It is sometimes difficult to keep up with the trendy terms, the technical jargon, and the buzzwords. Here’s a new one: empowerment. Sounds like a fancy word for “someone dumping their work on me”. 

So, what is empowerment?

What I have found is if you ask five different people that question, you will probably get five different answers. But there are some common themes that we can recognize concerning empowerment.

Empowerment refers to processes, activities, or measures designed to increase the degree of autonomy and self-determination in people and departments in organizations.

Empowerment also supports employees gaining knowledge and developing skills that will allow them to overcome obstacles in their personal and professional lives.

If we consider organizational theory, empowerment often refers in general to processes and procedures for giving workers greater discretion, resources, and control, in order to serve both the customer and the organization better.

Overall, empowerment involves approaches that promise more participation, responsibility, and independence. So the bottom line is…trust, because empowerment involves the allocation of duties, the delegation of authority, the assignment of responsibility, and the creation of accountability.

Crafting opportunities for empowerment will go a long way in keeping employees and keeping them engaged. Empowerment can be just a concept. How about making it a reality? Get in the conversations and describe the observable behaviors that will support empowerment. You’re empowered? Aren’t you?