EmPowerment (HR)

I recently spoke with Tammy Colson about Empowerment.  The definition of Empowerment is:  to give authority to somebody: to give somebody power or authority : make more confident or assertive: to give somebody a greater sense of confidence or self-esteem.

Tammy is a successful Director of HR in North Carolina. She writes at the HRJunkyard, can be found via Twitter, LinkedIn, and is launching her own business.  We had a great discussion about this topic, and her insights:

  •  Most employees want to achieve, and be of value to their employer
  • Give employees the skills and opportunity to reach their goals, instead of micromanaging them
  • Employees are doing 3-4 more jobs due to downsizing, and when decision-making is coming from the top, it causes gridlock
  •  Companies are paying overtime, and there are unemployed, qualified people dying to work!
  • Career Development is lacking terribly. HR must intervene to help coach managers.

The most successful companies hire the right people, and LET them do their JOB.  (via TLColson)

I have had a lot of personal experience with empowerment. When I was a manager for a very affluent organization, our management training included empowerment and accountability best practices. I have seen the enormous rewards, of this in action. The employees’ have amazing morale, are happier, and feel a sense of accomplishment when charged with additional responsibilities, and promotions. 

I want to hear how Empowerment is effective in your workplaces. Let’s get the comments rolling…..


8 responses to “EmPowerment (HR)

  1. It was great to be able to talk to you about one of my favorite topics. Showing folks that they don’t need permission to succeed is one of the things that keep me doing HR every day. Thanks for doing this series, its getting me to think about many of the topics in Human Resources that become rote.

  2. Thanks so much Tammy- It has been a really great experience writing this series. We still have a few more posts to go before the Series Wraps up. Stay tuned for more great contributors. Appreciate the support and friendship:)

  3. Bravo Shennee and Tammy!

    I believe that so much of this is a result of managers not knowing how to lead. The best managers in the workplace will hire individuals who have talents outside of their own and are not threatened by it.

    If managers would have faith in the individuals who work for them and let them “fly” with a new idea, project, etc. they will be amazed at the results. People who want autonomy understand accountability. Yes, there’s a risk of failure but when the manager is guiding vs. micromanaging, it can only be a win-win situation.

  4. KImberly- Thanks for stopping by and reading. Love your comments. Thanks for the support of my blog and post.

  5. Empowerment, easier to talk about than to accomplish, I think! I’d love to hear data and anecdotes from others.

  6. Here’s a prime example of empowerment. I had a staff of security officers who constantly came to me with complaints about their schedule, arguing over shifts, who got more weekends, etc. I had an assistant that was writing this schedule.

    I sat down with the senior guard and told him I was giving him the power to write the schedule. He was to sit down with all of his guards and hash it out. I gave him the parameters and the tools he needed to get it done. I told him that I’d review it, and as long as it met my requirements, it was his to manage.

    He stepped into that leadership role with grace, managed the infighting from the staff, solved the issues, and no one came knocking on my door. All the team wanted was to feel like they had some say in the process.

    It was an easy fix, and that’s empowerment.

  7. Krista- Thanks so much for the comment:)

  8. Tammy- Thanks for the additional post and Real Empowerment Story. Empowerment is so effective, I really feel it is so underutilized. Perhaps it is because people feel a need to be in “control” and do not want to delegate to others. Employees need a sense of accountability, and morale. I believe this is a major problem with turnover and why we lose good employees. Respect is crucial. Everyone needs to have a sense of belonging and to be proud.I reall enjoyed working with you on this post.

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