Is Empowering Employees Always a Good Thing – Essay Example

The paper "Is Empowering Employees Always a Good Thing" is an outstanding example of a management essay. From my own experience, what motivates me the most is empowerment (including the situations when I am given a permission to take decisions independently), and being given tasks that require the use of my special and unique knowledge and skills. In my personal hierarchy of values, being needed and recognized is very important, and that is why I suppose I am motivated to work when I know that it is really needed by someone, and my achievements are acknowledged in some way. Same is true for many people – nearly everyone wants to be recognized, valued and praised. And this keeps the staff motivated, for, as we all know, motivation is not just technology, the system of procedures, documents and regulations. It is a real art because one has to appeal to both employees’ mind and feelings. For successful motivation of staff, there are some vital criteria, among them – considering each employee’s expectations (and that is where empowerment might help). Another important business aspect where empowerment comes of use is “buying the employees into” the process of change. It is one of the most efficient ways to overcome resistance to change, and it correlates with a democratic leadership style when all staff members are encouraged to participate in the decision-making process. Leadership and management style that enable implementation of “buying into” the concept presuppose a considerable degree of empowerment of employees, the delegation of certain managerial powers to staff members, and developing productive interpersonal relations within the team. According to Kurt Levin’s classification, a management style can be authoritative, democratic or liberal and is one-dimensional. Authoritative style ensures higher productivity, but a lower degree of satisfaction. Douglas McGregor singled out two types of leaders: X and Y. According to the Х-leader, people do not like work and responsibility, so it is necessary to control them entirely and threaten with punishment. An X-leader is sure to impose his will upon the employees and does not approve of any innovations. A Y-leader is democratic, he adheres to the opinion that labor is a natural process and all that should be done to encourage people to work is to create the necessary conditions. He uses self-control, stimulates his employees’ creativity, and provides them with all information about the state of affairs in the company. The Y-leader style normally ensures more empowerment in the company.