Human resource Management (HRM) is the activities concerned in obtaining, developing and using people in a company. More or less all big sized companies have some sort of human resources management in place so that employees have someone available to help them deal with many different types of issues. Without a human resources system a company will find that any quarrel that come up between the company and an employee, or between two employees, will take far too much time to work out.
Most of the time end result will be unsettled issues that reason an employee to quit out of anger or irritation. Human resources are there to avoid this from events by having successful policies in place to deal with any believable problem that may occur. The achievement of companies depends on this system to be in place. These rules also made to help and facilitate the employees. Some processes are being made to empower the employees, so that power can be share among the staff and make them more responsible and accountable for their actions.
The focal point on empowerment goes back several decades; it is not a new idea. The thought was first referred to as "participative management" when it was more of a "touchy-feely" concept to give employees greater pleasure and fulfillment. Some employers bought into that philosophy until Dr. W. Edwards Deming made the credible argument that people working on the front desk are in the best place to address a lot of day-to-day problems.
Quality management was followed by reengineering, which relies on people to get better operations. Experience through those years made it very clear that the liability and responsibility for making many decisions can be hand over to lower level people. At this point, empowerment has become so extensively accepted by businesses that the topic is hardly ever discussed in books or articles.
In the conventional work model, people worked under "over-the-shoulder" administration in only just defined jobs. Their routine actions tapped a small portion of their abilities. Employee liking was a low priority. Management's hopes were low as well. Those models exist in virtually every organization until a decade or so ago.
A new work standard is emerging. Empowerment--however that is defined--is certainly a main issue. Actually finding ways to make safe the promise of employees is a central issue. Employers understand their people have a lot more to add.
Empowerment is not a true or false, right or wrong change in the way people are managed. A switch cannot be turn over to empower people. People normally welcome the challenge of extended roles and new freedom to deal with problems. They will require new skills and the time to become confident in their new roles. Of course, they will make mistakes--but then everyone makes mistakes. Empowerment is in fact a simple idea--"tomorrow you will be likely to do more than today." The philosophy is innovative but the implementation has to be progressive.
The common hitch, however, are those managers have trouble letting go. Managers who are comfortable to controlling and making the decisions are commonly anxious that any mistakes will badly affect them. From that viewpoint, empowerment involves a shift in power. It also involves an apparent risk when managers no longer make all the decisions.
To lessen their concerns, top management wants to voice its solid support and to repeat that message until everyone understands that it's a main concern. Leaders, however, cannot authorize the changes in the working relationships between managers and their people. Those relations have to be worked out together and that will mean something different with every work group.
The cause for adopting an empowerment philosophy is a desire to get better performance. Where the focal point is still on activities and by-the-book management, it makes no sense to empower workers. The focus on improved results means people are looking for better paths to organize and handle work. When managers are responsible for results, it sets the stage for amplified local autonomy. That empowers managers!
As the economist, Lester Thurow, discussed a decade ago, people are the "only sustainable foundation of competitive advantage." (He was focused on businesses competing in a global economy.) Companies as well as public agencies that set free the abilities of their people to undertake problems and develop better answers will continuously find ways to improve. Numerous recent books focus on the power of "winning the hearts and minds" of employees. There are no established theories or standard techniques; every organization starts with its own luggage. At the heart, the answer is simple--an employer has to value its human capital and establish an environment where people can grow and invest their professional journals.
This dissertation is focused on the empowerment of the employees, an approach, and strategy, a philosophy to empower the employees in an organization so that they could perform well and efficiently. In this way they would be more reliable, responsible and accountable to their actions and decisions. Along with, the other goal is to find out different ways and processes to vest the decision making authority and autonomy from Top to root level.
"What is the concept of employee empowerment in any organization?" In fact, research a different organization and you'll find many different answers to the same question.
"What is employee empowerment?" In fact, research a different organization and you'll find many different answers to the same question. The common dictionary definition of empowerment, "to give official authority to: delegate legal power to: commission, authorize is the one most understood by most people. The degree to which employees engage with their business has a direct effect on business performance. The extent to which the employee feels a sense of attachment to the organization he or she work for, believes in its goals and supports its values.
Attached employees feel they matter - that they make a difference. That feeling can only be enhanced if they feel that their views are valued. As it should be. After all, employees are often the closest to operations and customers. That makes them often the best people to come up with different, new ways of doing things. So it is necessary to empower the employees. Employee empowerment is an approach and thinking that enables employees to craft decisions about their jobs. Employee empowerment facilitates employees to own their work and take accountability for their results. Employee empowerment assists employees to cater the customers at the level of the organization where the customer interface exists.
People are firm's most underutilized resource. In the new knowledge economy, independent entrepreneurship and initiative is needed throughout the ranks of organization. Involvement in an organization is no longer a one-way street. In today's corporate environment a manager must work towards engaging organization forcefully enough to achieve its objectives. New knowledge-based enterprises are characterized by flat hierarchical structures and multi-skilled workforce. Managers assume more leadership and coaching tasks and work hard to provide employees with resources and working conditions they need to accomplish the goals they've agreed to. In brief, managers work for their staff, and not the reverse.
Purpose of Study
Empowerment is the process of enabling or authorizing an individual to think, behaves, take action, and control work and decision making in autonomous ways. It is the state of feeling self-empowered to take control of one's own destiny. Empowerment rules as a development strategy. Looking for real management advice about people? You want to create an environment in which people are empowered, productive, and happy. Don't hobble them by limiting their tools or information. Trust them to do the right thing. These are the most important principles for managing people. They reinforce employee empowerment, accomplishment, and contribution. These actions enable people to soar.
Significance of Study
This paper tries to find the answer of the questions in a way that it can be unstated by a greater number of people. This paper also looking for the answers of the questions in such a way that people who work within organizations can apply the information to improve employee empowerment. The variables of employee empowerment that i have extracted from my research papers and shall be analyzed with relevance to my research process are how managers strike out on the worker empowerment paths and how companies and organizations share their powers.
Value of Vision
Two-way Effective Communication
Empowerment is the oil that lubricates the exercise of learning. Talented and empowered human capital is becoming the prime ingredient of organizational success. 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. Equally important, employee empowerment changes the managers' mind-set and leaves them with more time to engage in broad-based thinking, visioning, and nurturing.
This intelligent and productive division of duties between visionary leaders, focusing on emerging opportunities, and empowered employees, running the business unit day to day (with oversight on the leader's part) provides for a well-managed enterprise with strong growth potential. Our main object is to show how affective empowerment is in an organization and how it helps organizations to gain a competitive edge over its competitors as well as how productivity and profitability is achieved as a result of empowerment.
As an example “Gandz (1990)” writes, Empowerment can be define that management grants decision-making or approval authority to employees where, conventionally, such authority was a managerial privilege." However, this is not the description of what is generally called employee empowerment. One writer writes empowerment is, "easy to defining its absence alienation, powerless, helplessness but difficult to define positively because it 'takes on a different form in different people and contexts.
When majority of people explain employee empowerment they suggest that enormous arrangement more than giving out or passing out. Due to this cause that many writers present their own definitions and explanations. Employee empowerment is a term used to express the ways in which non-managerial staff can make autonomous decisions without consulting a boss/manager”. These determined decisions can be small or large depending upon the degree of power with which the company wishes to invest employees.
“Empowerment is very important requirement for any organization and company to have motivating front line employees to make there performance well. Other measures to keep them motivated are setting a clear vision, values and goals realizing the importance of personal observations, touches, listening and communicating with no agenda. All with these measures, it is important to give front line employees a sense of achievement as it is an important factor according to Herzberg” (1960)
Before the nineties there was no concept or empowerment only the managers was the center of empowerment but the buzzword of the nineties, empowerment is about authorizing employees to do their work without the need to seek approval from supervisors engage the employees to do work their on ways to help the company or organization to achieve there targets and goals. Its changes the whole culture of the organizations where they are able to use the personal capabilities.
Empowerment does not give a sense of to take responsibility and achievement on the work field to the employee; it reduces the delays in the flow of work and also reduces the workload on managers. Managers deal with only exceptional cases and they can do other jobs more perfectly and organically, or where the case exceeds the employee's authorization limit.
Concept of Empowerment & Organization
For an increasing number of companies, empowering employees also means giving them the information they need anywhere, anytime, on any device. When a company gives employees a focused view into business intelligence information, it improves its business agility by tightening the time frames throughout the decision-making process. The result is empowered employees, people who can leverage knowledge management tools to make better, and faster, decisions.
To accomplish my research report I will try to gather maximum primary data by visiting different organizations which are operating their business in different countries like MCDONALDS and developing different questioners by Interviewing their employees and management to analyze the relation of these variables with employee empowerment. Although this organization is operating their business in different countries but I will focus only U.K market and try get maximum data for my research.
Rationale for Choosing the Topic
There are different type of industries are operational through out the world. They already have their set patterns, processes and procedures. The basic idea behind this project, is to understand the running practices and then put into practice the concept of empowerment of the employees in different organizations, so that we could test how for this theory can be helpful to achieve organizational objectives and targets. We can check the impact of this practice on the processes of organizations. Along with we could identify the industries or different areas where these practices can be more helpful and where we need to restrict this practice. It is also argued that, in any empowerment framework it is essential that the degree and the type of empowerment are also included.
Among the many ways in which employees can be empowered in their work (e.g., participation in decision making, goal setting, and ownership in organizational outcomes), giving employees choice in how they approach their work is probably one of the simplest and yet most powerful tactics. The underlying idea is simple. Choice gives people a sense of personal control and agency, which in turns enhances their intrinsic motivation toward their work. The results include increased employee morale, higher creativity and innovation, better performance, greater organizational commitment, and lower turnover.
Yet empowering employees is not as simple as it seems. Now days it’s all about understanding your customer’s needs and fulfilling them n your employee behavior. This study will give me a chance to understand that what makes a customer and employee so happy that it becomes a love mark for them. What could be the benefits to keep your employee empower? How the organization will achieve their goals and objectives?
This chapter deals with the theoretical body of knowledge related to empowerment and gives an overview of the previous research work done on application of empowerment in an organization. These theories will be related to the findings of this research paper in the end and how these variables can affect the process of empowerment and the profitability of an organization. The concept of employee empowerment can be defined in different ways, in the broad spectrum description and explanation varies from psychology to the highly commercialized Self-Help industry and Motivational sciences. It is the course in which we permit the employees to access the resources, knowledge, skills, and trainings required to cater the demands and state of affairs in their working environment.
Apparently, the phenomenon of empowerment is very much related to the concept of power. The Oxford English Dictionary (1998) gives explanation of empowerment as, “to give (someone) the authority or power to do something”. Power, in order, is provide for a reason to enable action “(cf. Giddens, 1977:347-348)”. Consequently, we can define empowerment as to enable people to act on their own in order to reach their self-defined goals and targets set by an organization. Today employee empowerment is viewed as an essential element of management of change or the ability of the organization to adjust the internal and external factors to improve the service or product of the organization “(Jarrar & Zairi 2002 Kim2002)” reforms in public and private sectors argue that employee empowerment is essential for breaking through bureaucratic tendency that constraint the capacity of organization to innovate and change “(Barzelay 1992 Peters & Watermen 1982)”.
Empowered employees able to participate in defining the work of an organization and in the governess, it is viewed as a fundamental dimension of organization. Empowered employees able to learn or grow from mistakes and past experiences (Dixon 1998, senge 1990). Empowered employees are also viewed as an essential future of decentralized system that build control around results rather then input, written rules and process (lngraham,Thompson & Sanders 1998 Thompson 1991).
“Empowerment represents that management throws the rights of decision making and authorization in employees whereas, conventionally, such power was a administrative choice”. However, this is not the description of what is generally called employee empowerment. One writer notes empowerment is, "easy to defining its absence alienation, powerless, helplessness but difficult to define positively because it takes on a different form in different people and contexts”. When we collectively refer to employee empowerment it means that enormous arrangement more than giving out or passing out.
This is the reason due to which, many authors present their own definitions. Employee empowerment is a term used to express the ways in which non-managerial staff can make autonomous decisions without consulting a boss/manager” “(Gandz 1990)”. These willful decisions can be minute or huge depending upon the level of power with which the company needs to empower employees. Empowerment is not a static phenomenon but a process. In other words, it is not just important to evaluate what was done (action outcomes) but how it was done and who did it (nature of the action). Empowerment is in fact a cyclical process: Action and empowerment are therefore linked in a cyclical relationship
Empowerment process consists of actions, or more precisely, of a dynamic process of action and reflection as outlined by Freire (1993) in his work “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”. Employees should execute the action which must support their own critical reflection on the nature of their situation; accomplishment without reflection is merely behavior and sub-human. Additionally, people’s actions are shaped and in turn shape their behavioral world. The feedback resulting from their interaction with this world feeds back into their reflection process, thereby closing the circle of reflection-action-feedback.
We can now visualize the empowerment process as a spiral consisting of consecutive cycles of reflection and action. The nature of empowerment process determines its outcomes: it is empowering (upward spiral) when people reflect and act, and disempowering (downward spiral) when the change agent discourages people’s reflection and/or action by doing it himself, and/or when the feedback from the behavioral world hinders people’s efforts. A state of complete empowerment would mean that the people would have the power to do anything they wanted to without needing any outside help; complete disempowerment, on the other hand, would mean a complete dependence on outsiders.
The following diagram visualizes these relationships.
There are a number of the accounts of empowerment understand the term as passing on of decision-making authority and responsibility “(e.g. Jones, Taylor and Nickson, 1997)” and focus predominantly on customer-contact or frontline employees and the employee-guest encounter “(e.g. Bowen and Lawler, 1992)”. With respect to customer satisfaction the common objective in all these accounts is the manage and improvement of service quality and customer satisfaction at the point of production of service, as employees are able to cope and take action on time to changeable service situations according to their decision, without reference to an endless hierarchy “(Baum, 1995)”.
Empowerment is defined here as “the concept of devolving decision-making power and duty of frontline employees for control and enhancement of service excellence and client fulfillment during service deliverance” “(Klidas, 2001: 34-35)”. The empowerment hypotheses also suggest essential changes regarding organizational structure and the centralization of power and formalization of processes. In particular, empowerment stress a firmed or delivered hierarchical structure with few intermediate management and supervisory layers in order to allow organizations to become flexible and adaptive to cater the swiftly changing environmental circumstances and consumer needs “(Maxwell, 1997)”.
Such pack down of the organizational pyramid further involves or results in devolution of power and the distribution of decision-making authority throughout the organization and specifically to the lower levels of organizational hierarchy. The empowerment principles maintain also an environment of low formalization with less policy manuals or comprehensive procedures and rules, so as to permit employees the latitude and flexibility to work out judgment and initiative. However, the expandable, straight organization systems proposed by the empowerment principle are not essentially fit for large power distance and strong ambiguity avoidance countries. In big power distance traditions the layered structure is based on the “Experience difference” between superiors and subordinates, which can only be reflected in tall hierarchies with many intermediate layers of supervision “(Hofstede, 1991: 35)”.
Moreover, decentralization of power requires both superiors and subordinates to suspend their sincerely rooted values of their existential inequality and their distinct roles. In realistic terms, devolution of power shows an uniformly “massive” leap for both superiors and subordinates, which would further result in presumably undesirable changes for both stakeholders. Superiors, on the one hand, would need to quit along with power, the status and privileges attached to it (e.g. the right to conform to different laws and rules), which they have patiently acquired through the years (i.e. progression through seniority).
On the other hand, subordinates would be required to ignore their strong reliance on their superiors and function separately, with the commensurate degree of risk and uncertainty that this engenders. The latter would certainly be a highly unwanted development in strong uncertainty avoiding cultures, where uncertainty and ambiguity are the very situations that individuals strive to avoid “(Hofstede, 1991)”. Empower from the “Low to High”, the most significant notion of empowerment is to assign duties to the bottom levels in the association. The decision making procedure should be to a high level less central and individuals or work planned teams should be in charge for the absolute part of work processes “(Lawler, 1994: 70)”.
“Stevens (1993:20)” recommend that "the eventual accomplishment of a quality program is depending upon its rights by employees and their empowerment to formulate changes". It is very important that organization should give importance to employees’ proposals, recommendations and manage them accordingly. Its quiet natural, workers, those directly involved in a process know best how to improve it “(McMillan, Mahoney. 1994: 177)”. Organizations where the empowerment is being practice, employees are aware of accountability beyond their own job, since they sense the duty and responsibility to put together the whole organization work better. “Lawler (1994:71)”. Up to a certain extent he negates the notion mentioned in this section. He mentions that employee empowerment does not directly represent to the success of a Total Quality Management program since quality is always on the centre stage in such a strategy. Against this fact, employee empowerment is usually the outcome of an organization's approach and technology, concentrating not only on how to get better cost, speed, and competence through quality improvements “(Lawler, 1994: 71)” An organization's culture is a composite thing, not easy to explain.
However upon this concept the Foundation of empowerment is built. The companies which effectively put into practice employee empowerment will have distinct values at their heart from which the route of empowerment can flow. Standards only can not develop an organization's culture, and worth for individuals is only one of the apparent symbols of an empowered organization culture. Edgar Schein explains an organizational culture as, a prototype of basic supposition invented and discovered, or developed by a certain group as it find out to handle with its problems of outside adaptation and internal integration that has worked good enough to be considered suitable and, therefore, to be trained to new members as the correct way to recognize, think, and feel in relative to those problems “(Schein, 1985)”.
According to the logic of this definition, it is looking that the idea is much more composite. Schein uses the volume of his book “Organizational Culture and Leadership" to give a more comprehensive understanding of what culture actually is? On the other hand, the culture of the organization must hold up the force of empowerment if there is any chance for achievement. I am determined to discuss the "'elements' and 'Principles' that are the signs or surface levels of the culture" (Schein, 1985, p. 6-7)”. With respect to Schein's description, they tend to focus on the facade appearance, though several tries to involve the better depth.
For example, “Quinn and Spreitzer (1997 p40)” indicate, "Empowerment must be consider in terms of fundamental values and personal orientations", which is a suitable picture of organizational culture. So far they go on to note the expression, "it depicts the following attributes for Empowered people, they shows sense of self-rule, sense of importance, a sense of capability and sense of force." “(Quinn & Spreitzer, 1997, p. 40)”. Another expression these writers quoted in previous article contain, "actual problem is to change present …and the shared help available to the manager from his/her superiors and colleagues." “(Spreitzer & Quinn, 1996, p. 239)”, these problems are features of culture. Another illustration is given by “Gandz (1990)”, "A collection of common standards is needed. . . .Attitude about the way things should be done, the standards of performance that are appropriate, the morals of organizational procedures. . . .Such rule and standards force and push behavior" (p. 75) are important cultural elements which will guide to empowerment.
“Zimmerman and Rappoport (1998)” defines empowerment as a build that connect personal capabilities and power, positive behavior and natural healing system to issue of social and organizational policies. The organization which prefers to put into operation the phenomenon of empowerment, she must make sure that plenty of support should be offered to maintain it. Blanchard and Bowles (1998) tell us, "It is impossible to manage until the rest of the organization supports you and doesn't cleave you, or your work, apart." "Empowerment methods and approach that give emotional support for juniors and that develop a loyal and unquestioning group atmosphere can be more successful in strengthening self-efficacy beliefs." “(Conger & Kanungo, 1988, p. 479)” Also, "contribution from superiors, employee’s associates, and subordinates… mentoring guidance, and general discussions of continuing projects, gives data on which to base task assessments." (Thomas & Velthouse, 1990, p. 671). Gandz (1990) explains, "Boss needs confidence in employees. Misconception can be reduced through education and common vision, standards, but the empowered organization needs confident Boss who has trust in employees.
On the whole culture of the Organization must encourage risk taking." (p. 76-7). Brown (1995) acknowledged that empowerment is the technique that is use to modify the employees ability to job. Further more Simmon & persons (1983) states that empowerment is process that craft the individual to able to control the atmosphere and accomplish self determination. This may take place by accepting, individual change, interpersonal change the organizational change to that have impact on whole organization. Zimman(1990) explain empowerment as an multilevel build that happen at three level, individual, organizational and community level. Empowerment is very important requirement to have motivated front line employees.
Other measures to keep them motivated are setting a clear vision, realizing the importance of personal touches, listening and communicating with no agenda. Along with these measures, it is important to give front line employees a sense of achievement as it is an important factor according to Herzberg (1960). Also, according to a study, a self employed person always motivated who is running his own successful business and in the pursuit of achievement, the wish to do something improved or more competently than it has been done before (McClelland & Burnham, 2003). But, is it really achievable to furnish a sense of accomplishment in front line environment where most of the jobs are routine and require very low skills?
The horizontal organizational model is an empowerment support system because it permits employees to make their own decisions. Empowerment is about bestowed people information, preferences, and the tools to be successful. Empowering employees promote a more dedicated workforce and the workforce has more personal buy-in with the organization. Component of empowering employees is furnishing employees information which demands continuous training and educational opportunities.
Better well-informed staff will facilitate shifts in individual and group decision-making responsibilities to go more easily, successfully, and fruitful. The empowerment model update the employees and more information promote more power for the employee. The employee can capture that knowledge they have learned use it on a daily basis. When an employee is aware that he or she can be successful by using information then that knowledge strengthens his or her self-esteem The writer demonstrate this model as a cycle; an employee will put together his or her strengths, feel empowered, build his or her self-worth, and with good self-esteem the employee will keep on to build his or her strengths, find new strengths, become more empowered and build-up their self-esteem. (Bateman & Snell, 2007)
Empowerment and Information Sharing
Organizational culture is made of information initially. Information is the gateway to power. Every writer emphasis, that information sharing should be increased. Each Researcher/ writer provided different channels of explaining the importance of information sharing, "The first very important thing is to share the information with everyone. People without information cannot act responsibly” If information sharing is zero, nothing happens to redistribute…it, and empowerment will be zero. Due to lack of information employees do not know the effects of their actions and therefore are not responsible. “Block (1987)” advises, "Share as much information as possible.
Empowerment & Two-way Effective Communication
How effectively are your executives, managers and supervisors communicating with your employees? What was once considered a “soft” skill is now seen to have “hard” business impacts? The costs to your business of poor employee communication include:
Increased Employee Turnover
Dissatisfied Customers from Poor Customer Service
Higher Product Defect Rates
Lack of Focus on Business Objectives
Two way effective communications are the lifeblood of empowerment. Employees will put in that extra "discretionary effort" when they are kept informed openly and honestly on aspects of their job and the business and they feel that they are being listened to with empathy and it will promote employee empowerment.
Organizational power can rise, in part, by being sharing power. By empowering employes, a leader does not decrease his power; instead he may increase it especially if the whole organization performs better." “(Kantar, 1979, p. 73)”. Kantar then uses the logic that, "The useful capacity of nations, like organizations, only raise if the skill base is improved with the employees having tools like, information and support to make more knowledgeable decisions and take action more quickly can often, and for the people having tools like that is only potential with empowerment.
Sharing information is a basic communication skill that is often neglected by managers. The sharing of information allows employees to behave as if they were the true owners. Empowerment works only when the exchange of information takes place that improves the decision-making ability of an employee who directly deals with the customer.
The critical step to empowerment is for management to share sensitive corporate information through all levels of the company - market share, competition strategies, growth opportunities, real costs, profitability figures, cutback possibilities, and so forth. People must understand how the company is doing if their knowledge is to be usefully applied. Without information people cannot possibly make responsible decisions; with information they are almost compelled to act responsibly.
A more subtle reason for information sharing is that this is the quickest way to rebuild the trust that is bankrupt in most organizations today. It lets people know “we are in this thing together,” and it encourages them to take the risk to use their power for the organization. Without information sharing, empowerment will not get off the ground.
"The first very important thing is to share the information with everyone. People without information cannot act responsibly” If information sharing is zero, nothing happens to redistribute…it, and empowerment will be zero. Due to lack of information employees do not know the effects of their actions and therefore are not responsible. “Block (1987)” advises,
Information is the lifeblood of empowerment responsible. Block (1987) advises, "Share as much information as possible.
Most managers think that shield their subordinates from bad news is also part of their role. When we protect our people we are behaving like as their parents and treating them like children. If we are trying to build the mindset that everyone is responsible for the success of this business, then our people must have complete information. A very important and crucial part of employee empowerment process is express confidence in the worker, yet many managers feel reluctant to just let people go on their own.
We can say this could be kind of limitations in the form of shared information. Sharing information about goals of organization's plans, successes, and failures which may seem common, however its significance cannot be underestimating. Randolph informs us that, "research showed that people who have information about current performance levels will set challenging goals and when they achieve those goals they will reset the goals at a higher level. The skill of this new position is giving out feedback about the employee's efficiency. Cauldron (1995) indicates, "Empowerment course fail because HR set off the process the incorrect way.
Empowerment isn't like a phenomenon you carry out to people” whereas it is developed by crafting an empowering environment—the environment in which employees are given targets, objectives feedback, training, counseling and perhaps most importantly, information sharing. Conger and Kanungo (1988) use almost the same words to express the same opinion, "The employment of these policies is aimed not only at eliminate some of the external conditions accountable for powerlessness, but also (and more important) at providing juniors with self-efficacy information.
Without this positive strengthening employees do not simply come to understand how expert they really are and how vital their work is to the success of the organization, To create employee empowerment work, not only do we require to give them information about their own work, we must, "provide employees information about the business and display how their work fits in. Everyone desires to feel they do something of value. When you show the individuals will bring value to the business,
"Empowerment must be positioned in a context of accountability to the larger whole. Managers must assist their employees to recognize that their work is, directly united with calculated goals and individual accountability is maintained all the way along the line to senior management, customers and stockholders and that they are considered, "partners in the business, all with an eye to the bottom line implications. Empowered employees will only recognize these bottom line propositions if organizational information is shared with them.
Value of Vision
Shared set of clearly cohesive vision of the long term purpose of organization represents key traits of empowered employees and empowered organizations.
Clear vision will provide the energy and enthusiasm needed for empowerment practices to work. Vision is possibly the most observable element of organizational culture; it is from beginning to end the vision of what is likely that leaders can motivate employees to utilize their skills, information, and inspiration towards its achievement. Whatever the intelligence of man can perceive, and think, it can accomplish. The most significant motivational part of attractive/transformational leadership is the heightened built-in value of goal achievement formed by the articulation of a significant vision or task. There are number of examples of the significance of given that a vision in the literature.
“Block (1987)” categorizes, "Developing a visualization of prominence as the first footstep in the direction of empowerment.
“Vision helps employees with that good judgment of "what do we act next" who can motivate creativity; it also permits employees to not formulate decisions which are in the way against that of which the leaders of the organization consider is right. On the significance of organizational it was indicated that there must be a common vision. missing in to such visions, employees can barely be expected to be self directing in their completion, Motivation in the workplace isn't about what you do for your employees; it's about the work you empower your employees to do for you,” (Musselwhite, 2008) There is evidence that motivation are increased when people have a more positive attribution style.
This influences self-belief, resilience when faced with set-backs, and the ability to visualize one overcoming problems. The implication is that 'empowerment' suits some more than others, and should be positioned in the broader and wider context of an 'enabling' work environment. The first handle" of "organizational distinctiveness which smoothes the progress of employee empowerment is a comprehensible image and challenge.
Blanchard and Bowles (1998) use the term "principles" in place of vision. They point out, "principles lead all plans, decisions and proceedings. The division between objectives and principles: "Objectives are for the future. Principles are now. Objectives are set. Principles are lived. Objectives change. Principles are rocks you can count on. Objectives get people going. Principles sustain the effort.
Vision is expressed through the fundamental values of the organization. These basic principles are,
1. Try to be fair.
2. Use your freedom to grow.
3. Make your own commitments, and keep them.
4. Discuss with other Associates before to perform any action that may adversely affect the reputation or financial stability of the company.
Within these principles is the idea of a growing, beneficial concern which has instilled employee empowerment to its core.
The question of what vision to instill is answered. In short, employees must understand and share the vision of the organization if they are to empower.
In order to implement employee empowerment the employees must be competent. Competency goes beyond developing job-task specific knowledge.
The importance of "training in which employees are familiarized with how their jobs fit into upstream and downstream activities
"Employees must be properly trained. It doesn’t make sense to empower employees to do things such as make decisions or approve or initiate action if they are not properly trained.” (Gandz, 1990, p. 76) Byham (1997) Indicates that among the "Characteristics of an empowered organization” are,
Job and technical skills/training
Interpersonal and problem-solving skills/training
Front-line customer service skills/training
Importance of Resources
In many organizations access to resources is controlled by supervisory staff. If employee empowerment is to be implemented successfully, those controls must be removed and resources placed under empowered employees' control. "Resources include items such as funding, access to support staff, or experts who have knowledge on which the employee can draw." (Ward, 1996, p. 22).
Typically restriction of access to resources is in place to avoid employee abuse. However, if information about the costs and effect on the bottom line procurement of resources is shared with employees they are not likely to abuse them.
Motivation in the workplace isn't about what you do for your employees; it's about the work you empower your employees to do for you,” “(Musselwhite, 2008)”
There is evidence that motivations are increased when people have a more positive attribution style. This influences self-belief, resilience when faced with set-backs, and the ability to visualize one overcoming problems. The implication is that 'empowerment' suits some more than others, and should be positioned in the broader and wider context of an 'enabling' work environment.
In this connection we have different examples of different companies and statements of some well known CEO and researcher’s .Jack Welch was CEO of General Electric and he was working the General Electric Company (GE) since 1960. Jack Welch twisted General Electric into one of the major and most admired companies in the world, with a market worth of about $500 billion, when he became as its CEO 20 years later, in 2000.
Even though Jack Welch is "the famous leader of a global manufacturer often well-known for its technological expertise, he has exploit a very human process to drive change through GE's vast organization. Having admiration for the individual as a essential force in organizational change, Welch shaped a model of outstanding performance every corporate leader can learn from.
Under Welch's management, managers had broad autonomy in structuring their GE units in commercial fashion. Resolute to control the collective power of GE employees, Jack Welch characterized also associations between boss and subordinates. He wrote: "The individual is the source of inspiration and improvement, and we are stressed to get all of our people to accept the countercultural truth that often the best way to manage people is just to get out of their way. Only by let go the energy and fire of our employees can we accomplish the decisive, continuous productivity advantages that will give us the freedom to compete and win in any business anywhere on the globe."
In the six sigma certification, Lean Six Sigma is developed around employee empowerment from bottom to top like plant floor worker to senior management. It permits employees to swing their focal point from how speedy equipment runs to how quick the product moves. Employees are continuously asked to think about new ways to run the business which force new thinking and improved ways to serve customers.
With Lean Six Sigma, everybody works for the line, not the other way around. This means that all manufacturing employees make sure that the line flows continuously at a pace determined by customer requirements. Dimensions on Lean Six Sigma production lines are not based on assignments per hour or how often the equipment runs - they are based on product cycle times and yields.
Lean Six Sigma is not about dropping employees, but about refocusing attempt, redeploying resources and improving implementation. People are frequently shift to other lines to share knowledge with others, as well as asked to contribute in nonstop development actions, such as each site's Kaizen Promotion Office. Led by the site's Lean Six Sigma leader, these officers attract freed workers to accelerate kaizen activities, build up and set up Lean toolsets and experiment with new ways to decrease waste.
Lean Six Sigma created people's jobs easier and more effective, generating customer satisfaction, business growth and more opportunities and empowerment for employees
Employees cannot be anticipated to have larger responsibility without greater power." Thus, employees of world-class organizations are empowered to completely cater the requirements of their customers. And, backing up their dedication to politeness through employee empowerment, the partners in this study make certain that their employees have the tools, technology, and training they need to perform at the world-class level.
Empowerment connote that every employee is given the task, the training, and the full confidence of the organization to cater and go beyond customers' expectations...often without any interference to another employee. One manager explain it this way: "We are so confident in our employees' abilities with customers that we take a fairly hands-off posture and often just sit back and watch our staff delight one customer after another." The USAA employees are skilled to handle every feasible customer problem, request or objection by themselves during the first contact with the customer. Employees looking for greater job and empowerment are identified and mentored.
The employees at The Ritz-Carlton are empowered to use their own good decision in doing "anything it takes" to make sure a customer's pleasure. This often involves assigning some section of the company's resources without permission from anyone. Each employee can: (1) " including extreme or unusual actions; to go to extremes " to satisfy a customer, (2) contact suitable employees to solve a problem quickly, and (3) use up to $2,000 in order to make happy a guest. Nordstrom has empowered its employees to do whatever is required to convince and go beyond customer requests and expectations.
Employees cater their customers as if they are doing their own personal business. Customer service representatives at Federal Express are empowered to make on-the-spot correction to customer accounts up to $100, send gifts of apology, and give a $100 cash or credit refund at their discretion. Employees of the Ultimate Support System, Inc., have full power to do whatever it takes to convince customers. Once an employee takes a customer's call, he or she manages the action from start to finish until the customer is completely satisfied. Ultimate Support System's "best in business" standing among working musicians across the country bears out its commitment to customer service.
Empowerment In Practice
Normally connected with Total Quality Management (TQM) or Quality of Working Life (QWL) innovators, employee empowerment has been significant ingredient of the creative manager’s toolkit for about two decades. Organizational industrialist Johan Olsson puts the process briefly on his website. In his view, employee empowerment involves simple but important changes in managerial approach.
“Ask and listen,” he says. “Instead of giving your ideas, ask the employee four business altering words: 'What would you do?' When you do ask this question, the employee has the chance to openly communicate thoughts, ideas and enthusiasm. You may already have an answer, but if the answer comes from the employee you now have:
Assign this opportunity to someone passionate about the issue;
For Olsson, the effect is “a win-win-win situation. …You win by assigning, the business wins by improving methods and, most importantly, the employee feels like the main winner because they have the chance to implement their own ideas to a concern and bring about resolution.” Plainly, a Christmas goose and a dusty Suggestion Box attach near the foreman’s door were no longer adequate. The time of change champions and exemplary followers had arrived. Amid all of this enthusiasm, however, it is important to recognize two enduring themes: in this approach:
(1) Empowerment is not about power;
(2) Empowerment is about productivity.
First, the distribution of task for decision making within a less layered structure than was traditionally to be found in planned work conditions is largely a matter of awareness (or “optics”). While it is true that employees are now frequently discussed, that their ideas may be taken seriously, and that their contributions might be put into practice in policy and practice, the option of whether or not to follow employees’ recommendations remains an special management right. Discussion and participation are not the same as ownership and control.
A large arrangement of managerial debate has centered on the need to empower employees and provide them a sense of rights and satisfaction in their work. Choices have incorporated pulling down organizational pyramids and using team management. Profit sharing and Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPs) have all been attempted with varying degrees of success.
The general element which many companies are looking for and a few actually achieve--is the need to produce an industrial spirit within the company. Such strength is a sense that one is working for oneself rather than just for someone else. Those with an industrial strength feel they have a risk in the business and can directly involve the success of that business.
Without a doubt, some people within just about every organization have this industrial strength. Few CEOs, vice presidents, and other "significant" players often get a sense that the firm is their business. The difficulty is, not enough people have this feeling of ownership. Although a few can go in front, all must contribute if organizations are to run successfully. If it were possible to somehow empower all of the work force with this industrial strength, think what could be possible!
Three companies that have made impressive tests in this area could barely be any more different from one another. The initial is PepsiCo, Inc., the huge corporation that owns Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. Pepsi Co has started an inventive journey it hopes will instill this industrial strength, during a stock option plan called "Share Power" that holds huge potential. Large organizations have a great deal of inertia, and it takes greater hard work to make course corrections, but at least PepsiCo's management has steered in the right direction with Share Power.
PepsiCo's drive is just beginning; first let's examine PepsiCo's innovative approach.
In the right strength of entrepreneurialism, PepsiCo required to increase decision making to lower levels, develop a greater judgment of team spirit, and build it easier for employees to recognize with the company and their work. Upper management had also expected to persuade employees to stay longer and increase their productivity. With all this in intellect, Share Power was created.
What is so different about a stock option plan? After all, such strategies have been around for years. As the name shows, stock options give an employee the choice of purchasing company stock through some deferred program. In the past it was pretty a status symbol. Lots of still see stock options as the ultimate symbol of having made it--and for good reason. Normally, options have been presented completely to a company's top executives.
At one time, only the top 100 or so managers of a large corporation would be rewarded with the chance to purchase stock options. But recently these options have been presented to a wider range of employees--say, the company's top 300 or 400 executives. So what is PepsiCo's dissimilarity? Just, it proposes options to all 100,000 employees who work an average of at least 30 hours a week. Everyone from lower level to taco makers can participate.
The reason why PepsiCo's creating Share Power was to have everybody sense the sense of possession that top executives felt. The formation of Share Power started when Wayne Calloway, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, confronted his personnel staff to come up with an idea that would "increase employee empowerment and ownership" to every stage of the organization. He required a motivator that would offer longer service and be good for all shareholders.
In the next two years, the human resources department worked at several programs, but none were suitable to its needs. Many appear to be just savings programs that did not provide motivation. Such programs required employees to set aside funds to advantage from the program. Human resources exposed that, at best, about two-thirds of employees actually contribute in such programs. But PepsiCo required a program for all its employees. Various ESOPs were investigated, but management observed they were primarily entitlement programs and not motivational. Furthermore, ESOPs did not return long service.
The notion of stock options for everyone in the corporation reported to Charlie Rogers, the vice president of compensation and benefits, in the fail of 1988, he noted that this option is just for a select few, but could not imagine why they would not work for everyone. He assigned a benefits team to check out the possibility.
Within months a stock option program called Share Power was developed and approved by the board of directors in March 1989. PepsiCo obtain the stock from the open market by make use of funds. The acquisition apparently caused little or no strength; top managers feel that any such dilution has been outweighed by the stock price's gain over time.
According to the plan, each July 1, employees who work 30 hours a week and 1,000 hours a year are given an option totaling 10 percent of their compensation, including bonuses, overtime, and other extras for the previous year. The value of these alternatives on July 1 is equal to 10 percent of the employee's cash earnings. Employees have the right to buy company stock at the July 1 price anytime within the next 10 years.
Because this choice let employees to purchase shares at the July 1 price, they can profit from their efforts to make the company more profitable. Employees can do exercises each annual grant at 20 percent per year. They do not have to have the cash in hand to make the purchase, and they can use the approval in stock value over time to buy stock.
Similar to all stocks, PepsiCo's prices vary daily, and it is always possible that the price might not rise. Of course, it could even fall. If that take place, employees-like stockholders- will not earn a profit, but neither will they lose anything. PepsiCo management emphasizes that the amount employees receive will depend on everyone's capability to raise the value of the stock and on how long each employee is willing to let the stock grow up before selling it. Employees do not have to do anything to participate except continue to work for the company for at least one year. This allows time for the grants to be exercisable. As noted before, every year's award vests at 20 percent per year; after five years it is fully vested.
Share Power has received very positive response. However, there is a caution that goes with it. Compensation specialists warn others who might consider following PepsiCo's guide to make sure it is simply one part of an overall empowerment plan. Michael Halloran, vice president of the consulting firm Towers Perrin, says it will not viable unless top management is pushing teamwork. It is necessary that options be part of the package, not the entire package. Such a stock option package cannot grow unless it occurs within a participative and open environment-- one in which fairness, not inequity, is the foundation of the company.
Creating a Business
One of the best ways of creating fairness is to help employees build their own company within the corporation. There are, of course, problems in helping employees set up companies within the company. Often proposals are made by employees who lack financial skills. In some cases, someone may be weak on contingency planning, so the corporation sent him back to set the proposal rather than rejecting it out right.
Equality Is Equity
One company that has a focus on team work and equity for all employees, rather than just managers, is Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation (SRC). For this reason, it is further along the path toward entrepreneurialism than either PepsiCo or Hyatt. Good management starts at the top, and SRC is no exception. Jack Stack, the company's CEO, exemplify the dynamic executive who show the ways and still is able to listen. He has the utmost respect for the ability and intelligence of his employees, and he treats them as equals.
In a sequence of several meetings with employees, Stack took several days to talk to small groups of machinists, janitors, and white-collar employees about the company and what he felt was a need for a new entrepreneurial strength. He also talked about changes that were needed. These discussions come about despite SRC's profits and its well-publicized success. Such negotiations are what make SRC unique. The company is continuously ground-breaking
Stack discuss with employees about what he perceives everyone’s need for a career path. He observes that everyone has to have opportunities to achieve. On the other hand, he finds that management often ends up saying "no" to those who desire more. If everyone stays in the same place and at the same pay scale, where does one go?
Stack considers the answer to this trouble and the issue of empowerment is for companies to get into the process of helping to put together businesses within the corporation. Empowerment comes by assigning authority to people to run their own business. For example, if management offers a general foreman with the chance to run his own business within the parent company, it has the cascade effect of opening up other positions. In adding, as people leave to start their own business, others must be brought in to take their places. When SRC employees start a new business, the corporation looks internally to see who is ready to replace those people.
Stack thinks it is SRC's undertaking, in the next ten years, to build ten companies within the original company, all of which will be run by former SRC employees. His strategy to put people in those SRC spin-off companies that he feels can succeed. To get ready them to run their own business, they will be taught how to finance it and how to run cash flow. He pointed out that this development of preparing people to run their own company even helps SRC's management to better understand finance and what it takes to make a company work.
Empowerment With Different Angle
A very useful discussion in this regard we have, No one can works as hard as the owner
the only reason, because the owner has more obligation to the duty and the game (motivation) it’s due to he or she has more at risk than the others do. In other words the owner has more to earn or to drop on the result of the game. If you admit that premises, one would naturally wish for every employee (player) to be an owner, i.e., get total liability for the job and the game.
As a matter of fact, some companies have been conceived on that premise. For example: Harman Management (KFC), Golden Corral and Sambo's (for 20 years anyway). The success of these companies is renowned. For those who might consider that ownership was the collapse of Sambo's, it absolutely was not. It was a many of problems, along with mismanagement. Empowering (giving up ownership) is difficult and Dangerous
If the rule of participation and ownership of decision is so important to commitment and peak performance, why don't more managers provide it? There are several reasons and choices:
(1) A belief that the manager knows better--teach them.
(2) A fear that the players don't care--trust them.
(3) A fear of loss of recognition--give them credit.
(4) A fear of loss of reason for being--find more important reasons.
(5) A fear that you can't empower people--learn how.
Rapid Empowerment Can Be Dangerous
To move decision making into the grass roots of an organization is risky. For an organization to move in hurry from centralized decision-making to the empowerment of line employees and supervisors can make serious mistakes. Allowing individuals who have not made decisions before to make decisions places the enterprise at great risk, both legally and financially.
The players must have a great deal of knowledge besides that of their own position.
Every employee can be an owner -- but what's at stake?
Winning coaches know how to make owners out of every player. It's more than a matter of financial equity, although financial incentives tied to individual and team performance are an integral part of ownership. It's a matter of giving every employee a stake in the game. (A stake refers to something important to gain or to lose.)
Ownership of the Task: Participation Expression.
One key to ownership of a task is having control and expression concerning that task. Winning coaches provide players expression and control over decisions concerning their jobs. It's called participation.
Participative management can be defined as "players having to opportunity and responsibility to have a say in their job."
Prerequisites of Ownership
Personal risks of reward and loss, the owner of a business or an idea must have something of value at risk.
Clearly defined performance measures, Players do not need their supervisor to tell them how effective they are in their task.
Knowledge of their game, Players must understand the nature and competitive strategies of their game. In addition, they understand the accountabilities and dependencies of their co-workers.
Provision of rewards for their input and calculated risk-taking, Players must be rewarded by management for showing ownership, making suggestions and taking initiative. Most certainly they must not be punished. Business rewards such as financial incentives should be (1) limitless, (2) tied to individual performance and (3) tied to team success.
Frequent and Formal Team Meetings
Coaches use team meetings to share performance information, teach and recognize excellence, and request feedback. In foodservice, management meetings should be held weekly and crew meetings monthly. Turn over at least one-half of the agenda to the players. For example, if a review of profit and loss is required, have the managers do their own.
The head coach should not personally review it. That's ownership!
Work the Sideline
Coaches who encourage ownership work the sideline during the game. Their roving presence encourages participation by asking for player opinion, makes certain "calls" in urgent situations and inspires players by displaying trust and respect.
Employee Empowered Leadership
The purpose of this study is to broaden the thinking of the beings that are of the view that organizations are too big and bureaucratic to change. It also explains the rules that the company ignores while at the same time creating a new paradigm for creative leadership and organizational effectiveness.
The industry of Semco was formulated in 1912 by Antonio Semler and upon his retirement it was transferred to his son Ricardo Semler, who created an employee friendly and employee empowerment management system
Selmer is of the view that strategic planning and vision are barriers to success. For him numbers are of no value because they cannot determine what the end user is thinking of their product. To him the supremacy of talent is of importance.
The article stimulates the thinking and discussion among managers who are ready to give up control over workforce with the perspective of increasing productivity and reducing cost.
Empowerment is defined as a fundamentally different way of working together and different form the traditional notions of control. It is intended to encourage workers to use their abilities by taking responsibility of their own decisions.
The writer suggests a map of success for manager’s who are ready to take risk in order to increase empowerment. The steps required are the elimination of hierarchal charts from the organization, maximizing employee opportunity by using flexible timings and elimination of rules. Actions along these steps lead to real improvement.
Employees at Semco are free to formulate their own marketing plans, redesign their products and also the working environment. The organization layers are reduced from 12 to three only.
At Semco there are no departments, policies, rules or audits. All workers are self governing and self managing.
Research objective of this study is to understand the concept of managing without managers and how managers strike out on the worker empowerment paths.
Eliminating Organization Charts:
There are no formal organizational charts at Semco. When it is necessarily required it is put into writing on a piece of paper with a pencil. The workers who understand the organization objective align themselves to form teams that work hard to achieve organizational goals.
All in all the self managing work teams are encouraged. The characteristics if team are to demonstrate total worker and team discretion over scheduling, assignments, methodologies, hiring, firing and training decisions.
QWL, Quality of Work life supports that workers are happy and relaxed when they have more control over their tasks and hence are more productive.
In EU the effect of Social Dimension proposes a series of employees’ rights. The approach runs counter to the approach that prevailing in UK policy that emphasizes empowerment, involvement in forms and degrees determined by management.
The parameters reported in studies by Cunningham are limited in practice to suggestion schemes, financial participation or a margin of control over health and safety problem identification.
Petersen points out to enhance innovation in infrastructure and put it into use.
Flex Time Scheduling:
Semco has flexible working hours. Every employer has his own working speed and differs in performance depending upon the time of the day. It is best to adapt to each persons desire sand needs. Every employee is expected to work at least eight hours a day. Every worker is a backup source if work is completed before time it is preferred that the employee stay back as it gives support to those working. Every division has its own salary structure salary amount is determined by the e amount of working hours of the employee.
Selmer goes on to use the example of going to the beach. Even at the beach most people are pre-occupied with reading, tanning, looking for shells, walking,
Swimming, and watching children. True idleness is just doing nothing. There are always those tasks that have to be done because there is no time to do them during the regular workweek. The technology that was forecasted to make work less demanding has, in fact, made finding leisure time almost impossible. Today, with cell phones, fax machines and e-mail we are on call 24-7.
The Work Week:
Selmer attitude is to put people into doing jobs they like rather than giving them tasks they have got tired of. To him employer should be passionate about his job.
His explains that the technology of laptops, cell phones, emails have destroyed the free time and the traditional nine to five work day. It could be considered a good thing if it gives them freedom to manage their work and personal life with enthusiasm and creative energy.
Employees are free to change their working environment and adapt their working ideas as it pleases them. No strict rules are of adding items of decorations and painting walls as employees want. The area can be changed according to workers taste and desire.
There is no formal dress code at Semco. No dress code means no stereotyping as people look forward to others in the organization only for their contributions that they make. The only importance is of the person.
Employees have complete control to design and redesign their work environment.
Semco, employees are encouraged to do the job they were hired to do in any way they see fit, not encumbered by company policy or HR job descriptions and
Managers must have a high degree of confidence in their workers abilities by trying the three empowerment tactics of removing hierarchal charts from the organization, flexible working hours and redesigning of work environment.
The success of Semco appears to be the investment of employees R&D process which provides sufficient motivation to do well in current as well as future tasks.
Semco Survival Manual:
There are no formal organization charts. The hierarchal structure is put onto a paper when it is necessary.
Workers of their respective units are given complete authority to interview and evaluate candidates for recruitment and promotion. There are flexible working hours at Semco as every worker has their own capacity and energy levels of performance. Therefore the company does its best to adapt to each persons needs and desires.
Employees are free to change and design their work environment as they feel comfortable and there is no policy for it. Semco workers are free to form Unions but a respective dialogue is always preferred.
Strikes at Semco are considered normal. The worker assemblies are sovereign and they are free to express feelings of the people of the company.
Participation is preferred at Semco. Opinion giving, opportunity seeking advancements and saying what you think have preference.
A questioner is received by employees to enable them to give views about their boss with honesty and complete frankness,
This chapter will clarify how the issues raised by the literature review were researched. The purpose is to detail methods to be employed and evaluate their possible limitations within the study. The basis of this study is a deductive approach. Bell ettal (2003) defines deductive theory as a representative of the commonest view of the nature of the relationship between theory and research. Based on the knowledge of a subject and the theoretical framework surrounding it, a hypothesis is assumed and subject to scrutiny. This deductive approach is a guide for empirical inquiry (Merton, 1967).
Nature Of Study
The study is analytical in nature that uses evidence to analyze facets of an issue. This study is undertaken to analyze and extract the characteristics of the variables of the study. The study investigates different variables relevant to Empowerment, which can affect the scope of its implementation in organizations and its effects on employee performance. The study also tries to answer certain questions aroused during the research.
Research methodologies can be categorized into two distinct types: qualitative and quantitative. For the purpose of this research investigation quantitative method is used for data collection. Quantitative research is explaining phenomena by collecting data that are analyzed by using mathematical based methods. The focus of quantitative methodologies is the search for significance of relative proportions. The quantitative approach of information collection attempts to understand the structure and interrelation of situational factors. This form of research requires a sample to be taken. The selection of the sample is on the basis of convenient sampling as per the availability of respondents.
Type Of Investigation
Type of investigation is co relational. The co-relational method permits the researcher to analyze the relationships among a large number of variables in a single study. The implementation of concept of empowerment is related to the independent and moderating variables. All these variables can affect the implementation of employee empowerment in an organization. The method of co-relational investigation will help in first identifying the variables that affect the process of empowerment and will then permit to analyze what are the most important variables.
To be able to successfully undertake this investigation several research designs outline needs to be considered and then one adopted for this project. Research design provides the glue that holds the research project together. A design is used to structure the research, to show how all of the major parts of the research project; the samples or groups, measures, treatments or programs, and methods of assignment, work together to try to address the central research questions. The research design used for this project is cross-sectional design since the surveys are conducted only one time.
Sample surveys are cross-sectional studies whose samples are drawn in such a way as to be representative of a specific population. The topic under consideration is one of the current issues nowadays and thus did not require past studies as well. For this research on-line survey is also being used to collect data for cross-sectional surveys at a faster rate of speed from organizations. The data is gathered once, over the period of weeks, in order to answer the research questions.
I selected McDonald’s as it is one of the key players in the entire market which is using different methods and techniques for empowering their employees therefore I selected it because it is one of the key organizations in U.K which are focusing on HR department. However, the problem in data collection with the McDonald’s was that I have not to much access to main head offices of McDonald’s as my research is based only employee and mangers interviews and Questionnaires.
The study is co relational and conducted in the natural environment of the organizations and has a minimum interference. The research is done in the natural environment where everything proceeds normally and this is called non-contrived setting.
Unit of Analysis
The unit of analysis in the research is individual. In the research, the data is collected from the employees of company are also treated as an individual data source. The focus group studies are beneficial in case of qualitative research where participants are free to express their opinions and there is no time constraint. In this research paper quantitative approach is taken for conducting research and thus individual closed ended responses are considered.
Three sets of questionnaires were used to collect data on the basis of these three variables information sharing, developing competencies and value of vision. The questionnaire designed for employees are related to their believe and the level of information shared with low level employees by middle and top level management and the questionnaire designed for organizations involved questions related to their opinion regarding implementation of empowerment in their organization. The range of question responses will include: the Interval scale Likert scale. Open-ended questions have limited utility within questionnaires as they make it difficult to quantify because the range of answers make generalization almost impossible yet insightful, therefore the use of mainly closed is utilized in this questionnaire .
The advantages of closed questions are as follows:
They are easy to process answer
They enhance the comparability of answers
Easy to complete if the meaning of question is clarified
They reduce the possibility of variability.
The questionnaire used to conduct research is attached in the appendix. The questionnaire involved questions related to the current use of process of empowerment. In order to ensure that participants have the knowledge to undertake the questionnaire and eliminate uninformed responses a number of definitions of concepts was provided so that results will reflect true feelings/attitudes and values of members.
Respondents of the study were some employees of the McDonald’s. About more than 100 employees were taken as a sample from the above company.
Different techniques for employees are used in research. For a quantitative approach in research, convenience sampling (non-probability sampling) is normally used as per the availability of employees in the organization. Most of the employees are familiar with the process of empowerment. some of them have had a clear understanding of the empowerment concept in McDonald’s. This helped in involving focus individuals who are already familiar with the process of empowerment and can participate positively in the survey.
Secondary data was collected to understand the topic under study and this was done through the Internet, articles, books and from the research report by different authors taken from libraries and internet. Mostly secondary research was done to understand the actual concept of Empowerment and perceptions of employees about that concept.
Also previous researches done on the similar topics were studied to gain some knowledge on already accepted perspectives on this research topic. For this purpose various studies and articles by different writers were consulted and the analysis done is linked up with the analysis already done on similar topic.
Conclusions will be drawn on the basis of questionnaire solved by employees as well as they will be related to the previous studies done on the similar topics.
Every research paper, no matter how elaborate methods may be, has its own limitations. The research methods used in this paper are challenged by factors of reliability, validity and generalizability.
Several threats to the reliability of the research can occur. The following three questions can be possessed in order to test the reliability of a research work (Easter by Smith, Thorpe, & Lowe, 2002):
1. Will the measures yield the same results on other occasions?
2. Will similar observations are reached by other observes?
3. Is there transparency in how sense was made from the raw data?
Since the concept of empowerment is now very common in U.K because of developed Human RESOURCE department in big organizations and only few organizations are working on it or are creating well awareness of its impact, the focus individuals that this study has included represent the significant portion of the employees who are aware of this concept or are interested in that. This results in high reliability as the research done by any other researcher on similar topic will result in more or less similar results.
The main threat to validity in this research paper is that it is only limited to London based of McDonald’s branches. This might lead to a situation where the results of the research may lack in validity and reliability or the relationship among variables.
Data Analyses and Gathering
Earlier chapters have set the stage for carrying out of this research. This chapter builds on the previous ones by reporting the results of the data analysis. The primary data collected through interviews and questionnaire is presented in graphs along with analysis and findings. From these analysis researchers will be able to proceed towards conclusion and recommendation. There are two types of data analysis as
Quantitative data analysis
In quantitative data analysis, a questionnaire is prepared and will be distribute among the employees at different levels and on the basis of these questions we analyze the result and prepare feedback and then move towards conclusion and recommendations.
In the Qualitative analysis part we will conduct interviews with different employees at different positions, like front line officers, managers and supervisors. Then we conclude the results.
Questionaire On Employee Empowerment
Q.1: What Organization is you employed in?
Q.2: What is the actual number of executive management positions in your Organization?
Q.3: As an employee do you have significant autonomy in determining how you do your job?
Q.4: If a customer comes to you with a complaint, do you have the authority to take relative action on our own?
Yes No don’t know
Q.5: Are your problems given value by the higher level management?
Q.6: Do you have access to data and information or does your supervisor provide you with only what is essentially required?
Every time Occasionally None
Q.7: Does the management take input from you while deciding our increment?
Yes No don’t know
Q.8: Do you have access or any participation in decisions that affect you?
Yes No don’t know
Q.9: Do you have enough information to make good decision?
Agree Partial Agree Disagree
Q.10: Is Power and Control widely shared in our Organization?
Yes No don’t know
As an employee do you have significant autonomy in determining how you do your job?
In this question it was asked about the autonomy required to do their jobs satisfactory and as per question, Employees were given only two options and most of them furnish the “YES” answer and the graph depicts that about 80% of the staff has significant autonomy to do their job. The other 20% of the employees feels that they do not have sufficient autonomy to fulfill their job requirement. According to (Giddens, 1977:347-348). Power, in order, is provide for a reason to enable action. Empowerment enables people to act on their own in order to reach their self-defined goals and targets set by an organization. According to this reference almost 80% of the staff confirms that they have sufficient autonomy to perform their job.
If a customer comes to you with a complaint, do you have the authority to take relative action on our own?
In this question, it was asked about the appropriate authority to handle the customer complaints and we had three options, “YES”,”NO”,”DO NOT KNOW”. After completion the result shows that about 56 % of the employees are satisfied with the authority which is given to them, whereas 34 % are not satisfied whit the authority which is given to them. And third group which is 10% of the employees is not aware of the authority given to them. Empowerment is defined here as “the concept of delegate the decision-making power and duty of frontline employees for control and enhancement of service excellence and client fulfillment during service deliverance” (Klidas, 2001: 34-35).
As per this reference majority of the employee confirms that have sufficient power and authority to take the appropriate action.
Are your problems given value by the higher level management?
In this question, it was asked, whether your problems are important to management or not, and there were two options, “YES”,”NO”. According to survey almost 40% of the employees showed that there problems are important to top management, whereas 60% of the employees showed that there problems are not valuable in front of higher management. It is very important that organization should give importance to employees’ proposals, recommendations and manage them accordingly. Its quiet natural, workers, those directly involved in a process know best how to improve it “(McMillan, Mahoney. 1994: 177)” AS per this reference employee’s suggestions and problems should be considered and according to survey maximum employees verify that management consider their suggestion and problems. Its looking from this graph that empowerment is not being observed by the company in this case.
Do you have access to data and information or does your supervisor provide you with only what is essentially required?
In this question it was asked about the information and resources required to fulfill the job adequately, approximately 60% of the employees confirmed that, they have the information and resources and can be available by supervisor any time while entertaining the request or complain. On the other hand 30% of the employees report the poor response, they feel that information is not available to fulfill the job or resources are occasionally provided by supervisor. Whereas 10% of the employees denied that resource are not available and are not being provided by supervisors. for Empowered people, they shows sense of self-rule, sense of importance, a sense of capability and sense of force." (Quinn&Spreitzer, 1997, p. 40). Empowerment methods and approach that provide emotional support for subordinates and that develop a loyal and unquestioning group atmosphere can be more successful in strengthening self-efficacy beliefs." (Conger & Kanungo, 1988, p. 479) Also, "contribution from superiors, employee’s associates, and subordinates… mentoring guidance, and general discussions of continuing projects, provides data on which to base task assessments." (Thomas & Velthouse, 1990, p. 671).Block (1987) advises, "Share as much information as possible.
According to above reference, it is looking information sharing is very much important among the team mates and fellow employees. As per survey majority of employees are satisfied with help, support and resources.
Does the management take input from you while deciding our increment?
This is very interesting question about the increment of the employees. Response of the employees was surprising when we asked them, whether managed take input while deciding your increment. 34% of the employees replied positively and showed that they were asked before deciding the increment. On the other hand 46% of the employees replied they were not asked while determining the increment. The last group of employees, they were about 20% and they do not know about the process of increment and involvement of employees.
Do you have access or any participation in decisions that affect you?
This question is regarding the involvement of employees while decision making which can effect their efficiency and performance. When this question was asked to staff about 70% of the staff showed that management considers their participation while making decision regarding their performance. On the other hand about 25% of staff replied with NO answer, as they feel that management never consider their participation while making decision regarding their performance and efficiency. Approximately 5% of the staff gives you an idea that they do know in this regard.
Empower from the “Low to High”, the most significant notion of empowerment is to assign duties to the bottom levels in the association. The decision making procedure should be to a high level less central and individuals or work planned teams should be in charge for the absolute part of work processes “(Lawler, 1994: 70)”.
As per this reference there should be involvement of the employees while making decision which are directly or indirectly related to their job. According to study 70% of the staff believes that manage consider their participation while making decision.
Do you have enough information to make good decision?
In this question it was asked whether the employees have sufficient information while making decision by their own, there were four choices “Agree”, “Strongly Agree”, ”Disagree”, ”Strongly Disagree” About 48% of the staff replied with strongly Agree, the second largest group of employees almost 36% of the employee who replied with strongly disagree. The largest group of the employees 9% which replied with agree and last group 7% of the employee showed that they are disagree with the information which thy have for decision making. Gandz (1990) writes,” Empowerment means that management vests decision-making or approval authority in employees where, traditionally, such authority was a managerial prerogative."
However, this is not the definition of what is usually called employee empowerment. One author notes empowerment is, "easy to defining its absence-—alienation, powerless, helplessness—but difficult to define positively because it 'takes on a different form in different people and contexts. Reference shows that management should vests the decision making or approval authority in employees, and the study is showing that majority of the employees has the same power along with they feel comfortable with the information they have to make good decision.
Is Power and Control widely shared in our Organization?
This question was about the control and power shared by the employees in the organization. There were four choices given to employees first one was YES and 64% of the employees voted in the favor of this option and according to them power and control is equally shared by employees. The second group about 21% of the employee replied with no and according to them power and control is not being shared properly in the organization. Two employees replied that power is partially shared among the employees. 13% of the staff does not know in this regard.
(lngraham,Thompson & Sanders 1998 Thompson 1991). “Empowerment represents that management throws the rights of decision making and authorization in employees whereas, conventionally, such power was a administrative choice”
This reference depicts that Empowerment mean; management should distribute the rights of decision making and power among the staff. According this approach and completed survey, a large number of staff feels that power and control is equally distributed.
Empowerment at different Levels
After analyzing this questionnaire, we can divide this questionnaire into three different categories according to staff hierarchy with respect to empowerment. These categories are as under.
Empowerment of Frontline Employees interacting with customers
In this category we have asked question number 3, 4, and 5. In these questions we asked about the autonomy, authority of frontline employees, and according to the results the front line employee displays satisfactory results and as per given references these results are according to given recommendations. Whereas in third question employees showed that their problems are not much important to management, and these results are not according to references and recommendations.
Empowerment of Managerial Level
In this category we have asked question 6, 7, and 8. In these questions we asked about the required information for decision making, participation of managers while making decisions and whether these decisions affect their performance. In all the results managers showed that they are satisfied and well empowered regarding their decision making process and information required for this process
Empowerment of Supervisor level
In this category we have asked question number 9 and 10. In theses question we asked about the power and control, are power and control is widely shared in the organization. In reply majority of staff showed that power and control is widely distributed among the organization and always has ample information for making good decision. These result are according to given references.
Interview of HR Management
Do you believe in employee empowerment? What is concept of employee empowerment in this organization?
Ans: Yes, we do believe in employee empowerment and here in McDonald’s we have a standard model that we follow for empowerment called "Crew Development Program" for employee empowerment. In this model we have specific rules and policies for feedback from employees and we talk about leadership and employee satisfaction.
So what is the proper method or I mean the program for empowerment?
Ans: This program is called "Internal Value Creator". In this we have a complete feedback from employees on yearly basis in which we ask about empowerment, about their satisfaction, leadership styles and many things like that.
What is the result of this program?
Ans: Till now, results of this program are very good of our standard requirement, which we think it is very well. This thing will be increase in next years because all of our employees will have complete information of organization policies, goals and what we want to do. And we think than empowerment level will automatically increase.
From old concept and theories of employee empowerment as I read in research paper that manager need to constantly monitor the employees because also there is threat of negative use of information. So do you think constantly monitoring is a difficult task?
Ans: Lol. All that we can is to build a TRUST. There is relationship of trust between employee and its manager. And now if employee does something like that, steal information from organization, so that up to him and no one can stop it. If one can stop, the only way is trust that we have here in McDonald’s. Apart from it, there is hidden monitoring system within organization from which we monitor that either the employees are working to complete goals or there is something wrong.
What do you do for building trust?
Ans: We give training to our employees and than working with employees in an environment where they and we are in a family like system. This is the relationship in which one will create problem, have to face its consequences also. In organization the environment of trust can only built when leaders take the first steps to set the example and in our organization we set a example for our crew members and managers. This is the best way to create the trust.
Conclusions and Recommendations
The evaluation of the nature as well as the outcomes of the empowerment process that it initiate towards a potential for empowering its beneficiaries in regards to all dimensions. Overall experience underlines assumption that such an undertaking will in no way be easy
There is a risk of reversing to a delivery-style type of development, meaning that the empowerment process becomes consciously or unconsciously exogenous
Even strong local organizations that are able to manage the by themselves are not necessarily financially independent from the organization; the achievement of financial sustainability can be difficult to attain (however, that does not mean that it is impossible to obtain it)
We identified the following points as key factors for a successful Employee empowerment.
Staff who are genuinely committed to the people, have time to build relationships with them, and always try to avoid doing things for the people that they can do themselves
A strong focus and commitment to the gradual nature of the process
An emphasis on building strong local organizations from an early stage on overall, empowerment strategies will never be easy to put into practice. It shows that genuine empowerment is not an unattainable goal, and presents a valuable contribution towards reaching it.
A part from above conclusion, there are number of other elements in this concept which, I have found during this research. Basically we can say Empowerment is a concept, strategy, approach, philosophy, practice which is being used in different organization to develop efficient, reliable and talented human resources. Basic objective of this theory is vesting the powers among the employees; make them autonomous, so that they could be more reliable and accountable. While working on this research I found that this practice can be very useful and valuable where the direct customer interaction is happening.
Like I choose McDonald’s for this research, if a customer comes and ask for a burger and after receiving the burger, if he wants to change the deal, then the sales person must have an autonomy and power to change the item as per customer wish. But if he needs to get permission from supervisor, then a customer has to wait and that can be prolonged. In this way customer will get suffer. The sales person at front desk must be empowered enough to server the customers efficiently.
Similarly in the telecom sector, If a customer is calling at helpline to get activate some services the customer services agent must activate these services during the call. But if he customer service agent is going to send the request to technical team or validation department for verification then definitely customer has to wait and he will get suffer. Customer service should have empowered enough to take the verification (if necessary) during the phone call and activate the services.
Now a day’s business environment is getting more and more tough and competitive. The attack of the global market place has risen. If at present companies are to be competitive they must be swifter and creative in their quest to lower costs and increase value to the customer. A significant method companies are using to undertake these overwhelming tasks is unleashing their most powerful weapon, their employees. By empowering teams of employees, organizations are using their greatest plus point to its highest potential and, in return, are getting more competitive in the rising global economy.
There is another example of similar fashion, like in Banking sector where every customer wants that he could get the better services with efficiency and accuracy. But if the frontline officers are not empowered and they need to get permissions or they need to consult their seniors for routine issues then definitely customer will get suffer and irritate.
Basically customers have always on top priority in any business domain. The concept, practice of empowerment is much important where direct interaction of customer is being happening. Those representatives must be empowered and autonomous, so that they can act better for customers.
Still now we were discussing the flip side of this practice, but now we need to take a look on the flop side of this practice. If any organization needs to implement this approach then she must consider the strong accountability checks before starting this practice. Without the strong accountability check this practice can not be fruitful. If the employees would aware of these checks of accountability, then they would also aware of the consequences of any wrong action or any misuse of their powers and authorities.
It is very important to have a work force with potential, but how do you get your employees to execute at their highest capability? A work environment consisting of empowerment will help maintain top employees and will attract new, high quality employees. Empowering employees can be the helpful in turning an average employee into an exceptional one. Empowered employees are normally happier; and, therefore, more likely to stay (Blanchard, O'Connor & Ballard (2003).
The difference between average and excellent employee depends on how the employee is being managed. The work of an empowering manager is more analogous to that of a coach than that of a traditional manager. The manager's mission is to unleash the potential of every person within the organization. Encouraged, empowered employees are more fruitful. They are able to use their own novelty to streamline disorganized processes and policies, saving both you and your customers' money.
The idea of employee empowerment also has three features. First, is the participative side that empowerment involves giving better information, better skills and giving authority to the non-managerial employees. The second significant part is how of do you have employee self-control as opposed to management control? The third part; empowerment must result in employee fulfillment which is desired to provide customer agreement and continuous improvement. This type of system can be put into practice in any company, but we must keep in mind that the implementation depends on the environment and characteristics of each company.
The process of empowering employees is distinctive to each individual company. There is a broad outline which, when followed, guide to success. This outline can be altered to best suit a company's needs. There are six phases in this process.
In the first phase, an employee or group of group of employees within an organization or company identifies the need for change. Once this requirement is acknowledged, they must clearly communicate this need to the rest of the organization. This is generally accomplished through communicating the reasons why change is essential and passing on a vision of new possibilities.
The reasons for change includes why change is significant, what is likely to occur if change does not occur, who is concerned in the change and how the company as a whole is likely to benefit from change. This move makes others attentive of the need for change and the effects of ignoring this need. The visualization of new potential is the statement of the new goals of the organization. These are often objectives that were previously unachievable and are impractical to accept without a complete redesign of the work place.
The second step is characterized by the importance to get members of management and other important figures in the company to back the idea of empowerment. No company can fruitfully empower their employees without having management at their back. Few managers may have a difficult time changing from their old hierarchical behavior and others may oppose for fear of losing their jobs. Before the job of empowerment can progress, all confrontation from management must be dealt with.
Step fourth, is the first actual active step towards changing any process within an organization. Two key changes take place during this phase. Ist, the course of the flow of information changes. In conventional management, information moves up the hierarchy, a verdict is made, and, it moves back down in order to be implemented. In an empowered environment, decision-making is made as close to the point, as possible, where the work is happening.
This guides to the second most important change. In sequence for good decisions to be made which will useful the organization as a whole, Staff must be well informed. This shows the way to the expansion of information. To a certain extent than information being shared on a need-to-know basis, information is readily available to all employees.
Phase fourth is the redesign phase, is paying attention on the redesign of work roles. As employees are uncovered to more information in phase three, they start to realize that the troubles they face are often caused by the badly designed work roles. Those in fact performing the job design new job roles; and, in this way, it optimizes the employee's time and skills.
Step five, the strengthening phase; make stronger the new management system. The first main concern in doing this should be the setting up of training and development programs within the organization. The incentive system must also be changed. Although there is debate about the best time to change the incentive system, Elements affecting individual organizations will generally decide the best time.
Step six, the renewal step; concentrate on helping the team remain focused so that continuous improvement never ends. Often, after a few years of continuous improvements, teams seem to reach a sudden platform and cannot go any further. A major cause of this is that teams are becoming overconfident or glorifying the past rather than concentrating on the future. Whatever the cause, the idea of the renewal phase is to keep this from happening.
As already mentioned, individual companies may change these steps in any way to reach their objective of empowerment. While different companies will set up teams of employees, others may not. There is no certainty set of steps to empowerment. Each company must find the best process for their needs. Empowerment will only work if management accepts as true and is behind it from the start. May be the process can be slow, an organization must attach with its idea to achieve empowerment and harvest the rewards.
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