Although engagement has taken over as the buzzword for organizations, empowerment is an important aspect. Engagement and empowerment have an interdependent relationship. Employees must be empowered in order to be engaged. And yet, engagement is crucial to empowerment. You may be asking yourself how that works. Let’s discuss this.
Scholars point to two types of employee empowerment. The first is structural empowerment, which is what the organization can do to encourage employees. It involves giving employees power to make decisions over their work, to have information, resources and support they need to do their work. If employees have these elements and can complete their work to their satisfaction, they become empowered. Once they are empowered, they become engaged.
It is difficult to become engaged and involved ins something in which you have no meaning or power. Thus empowerment leads to engagement.
However, there is a second aspect to workplace empowerment that is psychological empowerment. Employees have to want to become empowered. They have to take advantage of what employers offer. This could be taking advantage of opportunities such as training and development or choosing to make decisions. Becoming empowered is a choice for each individual employee. So what leads an employee to choose to become empowered?
Yep, you got it. Engagement. When employees are engaged, they will have motivation to empower themselves. Of course this is only one aspect of the equation, but its a big one. It is the foundation for other factors.