Employee empowerment is "the process of enabling or authorizing an individual to think, behave, 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" (Heathfield, n.d., 1). In other words, giving the employees the power and ability to make decisions that affect not only their department but the company as a whole as well. Empowerment has become an increasingly used human resources (HR) catchphrase when analyzing the corporate world of today. Empowerment of the employees can increase employee morale, improve company performance, and improve employee relations, however is not an overnight process. All levels of employees, supervisors, and executive management have to work together and be properly prepared in order to make an empowerment program successful.
Improving Employee MoraleIn many corporate organizations, the lower level employees often feel unappreciated and underutilized. Often, employees can feel like just another number, destined to do the same thing day after day with all decisions being made by upper management.
When companies adopt an employee empowerment approach, these feelings can be reduced or even eliminated. Allowing, and even mandating employees to have a say in company decisions makes them feel important to the success of the company. Employees want to be heard and they want their opinions to matter. The most effective morale booster is for an employee to see his or her idea become a company policy. When this happens, the employee feels more valued and being recognized as an important contributing part to the company.
Improving Company PerformanceAnother benefit of employee empowerment programs is usually a noticeable improvement in company performance. The simple explanation for this fact is that employees who are most familiar with the day-to-day processes have the best hands on knowledge to...