Empowerment: provide freedom for people to do what they want to do (pull),
rather than getting them to do what you want them to do (push)
- Removes controls, constraints and boundaries
- Energizes and provides intrinsic encouragement
- Empowered employees are more productive, satisfied, innovative and create
better higher quality products and services
o Empowerment also helps the organization stay flexible and adapt to
Outcomes of Stress
• Centralization - Decision-making is pulled toward the top of the organization.
Less power is shared.
• Threat-rigidity response - Conservative, self-protective behaviors
predominate. Old habits are relied upon. Change is resisted.
• Loss of innovativeness -Trial and error learning stops. Low tolerance for risk
and creativity occurs.
• Decreasing morale - In-fighting and a mean mood permeate the organization.
It isn’t fun.
• Politicized environment - Special interest groups organize and become vocal.
Everything is negotiated.
• Loss of trust - Leaders lose the confidence of subordinates. Distrust
predominates among employees.
• Increased conflict - Infighting and competition occur. Self-centeredness
predominates over the good of the organization.
• Restricted communication - Only good news is passed upward. Information is
not widely shared and is held close to the vest.
• Lack of teamwork - Individualism and disconnectedness inhibit teamwork.
Lack of coordination occurs.
• Loss of loyalty - Commitment to the organization and to the leader erodes.
Focus is on defending oneself.
• Scapegoating leaders - Leadership anemia occurs as leaders are criticized,
priorities become less clear, and a siege mentality occurs.
• Short-term perspective - A crisis mentality is adopted. Long-term planning
and flexibility are avoided.
Empowerment helps people!
- Helps develop self-confidence
- Helps overcome feelings of powerlessness
- Energizes people to take action
- Creates intrinsic motivation
- Enhances self-image
- Feel more capable Power
- External source
- Few people have it
- The capacity to have others do what you want
- To get more power implies taking it away from someone else
- Leads to competition
- Internal source
- Everyone can have it
- The capacity to have others do what they want
- To get more empowerment does not affect how much others have
- Leads to cooperation
5 Dimensions of Empowerment
- Self efficacy
o A sense of personal competence
o The feeling that they possess the capability and competence to
perform a task successfully
o A sense of personal choice
o Feelings of having a choice
o Having choices about the methods used to accomplish a task, the
amount of effort to be expended, the pace of work and the time frame
in which it is to be accomplished
- Personal consequences
o A sense of having impact
o Empowered people have a sense that when they act, they can produce
o Related to internal locus of control
o A sense of value in activity
o Empowered people have a sense of meaning
▪ They value the purpose of goals of the activity in which they
o A sense of security
o Empowered people have a sense of trust
▪ They are confident that they will be treated fairly and equitably
1. Articulate a clear vision and goals
- Creating an environment in which individuals can feel empowered requires
that they be guided by a clearly articulated vision of where the organization
is going and how they can contribute as individuals
- Create a picture of a desired future
- Identify actions that will lead to a vision - Establish SMART goals
o Specific, measurable, aligned, realistic, timely
2. Provide opportunities to foster personal mastery
- Providing people with the opportunity to accomplish successfully more
difficult tasks that eventually lead to the accomplishment of desirable goals
- Assign simple tasks before difficult ones
- Breaking apart large tasks and assign one at a time
- Highlight and celebrate small wins
3. Model the correct behaviour
- Demonstrate successful task accomplishment point out other people who
- Facilitate interaction with other role models
- Find a coach
- Establish a mentor relationship
4. Provide support
- Managers should praise, encourage, express approval for and reassure
- Send letters of notes of praise to family members and coworkers
- Foster informal social activities to build cohesion
- Supervise less closely and provide time-slack
- Hold recognition ceremonies
5. Create emotional arousal
- Foster activities to encourage friendshi