Jun 11, 2013

    Barriers to employee empowerment

    The Star/Asia News Network

    THE concept of empowering employees is understood today as a powerful way to steer an organisation towards success.

    However, building such a culture is no easy feat. Quite a number of obstacles may loom in the way, some of which are the following:


    According to employment expert Rick Johnson, employers can be one of the factors that prevent employee empowerment from taking place. This is because some managers do not trust their employees enough and are sceptical of their abilities.

    In such a scenario, employers should get to know their employees to better understand their abilities and then entrust them with various responsibilities according to their strengths.


    There is a fear that some employees will tend to get overconfident in an empowered environment when they are given the opportunity to make certain decisions.

    Employers can set clear guidelines to show that just because every opinion is valued, does not mean there is no line of authority, nor systems in place.


    If a culture of empowerment is going to be implemented, employees must be ready for such a change. Otherwise, they may not seize the opportunities presented to them either because of fear, insecurity or lack of knowledge.

    Training for employees will be valuable to strengthen their decision-making skill set. The aim is to equip them with sufficient know-how so that they will have the confidence to step out and make decisions in the company's best interests.

    The writer is with Leaderonomics, a social enterprise that, among other things, trains leaders in various fields. This contribution appeared in The Star/Asia News Network last Saturday.