Difference Between Employee Involvement and Empowerment

Employee Involvement vs Empowerment

The difference between Employee Involvement and Empowerment is a very delicate subject as both, employee involvement and employee empowerment, are intertwined concepts. Employee involvement and empowerment are two important concepts used in managing human resources within the organizations. Employee involvement expresses the level of employee contribution towards achieving organizational goals. Employee empowerment is the extent to which the employees are empowered by the organizations to take decisions related to their work area. In this article, we will have an in-depth understanding of these to concepts and the difference between employee involvement and empowerment.

What is Employee Involvement?

Employee involvement is creating an environment for the employees to involve in the activities of the organization and make an impact towards the decisions made on behalf of the organization. Employee involvement is a specific type of a management and a leadership philosophy about the contribution of the employees towards continuous improvement in order to achieve success in the long term.

Employee engagement in decision making and continuous improvement activities can be considered as a specific kind of an involvement and it can be performed in work teams, suggestion schemes, manufacturing cells, Kaizen (continuous improvement) events, periodic discussions and corrective action process.

In order to make employee involvement more effective, managers provide training opportunities to the employees, to build their competencies by improving communication skills, coordination skills, team working skills, etc. Then the successful performers are rewarded and recognized in order to motivate them.

What is Employee Empowerment?

Employee empowerment is the process of allowing the employees to make suggestions or opinions on improving the efficiencies of the current activities and about the overall productivity of the organization.Empowered employees are committed, loyal and determined. They are very eager to share ideas and can serve as strong ambassadors for their organizations.

Empowerment is an effective way of managing and organizing style that enables employees to practice autonomy, use their skills and abilities and control their own jobs, which gain benefits both to their organization and to themselves.

Employee empowerment can be considered as a combination of employee involvement and participative management in organizations. Empowerment is a certain type of a motivational technique practiced by the managers to increase the levels of employees’ contribution towards achieving the organizational success.

Employee empowerment can be based on the concepts of job enlargement and job enrichment.

• Job enlargement is about changing or enlarging the scope of the job, including a greater portion of the horizontal process. For example: in a bank, a bank teller is responsible for performing a large variety of activities as handling deposits, disbursement and also selling certificates of deposit and distributing traveler’s cheques. 

• Job enrichment is about increasing the depth of the job to include responsibilities that have been carried out at higher levels of the organization. For example: the teller is also responsible for helping the clients to fill out loan applications and to determine whether or not to approve the loan.

Difference Between Employee Involvement and Empowerment

What is the difference between Employee Involvement and Empowerment?

• When the employees are empowered to make decisions on their own, they are more involved and committed to performing operational activities. Therefore, these two concepts, employee involvement and empowerment, are interrelated.

• Employee involvement determines the levels of employee engagement towards performing the organizational activities. Employee empowerment is a kind of motivational technique practiced by the superiors in the organizations in order to increase the level of employee contribution towards achieving organizational success.


Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between Employee Involvement and Employee Participation
  2. Difference Between Delegation and Empowerment