Employee Empowerment … the Anti-Micro-Manager

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“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to do the job, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” –Theodore Roosevelt

The philosophy of Employee Empowerment is based on allowing employees to have input and control over the way their work is performed. There is undoubtedly a direct correlation between employee growth and business growth. As employee knowledge and abilities expand business success will do the same. Employee Empowerment means allowing people to realize their full potential. And when employees make the maximum contribution possible the business achieves the best results in terms of customer service and profitability. Empowered personnel will become firm building blocks in the construction of successful business endeavors.

Sharing Visions and Strategies

The core component in successful employee empowerment is sharing of knowledge and information. When employee goals and objectives are aligned with company strategies significant results can be achieved. This requires honest and open sharing on both sides. Management must understand what employees want to accomplish and vice versa. When objectives are melded together the optimum set of circumstances exists. Employees and managers both share common visions and goals. The responsibility for communicating and sharing visions and goals falls to management. It is up to the manager to solicit employee input and understand what each person wants to achieve then find a way to align this with company objectives and communicate the shared vision.

Authority Must Be In Line with Responsibility

True employee empowerment exists when a person’s authority is in line with his or her responsibility. A person who is assigned responsibility without the proper level of authority may find a way to accomplish what is necessary but chances are their methods will vary between inefficient and clumsy. An employee only has the level of authority granted by management. If that authority is not communicated, recognized and supported by those in higher positions it doesn’t exist. So empowering employees means delegating authority that is in line with the person’s level of responsibility. For example, a person cannot be responsible for reaching certain sale volume levels unless they are able to affect the necessary sales parameters such as price, delivery, etc.

Failures are Opportunities to Improve

A manager or business owner learns that mistakes are part of running a business. No one makes the absolute right decision in every single circumstance. When there’s no one else to ask when a decision needs to be made the responsibility falls on the owner/manager’s shoulders. So errors will occur and the best possible decision may not be made every time. But a smart manager realizes that failures are opportunities to improve. They don’t make the same mistake twice. Empowerment involves allowing employees to fail, recognize their mistakes and learn from them. Advice on how to better handle the situation in the future if given should always be presented in a positive manner otherwise true empowerment doesn’t exist.

Empowerment Requires Full Commitment

Management has the responsibility to create an environment in which empowerment is cultivated. Employees must want to make decisions and know that their decisions will be supported. If employees feel that they’re decisions are supported and appreciated they’ll have a greater sense of ownership in the success of the business. Employee Empowerment requires strong leadership on the part of management. Without clear goals employees will not be able to produce effectively.

Instituting an Environment that Supports Empowerment

Employee empowerment is about culture and attitude. Everyone involved must be on the same page. Managers must want employees to handle things independently and hire accordingly. Goals and objectives must be communicated, employees must be given the authority to make decisions that impact the aspects of the business they’re responsible for and management must support each person’s level of authority.

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