Four Key Elements to Empowering Employees

Workplace Insight

One of the most important skills a manager can possess is the ability to ensure the success of those working for him or her.  To be successful, employees must be empowered.  Unfortunately, empowerment is one of the most overused and misunderstood terms, but it is very simple and can be broken down into four key elements.

Information
Employees must be provided with the information necessary to do what they need to do. This includes contextual information as well as specific knowledge about their job.

Tools & Resources
In this case, tools could mean many things, like equipment, materials, a computer, knowledge, or the skills needed to do the job. Employees need to be trained with the right set of skills for the job.

Authority
Authority is the ability to exercise influence. Employees need to have the authority and the correlated responsibility to do what they need to do.

Accountability
At the end of the day, employees need to be held accountable for the results they produce.

In order for an employee to be successful, they need to have the information to be able to act and perform, the tools and skills that are necessary to perform the job, the authority to make decisions and make things happen, and if all those things are present, then they need to be held accountable for the outcome.

It is a simple formula.  1 x 1 x 1 x 1 = 1. If one of the essential elements is missing, then the sum is zero.  All four need to be present or else the employee surely will not be able to succeed.  No matter what the scenario is, if one of these elements is missing, the employee cannot and will not succeed and thus cannot be held accountable.  An executive cannot hold an employee accountable if the proper information, tools and authority are not present.

What experience do you have with empowering employees?  Please share your comments with us below!

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