Empowerment is a state in which employees have access to all the information, training, tools and connections to people and other teams that they need to do their best work, as well as a safe environment in which to do that work so they feel comfortable making their own decisions.

In other words, empowerment is enablement with the opportunity for employees to act autonomously, using their own best judgment as it relates to a shared understanding of team and organisational guidelines and objectives. If you want to empower your people, you need to do more than give them authority and control; you need to assist them in learning how to manage their autonomy.

Empowerment exists at three different levels in the workplace:

Empowerment on an organisational and managerial level is considered to happen naturally – managers are given more responsibility as part of their role to manage and lead others. However, empowering at an individual level requires a much greater effort and should be a strong focus for leaders.

When you empower your team, you create limitless potential. Empowering your team gives each individual power and the opportunity to think independently and do things by themselves. Good leaders provide the tools needed for their team to complete tasks. Empowering leaders, however, create a path for their team to discover their own abilities for themselves.

By Ilana Bisschoff

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