Employee Empowerment is giving employees responsibility and authority to make decisions regarding all aspects of product development or customer service.
Some of the disadvantage of employee empowerment include: employees can abuse the increased power given to them; it is too much responsibility for some employees; employees who focus on their own success rather than group's may leave; managers must be better trained to facilitate through sharing of information, cooperation, and referrals to appropriate resources; all employees must "buy in" to the concept for it to be effective; there is an increased cost to the organization for training and education; there is increased time in groups or committees which takes away from regular jobs; there may be increased conflict or power struggle betweeen employees due to group work; some employees may not be knowledgeable enough to make good business decisions; decisions made on the basis of personality versus logical reasoning.
Advantages of employee empowerment include: increased employee education and training; employees participate in creating their own goals; increased employee contribution; increased respect among employees secondary to teamwork; increased power equals lower absenteeism and better productivity; employees have more satisfying work; an increased depth of competence among employees secondary to cross-training; less conflict with administration and managers; fewer middle management positions means decreased cost to the company. Employees are more likely to agree with changes if they participate in decision making.
There needs to be a balance between empowerment and traditional management. The manager of the department needs to be sensitive to the employees' needs and the company's needs and to know how to use a management style that will work best to achieve desired outcomes.
Prerequisites are Willingness of the Senior Management, Clarity of objectives.
Advantages can be :
It enhances motivation.
It increases employee commitment
It increases team spirit
It frees the time of senior management and they can focus on more strategic desions
Disadvantages can be:
Not all staff is trained to operate in dynamic environment and hence take decisions
you cannot standardise the processes
conflict can increase - interpersonal relations may suffer coz there can be a clash between employees
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