Published on June 25, 2020
In today’s business, empowerment is necessary because employees require freedom for creativity, diversity of thought and autonomy to meet the changing demands.
As part of World Wellbeing Week, from Monday to Friday, we have been bringing you our ideas, concepts and discussions to ignite your thoughts on wellbeing at work. Our Vibe technology and employee engagement platform have always focused on four key drivers that we know contribute to employee wellbeing; Stress, Trust, Empowerment and Passion.
Today we talk about Empowerment.
“Empowerment is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights”.
The increasing awareness for social consciousness and wellbeing saw the meaning of empowerment change gradually as more recently, empowerment is not only a concept associated with groups seen as being discriminated against or marginalized but also a concept associated with each one of us, personally and professionally.
Empowering means that people are given opportunities to control their own destiny and influence the decisions that affect their lives, seeing a closer correspondence between their goals and a sense of how to achieve them. Empowerment is based on the idea that giving employees skills, resources, authority, opportunity, motivation, as well as holding them accountable for the outcomes of their actions, will contribute to their competence and satisfaction at work.
In today’s business, empowerment is necessary because employees require freedom for creativity, diversity of thought and autonomy to meet the changing demands. They look for flexibility and agility, which makes empowerment a powerful and essential element leadership behaviour to create and support a diverse and inclusive culture.
When we give autonomy to employees, delegating effectively to help them strengthen their confidence and overcome their weaknesses, this is the optimum process of uncovering better ways to take full advantage of the intellectual resources of your teams. In a relationship perspective, empowerment increases the creation of new ideas that stem from the interaction and synergy between team members, fueling a rich and inclusive decision-making process. Although empowerment is much more than an increase in autonomy and power, it is an increase in one’s influence in social relations. Different from power, empowerment is considered a transformative power, being exercised collectively through organisations and communities.
Delegation is one of the most common and most effective ways to build an autonomous and empowered team. The effectiveness of delegation is as much determined by the skill of the person delegating the work as the quality of work performed by those delegated to. But for some leaders and managers, overcoming the fear of delegation can be the difficult first step. It is natural for someone to be nervous about handing over authority if they are used to leading a team by ‘command and control’ and overcoming fear is the first step towards successful delegation. If a manager feels hesitant and reluctant, their team members will sense the lack of trust and confidence in them.
In my experience of coaching and developing managers and leaders, there are some core reasons why delegation isn’t always done effectively. One of those reasons is that managers often, initially, feel threatened. It’s important for those who delegate to understand that they will not be handing over their entire job – just certain tasks – and they decide which tasks they want to delegate. Some managers feel that their job will be redundant, or that the task will be done to a higher standard! But why should you be worried about someone else doing a task better than you? If they can do it really well, all the more reason for giving it to them! Remember, the aim is to make your team more efficient and effective, and also to empower people to use their skills and develop. Ineffective delegation also causes bad stress in the work environment. We spoke about the detrimental effect bad stress can have on employee wellbeing in our blog on Tuesday, and also how good stress (eustress) can have a positive effect.
Effective delegation will cause some eustress in your team as eustress is primarily based on perceptions. It is how you perceive your given situation and how you perceive your given task. It is not what is actually happening, but a person's perception of what is happening. Some contributing factors to this good stress are a person's beliefs about the effectiveness and their ability to perform those actions you have delegated. If a person has low empowerment they will see the demand as more distressful than eustressful because the perceived level of what the person has is lower. When a person has high empowerment they can set their goals higher and be motivated to achieve them. The goal then is to increase empowerment and autonomy in order to enable people to increase eustress.
Here is our quick checklist for the effective delegation that will empower your employees – how many can you confidently tick?
- Have you prepared clear objectives, deadlines and success indicators and discussed these with the team member?
- Have you set time aside to share expectations and ensure understanding and defined any limitations or constraints?
- Have you provided all the relevant information? Does the information travel to employees quickly enough for them to make intelligent, informed decisions about their work?
- Can questions be asked freely? Will you be providing the necessary feedback for the team member to stay on track?
- Are you encouraging individual initiative and creativity?
- Has there been enough training for team members to enable them to perform the task well?
- Have team members been given the appropriate authority to complete the task?
- Do team members know where they can seek help and guidance if needed?
In terms of business benefits, an organisation that has a culture that values employees and their contributions facilitate empowerment. By cultivating empowerment and organisation profits with an increasing commitment from their employees, better and informed decisions, creative problem solving, more innovation and increased wellbeing and job satisfaction. Additionally, different scientific evidence shows that empowered employees develop positive thinking and tend to do their best to perform well at the workplace, improving their motivation to do routine work, enhancing their loyalty and productivity, and reducing the turnover intentions.
We offer a range of online masterclasses to help you build your leadership skills to empower your teams. Our inspiring and motivating interactive experiences are designed to start conversations and to ignite the debate around the things that matter most to you and your teams. The sessions are led by an experienced Laws of Attraction consultant or affiliated expert, both with years of experience in their particular field.
Objectives of the Masterclasses:
· Time to reflect on current skills
· Skill-based training that will impact on behaviours
· Simple tips that you can straight back to the workplace and implement
· Not increase workload – people are busy enough already!
· Do things differently – focus on the how and why – not what
· Will support PDP, 360 action plan and coaching objectives
Masterclasses can be purchased in a one-off payment starting from as little as £1999 for a single masterclass for up to 5 people. All classes masterclasses and interventions can be customisable and can be blended together to create a subversive memorable engaging and commercial leadership development programme. If you're interested, then why not book an appointment by the online booking form on our website so you can discuss your bespoke requirements with a Laws of Attraction consultant today, or contact one of our team at [email protected].
1. Paynevandy, Safar Gholipour (2016). The role of empowerment in Organization Development. International Academic Journal of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
2. Winch, Guy (2011). How to Attain Real Personal Empowerment. Psychology Today
3. Yukl, Gary A. and Becker, Wendy S. (2006). Effective Empowerment in Organizations.Organization Management Journal
4. Hanaysha, Jalal and Tahir, Putri Rozita (2015). Examining the effects of employee empowerment, teamwork, and employee training on job satisfaction. Procedia Social and Behavioural Sciences