Is it enough for employers to invest huge amounts in acquiring the highest-qualified candidates, or to rigorously ensure the best-skilled are picked for any role in the organisation? If employers don’t empower their resources—whether it is the senior-most staff or employees at the lowest rung—it is akin to buying the best car in the world, and then keeping it safely parked in the garage.
But empowerment isn’t just important in corporate life; it applies alike to entrepreneurs, home-makers, students and anyone else for that matter. One cannot make an impact in any role in life unless they are fully empowered. Delegation of responsibility without power puts people in positions they can never wriggle out from.
Empowering people enables them to take quick decisions, every time. Very often, people find themselves stuck in a dicey situation, wondering whether to say yes or no, whether to stop or proceed. Only the ability to make smart decisions ‘on the spot’ will ensure justifiable outcomes. Great and visionary minds are those that realise the importance of empowerment. They recognise how it can benefit everyone and subsequently identify why and how to create a culture of empowerment. They recognise what it will look like, as well as the difficulties associated with empowerment.
So when does it fail? It happens when there is lack of wholehearted delegation. It can also happen when empowered people try to evade certain situations—where they aren’t primarily responsible—due to a fear of making errors, and worst of all a fear of not getting the organisation’s backing or getting reprimanded. In such scenarios, they prefer to avoid taking risks. So for empowerment to work, even the empowered person must be aware of the positive environment it can create and the immense satisfaction it can provide. Yes, empowered decisions can sometimes prove costly (though such incidences are negligible). But the cost to the organisation is peanuts compared to the immense long-term benefits, and is far outweighed by the learnings. Indirectly, these are investments in qualitative improvement.
When people are encouraged to take decisions, it facilitates rapid personality growth, career growth, helps organisations build unmatchable reputations, and speeds up overall progress. Most importantly, it ensures delivery excellence by overcoming obstacles, affirming values and developing trust. Empowerment culture is very critical for assured success anywhere, anytime. Take for example the area of customer service in today’s context. Excellent customer service is not a big deal, but just a normal routine. A customer expects nothing less than exceptional service, and only empowerment can ensure this.
Empowerment plays a huge role in our day-to-day lives. Right from crossing a busy road to making critical strategic board-level decisions, it is a must. Of course, empowerment doesn’t happen just like that. It requires thorough knowledge, great clarity, supreme confidence, repeat practice and most importantly, must become a well-embedded habit. It is not only acquiring freedom, but also the necessary power to do what one desires while ensuring total control of the outcome. It’s nothing but achieving, helping to achieve, succeeding and helping to succeed. When not empowered, one remains in their comfort zone and does not dare to venture into unknown waters. But those who have dared have reaped rich benefits.
It is the ultimate need. It is a way of life!