The Process Of Empowerment:


Empowerment is a process by which we increase the capacity of an individual or group in order to enable them to make choices and for them to transform their choices into the desired actions. These actions help build collective and individual assets and improve and as a result the efficiency of use of these assets is improved.

Rapport (1984) states that employee Empowerment is the process of unleashing an individuals potential and enhancing his abilities to nurture growth in the organisation, therefore empowerment involves a process by which an individual is provided with proper information regarding performance of the organisation. In an organisation empowerment is important in that it helps remove the feeling of powerlessness through enhancement of self efficiency of the individual. It therefore enables the individuals to coupe with problems that face them. Empowerment can be defined as the process, by which we can increase the capacity of an individual or a group in order for them to make their own choices which will lead to increased productivity in an organisation,

Empowerment enables or gives authority to an individual to take action and take control of his work by making decisions on his own. The organisation in which the individual works is therefore has a responsibility to enable the existence of an environment which helps the employee to undertake their tasks in an empowered manner. The organisation also has to remove any barriers that limit the process of empowerment.

The empowerment process:

1. a) Valuing employees:


The Process Of Empowerment

This involves appreciating workers by managers or executive members in an organisation, this will aid in the process of showing that you appreciate and value them for the work they perform in the organisation and this helps in empowering workers. This is achieved through the words used in communicating with workers and also body language and fiscal expressions which should show appreciation to workers. (Thomas (1990))

1. b) Sharing visions:

According to Narayan (2002) Employees are also empowered by sharing information on the company’s vision and objectives. This helps the employees to feel they are part of something big. Therefore the organisation should share the mission and the strategic plans of the organisation and this helps empowering workers, therefore communication of organisation goals and strategies plays an important part in employee empowerment process.

1. c) Direction and goal sharing with workers:

Sharing goals and directions according to Narayan (2002) is also a way to empower workers, This involves sharing information with workers on the goals and also the direction of the organisation, this involves sharing information on observable and measurable goals and this aids in empowering workers in accomplishing these goals.

1. d) Trust:

The organisation should extend trust to their employees whereby they will allow workers to make their own decisions which may not be in line with the decided way of performing tasks. This is according to Rapport (1984) and it is a way in which trust is extended to workers which aids in empowering them.


The Process Of Empowerment

1. e) Provision of decision making information:

This involves the provision of information to employees that will help them make decisions on their own, this involves making sure that all workers have access to this information and this will help them to make sound decisions as they perform their tasks.

1. f) Involvement of workers in decision making:

This involves including workers in decision making of the organisation, this helps in empowering workers because they will find a sense of power in the organisation future and they will have a felling of worth in the organisation. (Thomas (1990))

1. g) Feedbacks:

It is important to frequently provide feedback to employees to show how they have performed in the organisation for a given period, this ensures that the employees feel a sense of recognition and also helps them develop their skills and knowledge. (Thomas (1990))

1. h) Solving problems:

When problems occurs there is a need for the organisation to implement ways in which to deal with these problems, it is not right to blame the workers and instead of blaming them there is need to address the problem by asking the workers what problem is in the work system and not what is wrong with the workers. (Thomas (1990))

1. i) Communication:


The Process Of Empowerment

An organisation should ensure that it listens to its workers and at the same time provide guidelines to them. The organisation should avoid telling the workers what to do but should provide guidelines on how to undertake tasks and what should be done to accomplish organisational goals. (Rapport (1984))

1. j) Social reinforcements:

This involves giving encouragement to workers for the purpose of boosting their self confidence in the work place, this involves giving praise and rewarding workers for their achievement and this aids in the empowerment process.( Rapport (1984))

1. k) Training:

Training and the provision of information is a major way in which an organisation can empower its workers, this is because information itself is power, and this should also be accompanied by proper communication channels in the organisation. As workers receive more training they experience an increase in their skills and knowledge and this will increase their confidence when undertaking their tasks. (Kreisberg (1999))

1. l) Emotional support:

An organisation should also provide emotional support to its workers as a form of empowerment. This process should be accomplished through clear role definition of employees and also providing assistance at work and encouraging team work in the work place to solve problems that face workers such anxiety and stress. (Rapport (1984))

Importance of empowerment:


The Process Of Empowerment

Employee plays a major role in the success of an organisation. Many organisations today have adopted these strategies that help them achieve growth and success in their business undertakings, the importance of employee importance include:

1. Positive environment:

Employee empowerment leads to the creation of a positive environment in the workplace; this will lead to increased productivity and boost employee morale, as a result the organisation gains due to increased productivity and efficiency in the workplace. Employee empowerment will increase employees learning, growth, improvement and enhancement of performance ability.

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1. Creativity:

Empowerment involves letting employees make decision on their own and also solve problems, this increases their creativity and also improve the working environment, and this encourages a positive working environment where employees are in a position to become more creative and productive to the organisation.

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1. Productivity:

Empowerment ensures that the employees perform their tasks in the most effective way that saves time and energy, as a result the employees become more productive than in an organisation does not empower its workers, as a result there is increased productivity of the workers which will benefit the organisation. (Rapport (1984))


The Process Of Empowerment

1. Motivation:

Employee empowerment will motivate workers which will in turn increase employee productivity, motivation as a result of empowerment will increase commitment by employees and As a result the employee will more satisfied with work.

1. Team work:

Empowerment will encourage team work and as a result there will increase motivation to undertake tasks

1. Conflicts:

It will reduce conflicts between managers and workers; also there will be a decline in the demand for supervisors and administrators reducing the cost of production in the organisation resulting to increased competitive advantage of the organisation over its competitors. Also the involvement of workers in the decision making process will increase the possibility of workers agreeing to changes in the organisation. (Kreisberg (1999))

1. More skilled workers:

Through empowerment the employees become more skilled through education and training offered by the organisation, this will lead to increased employee productivity, employees will also increase competence as a result of training offered.


The Process Of Empowerment


Empowerment in the organisation is important however there exist some disadvantages that arise as a result of employee empowerment and they include:

– Increased costs:

The organisation may experience a rise of costs as a result of training and educating workers, an organisation has to invest in the training and education of its workers and as a result there will be increased costs.

– Abuse of power:

Some of the organisation workers may abuse the power given to them, this include making decisions that may not be in line with the objectives of the organisation and may use the power to meet their own needs, also the responsibility that the employees are given may be too much a responsibility to some workers. (Kreisberg (1999))

– Time wastage:

There may be time wastage in an organisation where time may be spent in groups and committees that are important in the process of empowerment and this will reduce the total time the employees spend undertaking their tasks.

– Conflicts:

Employees may tend to struggle for power among them as a result of group work, every worker may tend to acquire power on what should be done and how it should be done, for this reason


The Process Of Empowerment

therefore empowerment may result to conflicts among workers. (Kreisberg (1999))

– Decisions:

The employees may not have the ability to make appropriate decisions that are important in the organisation, therefore the decisions made by the employees may be biased, decisions may conflict where employees will make personal decisions rather than use logical reasoning to make decisions.


Empowerment unleashes an individuals potential and enhancing his abilities to nurture growth in the organisation, it gives authority to an individual to take action and take control of his work by making decisions on his own. The organisation should therefore make an enabling environment which helps the employee to undertake their tasks in an empowered manner by removing any barriers that limit the process of empowerment.

Empowerment involves Valuing employees, Sharing information and visions of the organisation, giving Direction and goal sharing with workers, enhancing Trust, Involvement of workers in decision making, training workers, provision of emotional support to workers and proper communication channels in the organisation.

Importance of empowerment include the creation of a positive environment at work, promotes Creativity, increased worker Productivity, increased motivation of workers, encouragement of team work, reduced conflicts and more skilled workers as a result of training.

Despite the many advantages of empowerment there exist disadvantages which include


The Process Of Empowerment

increased costs in the organisation due to training, there may occur Abuse of power by workers, time wastage in groups and committees, increased Conflicts among workers and the inability of workers to make right decisions at work.

However empowerment should be encouraged in an organisation through adoption of changes in decision making in order to increase the organisations productivity. There are many advantages associated with empowerment and this will aid in the achievement of organisation goals and objectives. The organisation however needs to implement ways in which the disadvantages that occur due to empowerment are avoided in order to achieve smooth running of the organisation that empowers workers.


About human resource (2008) empowerment of employees, retrieved on 19th February,

available at http://

Ashford E. (1989) the experience of powerlessness in organizations, journal of Organizational Behaviour, 43 (1) 207 to 242

Chiles M. and Zorn E. (1995) Empowerment in organizations, Journal of Applied Communication, 23 (1) 1 to 25

D. Narayan (2002) Empowerment and Poverty Reduction, World Bank Publications


The Process Of Empowerment

Kreisberg S. (1999) Transforming power Domination, empowerment, and education, University of New York Press, New York

Rapport J. (1984) Studies in empowerment: Introduction to empowerment, Beacon Press, Bosto n

Thomas W. and Velthouse A. (1990) Elements of Empowerment: An Interpretive Model of Motivation, Journal of Management, 15 (4) 666 to 681

Wilkinson A. (1998) Empowerment of employees: theory and practice, McGraw Hill publishers, New York