The idea is simple enough, Stack says. Empowerment as a business philosophy has been the focus of discussion in corporate environments for years. However, excessive micromanagement has interfered with many corporations’
“The idea is simple enough,” Stack says. “By implementing practices that help employees feel confident, capable, and in control of the outcome of their work, they feel empowered to do that work effectively;
“Ideally, this ensures commitment to the company's core mission and vision, which results in greater productivity over the long term.”
But does the theory actually work? Stack says that empowering non-managerial employees has proven to work resoundingly in real world applications, with studies showing that the most productive employees are those who “own” their work – that is to say, they have a say in how they perform their job and are fully engaged in the outcome.
Empowered employees aren't just proud of their work, Stack says, they're more productive than their disempowered colleagues.
“In general, they're more satisfied with their work, so they bring in more business by making customers happier, which translates into greater profits,” Stack says.
And this theory holds true in both the individual and collective senses. From a hardnosed financial perspective, employee empowerment is good business.
In her blog, Stack examines those so-called empowerment attempts that so many corporations have tried in the past with predictable results: motivational posters and catchy slogans circulated – empty gestures that serve to do little more than give management the illusion that they’re motivating staff.
In her blog, Stack addresses those empowerment philosophies that actually allow staff members to make decisions about their work, within certain guidelines. The latest empowerment theories that are infiltrating new corporate management models are based on the philosophy that, when properly implemented, empowerment gives workers the authority to do their jobs, to think for themselves, and make decisions without the fear of being micromanaged right out of a great idea, system, or opportunity.
“The critical point in getting empowerment to work is to get management to actually commit to it,” Stack says. “Often the concept of empowerment sounds great, but it fizzles quickly when management fails to actually make it an effective part of their corporate culture.”
Stack says she is just scratching the surface when it comes to discovering new theories corporations must address in order to improve and maintain employee productivity.
“All this does take some work on the part of management, of course, and it's here, unfortunately, that the process breaks down,” she says. “Too often, managers are unwilling to put in the effort necessary to achieve the level of empowerment that can make productivity take off like a rocket.”
In her blog, Stack discusses options for changing the old corporate mindset of micromanaging by implementing steps that are reasonable and attainable.
To learn more about employee empowerment and productivity, visit The Productivity Pro website, Send an Email to Laura@TheProductivityPro.com, or call (303) 471-7401.
About Laura Stack:
Laura Stack is a time management and productivity expert who has been speaking and writing about human potential and peak performance since 1992. She has implemented employee productivity improvement programs at Wal-Mart, Cisco Systems, UBS, Aramark, and Bank of America. Stack presents keynotes and seminars internationally for leaders, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and professional services firms on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in the workplace.
The president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management firm specializing in high-stress environments, Stack is the bestselling author of five books: “SuperCompetent”
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