For all the leaders out there in the greater business world who have vacillated over the practice of employee empowerment, let it be known! There does in fact exist a solution to some, if not all of your queries and questions! What exactly does empowerment entail? How do I determine who exactly is to be empowered? How does one balance too little and too much empowerment? How can leaders keep tabs on an empowerment situation and ensure maximum performance from employees?
Elearning, otherwise known as ‘Digital Training’ represents the future of employee knowledge and skills that leads directly to competency, confidence, job engagement and performance improvement. All of which in turn, leads to personal and professional empowerment and an improved bottom line for a company as a whole.
The Business Dictionary defines Empowerment as;
A leadership practice of sharing information, rewards and power with employees, so that they can take initiative and make decisions to solve problems, improve service and maximize their performance. Empowerment is based on the idea that giving employees skills, resources, authority, opportunity, motivation, as well as holding them responsible and accountable for outcomes of their actions, will directly contribute to their competence and overall job satisfaction.
Many of these qualities can be acquired through the practice of Elearning, while others, such as authority need to be bequeathed by leadership in a top-down manner. However, the skills and knowledge that accompany authority, can indeed be passed on down in an Elearning format.
Elearning, by its very nature, is conducive to relatively inexpensive, highly detailed training that can be presented in a manner that engages employees in the learning material, while boasting an ease-of-use that enables individuals of all levels of computer knowledge to navigate programs clearly and without confusion.
As to expense, one must take into due consideration the factors involved in the cost of traditional, classroom-style training:
First and foremost of course,are fees related to the actual individuals performing the training itself. Whether they are in-house leaders or brought in as contractors from the outside, their expertise must be paid for. Closely following, is the expense of facilities themselves. Now many larger companies have their own rooms that can be employed for training however, if a large group needs to be accommodated over several days convention-style, then other facilities may need to be leased and hotel rooms provided for lodging of employees arriving from out of town. Also taken into consideration, needs to be the cost associated with feeding large groups of individuals, even if only one meal a day is covered by the company.
Another important factor that can quickly add up to high expense is the combined cost of people being brought in from the field (in certain situations such as oil and gas). Not only does their gas and or airfare have to be covered, their wages and time spent away from the productive work site also needs to be paid. So while group style training can have certain benefits such as collaboration and social aspects, its overall cost can become staggeringly evident,
When employees are given the opportunity to train via and Elearning conduit, many of these associated expenses are avoided. Elearning can be performed at the learner’s own pace, either during downtime at work or on their own. Through employment of an LMS (Learning Management Software), the results of the training become completely trackable and therefore, quantifiable. It can be clearly gauged and measured to what extent an employee is able and willing to apply what they have learned digitally to their everyday job and functions. In essence, quality and effectiveness of the training program can be monitored by leaders to ensure that they are receiving the best ROI for their training dollar.
All of this then, lends itself directly to an individual’s self empowerment. Not only are they being shown trust to navigate the learning material independently, once knowledge is integrated and understood, employees are then in a better position to perform their required duties at a much higher degree of ability and confidence. Empowerment breeds positivity, positivity begets desire and the drive to excel, which in turn stimulates performance and success – for both the individual, group and organization as a whole.
“An Empowered organization is one in which individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to collective organizational success.” -Stephen Covey