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Empower Staff and Increase Job Satisfaction

By: Kevin Watson MSc - Updated: 17 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Responsibility Job Satisfaction Staff

Surveys have uncovered startling facts about work. They show that 25% of staff are unhappy with their jobs, and 60 – 80% would like to change employment within two years.

These figures indicate a high level of employee unhappiness. There is a way, though, to improve workers’ job satisfaction and at the same time make an organisation more effective: staff empowerment.


Many consultants and business gurus believe the most vital role of managers is to motivate staff. Without motivation, many staff lose interest and perform below par. They also become dissatisfied with their workplace.

Motivating staff isn’t easy, though. The type of work, economic circumstances, and the nature of human beings, all complicate matters. One way to cut through this, however, and appeal straight to people’s temperaments, is to give staff responsibility.

What Staff Want

Responsibility is what a lot of staff want. They appreciate the fact that managers trust them, and repay this with hard work and a positive attitude.

Managers must judge, of course, if a member of staff is ready to take on responsibility. Once this is established, however, an organisation benefits from keen employees, greater flexibility, increased innovation, commitment to change, and improved problem solving.


When managers empower staff to push ahead with a job, they create flexibility within a workplace. Staff no longer feel they have to report to managers about every single detail. They know they can use their initiative and do a job more quickly.

Managers for their part must be available to give advice and help. They must not simply lay down the law. They must listen and encourage. Consequently, a working relationship develops based on mutual respect.


Staff who work in the front line are good at recognising the needs of customers. Empowered staff can not only spot these needs, but also do something about them by introducing new practices and ideas.

Such innovation boosts an organisation’s credibility with customers. It may even save money and increase profits.


Change is an ever-present necessity with many organisations. These organisations either change to meet market demands or risk going out of business.

Empowered staff are more confident about identifying and implementing organisational change. They also feel they can suggest ideas to managers for change in parts of an organisation other than their own.

Employees who are not empowered tend to complain about change. They also wait for managers to tell them what to do.


The other great benefit managers find when they empower staff is the willingness of employees to solve problems by themselves – or to propose solutions.

Such willingness sets up a two-way dialogue between staff and management. This can boost the morale of all concerned.


Empowerment can greatly improve communication in an organisation. Empowered staff, for example, are more willing to talk about change rather than resent it. They are also keen to discuss problem-solving and innovations.

Furthermore, if staff empowerment forms part of a recruitment and retention strategy, it clearly says to employees that the organisation is prepared to trust them with responsibility. This gives a significant boost to job satisfaction.

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