Empowering Employees for Success

Do you take pride in the work you do? If so, that is excellent! However, if you are not putting a top notch effort in to your job, you are not alone. There seems to be some sort of disconnect between the efforts of a business owner compared to that of an employee.  Chances are if you are a business owner, you strive each and every day for success within your business niche and are constantly brainstorming new ideas and always looking for fresh ways to improve your business as a whole. However, if you are the average employee you may be more concerned with just getting to work each day and earning a decent paycheck. Even though it seems pretty natural for a business owner to be more involved and concerned about the health of the business, can you imagine the limitless possibilities if all employees put in that much effort as well? Let’s take a look at two different scenarios:

Scenario 1:

The owner of a sheet metal facility cares deeply about his business as he has built it from the ground up. As a teenager he exuded strong entrepreneurial qualities and began the business by age 25. The owner of the facility employs 22 people. The employees have all been trained and understand their job responsibilities. Many of the workers arrive right on time each day and leave the moment the shifts are over. While the employees go through the same motions every day while watching the clock tick away, the owner is busy looking for ways to improve his business as well increase revenues. He understands that his employees are there just to earn a paycheck but would like more effort but doesn’t know how to motivate them to be more concerned and involved with improving business practices and processes.

Scenario 2:

This scenario features the same owner of the sheet metal facility with the same early entrepreneurial success, however this time around his employees are much different. No, they are not different people, they are the same people but are more empowered about their jobs. In this scenario there was a different approach taken by the owner and the people in leadership positions, instead of just hiring and training employees, employees are placed into teams. Each team member is instilled with a sense of ownership within the work area; essentially each member is considered an expert at his or her job. Weekly meetings are held to discuss possible improvement tactics and to discuss ideas and thoughts. The atmosphere is one that harbors growth and change instead of focusing simply just on the workload. Employees are empowered to help the business grow and feel an obligation towards its future success.

Empowering Employees

After reading through these two scenarios, which do you feel is better? The obvious choice is scenario 2. The type of practice utilized in scenario 2 is a type of lean mindset which is called “Hoshin Kanri” or basically just Hoshin Planning. This strategy follows the practice of treating each employee as an expert within their field and focuses on sharing team goals, good communication, and basically working towards total quality control.

One key ingredient that is often missing from many workplaces is employee involvement and empowerment. If employees are not provided with opportunities to be involved, simply put… they won’t be. They will just work the hours scheduled and cash their paychecks. In order for a business to be truly successful and at the top of their game, employee involvement is crucial.

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