Define empowerment in an organization. How is it related to leadership? Discuss the advantages and disadvantage of an organization with empowered employees? What are the implications of a leader who empowers employees without discretion?
According to Susan (2010), 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 a situation whereby ones' take control of own destiny with self-empowered. Empowerment is one of the important terms that we hear a lot about in leadership. Despite that, empowerment also defined as the giving or delegation of power or authority; authorization; the giving of ability; enablement or permission (The Thriving Small Business, 20101). Another definition can be found at rwkenterprises.com (2010) where it mentioned that empowerment means to give someone or authority; the concept of empowerment of extremely vital to the success of companies and support operations in particular. Empowerment is a noteworthy way in which leaders meet the higher motivational needs of subordinates by shifting power down from the top of the organization hierarchy and share it with the subordinates. They can less emphasizing on incentives program that is designed to control and affect subordinates behavior and try to share power with organizational team members to achieve shared goals.
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Additionally, empowerment also refers to power sharing, the delegation of power or authority to subordinates in the organization (Draft, 2009). He has also mentioned that nowadays leader are shifting from efforts to control behavior through carrot-and-stick approaches to giving employees the information, power and authority that allow them to find greater intrinsic satisfaction in their work. In this way, it provide an opportunity for the followers to have a better understanding of their jobs are important in helping the organization to achieve better performance towards the organizational mission, therefore giving them a route within which to act freely. Despite that, the followers must understand the extend of freedom given to them whereby their actions and decision-making will not affect the reputation and performance of the organization but to make it better. The independence of empowered employees can form motivation and flexibility that represent massive advantages to a company.
For one thing, empowerment provides a strong motivation because it meets the higher needs of individual (Draft, 2009). With empowerment, individuals feel the need for self-efficacy which provides the capacity to produce better result and performance as they feel themselves as effective and much more responsible towards their successes which create an advantage to the organization.
How empowerment is it related to leadership.
Generally, empowerment leads to increased of power and responsibility that create greater motivation, increased employees satisfaction and decreased turnover and absenteeism (Draft, 2009). Leaders are essential in ensuring an effective of empowerment take place among their followers. Empowerment is where leaders provide ownership to their followers. Yet, empowerment is often weakening by limitation and parameters which are counter-productive. In this case, leaders have to provide the systems that prepare and support their followers in the workplace. According to Jay A.C (1989), empowerment is not simply a set of external actions; it is process of changing the internal beliefs or people; and leaders are an important role in this process. By realizing this, an effective leader can help their followers get in touch with their power and utilizing it well. Leaders can hone in on this and inspire greatness within their followers. A leader is vital in responsible towards coaching and mentoring their followers to build a skillful or create alignment on expectation.
For many leaders, empowerment is like a respect they showed for their fellow followers whereby they have given trust on them into utilizing the power and authority given to them and helping the organization to achieve better performance. And to do so, a leader must look for people who have the capability as well as the passion contributing towards the organization and then provide them with the training they need to excel (Draft, 2009).
Nowadays, one of the ways for organizations to survive in this competitive advantages business industry is by drawing out the creative potential of the people in the organization and this job fall into the hand of a leader. Leader are significant in creating an environment where people are encouraged and equipped to make decisions in autonomous ways and to feel that they are responsible of the outcomes for which they have decide. As a result, it helps to avoid groupthink while encouraging feedback and innovation from the employees for better improvement.
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From the leader's perspective, empowering leaders behave in an empowering manner by (1) manipulating through context, (2) creating an enclosure working environment, (3) giving and not taking back control, (4) providing logistical and moral support, (5) communicating a clear authorization and (6) equipping people for success (Don .M., 2010)
Manipulating through context involves trust in a higher standard or guiding belief and force in the innovative potential of human nature. Basically, it involves a matter of believing the process whereby it is not just giving power to the followers, but creating a working environment whereby empowerment is released and utilize by those responsible followers. Leaders define the context and standards at every level by giving people freedom to act and innovate, thereby developing leadership and producing proactive employees, giving them a competitive edge (Don .M., 2007). According to Draft (2009), in companies where employees are fully empowered, no information is secret. It is vital for employees whom are an important asset to the companies to receive information about company performance from time to time. It goes to great length to assist employees understanding company-wide business measures and update them regular information about the performance of individual business and length. Apart from this, a leader must also ensure that those empowered employees are trustworthy to keep the information private and confidential from outsiders.
Creating an enclosure working environment to nurture and empower. A leader must develop an atmosphere of enclosure across all levels, making sure that everyone has the right to voice out their opinion and views towards the organization, whereby the leader will provide feedback and discussion with their followers in addressing these issues. Leaders should welcome dissent and seen it as a source of objectivity and innovation. Innovative ideas must be encouraged and allowed in the decision-making processes to produce solutions superior to those achieved through the exercise of positional power. Companies train employees to have the skills and knowledge they need to personally contribute to company performance (Draft, 2009). So, in the process of adapting these knowledge and skills which lead to competency, employees might have find out a better solution or new discovered which is beneficial to the organization. Thus, a leader of these employees must ensure that he/she has create an enclosure of working atmosphere which allowed the employees to voice out their opinion and thoughts which could lead to better decision-making.
Do not reclaim the control that you have been given up. However, it is expected that in some circumstances where managers are faced with vagueness and a feeling that things are out of control. During this uncomfortable phase, one is enticed to constrict the controls. Yet, successful leaders must be able to resist the temptation to tighten control if the leaders want their followers to use a proactive approach to problem-solving. On the other hand, once responsibility is given, do not try to take it back. Today's most competitive companies are giving workers the power to authorize work procedure and organizational direction through quality circles and self-directed work teams (Draft, 2009).
Support employee empowerment.Â Empowered employees treat their jobs meaningful and vital whereby they see themselves as influential and capable and realize the impact of their work has on customers, other stakeholders and the organization's success (Draft, 2009). Support of superiors is critical.Â The fear of reproof or authorize just because a decision didn't work out will eventually kill the empowered efforts. Empowered is not equivalent to assigning a task to someone but to give the freedom and trust toward the employee that he or she is capable of responsible and the freedom to choose ensure the job is accomplished. In this case, a leader's role has moves from "boss" to "coach" and he or she is always there to ensure that the empowered employees are focusing on the objective of their job from time to time. For example, Cesar Guajardo, General Director of Praxair in Mexico, wrote:
I gave people the responsibility and authority to do what they needed to improve performance. I asked them to share large-scale decisions with me. Otherwise, I gave them the authority to make decisions on their own. I encouraged small committees to share ideas and get points of view. I let them learn on their own by making mistakes.Â At times, I had to support ideas that were not very good at the beginning, but worked just fine. (Ashkenas, Ulrich, Jick & Kerr, 2002, p. 32)
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Articulate the common purpose. An empowerment does not mean there is a lack of direction and ownership. Instead, leaders must have shared ownership, shared responsibility, shared leadership, and shared success with their followers. It is vital for leaders to create vision and clarify their goals with the empowered employees. Despite that, without a proper clarification about role expectation and desired outcomes will lead to disempowered. It is good for the empowered employees to know what the leaders' expectation towards them is, so that they would know where they stand and find ways to improve themselves.Â Additionally, it is significant for the leader to clearly identify the common goals, limitation and purpose of the organization culture so that the employees would not feel hesitant with their decision-making process. Pass the ball and let the associate run with it-but run within the ball field.Â Stay inbounds. Responsibility for and commitment to a clearly articulated mission is essential (Don .M., 2007).
Equip people for achievement to assure a better chance of success. This involves resources, information, rewards and training. It is often happen that employees might be given a responsibility and task which require the skills and knowledge which they are not equipped and at the end the empowered employees might feel like this given task was like a trap to set them up. It is vital for leader to consider setting up an unallocated resource pool for solving unforeseen problems; providing their people with all the information and resources they need by making them readily available to people at all levels through more channels. In additional, the important role of fair recognition and fair reward systems sustaining empowerment. By ensuring that employees are moving forward towards rewards and goals help to keep motivation high for better achievements. Yet, the leader must careful in examine and redesign rewards system to support empowerment and teamwork (Draft, 2009).
Discuss the advantages and disadvantage of an organization with empowered employees