GNcareers, from Gulf News

How empowerment creates efficient employees

How empowerment creates efficient employeesImage Credit: Supplied

Empowering employees help them develop their skills and use resources to maximize productivity. It is an opportunity for them to hold responsibility with authority since they will be accountable for the results while using their competencies to deliver best performance.

What do we encounter in everyday business? Many. For instance, the sanctioning of routine vouchers used for employee expenses. The employee fills out the expense claim form and attaches the supporting documents. He sends it to his reporting manager. The reporting manager signs and routes it to his divisional head. The divisional head forwards it to the CFO. The CFO verifies with the accounts payable. After the approval, it goes back to the originator – the employee – for him to collect his payment from the cashier.

The organization believes that passing it through four managerial layers ensures checks and balances. But if we look at the mechanism of this routing system, it gives an impression that the routine sign is on. It is based on the reporting manager’s signature; the rest of the managers carry approvals for the sake of following the delegation of authority and compliance process. There is no real control in the system, and this transaction takes days. The company follows the same process for other core activities such as sales, logistics and payables to suppliers.

If the company authorizes empowerment to the frontline manager, the latter will have the authority to sign all vouchers with the clear understanding that he and only he and his team are fully accountable for the veracity of the expenses incurred.

When employees are empowered, they are more careful with their transactions, and are more accountable for the consequences. There is no further dilution of accountability and they can no longer pass the buck upwards. With system integrity, better control is ensured, and transaction cycle time is reduced. Empowerment must be activity based, not based on position authority or grade level.

Handy Hints:

• Empowered employees are more committed and accountable

• Empowering employees allows them to have control over work

• They have the power to make decisions as, when necessary

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Source: Dr. Pon Mohaideen Pitchai, Special to Jobs & Careers

The writer is a Dubai-based HR and Management Consultant