Empowerment is what young job aspirants are looking for in organizations. More than monetary rewards, it is the feeling that employee owns the job that motivates him or her nowadays. Empowerment may be understood as “a process of enhancing feelings of self-efficacy among organization members through the identification of conditions that foster powerlessness and through their removal by both formal organizational practices and informal techniques of providing efficacy information”. Empowered employees are energetic and passionate. They aspire to do better job because they get personally rewarded for doing so.
The first stage involves identifying- the conditions existing in the organization that lead to feelings to powerlessness on the part of organizational members. These conditions manifest through poor communication, centralized resources, and authoritarian styles of leadership, low incentive value rewards, low task variety and unrealistic performance goals. Diagnosis being completed as suggested above, the next stage is to introduce empowerment strategies and techniques. Use of participative management, implementing merit-pay systems and job enrichment are examples of possible empowerment practices.
The use of the programmes is designed to accomplish two objectives in the third stage. One is simply to remove the condition identified in the first stage as contributing to powerlessness. The second, and more important is to provide self-efficacy information to subordinates. Self-efficacy describes a belief in one’s effectiveness. Individuals high in self efficacy tend to be confident and self-assured and feel them likely to be successful in whatever endeavors they undertake.
Receiving such information results in feelings of empowerment in the fourth stage. This is because increasing self-efficacy straightens effort performance expectancies. Finally the enhanced empowerment feelings from stage four are translate into performance in the fifth and final stage. These behavioral consequences of empowerment include increased activity directed towards task accomplishment.
Empowerment occurs when power of decision making and authority to share resources go to employees who then experience a sense of ownership and control over jobs. Empowered employees know that their jobs belong to them. Given a say on how things are done, employees feel more responsible. When they feel responsible, they show more initiative in their work, get more done and enjoy the work more.
The following tips may be useful in empowerment employees :
• Delegate responsibility and along with it authority
• Replace the role of managerial “parent” role with that of “partner” role
• Have tolerance for mistakes committed by subordinates. Demonstrate this tolerance through deeds and words
• Share information with subordinates. Empowered employees need sufficient information to get full perspective.
• Allow teams to form. Teams are the best vehicles to empowerment.
• Performance feedback is always important.