Employee empowerment: benefits and functional principles | Sunday Observer

Employee empowerment: benefits and functional principles

29 January, 2023

Empowerment in leadership refers to the process of giving individuals or groups the authority, resources, and support they need to take ownership of their work and make decisions that impact the organisation. It is a way of enabling employees to be more self-directed and proactive in their roles, which can lead to increased motivation, engagement, and performance.

The most important element in empowerment is mutual trust. The leaders must place absolute trust in their employees to make good decisions and take responsibility for their actions. In turn, the employees must make sure that they reciprocate. This means letting go of control to a reasonable extent and allowing employees to make job-related decisions, take risks, and even make mistakes in the process.

Effective two-way communication is essential for empowerment to occur. Leaders must be transparent and open with their employees, sharing information and providing feedback in a timely and constructive manner. Empowered communication is based on the understanding of the employers and the employees, who are working to achieve a common goal.

It is an agreement between the two factions that this common goal is met through cooperation rather than aggression. People naturally prefer to contribute to the well-being of others when they do so willingly.

Delegation is an extremely important management skill, although some managers find it a difficult task for several reasons. Empowerment requires leaders to delegate tasks and responsibilities to their employees. This means giving them the autonomy to make decisions and take action and holding them accountable for the results.

The leader must be prepared to place faith in employment to deliver the desired result. Most leaders, however, delegate specific tasks to their subordinates while maintaining a subtle mechanism to closely monitor the performance of such tasks.

To be successful, employees need access to the resources and support they need to do their jobs. This includes providing training and development opportunities, as well as access to technology, tools, and other resources. Hence, when delegating takes place, employees should be given access to all required physical, material, information, and human resources.


Empowerment also requires leaders to recognise and reward the efforts and contributions of their employees. This means providing feedback, praise, and incentives for a job well done. Recognition helps employees see that their company values them and their contributions to the success of their team and the company overall.

This is particularly vital when employees are given free rein to perform their duties. It helps employees feel secure in their worth to the company, which motivates them to keep up the good work.

Empowerment provide increased motivation and engagement in an organisation. When employees feel empowered, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their work. This can lead to increased productivity, performance, and job satisfaction.

Motivating employees through empowerment can lead to better decision-making and fewer operational errors. Empowerment allows employees to make decisions that are in line with the organisation’s goals and values. This can lead to more effective and efficient decision-making and problem-solving.

Empowerment also encourages employees to think outside the box and come up with new ideas and solutions. This can lead to greater innovation and creativity within the organisation. The empowered team members tend to volunteer for extra work and help colleagues, even when those are outside their official capacities.

Positive work environment

Empowerment can help create a culture of trust, transparency, and accountability within an organisation. This can lead to a more positive and supportive work environment and a stronger sense of community among employees. The supportive environment tremendously improves team spirit among the employees, which in turn helps achieve collective goals.

Simply put, empowerment in leadership is a key element of effective leadership. It involves giving employees the authority, resources, and support they need to take ownership of their work and make decisions that impact the organisation. Empowerment can lead to increased motivation, engagement, and performance, as well as improved decision-making, innovation, and customer service.

Empowerment also requires leaders to believe in the capabilities of employees, communicate effectively, delegate tasks and responsibilities, provide support and resources, and recognise and reward efforts. By taking an empowering leadership approach, organisations can create a positive and supportive work environment that leads to success for both the organisation and its employees.

However, empowerment is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and it can also have downsides if not executed properly. In this article, we will also discuss when empowering employees works and when it does not.

This approach is most effective when there is a clear vision and direction for the organisation. Employees need to understand the goals and values of the organisation in order to make decisions that align with them.

For the empowerment leadership model to be successful, the organisation needs well-trained employees with skills. Empowerment requires employees to take on more responsibility and make decisions independently. This can only happen if employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to do so. Therefore, providing training and development opportunities is crucial for empowerment to be successful.

A culture of trust and accountability are two of the key elements in empowerment. It requires leaders to have faith in their employees and give them independence to make decisions and function with conviction.

This can only happen in a culture of trust and accountability, where employees feel comfortable taking risks and are held accountable for their actions.

However, before the assignment of specific tasks, the employees must be made aware of a clear process in place for decision-making within the organisation. To avoid future friction, leaders must initially collaborate with employees to educate them on the management’s decision-making style. They must be offered support and guidance initially.


Empowerment may lead to employee arrogance. Employees’ confidence levels typically rise when they are given more control. This extra self-assurance may be disadvantageous to the company if the employee gets complacent and ignores the chain of command. In some circumstances, confidence can be overused and cross the line into arrogance.

Employees with such superciliousness can become a burden if they cannot be managed according to the stipulated organisational culture. If this situation is not handled correctly, valuable employees may leave the organisation, leaving a void.

Also, because of the empowerment, some workers may feel that they have the capacity to do anything they want with it. As employees are given the opportunity to take on more duties, some can go too far. Interpersonal relationships within the company will deteriorate, and conflict-related incidents will rise as a result. If such tensions rise over time, a hostile work atmosphere may emerge. This kind of situation is detrimental to the workers and the company.

As a result, in addition to reaping all of the benefits of empowerment, leaders must also be aware of the negative consequences and manage such situations effectively.

In conclusion, employee empowerment keeps employees more motivated and engaged in an organisation as they are given the opportunity to organise and control their lives. As they are engaged in making decisions about their jobs, they have more flexibility in performing their tasks.

It is a universally accepted fact that motivating employees is one of the most important keys to long-term success.