Complexity in Employee Empowerment: Hitches and Solutions


In today’s competitive world, every organization is striving for competitive edge. In most of the cases companies have same tangible assets, what is different is human resource. A knowledgeable and experienced employee is not less than an asset, giving organization edge over rivals. But knowledge and talent is not all organization is to look for, managers have to make sure that the employees are satisfied and motivated for work. An employee satisfied from his job and motivated to work for the organization can only utilize his potentials at optimal level.

Motivation can be through both tangible benefits and intangible benefits. One of the key factor of motivating employee at workplace is through empowering them, as termed as “employee empowerment.” It can be defined as recognizing and releasing into organization the power that people have in their wealth of useful knowledge and internal motivation. In simple words it is the authority to make decisions within one’s area of responsibility without approval from someone else.

The concept comprises of two key characteristics:

(i) encouraging employees to take initiatives and

(ii) providing employees the resources as well to implement what they decide.

Although if personnel are empowered in proper way, it not only increase employee’s productivity, but also their loyalty and commitment to the organization; but this process is not simple. It can result in dissatisfaction and demotivation as well. Following are the major problems that can result in employee empowerment;

Dilemma of Two Cultures: Most of the employees after being empowered find themselves in two cultures simultaneously, declining their productivity instantly. Their old culture from where they belonged earlier tells them to relinquish control, whereas the new powers demand them to maintain control.  This results in a situation where an individual’s role becomes ineffective. In worse cases it can result in conditions where most of the employees quit.

Innovation with Fruitless Destiny: When employees are empowered, their new authority allows them to take new decision, which results in their judgment to be more innovative than ever before. This innovation may not be always successful. In many organizations, when the employees try new things with unsuccessful consequences, their supervisors discourage them, which result in dissatisfaction and lack of interest by employees.

Partial Access to Information: Proper and complete information is the foundation of all decision. Indecorous information always leads to poor decision making and deprived profits. When employees are given partial access to information, which is most vital part of empowerment, this can result in their skimpy decision making. In long run, even with accurate use of authority and meeting their responsibly, employee’s do not get suitable outcomes.

Accountability Intended to Punish: Although employees are empowered to take decision for the best interest of the organization, slip-ups do happen. Employees should be unquestionably accountable of their decisions, but this accountability should not be intended to punish their mistakes, but to direct them from time to time. Punishing will enforce them to take decisions for short term results, which not only thunderbolts long term sustainability of organization, but employees will be irresponsible in future.

For Perfect Results…….Employee empowerment should be through proper empowerment training programs which must include following issues; preferring employees according to their needs, conferring the boundaries of empowerment and proper discussion about goals and objectives they have to achieve in future.   

No doubt human resource is most valuable assets of organization’s today. Diverse workforce with immaculate talent and flawless abilities cannot be hires every day. Hiring is not only an intricate process, but also cost organizations in huge sums. To sum up the best way is to make sure that employees are happy, satisfied, committed and motivated. This will not only result in less job turnover, but also loyal employees working at their optimal productivity level.

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