Empowerment and Motivation
Susan Sasiadek, Ph.D.
June 12, 2017
Can empowerment motivate employees? Can motivation be enough for empowerment within a business? These two topics work hand in hand in creating an organization that thrives on employees that are valued and take ownership in what they do and how they represent the company. According to Sarkissian (2017) empowerment is about how an employee feels in terms of being effective, able to control situations and influential. On the other hand, motivation is defined as both internal and external elements that create a desire for individuals to continue to be interested and committed to their task at hand to attain a goal (Business Dictionary, 2017).
There is great value in having employees that are committed to the organization’s mission and vision. These employees not only take on an intrapreneurial sprit, but they create opportunity for the organization through creativity, productivity and appreciation for the environment (Sarkissian, 2017). Empowered employees develop a feeling of being valued, which according to Mooney (n.d.) “translates to good work habits and the willingness to do above and beyond what is required. Empowered employees frequently strive to excel in areas, including customer service, which is essential to your company's profits” (para 4). Without motivated employee’s companies will face higher levels of turnover, a low morale among employees and a division within the organization of working to achieve goals versus working for a paycheck.
Most organizations set out with a mission of what they wish to accomplish. The vision is shared with employees and over time a culture is created internally. However, for some companies they struggle with employee motivation. It is important to consider that “motivation is an ongoing relationship with employees (Sasiadek, 2006). Often this may take form with the leadership and management team working with the employees to build a level of trust and appreciation.
According to Sharafat (1997) there are ten steps in which managers work to build trust with their employees.
1. Communicate openly about the organization’s strengths and weaknesses and business challenges.
2. Encourage employees to speak openly about sensitive and difficult subjects regarding the company.
3. Provide employees the opportunity to share their feelings in open meetings.
4. Provide adequate amount of responsibility and authority.
5. Flexibility when establishing internal procedures
6. Take measures to help employees feel important and needed. Take advantage of their expertise and knowledge.
7. Allow employees to manage job processes from start to finish.
8. Create quality teams.
9. Survey employees on a regular basis to identify concerns and work environment.
10. Celebrate successes though recognition programs.
Knowledge of how motivation and empowerment work together can also have financial benefits to a company. According to John Hall, CEO and co-founder of Influence and Company (2015) the second most important factor in how to save your company money is to “instill an ownership mentality in your employees” (Para 5). Hall goes on to share that “If employees don't act like a cog in the wheel, they'll think about what's best for the company. When they feel trusted and empowered, they'll take ownership of their work. Though this might sound simple, it won't happen without trust. If you can't trust your employees to do what's best, you need to let them go” 2015, (para 5).
Understanding employees’ values are essential in knowing how to motivate and empower them. By understanding what motivates an individual; creates an opportunity for empowerment to have a greater impact on the overall quality of the organization. When employees take on additional responsibilities because they choose to and to benefit the good of the organization, this is when a company will see motivation and empowerment are working hand in hand.
Business Dictionary . (2017) . Motivation . Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/motivation.html
Hall, John . (2015, Jan 16) . 5 ways to you’re your company money in 2015 . Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/video/sarah-robb-ohagan/flywheels-ceo-maxed-out-every-credit-card-to-get-her-first-job-that-didnt-exist.html
Mooney, Lisa . (n.d.) . How does empowerment affect an employee’s motivation and performance . Retrieved from http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/empowerment-affect-employees-motivation-performance-3783.html
Sarkissian, Alfred . (2017) . How does empowerment affect an employee’s motivation & performance? Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/empowerment-affect-employees-motivation-performance-64535.html
Sasiadek, Susan . (2006) . Individual influence factors that impact employee empowerement; a multicase study . Ann Arbor, MI, Proquest
Sharafat, K. (1997) . The key to being a leader company; Empowerment . Journal for Quality and Participation, 20:1, 44-50