Disadvantages of Employee Empowerment
What is employee empowerment?
Employee empowerment is where authority is given to employees to make critical decisions concerning the organization with little or no supervision from the managers. This entails using different techniques to empower the employees so that they can make better decisions for the company.
Most companies carry out employee empowerment by using techniques such as:
- Job enrichment. This is where employees are assigned more duties at the same position or cadre of employment.
- Job expansion. This entails promoting employees and also assigning them more duties which are considered of higher cadres than what they are currently doing.
- Job rotation. This is where employees work in different departments so that they enrich their skills and knowledge of the organization. This gives them better decision making skills.
Employee empowerment also entails giving the employees information regarding the company and getting their opinions regarding different aspects of the organization. Organizations usually carry out employee empowerment in order to motivate the employees and also increase productivity levels at the work place.
Disadvantages of employee empowerment
In as much as employee empowerment may have many benefits in terms of increasing motivation and productivity amongst employees, it also has its downsides. There are many challenges that can be brought by leaving major decision making to employees. These include:
- Abuse of authority. When an organization decides to let employees make major decisions on behalf of the company without going through the major rungs of power, there are high chances of abuse of authority. Employees may not be mature enough to make decisions without a certain amount of supervision and hence can abuse the given authority and powers.
- High levels of insubordination. Many a times, employee empowerment can become over-confident and arrogant when given the chance to make and implement decisions on their own. This can lead to high levels of insubordination because the employees may have little respect for their managers. The hierarchy in the organization can be overlooked when employee empowerment is implemented in an organization.
- Reduced confidentiality. Since employee empowerment is about giving the employees the chance to make decisions on behalf of the company and involve them by sharing confidential information with them, it can lead to a big compromise on information of the organization. Employees who are not mature enough can leak out important information concerning the organization to the wrong people and compromise the security of the organization.
- Poor decision making. If employees who are inexperienced are given the opportunity to make decisions on behalf of the organization, they are more likely to make the wrong decisions. Even though the employees may be creative and good ideas, they may make the wrong decisions for the organization.
There are generally several benefits of employee empowerment. However, there are several demerits as discussed above and these can be detrimental to an organization. It is thus very important to implement this strategy with the right conditions so as to reap of these benefits.
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