Leadership topics: The secret of employee empowerment

Appreciation. Gratitude. Trust. This series has explored many topics that circle around the same subject: how to lead in a way that makes your business into the best it can be. Not just in terms of output and revenue, but in terms of satisfaction in the place we spend the majority of our waking hours.

One topic we have yet to explore is the word “empowerment” and what its place in the workspace can mean to you, your employees, and your daily work life.

What is empowerment?

We all understand that empowered people do more because, well, they feel empowered to do so. Most of the research on empowerment raves on and on about how positive the workplace atmosphere is and how well it operates when employees feel empowered. All of that sound really great, but how do you improve this further? What are you truly growing when you grow an empowered employee, and what might harm growth in this direction?

Empowerment at its most basic level not just the giving of additional tasks and the power to make decisions. You could easily overwhelm a key employee by giving them too much of this. Or worse yet, as Lee, Willis, and Tian state in When Empowering Employee Works and When it Doesn’t, you may instead give your reports the feeling that you did not want to do the work of your job since you are giving so much of it to your reports.

 

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