[nrp soundbites] How to empower – Tip #2: Flatten and set clear objectives.

[1 July 2021] Day 31 of nrp* in Malaysia

On this first day of the second half of the year, I share the second tip on how to empower successfully. To make empowerment effective, it’s good to flatten the hierachy. Flat organisations have few or no levels of intermediate management between staff and leaders. This “flattened” hierarchy increases employee involvement through a decentralized decision-making process.

Advantages and disadvantages of flattening

In a flatter order, there is a lighter structure because excess management layer is eliminated. As a result, you also gain in transparency in the workforce. Fewer management levels will increase productivity, and employees can be equipped to make decisions. Well-trained workers will be more productive when they are directly involved in the decision-making process rather than closely supervised by many layers of management. This directly translates into no or less micro-managing. (Yay!)

This does not come without some risks. The broader responsibilities can cause confusion over roles. And when things don’t work out, you may not be able to identify who would be responsible for the failure.

What you need to decide is the level of flatness you want. In a large organization, you may need some levels of management. Find the right balance for your operations. In a smaller organization, a flat hierarchy is optimal. Less layers also mean you can be more agile and respond to market and environmental changes quickly.

Set clear expectations

Once you have found the level of flatness that suits your operations, set clear expectations for your employees. By defining the boundaries within which your employees are free to act, you’re giving your employees permission to make decisions that are in line with company goals and values.

Empowering your employees does not mean letting go of all your responsibilities. You are still the steward of all the activities within your organization.

(Read more about empowerment)

(*nrp stands for National Recovery Plan.)
(Feature Image by Gerd Altmann 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 #empowermenttips #management
#trainergina #ginaphan #gp

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