Since ancient age, humans have used animals to get their jobs done. There has been master-mastered relationship. Soon, they thought of adding human as a resource to get the job done, as humans could use their senses and intellect in addition to physical labor. Gradually industries came into existence. This required more people with different stream of education and skill to perform specific job functions.
Discovery of energy sources enhanced the output of industries. This encouraged research to enhance quality of products and advancement in processing. The increased production encouraged trade and transport from one place to another. To enhance quantitative and qualitative trade streamlined the whole process of running an industry.
This was a transitional phase of shift in taking services from animal to human. There has been need of change in perception in human element. Altered working hours, Better facilities, education to workers and their children, and a system of discipline combined with justice were introduced. Personnel management came into practice. The building up of a spirit of cooperation between the workers and the management established a new era of Business Management
Thinkers and experts came with concept of technology and new concepts of management. The organizations increased in size, operational area as well as human number as a resource. Team building, team work, workers motivation came into practice. Although there have been continuous change in expanding the reach not only within country but around the globe. Brands existed for several years. Strategy used for advertising and marketing prolonged product life cycle. Extension of brands accelerated the growth.
This growth could come into reality, because of dedicated team. The need of activities came into practice. Decisions taking practices of middle management played an important role. A manager’s territory was termed as profit centre or company within the company. The senior most Director/Managing committee, were involved in drafting policies. The term, delegation practices of management became a democratic movement. This was incomplete without ‘EMPOWERMENT’.
The main objective of empowerment has been to give workers power to make decisions about their work related issues, which can range from giving suggestions to exercising power over big decisions. How jobs could be performed, company policies, working conditions, work hours, and how supervisors can be evaluated.
Empowerment helped motivating the employees with the opportunity to gain rewards from their work, and can be a great sense of accomplishment and a feeling of importance. The rewards such as job satisfaction and a sense of great work can be more powerful than any other reward such as higher wages.
Empowerment can also increase productivity through better decisions. Especially when decisions require work related knowledge, the ones who have that knowledge can better identify problems. Solutions to the problem are sought from this knowledge, this further enhances the potential for productivity improvements by altering the feelings that solutions can only be passed from the seniors.
Total Quality Management (TQM) is based upon actions of people. There is need to develop individual leadership skills that allows people to Empower themselves. There should be formal elements of the Recognition Program for employees to motivate them.
There should be Executive Level Support to employee. Ideas can be shared with Strategy Management people. Training is important for growth and this should be a regular activity. There can be several other innovative activities e.g. Internal Periodical News letter. Announcement of success stories of individual employees or their families. There should be regular activities to improve the knowledge, skills, attitude and interest of employees.
EMPOWERMENT & PARTICIPATION together helps in job enrichment. It aims to design the jobs to be more rewarding. Certain job characteristics help managers to build enrichment into jobs.
These characteristics include:
• Skill variety—there are certain skills needed to perform a particular job, hence these gained skills are the main cause of motivation.
• Task identity—here the employee needs to understand the priority of the work that how much productivity will it increase
• Task significance—One should understand the real importance of a given task
• Autonomy—An employee should have his own way of completion of task
• Feedback—feedback is very important from superiors of how the employee is performing.
These programs empower workers to find product or service problems to their roots and redesign this process of productivity to gain efficiency. Hence this is the reason for empowerment to involve the employees in important organizational reforms, decision making and continuous improvement to enhance growth. These self-managed teams succeeded because they remained customer-focused and promote sound management practices like team-work, continuous learning, and continuous improvement.