Empowerment has been a buzzword in contemporary leadership for
more than a decade. Many feel it means giving an employee or team
the autonomy for making a decision. Yet giving responsibility for
decision making without fully training a team on the goals, objectives,
and other material and needed education resources is known as
“slimpowerment”. It is empowerment that slims down morale and
negatively impacts the bottom-line.
This misconception dates back to the early days of empowerment at
General Motors. As the automaker was searching to harness the
experience of local workers and their daily working knowledge of
their specific job, “empowerment” was used to signify the new
freedom they would have in making decisions.
“That was just another failed program,” said one UAW worker at
one of GM’s Warren facilities. “They would get these warm and
fuzzy programs and think everything was going to turn around.”
True empowerment means providing the education and resources to
make correct decisions. At the same plant a new Global
Management System (GMS) program was introduced in the last
decade. In GMS employees are working as teams with the power to
make decisions that will impact the bottom line.
Nobody knows the nuances of a job better than the person doing it
every day. Once they are provided with the organizational goals and
resources they need they are able to attain the goals quicker and
more consistently through true empowerment.
Without knowing the measurement of success and having the mental
and physical resources to achieve triumph, the team has not been
empowered, it has been slimpowered.
Use this term for developing skills in these areas:
A Bizerm™ is a new business term combining two
descriptive words into a single word or phrase whose
definition is often only known by those using it. To
see more terminology in the workplace, click here.
©2007, 2017 Max Impact, Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA