Empower, v. To enable an individual to think, behave and take action in autonomous ways.

Empowering employees is much more than giving them decision-making authority.  True empowerment is about creating the systems and structures of an organization that will enable employees to be effective and successful in their roles.  Empowerment is where traditional organizational effectiveness and design efforts are focused and where you must incorporate systems to provide the process discipline necessary to keep the focus on results.  However, just as important as effective systems and structures is a realistic work load. True empowerment requires that employees can end most days feeling as if they have made successful progress towards their goals, rather than feeling like they are losing ground.  
Elements of an Empowered Workforce
  • Clear, consistent and open communications
  • Clear organizational structure
  • Performance management system aligned with employee goals
  • Simple access to necessary information
  • Access to tools, resources and coaching
  • Decision making driven to the lowest level possible
  • Roles align employee strengths to challenges
  • Realistic workload 
Assess your Organization
  • Do your employees understand your business strategy and goals?  Your business model? How their role aligns to the strategy?
  • Is it easy for your employees to access the information they need to do their jobs?
  • Do your employees feel a strong sense of ownership and autonomy?
  • Do your employees have access to coaching?
  • Do your employees end most days feeling successful?