Employee Empowerment – from communication management to community management

I was recently asked to do a speech on Employee Empowernment for a team of communicaition managers. Here are a few highlights.

Empowerment is not anarchy. Empowerment is about delegation of authority and enabling of responsible action at the right time
We are living in a complex world: Globalization, Fragmentation, Technological Distruption and Economic Volatility. The only viable strategy is to involve and enable collaboration to create ideas and solve problems

Empowerment and influence is closely related. The more you empower, the more trust is created. The more trust, the higher is the total sum of influence. Thus, managers who empower and involve efficiently actually gain influence (Kanter 1979)

The fact that empowerment creates motivation is well known. People are highly motivated, when they can influence their work, and see the direct results. (Hackmann & Oldham)

Empowerment creates trust, and trust creates an open and network oriented culture. This is a retention parameter, that is very difficult to compete with

10 years ago, one of the key benefits of joining a large corporation, was that you would receive a nice laptop, a good mobile phone and have access to a lot of updated software. Today your experience is that you get an outdated phone, a slow computer and for security reasons, be constrained from using all the creative tools you use at home.  So the private sphere is better equipped than the corporate when it comes to communication tools and knowledge sharing. This change creates new challenges for communication managers

The fact that employees of today are very skilled and well equipped communicators, means that communication management as we know it has to change. Rather than producing and controlling formal communications, the most important role of a communications department is to facilitate the community, to support effective informal communications. What we need is a shift from communications management to community management.

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