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3 Elements of Empowerment

by Beth on February 15th, 2012

In positive work environments people are empowered to do their job successfully. According to the progress principle, a new theory of work motivation, people are happier at work when they feel they are making consistent progress toward meaningful goals. Managers can, therefore, increase the amount of positive emotions experienced at work by helping people to achieve their goals. Three essential elements for empowering others include:

Clarity. The first step in empowering employees is to clarify goals and expectations. People can only progress at work if they have a clear idea of what results they are expected to deliver. With empowerment the role of a manager shifts from closely supervising what people are doing to holding them accountable for results. This means that managers need to clearly define expected outcomes and communicate them frequently so that everyone understands their responsibilities.

Support. The second step in empowering others is to support them by providing the resources they need to succeed and removing any obstacles that may hinder progress. Managers empower their people by serving their needs. This requires not only providing the time, resources, and encouragement necessary for accomplishing goals, but also actively working to eliminate barriers to success.

Autonomy. Finally, empowering people means giving them the autonomy they need to do their work. Once employees know what they are expected to do and have the support they need to do it, the best thing a manager can do is to get out of their way. Trusting employees to get their work done however they choose is fundamental for creating positive work environments.

How good are you at using the three elements of empowerment to help your people succeed?

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