Employee Empowerment

Employee Empowerment

Employee Empowerment


This dissertation proposal explores the topic of employee empowerment and provides a model for its implementation. Empowerment can be defined as a process by which information is shared, empowerment culture is developed, resources and support are provided and competency is developed. Among the issues discussed are the advantages of employee empowerment, how to empower individuals, talent management and reward management. Theoretical foundations of employee empowerment have also been dealt with in literature review.

In order to increase productivity from the employees, organisations have always opted to measures such as employee empowerment to ensure the attainment of their objectives. Employee empowerment is basically aimed at making the employees have the feeling of ownership or total control in their jobs and the ability to freely make decisions that affect their work. Different work environments require different empowerment strategies for the challenges differ from one work place to the other.

Literature review

Camilleri (121-129) argues that most of the literature on the importance of employee empowerment in ensuring organisation success also shows that there is a positive correlation between employee perception of being cared for and valued by the organisation and conscientiousness in doing their duties within the organisation. Jones & Kato (201-202) had the same opinion, however, they went on to explain that there is a positive relationship between the employee work performance and organisational successes because if employees realise that they are cared for by the organisation, they will bring out their best in their organisational duties.

Research also shows that there exists a positive correlation between the employee’s perception of being cared for by the organisation and the expressed speculative and effective involvement in decision making within the organisation. However, According to Jones & Kato (94-99); major decision making in the organisation requires the total support of the stakeholders concerned. The employees must be included in the process as they are the people on the receiving end. Dufficy (95-101) also argues that involving the employees in such functions within the organisation makes them part and parcel of the overall organisation management and motivates them to put more effort in serving the organisation.

Additionally a research carried out by Fernandez & Moldogaziev, (112-113) discusses that this involvement creates a sense of belonging and unity within the organisation and collaboration amongst all the level of the organisation’s management from the top level to the bottom level. The same study also shows that there exists a relationship between innovation on the part of the employees on behalf of the organisation’s success systems even in the total absence of the personal recognition and total reward. INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.turnitin.com/new_dynamic/images/spacer.gif” * MERGEFORMATINET INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.turnitin.com/new_dynamic/images/spacer.gif” * MERGEFORMATINET Productivity INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.turnitin.com/new_dynamic/images/spacer.gif” * MERGEFORMATINET INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.turnitin.com/new_dynamic/images/spacer.gif” * MERGEFORMATINET emanates from better choice of career paths, high retention rates of employees due to high consistency originating from job Satisfaction.

As most organisations INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.turnitin.com/new_dynamic/images/spacer.gif” * MERGEFORMATINET are strategizing on how they can fully address the concern of the employees in the work place, they implement very innovative strategies geared towards improving the overall organisational performance while at the same time offering job satisfaction to the employees Dufficy (95-101).

How to optimise employee productivityWhile listing the most reliable approaches that human resource managers (HRM) can take to optimise productivity within their organisations, Dufficy (119-120) argues that an effective human resource management practices enables the human resource managers to assess and measure the individuals’ performance so as to optimise productivity through;

(1) Aligning the employee activities with the organisations goals. INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.turnitin.com/new_dynamic/images/spacer.gif” * MERGEFORMATINET This practice often leads to labor specialization and optimum allocation of resources (both man power and machine hours) resulting to producing in capacity to meet the required market, this was the same sentiment made by Thomas (12) in his Doctoral thesis.

(2) Clarifying the employee’s accountability in relation to task performance INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.turnitin.com/new_dynamic/images/spacer.gif” * MERGEFORMATINET . This should be done with a clear vision of the company, headed by the management, the employees are motivated to work hard and deliver as per vision of the company. This in most cases leads to cohesion of workers in an organisation, better performance and thus increased productivity.

(3) Maintaining a proper inventory of individual employee performance to enhance employees training need assessment. This HRM practice is crucial in assessing an individual hitherto deployment and allocation of duties.

(4) INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.turnitin.com/new_dynamic/images/spacer.gif” * MERGEFORMATINET Camilleri (312) is in agreement with Dufficy (119-120) that the human resource managers should also focus on the employee skill development so as to establish the employees’ activity choices related to learning. INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.turnitin.com/new_dynamic/images/spacer.gif” * MERGEFORMATINET Different workers have different level of understanding and levels of education and therefore such a HRM practice will guarantee a skilled labour force in line with an organisation’s policy. Besides, the workers will feel valued in upgrading their skills in line with jobs requirements

(5) INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.turnitin.com/new_dynamic/images/spacer.gif” * MERGEFORMATINET INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.turnitin.com/new_dynamic/images/spacer.gif” * MERGEFORMATINET Michael (111-112) is also in agreement with Dufficy (119-120) that the HRM should always keep an inventory of the employees’ contribution to the success of the organisation so as to help in solving employee disputes and legal battles. On the other hand, according to Thomas (101), most employees are known to contribute towards organisations achievement of its bottom line only to be shortchanged at the end. A proper inventory of the performance of the employees is handy in helping to resolve labour related disputes. HYPERLINK “javascript:void(0);” javascript:void(0); INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.turnitin.com/new_dynamic/images/spacer.gif” * MERGEFORMATINET This HRM practice is mainly focused at reducing the amount of time wasted in solving disputes within the company without involving trade unions and labor relations officials. Most companies have realised that they do not need a strong balance sheet to realise an efficient labour force but proper employee motivation and strong documentation of employee performance.

(6) Most practices that support performance are known to have positive impact on job satisfaction, and employee loyalty in addition to retention. Thomas & Kilmann (11) says that the most effective and recognised HRM practice that impacts positively on organisational performance include: Provision of regular INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.turnitin.com/new_dynamic/images/spacer.gif” * MERGEFORMATINET feedback, designing and INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.turnitin.com/new_dynamic/images/spacer.gif” * MERGEFORMATINET implementing new performance targets, fairly and regular measuring of employee performance and rewarding them. Camilleri (102) on the other hand believes that all these practices have positive impact on organisational performance even on a transition economy with a harsh business climate, unionism and collective bargaining agreements like Malta unlike most western nations where prior research has been done.

How to empower employees

INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.turnitin.com/new_dynamic/images/spacer.gif” * MERGEFORMATINET In the current labour market, organisational performance is greatly hinged on the contribution of the employee attitude and job satisfaction. Most companies have realised great success thanks to the employee empowerment practices and company’s performance management practices. The major focus on performance management emanates from the view that business pressures are always on the increase and organisations are required to be more efficient and effective in their operations, make financial plans and execute the plans according to the business strategy, and to remain competitive and maintain the competitive advantage (Jones and Kato, 54).

If your goal as a manager is to create a work environment whereby staff is productive, empowered, contributing and happy, just empower them. Give them the right tools and information, leave them alone to deliver. The following are some of the ways you can empower them.

Employee engagement and involvement

Michael (101-104) holds that the most vital strategic role of any human resource manager in any organisation intending to factor in the contribution of employees in ensuring the success of an organisation includes employee motivation, involvement and work delegation with commensurate compensation. The human resource manager must recruit competent employee, train, retain, motivate and reward those that prove successful in delivering their duties

Kuo et al (203) concludes that it is the involvement of the employees in designing how they do their work; the people charged with carrying out assignment in the company must be allowed to work out their work schedules in manner that is suitable to them. The employees should be allowed to move freely within the organisation. Employees should be updated regularly on their performance. The less personal control a culture of creativity and innovation is bred within the company, in this the employee’s will be free to interact and come up with new ideas, strategy and synergy all geared at improving the performance of the organisation.

Kuo and his colleagues go further to note that people were born productive; the intrinsic efficiency is usually limited by the rules and regulation that confines the employee to their place of work and control the level of interaction. This limitation of the social nature of the employee makes it hard for employees to fully exploit their potential in their places of work if people are inspired with proper vision and prepared with the right set of tools they contribute to the success of their organisation. If proper information is imparted to these employees they can make decisions that are critical to success of the organisation

Tap the potential of the employee by involving themThe management must realise that it is actually very important to exploit the potential of the employees. Employee involvement, excellent work tools, employee commitment and simplicity are some of the important themes that must be nurtured in organisations in order to retain loyal employees. The vision of the company should be all inclusive and should benefit the whole society, employees are always energised by the feeling of being a part of a bigger achievement, and the organisation’s daily activities should not be focused at controlling the people but at tracking useful information. Freedom and fun at work help the employees to participate at ensuring that the organisation is successful in achieving its goals (Michael, 221).

Employee Involvement in Continuous ImprovementJones and Kato (69) recommends that for employee to participate in ensuring organisational success through development of simple rules that determine the kind of groups that should be formed within the organisation, teams within the organisation have contributed towards organisational success through analysis and diagnosis of organisational problems besides exploitation of organisational opportunities.

You can also achieve this by providing frequent feedback so that individuals know how well or bad they are doing. At times, the purpose of feedback is recognition and reward as well as improvement coaching. Employees deserve your constructive feedback too, so that they can continue to develop their skills, experiences and knowledge.

Talent management

Talent management was not regarded as a goal in most companies until the McKinsey consultants came up with an insight into the importance of talent management to the success of organisations in their book: War for Talent in 1997. Since then talent management has come to gain worldwide recognition as a strategic success tool in organisations thus prompting practitioners and academicians to develop renewed vigour in along forgotten field.

 Dufficy (52) argues that this also marked the beginning of a paradigm shift from the traditional HRM methods to inclusion of human characteristics in the race for competitive advantage; on the other hand this has prompted companies to adopt practices aligned to strategic management to address the emerging initiatives facing the general managers of the organisations on behalf of the company owners while ensuring that the talents of the company’s employees are not wasted but utilised in ways geared at the overall success of the organisation. On the other hand argues that the target is an efficient utilisation of the employee’s talents for the purpose of enhancing the performance of the organisation in the context of external environment. The preliminary steps towards the realisation of the intended goals relates to the alignment of the corporate mission, the vision as well as the general objectives of the organisation, followed by the development of plans together with policies in the form of projects as well as programs whose design is tailored towards the achievements of the intended objectives. Companies may employ some of the best practices in talent management in their search for organisational success.

 The performance of the organisations in the process of implementation of the best practices in talent management is usually subjected to the balanced scorecard for the purpose of evaluation of the business progress towards reaching at the anticipated objectives.  

According to Dufficy (62), talent management may therefore be defined as processes and activities aimed at identification of the key factors that contribute to a sustainable competitive advantage in an organisation by developing a talent pool of high performing individuals in the organisation. Organisations should develop a differentiated human resource plan geared at identifying, training and developing high performing employees to enhance their commitment to the organisation for sustainability and corporate advantage.

 Most organisations are having various activities aimed at talent management that are done under the banner of “implementation of talent management  strategies,” have become vague whether implementation of the strategies still has a particular core concept, as envisioned by the key founders of the concept who explains that the main purpose of an organisation is to remain in business, in order to promote its stability and produce products or services that satisfy customers as noted by Dufficy (1998. 71). Employees are the back bone of organisations so managing their unique characters can be utilised towards ensuring that the organisation maintains a competitive edge over other organisations.

Organisations in which their employees are unhappy and cannot get happy should not exist. Implementation of the strategies is founded on four integrated assumptions, which are quality, employees, organisations and the duty of top management. Implementation of talent management strategies requires that all top managers formulate clear and noticeable quality values as well as high expectations, which must be incorporated into the organisation’s culture. This is only possible if they are personally committed and take a greater participation in the whole process.

5. Reward approach

The implication of using reward as a way to empower people is based on the idea that; there are things that are valued by the employees in consideration of employment relationship. Several of the classic disciplines in human resources are integrated in reward with additional disciplines which are not necessarily classical.

For the purpose of creating a distinction between reputable organisations to the others, there is a good deal of resulting from offering good salary as well as pensions. In the recent past, companies have started adopting the concept of reward programs. The importance of this development has been based on the occurrence of an era that has been associated with a critical shortage in skills, the potential recruits as well as the already present employees who continuously become more and more sophisticated in trying to access a work-life balance that is more congenial (Fernandez & Moldogaziev, 66).

It is the responsibility of potential employers to create a significant difference from the rest of the crowd so that they are perceived as employers of choice. A clear fact remains that all the existing organisations should adopt a system that are tailor-made for the sake of addressing the needs that are inherent in their organisation with an understanding of the fact that a ‘one size fits all’ can never be successful. It is therefore the role of employers who aspire to succeed in the current business world to improve on their offerings of total reward.

The assertion of the importance behind the non-financial factors for the purpose of people motivation is not a new concept. The organisations that have experienced significant constraints in funds have in the past opted to implement reward packages that are creative as well as broadly based that are meant at retaining along with attracting employees who have a brighter future in other places. The provision of generous, expensive compensations as well as benefit packages does not result to satisfaction on condition that they have been given in a manner that is uniform in the workplace (Fernandez & Moldogaziev, 67).

It is therefore important for the management to learn the trick behind the maximisation of perceived value in as far as rewards are concerned at the cost that is equivalent as well as acceptable to the employer. It is however unfortunate that only a few of the existing employers have left the traditional scheme of payment in favour of their reward system. The reason behind the slow pace is possibly associated with the daunting task that is associated with implementing the wholesale change. A small number of organisations have accepted the change but this has been as a result of some pressure from outside. A good example of such a pressure is the harmonisation of the benefits as a result of a merger or even a take-over (IMF, 107).

There are some important benefits that are associated with the adoption of total reward approach. The management is in a position of experiencing an easier recruitment leading to achieving staff member of higher quality. The wastage arising from the turnover of the staff is drastically reduced. The performance of the business is also greatly enhanced and the reputation of the employer is also enhanced. The shifts towards total reward approach, some results that are wholly beneficial have been reported by the concerned organisations. However, it is important to account for the fact that great efforts are required to implement the changes but on the other side, the benefits that are associated with the success of the same are preferred (Thompson, 108).

A situation of trust is required between the employer and the employee at the time of making a psychological contract. On the situation that a scheme of total reward has been supplied by the employer, this is a clear demonstration of the concerns of the employees needs by the employer and a clear indication of the flexibility of the employer with regard to meeting the identified needs. There is also a feeling that is exposed to the employee of the ability of selecting some existing options based on a wide array of available benefits (Thompson, 109).

According to the literature summary in addition to the approaches in as far as the concepts are concerned, there is a clear indication that the cost along with the efficiency forms important drivers with regard to total reward approach. Every employee aspires to have access to different things at varied stages of the life of the employee. Employees also place a diversity of values on what the employer and the workplace have to provide. It is important to strike a difference between the job interest luxury and the issue of personal development and at different times considers the issues of security and the payment of mortgage (Thompson, 107).

Works cited

Camilleri, S.J. ‘An Analysis of the Profitability, Risk and Growth Indicators of Banks

Operating in Malta, Bank of Valletta Review’ London: Prentice Hall, 2005.

Dufficy, M. ‘The empowerment audit – measured improvement, Industrial and

Commercial Training’. London, OUP 1998.

Fernandez, S., and Moldogaziev, T. ‘Empowering Public Sector Employees to Improve

Performance: Does It Work’? The American Review of Public Administration,


International Monetary Fund. Malta: Financial System Stability Assessment including

Reports on the Observation of Standards and Codes on the following topics: Monetary and Financial Policy Transparency, Banking Supervision, Securities Regulation, Insurance Regulation, Corporate Governance, and Payment Systems (IMF Country Report No. 03/264) Washington D.C.: International Monetary Fund. 2003.

Jones, D.C., and Kato, T. ‘The Effects of Employee Involvement on Firm Performance:

Evidence from an Econometric’ (Working Paper No. 612). New York: William

Davidson Institute, 2003.

Kuo, T-H, Ho, L-A, Lin, C. & Lai, K-K. 2010. ‘Employee empowerment in a technology

advanced work environment, Industrial Management & Data Systems’.

Thompson, P. ‘Total reward: Executive briefing’2nd edition. London: CIPD, 2002.

Thomas & Kilmann ’Conflict Mode Instrument’. New York: Xicom Inc, 2004.

Michael, J. M., 1999. ‘Developing human resources in the global economy’2nd edition.

London: Oxford University Press, 1999.