Benefits of employee empowerment
Research has proved that there are several positive benefits in empowering front line employees. David Bowen and Edward Lawler have pointed out the following benefits of empowerment:
1. Quicker response to customer needs during service delivery: Empowerment entrusts adequate power to service personnel to make decisions on the spot. Quick decision-making enables the service employees to respond quickly to customer needs. Needless to say, satisfied customers are the great source of word of mouth communication.
2. Quicker response to dissatisfied customers during service recovery: Sometimes, failure may take place in service delivery. When there are failures in the delivery system, the customers hope for an immediate recovery effort on the part of the service organization. Since sales force is empowered with the authority to set right the defect immediately, customers can hope for a recovery on the spot. The timely service recovery turns a dissatisfied customer into a satisfied, even loyal one.
3. Great employee satisfaction: As employees are entrusted with the authority for decision-making, they feel more responsible. It also gives them customer satisfaction. As they are trusted, employees enjoy their work. They may not leave the organization to work elsewhere. This ultimately leads to lower turnover and absenteeism.
4. Better interaction with customers: Empowerment makes employees feel better and important. This aspect is amply reflected in their interaction with customers. Reduction in job-related stress, improved job satisfaction, greater adaptability, etc., promote a good customer relationship.
5. Great source of service ideas: Front line employees are empowered to accommodate customer requests and to recover very quickly when things go wrong. Empowerment gives employees skill and authority to serve customers. An empowered service firm is characterized by flexibility, ability to take quick decisions and authority given to front line employees. Service employees working in such a set up feel they are chiefly responsible for the efficient service outcome. This aspect will pave the way for excellent sources of ideas for improving, current offerings.