Where does power really lie in an organization?
Is it with the employees or the top management? The most successful business leaders know that empowering employees should not only happen at management level but at every level in the organization.
Though this may seem counter-intuitive and is debatable, conferring power opens doors.
If power only resides with the top managers, it may cause some to feel like the “have not’s” in the organization.
Why is this?
Everyone needs to feel included
Power in this context is the ability to think, create, innovate and decide and in order for everyone to feel included, they must be given some amount of power.
Normally delegation of tasks is a top bottom process.
But each and every one of your employees needs power because it takes joint effort to grow the business.
Each job as such is important and essential to the success of the company. If that were not true, the position wouldn’t exist in the first place.
That said, every employee is equally important from the intern to your general manager. You hired them because you wanted them to contribute something.
Empowering them to think independently and share opinions on issues that are vital to the success of the company, goes a long way in producing better and sometimes unexpected results.
Empowerment also increases a person’s sense of connection not only with your company but also the people they work with creating a more engaged and productive work force.
But certain factors must come into play for the empowerment process to work effectively;
Here is the truth; regardless of what type or how much power you grant to a certain individual, it can only work if there are clear lines of communication. This means communicating clearly the goals and expectations.
Studies have it that empowered employees feel more engaged when they understand how, their work contributes to the bigger picture.
There’s however need to clearly outline the parameters for such power in a way that an employee knows their limits.
2. Provide tools to utilize that power effectively
Training is the foundation of each and every employee’s success in your organization. Equipping them with the right tools in terms of resources and knowledge either for personal development or job related is what will make them more valuable to you.
And not to mention it’s a great motivator. Companies that invest in employee training are viewed as some of the most desirable to work for since they view employees are a valuable asset.
You may be tempted however to think that the time and money spent training is a waste since these employees could soon leave you in search of better jobs. But the truth is, if your company offers career advancement opportunities within, why would such an employee leave?
In any case, if they do eventually move on, wouldn’t you rather empower them to give you their best for the time they are with you?
With this in mind
Just because employee empowerment should happen at every level in the company doesn’t make it a “right”. It’s a privilege that comes with personal responsibility. When your employees understand and accept that, they can use that power to help your company grow.