Thursday, October 22, 2009

Employee engagement and empowerment

Employee engagement and empowerment have become popular buzzwords throughout the business world, but what do they mean and how can they affect your company? This blog entry hopes to show you why those two terms can be very important to your organization.

Employee engagement is the concept that, when employees have choices, they will act in a way that benefits their company's or organization's interests. An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work. Highly engaged employees believe they can positively affect the quality of their organization's products or services. Those engaged employees work with passion and feel a strong connection to their company.

Employee empowerment is different, although it can be a contributing factor to one's feeling engaged. Empowerment is a term used to express the ways in which employees can make their own decisions without consulting superiors (managers, superivisors, etc.). These decisions vary in effect depending on the level of empowerment your organization wishes its employees to have. Employee empowerment usually begins with training, which can transition an entire company toward an empowerment model where employees are trusted to make responsible decisions that benefit the company as a whole. Or, it could merely mean giving employees the ability to make some decisions on their own, but still putting parameters in place to govern those decisions. With greater responsibility, employees feel appreciated and will work for the greater good of your organization. By offering employees choice and participation on a level that actually affects daily production, your employees are more a part of the company, and view themselves as ambassadors and will work to justify your trust with enhanced performance.