According to businessdictionary.com, empowerment is the practice of sharing information, rewards, and power with employees so that they can take initiative and make decisions to solve problems and improve service and performance. Empowerment is based on the idea that giving employees skills, resources, authority, opportunity, motivation, as well holding them responsible and accountable for outcomes of their actions, will contribute to their competence and satisfaction.
Employee engagement is the emotional connection an employee feels toward his or her organization, which tends to influence his or her behaviors and level of effort in work related activities. The more engagement an employee has with his or her organization, the more effort they put forth.
Employee engagement also involves the nature of the job itself. Do employees feel mentally stimulated? Is there trust and is there open communication between employees and management? Can employees see how their own work contributes to the overall organization’s mission and performance? Is there opportunity for growth within the organization? What is the level of pride employees have about working, or being associated with the organization?
Engagement and empowerment are related. Engagement increases productivity, improves performance, lowers turnover, and attracts talent. Empowerment is the fuel and employee engagement is the fire.
Empowerment provides the structure and the means for employee engagement to flourish. If we trust each other, work collaboratively in solving problems, and create a supportive communication environment, there is a good chance that employee engagement will follow.
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