[nrp soundbites] Why leaders should empower their employees?

[28 June 2021] Day 28 of NRP Phase 1* in Malaysia

Remember the days where we had to go to the bank to deposit a cheque? Back in the day, I would arrive at the banking hall, take my queue number and wait for my turn. When my number is called, I approach the counter, present the cheque and my savings account book. The bank officer the bank would take both, process it and then pass it over to someone with a higher authority to checkmark on the slip before my attempt to put money into my own account is considered successful. I have always been amazed as to how inefficient this process is. Not only does it take longer to complete a transaction, but it shows how disempowered the person working at the counter is.

That’s the old days, you say. Now, we use machines! Guess what, the machines are more empowered at the humans they hire!

Leaders must realise that empowerment counts in improving staff morale and productivity. A study of more than 7,000 employees showed that those who felt disempowered were rated at the 24th percentile of engagement while those with a high level of empowerment came in at the 79th percentile. Empowered employees are willing to go the extra mile. The reverse is also true. When employees have the potential to do more but lack the authority and resources to make it happen, it leads to frustration, demoralisation, and disengagement.

What is employee empowerment?

Empowering employees means giving your team members permission to take action and make decisions within your organization. When someone is empowered, they have the ability and the confidence to accomplish a task. Employee empowerment is the approach in which companies provide their employees with skills and tools they need to succeed. Besides resource allocation, other matters that are important include:

  • Willingness to share your responsibilities and authority
  • Creating a safe space for employees to feedback and suggest new ideas
  • Acting on their feedback
  • Providing more autonomy and additional responsibilities as opportunity to grow
  • Recognising the employees’ efforts when they increase their engagement
  • Coming up with a growth plan together with them so that they have the tools, training and authority to excel.
  • Developing trust and understanding to ensure their actions are in line with the company’s goals

Motivated employees will drive your business to the top. Leaders play an important role in establishing a supportive, empowered environment. All parties need to establish mutual trust, feel comfortable taking risks, and establish clear expectations and guidelines. Without this collaboration, truly empowering employees is impossible.

[Update 15 Sept 2021] Based on feedback I received from this article, I have written 6 tips on How to Empower.



* For some reason, our government has started to use National Recovery Plan (NRP) as the term to use now. It’s still a lockdown.

(Feature Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay)


About the Author: Gina Phan is a consultant and trainer with Zinfinity Consulting. She currently conducts courses in workplace performance skills. Click here to contact her, follow her on Facebook or connect with her on Linkedin.

Read her other posts.


#leadership #servantleadership #empower #empowerment
#trainergina #ginaphan #gp

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