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Empowerment is a strategy used by managers to intrinsically encourage and energize employees. It is normally done by giving them incentives and influencing their techniques in order to achieve the desired ways (Whetten & Cameron, 2007. 401). Empowered employees accomplish their duties effectively because they are intrinsically attracted by them, but not because of the fact that they are extrinsically rewarded or influenced.
Empowered employees are said to be more innovative, productive, creative, as well as satisfied than the ones who are not (Whetten & Cameron, 2007. 401). For an organization to perform its duties effectively, managers should ensure that their employees are empowered. More so, the fact that they cannot complete the organizational tasks all by themselves makes delegation to be inevitable.
Delegation, on the other hand, is a term that refers to assigning work to other people. Apparently, it does not inherently escape any managerial position (Whetten & Cameron, 2007. 419). Delegation, though commonly done by managers, is not always performed in a competent manner. When delegation is done in an improper manner, organizational failure is bound to occur (McConnell, 1995).
According to my results in the ‘effective empowerment and delegation assessment,’ it is clear that in empowering and delegating, my level of competency is really low since I scored a total of 115, which is below 120, and thus the bottom quartile. One of the reasons is that I slightly agree with the idea that people are able to develop a personal mastery while they are first given less demanding tasks and end with more difficult ones.
In addition, I agree that I am weak on delegating consistently, but I only do it when I have work overload. I do not also observe the rule of upward delegation as sometimes I solve the problems that are intended to be solved by subordinates. I also do not clearly state the success and failure consequences, making it hard for empowerment to occur.
However, I feel strong about myself since I help people to be more competent by recognizing them when they succeed. Another thing that makes me feel strong is the fact that I serve as a role model when it comes to task accomplishment. This is because I ensure that my tasks are done perfectly and on time.
However, I do not often recognize other successful role models. I agree to the fact that I provide encouragement, give praise, and approve others who are competent. I am also good at providing people with feedback as well as the support they need.
I also try to create friendships and interactions that are informal in order to recognize others success and achievements. However, I do not often highlight one’s work as crucial impact on others as well as on goals. I agree to the fact that I give necessary information to needy people in accomplishments of their tasks.
I am glad that I pass information on a regular basis as soon as I get it. This helps other people to succeed in their tasks. I also agree that I provide people with the required resources that include their time and space in order for them to perform their tasks successfully. This includes the resources that are unavailable to me.
It is not often that I encourage people to get into groups or teams in order for their participation to be increased. I also do not often encourage teams to come up with their own decisions and execute their own recommendations. I am glad that I am fair and equitable while making my decisions, thus fostering confidence.
I do not often, show care and personal concern with everyone that I deal with. It is not often that while delegating duties that I make my desired results clear. The same happens to the initiative level that I require for others to take. However, I agree that I allow the workers who accept assignments to participate on the work that needs to be done and when.
I also ensure that the authority that I give goes hand in hand with the responsibility amount that I expect for the results produced. I do no always follow the structure of the organization when I am delegating. This makes me bypass people without informing them. I, however, identify challenges that people are likely to face, though I provide the support they need. I also make sure that I gauge the accountability on results and not the used techniques.
In the Personal Empowerment Assessment, I fall under the mean score which totals to 27.96, with my total score being 23.My strongest area is the self efficacy or competence skill in which I score 6.25. This is because I strongly agree that I am confident in regard to the ability I have in doing my work. I believe my work falls in the scope of my capabilities as well as my competence level, and also I have mastered the skills that I need in doing my work. This is followed by self determination or the choices I make.
With a score of 5.0, I believe I have the autonomy that I need to determine the way I do my job. I, however, have a weakness when it comes to doing my work. With a score of 4.75, I feel that my work is personally meaningful, but I don’t feel like it has a lot of meaning or importance to me. The most weakness I have in this area is trust or security. With a score of 2.75, I do not trust my coworkers to be honest to them or earn their trust. This is because in a competitive environment, it is hard to trust one another.
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In a management role, I would capitalize on my strengths by delegating and empowering. Delegating being the task of assigning duties to others, would help me capitalize on my strengths as I would empower my subordinates with the resources they need, information, as well as support. This is because, in order for them to be successful, they need to feel empowered.
Considering that empowerment is to enable or overcome feelings that come with helplessness and powerlessness, then providing them with the above, would make them become successful in achieving their tasks. Another way that I would capitalize my strengths is by playing a role model since I am capable and competent in my tasks. This is because employees like to be competent, and so when they have a role model they would surely try to showcase their worthwhile.
Empowerment and delegation are both similar in that they are needed in circumstances that require a certain work to be accomplished by other people (McConnell, 1995).
However, they are different in that empowerment is giving people the freedom they need in order for them to do what they want in a successful manner, while delegation is getting people to perform the tasks one wants them to. While delegation focuses on work, empowerment focuses on the feelings of the individuals, that is, how people think of themselves (Whetten & Cameron, 2007. 428).
Both of them can act as motivators, with delegation being extrinsic, that is, it directs motivates, and stimulates the employees’ behavior by rewarding them. Empowerment, on the other hand, aims for intrinsic motivation by ensuring there are no boundaries, constraints or controls that are forbidding them to achieve their goals, that is, it provides them with information and resources (Whetten & Cameron, 2007. 401).
Both empowerment and delegation can function as team builders in that they enhance interpersonal relationships. For instance, in accomplishment of tasks, the relationships with other members of the organization, other team members, or with the manager himself are strengthened (Lacour & Tissington, 2010).
For delegation to be successful, empowerment is inevitable. This is because both of them require other people to conduct the tasks needed. While delegation aims at directing and stimulating, empowerment aims at strengthening the individuals’ feelings so that they can intrinsically be attracted to the required tasks.
Empowerment aims at enabling those who are powerless and hopeless in order for them to accomplish the various tasks. It helps individuals attain personal control, self-efficacy, meaning, self-determinism and trust (Whetten & Cameron, 2007. 428).
Because of the competitive environment that organizations work in, managers tend to delegate than empower. This is because they are threatened, and due to the feeling of rigidness, they control their employees even more. When employees are not empowered in the end, organizations tend to under perform. Therefore, it is the duty of every manager to empower their employees in order for them to perform, and hence be considered competent managers (Lacour & Tissington, 2010).
Lacour, M., & Tissington, L. (2010). Delegation and Empowerment. What is Quality Leadership? 8 (3).
McConnell, C.R. (1995). Delegation versus empowerment: what, how, and is there a difference? Health Care Superv. 14(1): 69-79.
Whetten, D.A., & Cameron, K.S. (2007). Developing management skills (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.