Empowerment in the workplace is an often-misunderstood concept. Many managers feel that by empowering employees, they relinquish the responsibility to lead and control the organization. This is not the case.
The manager never relinquishes their significant responsibility to lead, communicate, provide feedback, recognize employees, and maintain contact with the rest of the organization. They do this, hopefully, within a strategic framework that is supplied through the organization's business and strategic plan.
Employee empowerment gives employees a certain degree of autonomy and responsibility for decision-making regarding their specific organizational tasks. It allows decisions to be made at the lower levels of an organization where employees have a unique view of the issues and problems facing the organization at a certain level. The expectation of empowerment allows decision-making to happen closest to where the need for the decision exists.
The Importance of Communication in Empowerment
For an organization to practice and foster employee empowerment, management must trust and communicate with employees. Employee communication is one of the strongest signs of employee empowerment in an organization.
Management must be willing to communicate every aspect of the business to its employees in an open and honest manner. This communication may include elements of the strategic plan, financial performance, key performance indicators, and daily-decision making.
Benefits of Employee Empowerment
Effective employee empowerment not only has positive implications for employee satisfaction, but also many other organizational facets, such as member service and member retention.
Empowering employees leads to organizational encouragement of entrepreneurial traits and prompts employees to make decisions, take action, and foster the belief that they can take control of their destinies. This belief leads to self-motivation and a sense of independence that is translated into greater loyalty and extra effort for the organization.
Empowered employees come to believe that they control their success through their efforts and hard work, which in turn benefits the success of the entire institution. This is because an environment that fosters employee empowerment also enables people to become their best selves and make contributions far more successfully than employees who work in a command and control workplace.
The Organization Wins as Well
An organization can realize many benefits from learning how to properly empower its employees, not all of which are strictly monetary. An empowered employee helps a company improve service delivery, continuously become more innovative, increase productivity, and gain a competitive edge.
How to Find Empowered Employees
These sample job interview questions about empowerment will enable you to assess your candidate's comfort with the concept of employee empowerment. You'll also be able to tell quite quickly whether a candidate is an empowered employee or not.
You don't need to ask all of these questions but do ask several if your goal is to attract employees who will thrive in a work environment that expects employees to display empowered behavior.
Sample Empowerment Job Interview Questions
- Describe the work environment or culture and the management style in which you have experienced the most success.
- What factors are crucial within an organization's work environment, and must also be present, for you to work most effectively and creativity?
- Are you familiar with a concept called employee empowerment? Tell us what you think of when you think of empowered employees.
- How does employee empowerment impact a work culture or environment for employees?
- Describe your preferred relationship with your supervisor or manager in terms of direction, oversight, delegation, and monitoring. In other words, do you like being told what to do or do you enjoy having guidance but also cherish your independence?
- Tell us about a time when you exhibited empowered behavior in your most recent job.
- How does your current or a former boss encourage or discourage employee empowerment?
- How would you describe a work environment that fosters employee empowerment?
- In a work environment that appreciates empowered behavior from employees, describe how this affects the relationships of employees with their colleagues.
Other Sample Job Interview Questions for Employers
If you're new to the world of management, you will likely want to bone up on your management and supervisory skills, your interpersonal job interview skills, and your communication job interview questions.