Delegation vs Empowerment
Delegation and empowerment are important concepts in management for leaders and managers. These are tools in the hands of managers that they must use judiciously to achieve the goals of the organization while motivating the employees to achieve better and improved productivity. We know that to delegate is to allocate tasks to employees telling them what to do and in what manner. Empowerment, on the other hand, refers to the act of giving decision making power to the employees making them responsible and accountable. There are many more differences between the two concepts of empowerment and delegation that will be talked about in this article.
What is Delegation?
When a manager gives tasks to subordinates asking them to complete them as per directions and deadline, he is supposed to be delegating authority at different levels. Employees are made responsible and accountable for the task entrusted with them. Delegation of power and authority is common in all situations and circumstances though it is in the context of an organization that delegation becomes a tool in the hands of managers to achieve the goals of the organization best.
If you look up the dictionary, the act of delegation in its verb form refers to the process of giving authority to employees entrusting them with tasks. The inherent feeling in delegation is the command or what the manager expects form the subordinates. Delegation is purely thought of in terms of organizational benefits with nothing in it for the employees’ motivation or positive behavioral changes. It has to be remembered that delegation of authority also involves delegation of protocol as there is always a set of instructions or guidelines according to which the employee has to get the task completed.
What is Empowerment?
Empowerment is a term that has become very commonplace these days with newspapers using the word in articles and talk shows on TV having panelists talking about the need to empower the backward and downtrodden sections of the society. Empowerment refers to the process of giving people more control over their situations and lives. In purely organizational setup, empowering employees is showing trust and faith in them while giving them responsibilities.
Empowerment is believed to motivate employees as they feel more in control of the situation. When boss makes someone in charge of a department and allows him to run it as he deems fit, it is seen that the employee has more confidence and produces better results than when he is delegated authority and asked to run the department according to set rules and protocol.
Empowerment is a process that shows respect to employees placing trust in their abilities. While organizational goals remain the end results, employee interests are used as means to achieve these results.
What is the difference between Delegation and Empowerment?
• To achieve the goals of the organization, making use of employees, managers can make use of either delegation or empowerment
• While delegation is all about using employees as means to achieve ends, empowerment tries to make employees feel important as it is a process that places trust in the abilities of the employees
• Some managers have fear of erosion of authority which is why they use delegation over empowerment
• These days there is a lot of talk of empowerment as a means to instill confidence in employees and to improve their productivity