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Employee empowerment, Employee Involvement

Employee empowerment

Empowerment is the process of enabling or authorizing an individual to think, behave, take action, and control work and decision-making in autonomous ways.

Empowerment has become necessary due to the following reasons:

  1. Time to respond has become much shorter.
  2. First-line employees must make many decisions.
  3. An employee feels much more control in their life since authority is given to individual decision-making.
  4. There is great untapped potential among employees, which can be revealed through empowerment.

Definitions:

  1. According to Richard Kathnelson, ’empowerment is the process coming to feel and behave as if one is in power and to feel as if they owned the firm’.
  2. According to Bowen and Lawler, ’employee empowerment refers to the management strategies for sharing decision-making power’.

Employee empowerment can be done by:

  1. Seeking opinions from the employees.
  2. Facilitating the employees to try their ideas.
  3. Encouraging for sharing of resources and information.
  4. Improving the communication skills of the employees.

Importance of Employee Empowerment:

  1. The investment in employees can improve productivity, which can reduce the costs.
  2. Individual employees experience a feeling of self-esteem, self-efficacy and self-confidence.
  3. Employee empowerment also helps in making employees more self-reliant.
  4. It allows independent decision-making by the employees.
  5. Empowerment of employees helps a firm to assign different projects to hone the competence of employees.
  6. More freedom given to employees can be utilized for taking judicious decisions.
  7. Assigning proper authority can improve the organizational effectiveness.
  8. Independent decision-making can improve self-confidence among the employees.
  9. It can boost up the morale of the employees.
  10. The overall efficiency of an organization can be multiplied due to empowerment of the employees.

Employee Involvement

Participative management is a tool that is used to motivate the employees. When subordinates are involved in decision-making at all levels it is known as participation. According to New-storm and Davis, ‘participation is the mental and emotional involvement of people in group situations that encourages them to contribute to group goals and share responsibility for them’.

Features:

  1. Participation involves mental as well as emotional involvement of the employees.
  2. It instills teamwork among the employees.
  3. It is a motivational technique.
  4. An employee can identify his own strengths as well as weaknesses.
  5. It is an all-pervasive function.
  6. Employees become better through contribution in the decision-making process.

The participation of workers can be applied under various methods, such as participation at board level, through work committees and quality circles.

Whatever be the nature, participation can give the follow­ing significant results:

  1. Participation tends to improve motivation because employees feel more involved and committed to the organizational tasks.
  2. Their self-esteem, job satisfaction, and cooperation with the higher authorities also improve.
  3. Participation can reduce stress and conflict among the employees.
  4. Employee turnover and absenteeism may reduce when employees realize that they are a part of the organization.
  5. It can boost up the morale of the employees.
  6. The values and dignity of employees are protected through participation.
  7. The mental and physical health of employees can be improved by minimizing the effect of alien­ation at work place.
  8. It is a democratic process in contradiction to authoritarian organization.
  9. A sense of self-respect can be inculcated among every employee.
  10. Finally, the act of participation in itself establishes better communication, as employees mutually discuss all problems.

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