Empowering Workers by Stuart Gray
What You Will Learn • What empowerment is, is not. • Some important assumptions under-girding the concept of empowerment. • What empowerment will not, might do for a company. • Ten ways to empower workers. • Empowerment involves different levels and different types of organization changes.
What Is Empowerment Providing employees with the power, the skills, the supervision, the organization structure, the confidence, and the motivation to function at their optimal potential.
Empowerment Is Not • Turning the company over to the employees • Less supervision of employees • Doing away with all organization structures • Tricking employees into working harder • A rehash of: • quality circles • participative management • job enrichment • flattening org structures
Empowering Workers Will Not • Result in less work • Make anyone's job easier • Solve all of the problems at work • Eliminate the need for managers and supervisors • End all conflicts • Make everyone happy
Empowering Workers Might • Increase employee satisfaction • Raise productivity (30% average) • Strengthen Commitment To The Job & The Organization • Increase Individual Effort Toward Organizational Goals • Heighten Employee Motivation • Improve Quality
Some Important Assumptions • Workers are not lazy, they really want to make a contribution
Some Important Assumptions • Workers want more than money
Some Important Assumptions • Workers have many talents, skills, and ideas that go unused by employers
Some Important Assumptions • In today's highly competitive global economy, companies can no longer afford to waste their valuable human resources
Some Important Assumptions • A major challenge is to find ways of better utilizing all of our human resources
Some Important Assumptions • A better use of human resources (empowerment) requires making major changes in how companies go about their business
Increase Responsibility The only way people ever grow is to take on new and more challenging projects.
Delegate Authority Workers must be given sufficient authority to fulfill the responsibilities assigned them.
Set Standards Of Excellence Workers want to do well and will strive to meet expectations.
Provide Training & Development Workers must acquire the requisite skills to perform.
Supply Information Information is power to act and perform.
Furnish Feedback No person can correct her/his errors or profit from mistakes without specific and frequent feedback.
Bestow Recognition Recognition is a motivator to do more and better work.
Trust Trust is an essential element of all healthy human relationships, including colleagues in the workplace.
Grant Permission To Fail It is only when people have permission to fail that they are willing to try new things and take appropriate risks.
Respect To be respected, a manager must give respect.
Empowerment Requires Changes • Changes in the organization’s culture (i.e., how they do things around here). • Changes in mindsets (workers take on a self-managing, accountable approach to their work). • Changes in the way groups of individuals work together focusing on how tasks are completed as well as the tasks themselves.
From Pyramids Dependency Departments Work Standards Superimposed Individual Performance Appraised Individual Performance Rewarded Information Hoarded Responsibility Delegated To Circles Autonomy Project Teams Self-imposed Work Standards Individual & Group Performance Appraised Individual & Group Performance Rewarded Information Shared Responsibility, Authority, & Accountability Delegated Empowerment Involves Shifting Structures
From Chiefs & Indians Decision Makers & Doers Brains & Brawns They & Us Experts & Learners VIP & UIP To Valued Employees Co Problem Solvers Needed Contributors Team Members Learners VIP Empowerment Involves Changing Relationships
Implementing Empowerment Changes • Begin with a vision • Make systemic changes • Experiment on a small scale • Link to current organization needs, problems, or opportunities • Become thoroughly informed regarding similar changes enacted during the past 5 years
Implementing Empowerment Changes • Have a plan, collect baseline and end results data, establish criteria for judging success • Be prepared for objections • Develop supportive coalitions • Get top management's support • Keep top management and other key individuals informed throughout the project
How Open Is Your Organization To Empowering Changes? • Do Managers • Help employees get the job done • Initiate inquiry about common ways of thinking • Challenge assumptions • Encourage risk and experimentation • Delegate authority and responsibility • Inspire a shared vision by enlisting values, hopes, and dreams • Foster a learning environment
How Open Is Your Organization To Empowering Changes? • Do Managers • Promote shared information and collaborative problem solving • Model behavior- “walks the talk” • Appreciate diversity of style and behavior • Focus on developing people • Give “carefrontive,” not confrontive, feedback and help people learn and grow • Encourage self-expression and open discussion of conflict
How Open Is Your Organization To Empowering Changes? • Do Employees • Take responsibility for actions • Speak out about problems and ways to work better • Seek to solve problems, not to place blame • See network of “customer” relationships, internal and external • Are willing to engage in inquiry about assumptions
How Open Is Your Organization To Empowering Changes? • Are Relationships Characterized By • Commitment to collaboration • Mutual trust and respect • Engagement of others in decisions • Shared accountability, rewards, and penalties • Helpfulness to each other • Communication of all relevant information • Cross-departmental learning • Focus on process and learning
How Open Is Your Organization To Empowering Changes? • Does The Organization Culture Reflect • Reward systems-Rewards are consistent with organizational values. • Shared values-Commonly accepted values are well articulated and widely understood. • Human-capital focus-Individual high performance (physical, emotional, and spiritual) is developed and maintained.
How Open Is Your Organization To Empowering Changes? • Does The Organization Culture Reflect • Work autonomy and job flexibility-The organization is responsive to individual life-cycle demands, provides lateral and vertical expansion of skills and contributions, and is committed to mastery of multiple skills. • Commitment to high quality and customer service-The organization pays attention to the marketplace, is flexible in its response, and keeps up a dialogue about needs.
How Open Is Your Organization To Empowering Changes? • Does The Organization Culture Reflect • Commitment to communication-Information about vision, strategy, and direction is shared within the organization, and employee input is elicited and responded to. • Creation of a community-People feel good about working together. • Effective stress management and career development-People are allowed to practice self-care to avoid burnout and are supported to find resources to grow at work.
What You Have Learned • What empowerment is, is not. • Some important assumption under-girding the concept of empowerment. • What empowerment will not, might do for a company. • Ten ways to empower workers. • Empowerment involves different levels and different types of organization changes.