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HUMAN WORK

Empowerment in organizations: Why and How

Empowered people add more value to the company and are able to cope with crises. The meaning of empowering can partly be found in its term - giving power. This article is the first one of a series and describes why and how empowering in organizations works.

It is no longer a surprise: markets are disruptive, demands change fast, crises occur, we all face challenges and struggle in the way we organize work these days. Agility can help us to cope with the VUCA world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. 

What fact makes agility coping with the VUCA world? Agile organizations are able to move fast and adapt to changing environments because of their empowered workforce. Empowerment is the capacity to exercise with power in any situation individually or in the team.   

Many industries have already been transformed digitally. The remaining believers of digitalization not being crucial experience it first-hand right now. Somehow, the same is applying to empowerment. The corona crisis led to new ways of working within days. Remote working, homeschooling while working, and further models occur these days and they turn out to be successful for those who are digital and empowered. 

So, how to empower people? The answer sounds easy but it isn’t. Give them POWER. This is a combination of several activities that can be summarized in a short formula: Power = Participation + Organization + Want + Education + Respect.


For us, the key enabler for empowerment are the following:

Participation

It is crucial to share information with everyone and to let your people participate. The more people know, the more they understand, leading into greater involvement and retention.

Organisation

Creating ways of autonomy with self-directed work teams will replace top-down hierarchies. Empowering leaders are perceived more like a coach instead of a boss. 

Want

Consider what your employees really want. Give them degrees of freedom to act accordingly. The confidence of being valued and listened turns your employees into more powerful individuals, they commit to organizational goals and show initiative and creativity to achieve them. 

Education

Educated employees perform better. They generate novel ideas and become innovative problem solvers.

Respect

There is one important aspect not being discussed yet but clearly a baseline for empowerment - respect. You need to trust and respect your people. You don’t trust a candidate? We recommend not to hire. You don’t respect your people? Maybe you made a mistake while hiring.

To sum it up, empowerment is a strong organizational measure. It also applies to all workforces - also in factories. The WORKERBASE solution empowers on the organizational, team and individual level. Our no code platform optimizes manual processes, teams get more autonomy and each worker can develop skills independently. In case you have questions regarding WORKERBASE and how to empower your people, feel free to reach out. 

Author: Maria Reschka


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