Empowerment for competitive advantage
Companies are under more pressure than ever to innovate in the current economic climate if they want to survive.
Contrary to popular belief, innovation does not always come from the research and development department; instead, employees closer to the base of the organisational pyramid are more likely to generate new ideas.
Employee empowerment has consequently become one of the advised management strategies for encouraging innovation in a company.
Empowering employees is a tactic to gain a competitive edge in a changing industrial environment. This is especially crucial for businesses focused on the customer or on innovation, where people are the most valuable resource.
In the end, competitors of a company can copy its technologies and processes, but matching a highly motivated workforce made up of caring individuals.
Experts state that the psychological effects of employee empowerment are “a state of mind in which an employee experiences the feelings of control over how the job can be done, have enough awareness of the work tasks that are being performed, have a great level of responsibility to both personal work outcome and overall organizational advancement, and the perceived justice in the rewards based on individual and collective performance.”
In other words, giving each employee personal accountability makes sure that they take ownership of their actions.
When an employee feels empowered, they believe they can make a significant contribution to the organisation’s success.
Employees who have a strong sense of organisational commitment are more likely to feel an emotional connection to their workplace, be happier and have higher aspirations to contribute meaningfully.
The employee feels more confident to speak up and have their voice heard when they have personal responsibility and empowerment in place. As a result, the development of fresh ideas can be encouraged, leading to successful process improvements and fresh policy initiatives.
Companies must work to create and maintain competitive advantages if they want to stay competitive in their respective markets.
Producing high-quality goods and services is one way a business can gain a competitive edge. In today’s environment, service industries, non-profit organisations and education institutions are characterised by a strong commitment to quality.
Instead of having inspectors deal with problems with defective products at the end of the production cycle, companies strive to get things right from the start as well as during production.
Therefore, the workers themselves are the best candidates to carry out this control.
Experts further argue that businesses need to be set up so they can utilise all of their resources. To produce value that is unique and rare, human resources must have a comprehensive set of practices to inspire people to perform at the highest level possible.
Creating programmes to ensure that human capital is utilised to maximise output is one way the human resources division can accomplish this.
According to research, innovation and employee empowerment are strongly correlated. Employee empowerment is important because it gives them the freedom to act independently and creatively.
The ‘hackathons’ that some businesses host serve as an illustration of this. In a ‘hackathon’, teams of engineers are challenged to develop concepts for products that must be imagined, designed and constructed within 48 hours.
The only requirement is that a finished product should be created that can be sold after this point. These initiatives change how decisions about what to build and how to build it, which has a positive impact on employee recognition and motivation.
Employee empowerment offers some clear benefits. Employees who feel empowered can better align their professional development with organisational objectives since they can play a more active role in decision-making that leads to the achievement of those objectives.
The intrinsic motivation of people is positively impacted by this at the same time, which leads to higher employee retention rates.