do the employee empowerment exits in indian paper industry
From India, Rajamahendri
Employee empowerment is a very broad term and can take many connotations. Further it would vary by industry verticals though the underlying tenets would stay the same. The light at the end of the tunnel is to get employees competent to make the right decisions in their respective patches and most importantly, giving them the discretion and autonomy required to do this.
Below is something I picked up. Ways to increase empowerment are:

1. Implement Effective Policies and Procedures - make sure your policies are clear, concise and well communicated to employees. Often in manufacturing policies and processes take differing meanings across groups (both work and otherwise). Ensure standardization of the same. Keep processes simple. If automation is not possible follow some typical process re engineering guidelines to keep processes effective and efficient and yet simple. You could use A Policies and Procedures Manual. This is a communication tool designed to empower employers, managers and employees with a consistent approach to accomplishing their daily tasks. It provides a set of policies, plans, reports, forms and work routines that convey the pulse of the organization.

2. Convey Management Policy and Vision. : This may not be highly applicable for manufacturing, especially on shop floor. Its more up to the top management team and leadership team to take the onus of formulating the vision and ensuring direction. Once a clear direction is set and employees are conveyed the same, right decisions can be taken.

3. Improve Communication and Efficiently Run Operations - An extension to the first point. It is important to ensure all your groups and departments are talking to each other. When people know whats going on and transparency is ensured, they feel confident to make decisions, more so the right ones. It is the direct outcome of having the right quantity and quality if information. In manufacturing it would be very helpful if employees knew the ups and downs being faced by other equipment handlers across departments or divisions. This would further help them take the right decision when it comes to cross functional issues.

4. Reduce Business Process Training Time - This can be largely achieved using automation. However again, in manufacturing, operational processes are standard. However training should also be adequate to ensure sufficient expertise in area of operation. This would further help fuel the right decisions especially in crisis situations. Lack of expertise makes employees hesitant to give their fullest.

5. Improve Productivity and Decision Making - ensure adequate training. This is the most obvious area for empowerment. Encourage decision making. However this area may be treated suspect in manufacturing. However do not eliminate decision making altogether. However this should be seen as a benefit rather than a right. Encourage your employees to take the right decisions when in crisis situations or during change periods. (Say M&A, restructure, etc.) Maybe, incentivise for good decisions and ideas, such as in profit sharing and gain sharing plans. However also, do notify of the ill impacts of wrong or not so right decisions. Employees should be aware that with power comes responsibility.

6. Strengthen Task, Organization and Quality - perhaps an overarching statement. But nonetheless very important. Ensure quality in task by well defining areas such as task identity, meaning, importance and the know how of why and how each is done. (refer 5W2H quality principle). If we can define this for every task or at least give in a generic idea, it goes miles in educating employees on their own day to day routines. High level knowledge of ones day to day routines may further spark ideas of "how can i do this better or faster?". certainly the right decisions. Also strengthen organization from the perspective to giving the employee the right amount of authority to take that decision without hassles. This can be achieved using the right organization and reporting structure.

The idea of all the above is that it will “empower” employees to make decisions independently without the need or time delays of involving various levels of management. A well thought out manual will enable just about everyone in the organization the ability and flexibility to make the right decisions in his or her job responsibilities.

To help in maintaining a state of empowerment, the use of teams both informal and traditional can go a long way in helping to meet this end.
Informal teams also called social teams emerge when a group of like minded individuals get together to discuss on their area/s of work. Issues being faced by one employee can be told to others and there's a great chance the right answer may emerge. There is no leader appointed, it is formed out of expertise power amongst the members
On the other hand we have, traditional teams that are your normal expertise teams created and whose leader may be appointed by the organization.
Both the above can greatly help in increasing knowledge to a significant level.
Encouraging all hands meets regularly will help throw in a lot of good decisions on impending issues. Or perhaps a combination of multiple ideas from different people may culminate into the right decision.
To make a good impacting decision you need both, confidence and ability so ensure both for all your employees.
For more information refer to attached image.

From India, Delhi

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