Relationship between Empowerment and Job Satisfaction

Empowerment and Job satisfaction are inversely related to the efficient running of an organization. This can be reflected from statistics collected from some characteristics like tardiness, absenteeism and turnover of the organization. Moreover they are linked to increased productivity and organizational effectiveness. Job satisfaction influences whether employees will remain in an organization or not. Job satisfaction is the measurement of one’s total feelings and attitude towards one’s job (Graham: 1982).

This in essence is the feeling that an individual have about their job. Job satisfaction is high when individuals take a favorable view of his/her work activities. On the other hand empowerment is an avenue that enables employees makes decisions and where individuals take responsibility for their own actions. It is therefore important for empowered employees to make right decisions since they should be ready to bear the consequences of their decisions. In the long run job satisfaction and empowerment can work to the well being of the organization if well handled.

They thus create a win-win situation to both the employee and the employers. Successful empowerments of organizations are based on the teams that are working well and co-operatively. Self-managed teams which share responsibility and develop their own working practices are part of the empowerment process but they must obviously still work to the policies and objectives set by the management. Workers in this case are allowed daily operations without referring to the management the limits of responsibilities for decision making are pre-set in agreement between the parties.

In empowering the employees, some of the skills that will need to be developed include training of multiple skills so that the employees can have adequate knowledge to base on when they are making decision. Relationship between empowerment and job satisfaction Organizational success is at the mercy of its employees. Empowerment of employees plays a pivotal point role in the progress of the organization. For instance if an organization empowers its employees by training to acquire various skills, there is a possibility of employees ending up motivated and thus become more efficient.

In this case the employees are winners. On the other side of the coin, the employers wins in that that they get more profits as a result of the employees working hard from the motivation they get from the empowered skills. Other factors that influence job satisfaction and job performance include; individuals factor like personalities, education, and age orientation to work. These factors that influence job satisfaction are catered for when the employees are empowered.

For instance if the an employee is not motivated and naturally lazy, and the employee is empowered to make decision in his/her department, he is bound to put in extra effort so that he can be a role model and thus justify the decisions he/she makes. Empowerment can enhance job performance thus satisfaction by giving those with higher education the mandate to make decisions and instruct those with lower level of education. This will see the lowly educated acquiring an education through induction thus benefiting from the whole arrangement. Thus empowerment brings about a level ground for employees to work at.

The employees work as peers and can easily solve their problems and conflicts without using the administration. (Clayton: 1972) considers ERG theory which might illustrate and enable us to understand the motivation about the employee reaction to empowerment. The theory focuses on the existence needs, relatedness needs and growth needs. In an organizational situation, the existence needs involves the pay and good working conditions. This can cater for safety needs in the Maslow hierarchy of needs. The relatedness needs takes into account the interpersonal and social relationships and may be met through groups at work (Maslow: 1970).

This in an organization is shown by the empowered groups and employees. In this regard, the employees and groups acquire self esteem which in the long run leads to job satisfaction and thus better performance of the organization. In addition, growth which is concerned with individual’s intrinsic desire to personal development and may be attained through achievement and development in one’s job and the success of the organization-it is equally inevitable to mention that intrinsic motivation is triggered by empowering employees.

The overriding goal of empowering is more the same as delegating. Empowering is a component of Total Quality Management (TQM) movement simply because it will make people feel better about themselves and will, therefore, make them work harder and be more productive for the business entity. The essence of TQM is to ensure that every manager and employee in an organization has a sense of responsibility. Tom Peters summarizes this idea by arguing that management should be laced with quality (Vecchio: 1988).

In this case when employees are empowered they endeavor to unleash their potential thus working to the betterment of the quality of the end products and services of the organization and thus creating inner fulfillment which leads to job satisfaction. Job dissatisfaction on the other hand consists of indicators of low morale, high labor turnover, skills wastage, absenteeism, high accident rates and poor timing among others (Staw: 1995) – these traits are not manifested by empowered employees. An individual with low job satisfaction may suffer frustration and stress.

There is therefore a direct link between job satisfaction and job performance. Empowerment of the employees motivates them. It is therefore important the underlying fact that empowerment of employees has a link to job satisfaction. Factors which influence the level of job satisfaction can be categorized into: intrinsic influences-these are factors arising from the performance of the job itself, for instance, whether the job is challenging or not and whether the job allows the job holder to use a range of skills or talents.

Job satisfaction is also influenced by whether the job holder has control over the work situation and whether his views influence decisions affecting the job. This clearly shows that empowerment has a relationship with job satisfaction. It is also clear that an empowered employee is more likely satisfied with his/her job than one who is not empowered-this emanates from the motivation that comes along from empowerment. Other factors that influence job satisfaction are the extrinsic factors.

These include salary earned from doing the job and fringe benefits that accrued from the job holder (Yuki: 1981). If for instance the job holder is empowered to make decisions which will be rewarded then the job holder is bound to be satisfied. Thus success and recognition of the job holder through empowerment contribute to high job satisfaction which is eventually reflected in the performance. This indeed shows that as much as the employee wins from the good performance of their employers, the employees too benefit.

Therefore job satisfaction can be increased by considering decentralization and delegation of authority and responsibility which allows employees with a degree of freedom to direct their own activities and assume responsibilities authority and power with the organization. Thus empowering the employees by giving them mandate to make decisions will lead to job satisfaction. Also when employees are empowered they get a sense of what the organization’s goal is and thus have a touch with the organization. This in a nut shell gives them some satisfaction in whatever they do at their work place.

In this regard the Goal Setting Theory is applicable since the essence of this theory is to bring individuals to share the goals of the organization. This is the only way the organization can be made effective and efficient and individuals encouraged to achieve their full potential. Empowering the employees of an organization enables the organization to achieve this. Hertzberg’s theories of motivation imply that job satisfaction and motivation can be improved by restructuring and enriching jobs so that they provide employees with more rewarding experiences (Wallace: 2002).

The theories view the concept of job designing and redesigning as a way to finding avenues to satisfying employees’ needs while at the same time satisfying the requirement of the organization. With the development of the work on motivation, Maslow and Herzberg, the focus of job design shifted substantially- away from scientific management’s concern with the architects of the job and extrinsic rewards characterized by Maslow’s higher level needs and Herzberg’s motivational factors (Graham: 1982). Benefits and Problems of Empowerment

Misconception of empowerment is that empowerment exists as a powerful technique on its own- which is not the case. Instead empowerment is a management component of TQM- Total Quality Management. TQM requires a total system of TQM be in place to support its efforts- teaming, leadership, reward system, communication systems, etc- empowerment cannot exist in vacuum. Another problem with empowering employees is that employees may feel very strongly that if they have been empowered by management, their power is absolute. They believe that they are either empowered fully or not empowered at all.

The management has to feel confident that, when they are handing over decision-making power, sound decisions will be made. Where the management does not have the most complete information to make the right decision but the empowered employees or team does, then the person or team should be empowered. Empowerment does not mean the right to dictate each decision (Weiss: 1979). Decisions should always be made by the party most capable given the particular situation and information known in regard to the issue. There needs to be an understanding that the management can sometimes decide to reverse the individual’s or team’s decisions.

Empowerment should not be absolute. It ought to be checked by not only the management but also the stakeholders. There are times that the management has to complement the decisions made and sometimes forced to withdraw them. In addition, empowerment inherently involves risks. The management in this case has to develop reward-consequence systems that will be responsible to reward and punish accordingly. The efforts of all teams ought to be rewarded equally to avoid biasness. On the other hand empowerment results in better decision making in a business.

If the decisions are made at the correct level they will be informed decisions made through consensus rather than decisions made with limited information in a vacuum. The decisions implementation will make the decision makers to be motivated after the realization that they have a say in the company thus improving the performance of the company. Also empowerment targets to speed the decision making process. When the right people are given the mandate to make decisions, they need not to go up to the heads to ask for solutions but they come up with decisions thus avoiding delays in the decision making process (Tharenou: 1993).

In addition when decisions are made at the appropriate levels or job positions it is advantageous for the firm since no one else can understand these issues or opportunities with greater clarity than the people at the appropriate level. Furthermore, employees do want to produce quality work and be proud of and satisfied with their work. Thus they want to have a positive feedback from management, the suppliers and customers. This ensures employees satisfaction. When their decisions yield they can be rewarded by a salary hike and gaining of shares to affirm a job well done.

Employees can be empowered by being provided by skills through training that will see them filling the gaps that are blank (Yousef: 2000). This helps the employees with solving their problems at work. It equally enables the workers to build self confidence. Furthermore, empowering employees with skills encourage employees to take pride of their work which consequently results into improved productivity. They use the skills they have learnt to disseminate their services and do the work in the most efficient way. This in the long run enables the organization to prosper in its endeavors.

Generally empowerment offers an approach to organizations that enables them to succeeed and treats their staff and customers well. Empowerment gives employees a sense of responsibility as they decide on everyday basis the fitness of their work, rather than their manager. In this case the duty to do a good job is on the employee and they are less able to blame their manager for poor decision-making. They in essence are their own bosses and this gives them and opportunity to make satisfactory decisions and thus in the long-run job satisfaction.

Also empowerment offers a way of treating staff with respect and honesty, and offers a way of working for organizations that want to be successful in a climate change. Empowerment works as a motivating factor to employees since it does come with individual’s personal development since for effective implementation of empowerment proper training and development ought to be done to ensure that individuals are equipped with abilities necessary to make decisions. In essence empowerment increases efficiency in an organization. Training needs to be used with top management to help them work through and plan for changes required.

Training also facilitates visioning to the employees. Assertive training in this case is encouraged since it is a way to reach and change attitudes, whilst influencing skills that will be useful so that the empowered staff can communicate with each other (Dreyfuss: 1967). The outcome of empowerment is that there will be many staff on the same level that will be required to interact with each other. This will be beneficial to the organization since influencing and assertiveness skills can make these exchanges more successful. This is equally in the Equity Theory by J Stacy Adams which considers that people strive to achieve for balance.

With people working at the plain level, empowered groups can work more effectively since everyone’s input is of significance in terms of decision making (Woods: 1982). Empowerment is also beneficial to an organization because it gives employees the feeling that they own the organization. This benefit the organization since work is done in a more effective way thus high productivity. The sense of ownership also gives empowered employees a sense of better decisions for the betterment of the organization. All organizations have goals they want to be accomplished in a specified time-frame.

Through empowering an individual, the individual goals for instance acquisition of skills, are infused to that of the organization thus leading to high efficiency in the organization and thus job satisfaction. In addition, empowering employees has an advantage of enabling reduction of conflict between the employees and the organization. It makes members of the organization to have a positive perception towards the goals of the organization as well as personal goals which they expect to fulfill by participating in the activities of the organization.

This also makes the work of the management to be easier since they will not be forced to be always reminding the employees the organizational goals. The empowerment of groups within an organization also sees to it that the goals of the organization are met apart from individual members’ goals (Graham: 1982). . This brings about job satisfaction in that the members of the group realize their importance to the organization and thus behave as stakeholders and not like underdogs.

Thus, it is important to integrate group goals with those of the organization for them to be effective motivators, from the perspective of the organization. When this is done-empowerment of groups in an organization- the individuals within the group are motivated and thus satisfied by the job they do. On the other hand, the problem comes in when individuals bring a set of personal objectives to group, which sometimes has nothing to do with the objectives of the group- for example, protecting the interests of sub-group, impressing the boss and making particular contact among others.

This leads to inefficiency in the organization. The organization functions most effectively when its goals coincide with those of the members and all members of the organization are working to achieve the same goals. It is therefore important for the management of the organization and the employees to work hand in hand and synchronize the goals of the organization and those of individuals within the organization. Failure to do this the organization is bound to have a conflict with its employees.

Thus empowering the employees enable an organization to solve such impending problem. Conclusion Job satisfaction is something that all organization should endeavor for their employees to have. Employees are a reflection of the company and if they are de-motivated then even the clients will move away from the organization because they- the clients will not be treated well. As a way of motivating employees, empowering them can be a sure thing to do because it not only make the employees motivated but also develop their skills and thus the organization’s manpower improves.

Indeed empowering employees enable them to be winners in their own lives and also the employees become winners because their job is done in a more effective and more efficient way. Douglas McGregor’s Theory x has a view that an average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if possible, wishes to avoid responsibility and has relatively little ambition and wants security above all (Allen: 1997) . This view can be countered in an organization if the employees can be empowered.

This will automatically give the employees a position of authority and thus give them the responsibility of making decisions among others. Eventually the employees will be bound to embrace responsibility and thus like their work hence contributing to efficient running of the organization. Empowerment also helps in solving the traits elucidated in Theory x including coercion, direction and threatening of the work force. Consequently, empowerment of employees is paramount for the employees’ job satisfaction. Theory Y on the other hand is characterized by the need of human beings to seek responsibilities among other things.

The theory goes ahead and shows that external control and threat are not the only means for bringing about efforts towards the organization (Allen: 1997). This is a clear indication that people will exercise self direction and self control in service which they are committed to their objectives. In this sense empowering employees makes them to be committed to the goals of the organization thus resulting high achievements within the organization. This equally enables the employees to exploit their partially used potential and hence job satisfaction.