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Employee Empowerment. Benefits and Disadvantages

Essay 2018 7 Seiten

BWL - Unternehmensführung, Management, Organisation

Leseprobe

Table of Content

Abstract

Employee Empowerment

Benefits of Employee Empowerment
Personal Connection to Work
Competency
Self-Determination
Increase Trust between Managers and Employees

Disadvantages of Employee Empowerment
New Training
New Power Dynamic

Conclusion

References

Abstract

Employee empowerment is a concept that allows employees within an organization to make more decisions that affect themselves and the organization as a whole. It is important to empower employees of an organization because it can lead to a personal connection to work performance, increased competency, higher self-determination, a feeling of making a difference within the organization, and an increase in trust and communication (Moye & Hekin, 2006). Although the concept of employee empowerment comes with many advantages, there are also disadvantages to empowering employees. The main disadvantages of employee empowerment is training costs and adjusting to a new power dynamic (Klagge, 1998). Training employees to participate in decision-making tasks can be difficult, especially if the employees have no previous experience with decision making within the organization. Along with the new training comes an adjustment period to the new power dynamic. After empowerment, employees have more power over their individualized tasks and how those tasks effect the organization as a whole.

Employee Empowerment

The concept of employee empowerment has been a popular topic in recent years. However, throughout the literature, there is no common definition of empowerment that is used across all studies. For the purposes of this paper, employee empowerment, as Moye and Henkin (2006) describe it, is “…a way to encourage and increase decision making at lower levels in an organization and, concurrently, enrich employee’s work experience” (p. 103). Empowering employees in an organization can benefit both the individual and the organization, but it can also be accompanied by various challenges (Klagge, 1998). Employee empowerment can allow employees to feel personally engaged and connected to their work, make employees appear more competent, increase self-determination in employees, make employees feel as if they are making a difference in the organization, and increase trust and positivity between employees and managers (Moye & Henkin, 2006). The main con of employee empowerment is that it is difficult and time consuming to train and adjust employees to the new power dynamic of the organization (Klagge, 1998; Kappelman & Prybutok, 1995; and Staples, 1990).

Benefits of Employee Empowerment

Personal Connection to Work

Empowering employees can lead to a personal connection to their work; simply put, empowering employees can instill a sense of meaning in the employee. If an employee believes that their specific work and the decisions they make positively influence the organization and the employee personally, then they are more likely to be successful in their work. Moye and Henkin (2006) expand on this idea when they write “An employe may feel, for example, that the work he/she performs is important to him/her, and that related job activities are personallymeaningful” (p. 111). Giving personal meaning to the work of employees through empowerment can positively effect the individual and the organization as a whole. Through assigning personal meaning to work through empowerment, employees feel as though they have an impact on their job, management, and the organization. Spreitzer (1996) suggests that employees who believe they have a sense of control over their job performance and respect from managers believe they have a greater impact on the organization. Along with employees’ personal connection to work also comes a feeling of making a difference within the organization. An employee who finds their work personally meaningful can also feel their performance has meaning within the organization. This could come in many forms, an example could be helping the organization reach their organizational goal or vision.

Competency

According to Moye and Henkin (2006), employee empowerment can also increase the perception of employee competency. It is the manager’s job to communicate appreciation and confidence in their employees to their employees and provide the necessary resources so the employee can make decisions and be successful in their work (Spreitzer, 1995). Most of the time, with the correct training and support from managers, employees are fully competent when it comes to their work. Giving employees more decision-making powers within the organization is likely to increase competency and create more opportunities for the organization. Along with competency, employee empowerment can also highlight personal strengths, hinting where employees are most effective in the organization (Dodd &Gutierrez, 1990). With increased responsibility and competency, organization are able to more effectively place employees where they will prosper within the organization.

Self-Determination

Spreitzer (1995) defines self-determination as a person feeling as if they have a choice in their actions. According to Moye and Henkin (2006), “Employees with high self-determination often feel that they have autonomy in determining how to perform their jobs” (p. 111). Giving employees freedom to make decisions in the organization allows them to feel as though they have full control over their work performance, and it gives them increased responsibility and a higher standard to adhere to in the organization. It is important to give employees a certain amount of control over how they choose to complete their work and let them make decisions concerning their performance. Klagge (1998) suggests that along with decision making in the organization, employee empowerment also increases individual efficiency in the organization.

Increase Trust between Managers and Employees

Finally, employee empowerment increases the trust between managers and employees (Moye & Henkin, 2006). Moye and Henkin (2006) suggest that “Employees who feel empowered in their positions appear inclined toward more positive relationships with their managers” (p. 112). When employees feel as though they have power and influence over their performance they tend to trust their managers more. The managers trust the employees with more power, namely decision making power, and in return, employees trust managers more as well. Again Moye and Henkin (2006) state “Employees who perceived that they have significant autonomy in determining how they perform their jobs, and feel they have significant influence in their departments were more likely to report mutually trusting relationships with their managers” (p. 112). An increase in trust between employees and managers is likely to lead to a more positive work environment and an increase in productivity. As trust between employee and manager increases, communication also increases leading to more efficient organizational procedures.

Disadvantages of Employee Empowerment

New Training

When an organization decides to empower their employees and give them more decision-making powers within the organization, new training is needed. New training can be very expensive and time consuming. Kappelman and Prybutok (1995) suggest that the new training included in the employee empowerment process is a considerable investment that may or may not pay off. Staples (1990) states that the new training required encompasses the entire organization, those in managerial positions and those in lower level positions. Learning the new procedures can be very time consuming. Although employee empowerment has been effective in certain situations, it is important to note that an organization must be filled with employees that want to be empowered, otherwise this training will not work and the organization will have wasted resources.

New Power Dynamic

Besides new training and procedures, employee empowerment also encompasses a new power dynamic. Employees are now being empowered to make decisions and become more independent. Giving employees this amount of freedom and power changes the relationship between managers and employees and shifts the power dynamic. Stapes (1990) suggests that employee empowerment “requires the organization to develop and delineate new power bases for management and employees alike” (p. 30). This new power dynamic can make managers feel like they have a loss of control over their subordinates. It is important for managers to give employees power but also control that power to maintain control within the organization.

Conclusion

Employee empowerment can be a very effective tool in modern day organizations. Giving employees more power to make decisions in lower level positions can increase organizational and individual productivity, efficiency, and competency. Other advantages include an increase in self-determination, increase trust between employees and managers, and personal connections to the organization and job performance. Employee empowerment requires new training and a new power dynamic which can be seen as disadvantages. Overall, employee empowerment can be seen as a successful concept as long as both managers and employees are willing to take part in the process.

References

Dodd, P., & Gutierrez, L. (1990). Preparing students for the future: A power perspective on community practice. Administration in Social Work, 14 (2), 63-78.

Kappelman, L. A., & Prybutok, V. R. (1995). A small amount of empowerment pays off big in a regional bank. National Productivity Review, 14 (4), 39-43.

Klagge, J. (1998). The empowerment squeeze-views from the middle management position. Journal of Management development, 17 (8), 548-558.

Moye, M. J., & Henkin, A. B. (2006). Exploring associations between employee empowerment and interpersonal trust in managers. Journal of management development, 25 (2), 101-117.

Staples, L. H. (1990). Powerful ideas about empowerment. Administration in social work, 14 (2), 29-42.

Spreitzer, G. M. (1995). Psychological empowerment in the workplace: Dimensions, measurement, and validation. Academy of management Journal, 38 (5), 1442-1465.

Spreitzer, G. M. (1996). Social structural characteristics of psychological empowerment. Academy of management journal, 39 (2), 483-504.

Details

Seiten
7
Jahr
2018
Sprache
Englisch
Katalognummer
v449825
Note
N.A.
Schlagworte
employee empowerment benefits disadvantages

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Titel: Employee Empowerment. Benefits and Disadvantages