Employee Empowerment through Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

Use employee empowerment to build a more engaged, diverse and inclusive workplace. 

We’re in the middle of a change in the relationship between employees and their jobs. Workers are demanding job flexibility, meaningful work, learning and development opportunity, and seeking an alignment with company values. Remote work has been seen to increase employee engagement and empowerment. This is a trend in business strategies.

Employee empowerment has emerged as a powerful way to boost talent retention, drive business growth, and improve candidate engagement during the recruiting process.  

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion go hand in hand with empowerment initiatives

Organizations are revising their Employee Value Proposition and employee engagement practices to draw in top talent and enhance candidate engagement. They are also rigorously examining empowerment in their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

Nurture a positive environment using employee empowerment in DEI       

Employee empowerment is defined as how a company provides its workers with a certain degree of autonomy and control over their time. This can include scheduling of their own day-to-day activities, participating in creation and management of new procedures or having a voice in process improvement, access to training and career advancement, and more accountability with less oversight from management.  

Research has regularly demonstrated that when employees feel empowered at work, it is associated with stronger job performance, job satisfaction, and commitment to the organization. ~Harvard Business Review 

This is important in an inclusive workplace, because when delegating outcome-based tasks and assignments, the level of empowerment is personalized for the individual contributors, as well as self-directed teams. This means giving employees the ability to make important decisions, and helping ensure those decisions are correct. With the proper balance of training, coaching, and less top-down management, empowering leaders will have more engaged, creative, productive and helpful employees.   

Effective employee empowerment means the company provides workers what they need to succeed. That’s a powerful value proposition for candidate engagement across the full spectrum of diverse talent.  

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Employee empowerment calls for restructuring the organization to flatten out the hierarchy, and create a human-centric, customer focused organization.  

One way to do this is to invert the “triangle” of the organizational power structure. Traditionally management is at the top of the triangle and customers at the bottom. In an environment of employee empowerment, customers are at the top and managers are at the bottom in supporting roles to give employees and teams what they need to accomplish company goals for delivering products and services.  

Empowering leaders delegate authority by sharing information, asking for input and engaging team members in decision-making.  

“Empowering employees to achieve something requires alignment between individual aspirations and organizational goals. Managers have to learn how to engage differently with their direct reports so that there is less instruction and more two-way dialogue.” ~Murielle Tiambo, senior engagement manager at PwC 

Effective employee empowerment results in higher productivity, better quality of work, increased talent retention for the company, while the employee also benefits from greater job satisfaction and improved quality of life.  

Foster creativity through employee empowerment   

Employee empowerment practices vary depending on company culture. However, there are two essential ways to boost employee engagement through empowerment:  

  • Job Enlargement is a horizonal expansion of job duties as the employee grows in skills, desire and aptitude to take on related tasks and increased responsibility. 
  • Job Enrichment is increasing the depth of work to include greater responsibility and decision-making that typically have been carried out by upper management.  

Both job enlargement and job enrichment require training, management coaching and access to information to feel confident in performing tasks and decision-making, encouragement to be creative and think outside the box, take initiative and seek opportunities for growth.  

Understanding what employee empowerment really means 

Employee empowerment is a management philosophy that provides employees with a high level of autonomy, along with the training, resources and support needed to act independently – and be held accountable. Successful employee empowerment requires the willingness of managers to delegate and share decision-making power with their teams.  

It also requires a lot of trust. Management must show confidence and trust in employees to do the right thing in order to achieve desired results for the company, and its clients or customers.   

To build trust and a sense of self-determination in the company culture, managers also need to look beyond the typical annual performance reviews and take a more frequent approach to communicating goals and measuring outcomes. In addition, individualized one-to-one evaluations are necessary to hold employees accountable for personal goals and the decisions they’ve been empowered to make.  

build employee empowerment with AI

Building a better workplace through the power of self-determination. 

While employee empowerment requires organizations to give up some of the control held by management, giving everyone higher level of self-determination also empowers managers to take on new roles, knowledge and responsibility. It does not mean managers are relinquishing authority, rather it enlarges responsibility through delegation and creates more opportunity for individual, team, and organizational growth.  

Employment empowerment challenges companies to develop mutual trust at all levels, find better ways to assess individual capabilities and accountability, as well as expand the boundaries of roles and responsibilities for individuals and teams.  

Here at SmartSearch, we believe that employee empowerment is a key component in candidate engagement. We’re talking with our clients about how the employee value proposition and message of empowerment can attract candidates to help build a more engaged, diverse and inclusive workplace. 

We invite you to learn more…CTA  


Resources : 

American Society for Quality  

Harvard Business Review  


Potentia Workforce