We explain what empowerment is and what its advantages and disadvantages are. Also, its general characteristics and examples.
What is Empowerment?
Empowerment is an English word that means empowerment or empowerment . Empowerment occurs when the boss or leader delegates power and authority to his subordinates.
Empowerment allows employees in all areas to feel responsible for their own work and capable of making decisions that affect it.
Although the advantages of empowerment can be seen mainly in the employee’s experience , its application is mainly due to the benefits it brings to the company itself since the capabilities of the staff are enhanced, increasing performance and customer satisfaction.
Characteristics of empowerment :
Empowerment is based on the idea that whoever is directly in contact with a task is the most suitable person to make decisions about said task.
Another principle on which empowerment is based is that if a worker feels that they have a real influence on the quality of the service or product , they will become more involved in the task and will commit to achieving the proposed objectives .
Ways to delegate
The idea of delegation of tasks arises in the work environment in the first place as a way to avoid urgent or routine tasks and to be able to dedicate themselves to what are considered “important tasks”. However, this idea of delegation is based on the idea that a more competent minority than the rest can take care of certain decisions.
On the contrary, empowerment distributes decision-making power in all hierarchies of the company .
The old metacentric leadership model is based on the idea of directing and controlling subordinates. On the contrary, empowerment has freedom as a principle, facilitating self-initiative and fostering creativity .
Empowerment means an abandonment of the pyramidal structure . The equitable distribution of responsibilities implies that the different sectors establish horizontal relationships with each other, and that the differences are based simply on differences in function, not on differences in decision-making power.
Empowerment requires and at the same time builds trust . In the first place, trust is an indispensable condition so that decision-making power can be delegated to all members of the company. The employee perceives this vote of confidence, which implies that they are being valued for their role and capabilities.
On the other hand, empowerment generates confidence in the workers, since by being part of the decision-making process, they can control the quality of the final product and are aware of the company’s situation. In other words, the company gains credibility.
Advantages for the worker
- You can know that your work is meaningful.
- May intervene in multiple and diverse assignments.
- You can measure your own performance.
- Work is posed as a challenge.
- You can act on behalf of the company.
- Your opinion is taken into account and you can even make decisions.
- Your contribution is valued.
- You can acquire new knowledge and skills.
Advantages for the company
- You benefit from the creativity fostered in workers
- Decisions made as a team are more effective than those made individually
- Teams train in self-discipline and commitment.
- All workers’ skills are used, even those unknown to the employers
- Solutions to problems arise in the work process itself
For the empowerment to be effective and beneficial for the company, it must meet certain conditions:
- Share all the necessary information. This allows workers to understand the operation of the company and their role in it.
- Create autonomy within certain borders. The established boundaries are the goals indicated for each project, the values and objectives of the company, the role of each employee and the general structure of the company.
- Constitute self-directed teams. The idea of hierarchy is replaced by the ability of each employee or work teams to regulate and direct their own work, based on set objectives.
The disadvantages of empowerment appear in cases where it is not correctly applied . Encouraging responsibility and decision-making in all members of a company requires an essential prior training.
We must not forget that the most widespread mode of work is through hierarchies and the transmission of orders. That means that both employees and managers must be trained in this particular way of working.
Examples of companies using empowerment
Among the companies that use empowerment in their structure are:
- FedEx. This company bases its customer satisfaction policy on the trust placed in its employees. Mainly, the customer service employees participate in making decisions about the quality of the service. This has not only allowed him to guarantee customer satisfaction but also reduces costs.
- McDonald’s. Unlike other restaurants, this company allows all its customer service employees to make immediate decisions about product replacement or exchange, speeding up service and ensuring customer satisfaction.
The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring to reliable sources and recommendations from technology experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.