The Dark Side of Employee Empowerment

It is a great thing to empower your employees to make a change within your business. It is another to actually empower them to make change rather than just saying it.

However empowering your employees does not give you a get out of jail free card. To often management respond to criticism by shrugging and saying that if the staff don’t like something then they should change it.

If an employee doesn’t like the strategic direction of the firm they work for they really cannot just go out and change it. The most they can do is lobby and harp at management to try and change direction. If they see little immediate reaction to their badgering then they are quickly demotivated to campaign for changes.

Empowerment does not mean that management should not actively seek feedback and act on it, particularly if change is easy for them to effect. They should also be ready to shoulder the burden that if you empowered your employees and you still have problems then they are still your problems. Saying that employees should have fixed them doesn’t help your staff or yourself.


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