Employee Empowerment is leads to employee accountability, inspires innovation and guarantees superior performance.
I completed my Diploma in Analytical Chemistry in 1996. My inspiration to change the world has very quickly dimmed by the harsh realities of the corporate world. I began working for a cosmetic product manufacture in 1997, where I was a laboratory analyst. This organization was a truly hierarchical; every decision had to be approved at senior level. Everything had to be done as stipulated by guidelines developed by management from years ago, questioning processes was unheard off let alone trying to change things. The management style was command and control. This was very suffocating, I could not bear the thought of not being able to use my intuition or the training I had received from university. So after realizing the boundaries beset upon me by hierarchy and rigid management philosophy, I left the field completely to join an IT company in 1999. This was the first time I experienced management evolution in practice, I was given a project with a 3 month dead line and set free to deliver results. The project entailed setting up home based computers for the every employee within the bank for internet and email. The objectives, results and consequences were clearly stipulated, the delivery was left entirely up to me. Overwhelmed, I took the challenge on. With room to think and come up with innovative ways of doing things, I was able complete the project in 2 months.
The second phase of my experience of management evolution was when I joined Anglogold Ashanti and subsequently Rand Merchant Bank. These two organization have been phenomenal in helping to unlock my potential, by simply empowering me with decision making capabilities, by trusting me, and allowing me to think and apply my mind. Their management philosophy became the very source of my inspiration to tap into my strengths and stretch the boundaries of my capabilities. Working for an organization that encourages innovation and allows questioning of how things are done creates an environment that motivates employees to think outside of the box and take responsibility. This facilitates the transition from employee to business partner and unlocks potential.
My trigger event was the suffocation I felt working in the laboratory, I was not able to apply my mind and think things through. Every single task was routine, it required no thought or innovation. I decided that I would like to work in an environment whereby I was empowered to think and become an integral part of the business. This is because learning comes from experience which stems from experimenting and trying something new. I realized that the organizational boundaries where hindering my learning, I was not able to tap in to my capabilities and unlock my potential.
- At Contlan computer consultants in 1999, I was exposed to a more inclusive management approach which empowered me to apply my mind.
- Motivation to do well was inspired by the responsibility and accountability placed upon me by management.
- At Anglogold and RMB (2001 to 2010), I was exposed to a management style that ensured that I knew my role and the direct impact it had on the performance of the business, being an integral part of the business.
- My performance as an individual was enhanced by the interaction with an evolved, and a more inclusive management philosophy.
- Challenges of implementing a more open and inclusive management philosophy is that, organizations run the risk of creating complaisant employees who are disengaged from the business.
- The solution to this is that, mangers have to identify talent and provide the necessary support to keep them engaged.
- Unlocked employee potential and increased innovation levels.
- Improved business performance.
- Retaining key talented staff engaged in the business.
- Employee empowerment benefits both organization and employee.
- Innovation is inspired by the freedom to apply ones mind and room to experiment and tryout new things.
- Innovation is boundary less, relax boundaries and results will follow.
- By linking innovation to business performance and communicating that effectively throughout the business keeps the organization focused on the goal.