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Employee Empowerment - Essay Example

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Polymer Manufacturing Company is a leading manufacturer of polythene and plastic materials. However, the company operates based on a bureaucratic organization structure where all decision-making is left at the hands of top-level managers…
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Download file to see previous pages This implies that lower level managers and supervisors are expected to implement decisions made by top-level managers, which increases rigidity. Employees of the company are expected to follow strictly their supervisors and managers decisions without question. According to the employees, delegating some decision-making powers to them would enable them act promptly to improve the efficiency and manufacturing processes of the company for better performance. However, due to the bureaucratic nature of the company, the managers and the supervisors deny the employees such powers. The overall effect has been that the employees of the company are demoralized resulting in high labor turnover and subsequently the poor performance of the company in terms of productivity. It is based on this situation that the employees of this organization have made an appeal that they be reasonably empowered. Current Literature about Employee Empowerment Employee empowerment is a subject of great concern to business and human resource managers. Employee empowerment refers to the strategy or philosophy that involves allowing workers to make decisions that affect their work according to Linda (1997, p.202). Bowen and Lawler (1995, p.35) on the other hand define employee empowerment as the act of enhancing employees’ involvement in organizational processes and decision-making. It basically involves delegating some decision-making powers to employees on matters affecting their jobs so as to ensure that organizational goals are achieved. Some of the ways of empowering employees include: allowing employees to take part in the decision-making process, delegating powers to them and offering them leadership positions (Wooddell 2009, p.16). Employee empowerment can be used to improve productivity, performance, service quality, customer and employee satisfaction, and the efficiency of an organization. Demirci and Erbas (2010, p.143) argue that companies need to manage and improve their employees’ performance. This is achievable through empowerment. Empowerment, according to Demirci can be formulated through by considering four main dimensions namely: knowledge, power, information, and rewards. Alternatively stated, empowerment is the product of the four elements, information, knowledge, power, and reward. The dimensions are derived by taking into consideration the power of empowerment in enhancing the efficacy of employees. Lack of any one of the four elements might lower the overall degree of empowerment according to Shulagna (2009, p.49). Organizations now widely appreciate the fact that bureaucratic leadership in which where decision-making is squarely placed on the hands of top-level managers hampers flexibility and timely execution of duties down the line. On the other hand, it has been established that placing all decision making responsibility on the hands of lower level employees is a recipe for chaos and purposeless conflict (Bowen and Lawler 1995, p.78). Taking note of these facts, it is crucial for organizations to ensure that employees are engaged in decision-making by being empowered. The organization needs to develop a culture where employees are given the right to participate in decision-making especially on issues touching on their work. This will help in improving the effectiveness of the organization. Bowen and Lawler (1995, p.80) note that employee empowerment is an extremely powerful tool that organizations in the modern business environment need to implement as a way of improving their performances. One of the main results of employee empowerment is job satisfaction according to Wooddell (2009, p.15). Studies have shown that employee empowerment has a direct relationship with job satisfaction. In this regard, empowerment increases the satisfaction ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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