Employee Empowerment the Smart Way

March 17, 2015

This morning we released CTS Service Solutions’ Ultimate Starter Guide to Employee Empowerment. This guide walks those new to the idea of strategically and consciously attempting to increase employee empowerment in their organizations through many of the basic ideas surrounding empowerment as well as nine tips for empowering employees effectively.

The Ultimate Starter Guide to Employee Empowerment

One of the concepts discussed in the guide is the idea we share at CTS Service Solutions called Smart Empowerment. Smart Empowerment was created as a reality check to some of the more airy and fantastical concepts of empowerment floating around — the short form answer that empowerment is always good and more of it is always better.

Empowerment is a tool — an incredibly powerful and very underutilized tool — but a tool nonetheless. Like any tool, it is useful for the right purposes under the right circumstances.

Smart empowerment is about viewing employee empowerment through the lens of risk and reward, as well as operability and scalability.

  • Whenever you grant greater authority and responsibility to more people, you increase the chances that those powers will be used in a way that is detrimental to the organization. Purposely evaluating these risks is fundamental to evaluating empowerment the right way.
  • Ensuring that empowerment initiatives work well in current operational conditions and are scalable across similar job functions is essential. Organizations must make sure that all of the pieces are in place to ensure that employees can succeed with their newfound authority and responsibility.

When you transcend the platitudes and inspirational messages, employee empowerment in the real world can be a challenging and complicated process. In the end, however, it is almost always a worthwhile one. Smart empowerment helps ensure that empowerment is successful for organization, employee, and customer.

To dive deeper into Smart Empowerment and other aspects of this topic, make sure to check out our Ultimate Starter Guide to Employee Empowerment.

3 thoughts on “Employee Empowerment the Smart Way”

  1. This transcends service, this is more than support – this is business. The more places my professional journey takes me, the more I realize that Employee Relations and HR need to be aligned with business strategy, vis a vis ALL communications. Think how often we see a marketing campaign try to ‘sell’ customer service, only from their silo they don’t see all breakdowns in service and support, in product development, communications and employee training?

    Along side Customers, Employees are the most crucial Public an organization has. And it’s when TPTB realize that people need to work together – integrated throughout the company – so that the best and brightest are recruited and properly trained, so that top talent is retained and advanced, so that the ‘boat rockers’ and innovators are empowered to do better, and rewarded for it. What happens is that the customer, the employee AND the organization all win. This is integrated PR, this is what good business is. FWIW.

    1. Integrated is the magic word you mention Davina — and not just for PR, but as you point, out across all communications and business. In the companion guide this post refers to, it mentions that the natural gravitational pull of all orgs is towards more rules and more control — which impacts empowerment. I think much can be said of the silos you mention. Turf protection, fiefdoms, departmental tunnel vision is the natural pull — fighting against those things takes leadership that can see the big picture and get the parts working together towards a common strategy.

      1. WORD. I’ve long argued that the territorial pissing contests – which boil down to budget, as in who controls it and therefore has job ‘security’ – are the walls. It’s only when things fail that leadership takes notice, blames the silo and poor communication. But convince C-suite that ideas like service and relationships are more than marketing bullets? That front line is what matters, and therefore that’s where the investment and budget belongs? That control is an illusion and it shouldn’t take 8 levels of managers and directors to ‘supervise’ the 1-2 layers of talent doing the actual work? Sigh.. I could go on and on agreeing w/ you.

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