, power was understood as an isolated entity and a zero sum, as it is usually possessed at the expense of others. Recently, power has been understood as shared because it can actually strengthen while being shared with others .
Shared power is the definition, as a process that occurs in relationships, that gives us the possibility of empowerment. It is conceived as a multi-dimensional social process that helps people gain control over their lives. There exist three issues basic to the understanding of empowerment. First, empowerment is multidimensional in that it occurs within sociological, psychological, economic, political, and other dimensions. Empowerment also occurs at various levels, such as individual, group, and community. Empowerment is only as good as its mental state. The Mind is the foundation and the birthplace in which all empowerment can be extruded.
The focal point of empowerment is determined by the level of confidence one has in order to make the exhibition of empowerment more authoritative. This can easily be identified with society’s educational status levels in which we are engrained from childhood. In opinion, the stereotype is by far accepted that the higher the level of education an individual exhibits; a more increasingly amount of empowerment is produced and exercised due to the exposure of educational access and an influx of support by the individual’s domestic structure and surrounding community as compared to those who lack similar traits and emotional infrastructure.
Influenced by a continual drive of psychological acceleration; it is of the output empowerment gives that drives the individual to strive for greatness, the omnipresent benefactor of confidence and accomplishment that robustly rejuvenates the mind to continue striving for excellence. Society; within the past 50 years has over exalted status quo’s on characteristics that majorities believe make the characteristics of an individual. From the amount of material possessions, to status of occupational rank, empowerment plays a key role in determining where one will place their niche.
Empowerment is essential in the fact that it produces a surplus of confidence, thus assertive one’s self into raising the bar in today’s modern socioeconomic hierarchy. The only constraint in the progression of empowerment is limitation of the psychological mindset. In other words, the surest way to combat the progression of empowerment is the individual himself. Prosperity, as believed in general society; is only granted to those who seek it. By inquisition, action must be taken and how that is done is through the act of empowerment.
The socio-economic status of an individual can be clearly defined and dignified by the power he invests within himself. Without it, affluence within a lifespan is un-manifested. While it yet to remains unknown why empowerment is so effective to each individual, the position remains identical: Empowerment transmogrifies the fortitude and disposition of an individual as long as the individual wishes to transform. With emotional renovation comes a renewed attitude and aptitude of growth and acceptance.
Empowerment breaks down the barriers of unconstructiveness, indecisiveness, and mental apathy that would otherwise hinder the development of becoming a new being; mentally, emotionally, and with personal and public sectors being finances. For me, feeling as though I have a choice and can make direct decisions gives a feeling of self-worth. By not feeling constantly scrutinized, the workplace becomes a positive environment rather than a negative one. It is a crucial part in satisfying and improving productivity rates.
It motivates me to be more involved in my job and improve my knowledge and skills. I am more eager to share proficiencies with other employees resulting in the skill level of the company to improve and job being completed in a more capable way. This is a social aspect of organizing that is based on efficacy and initiative, not just roles and requirements. Motivation, commitment and creativity increases and the company reaps the benefits. I am allowed to own the problem at hand. In doing so, I am encouraged to not only identify the roblem, but to supply my own solution to the problem.
This leads to a positive work environment and a reduction of stress factors. The outcome of empowerment benefits the company as I am more loyal as I see myself as part of the company instead of just a subordinate. This reduces the gap between myself and managers. The role of manager then shifts from control to coordination and facilitation of work processes. With less focus on decision making, the focal point becomes good communications, leadership, education and training.
The manager’s role becomes assisting us in development of the skills and confidence to make good decisions and to maximize my full potential. I believe employees are the most important part of any business. Without employees, businesses can do nothing. Empowered employees need their organization as much as the organization needs them. This need is much more than a paycheck and a benefits package. The empowerment process is successful when there is feedback in the organizational culture. Employees should be treated the same way customers are treated.
Teamwork is also an important factor in empowerment. Teamwork leads to an enhanced performance, as well as an increase in the quality of the work performed. These are aside from the commonly observed factors of enhanced cooperation, collaboration and cohesion amongst the employees within the workplace. Concluding, empowerment is more than just an action of physicality, it is an affirmation into the subconscious realm that rejuvenates that mind and soul from within, to bring about the actions that will then take forth. .