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Building a Culture That Drives Empowerment

“There are a lot of ideas worth listening to in this company”

Companies have figured out what the best leaders knew all along: a strategy is only as good as its people and the systems that carry it out.

A brilliant business idea takes scores of no less brilliant insights at every step of the execution in order to make it in the real world. These insights must come from people at every level of the organisation.

The news is that business insights favour a particular state of mind that business psychologists call employee empowerment.

They also agree that being empowered in ones work is not a permanent characteristic of any individual. Rather, it is the way our mind responds when certain conditions are present.

Empowerment starts with the individual. From there, it can go out like a light or spread like wildfire.

Companies that have learned to sustain, connect, and communicate empowerment in their ranks have created something larger than the sum of its parts- an engaged and empowered workplace.

The WHY’S of an empowered workplace are well- known:

  • Higher productivity
  • Better customers service
  • Lower turnover
  • Higher health and well-being
  • Higher happiness

Now what about the HOW’S? How can employees, leaders, and executives in ‘Collective Architecture’ for example, each contribute to an engaged and empowered culture?

First; what does a highly empowered employee look like?

Latest poll by human capital firms like Gallup, Aon, and Blessings White find several common traits including:

  • Taking ownership of projects and tasks
  • Having a clear understanding of goal add expectations
  • Being empowered to take action
  • Feeling happy, having a sense of belonging and self- worth

Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own level of empowerment. But it helps to know what triggers our minds to embrace one task and resits another.

Recent enquiry into human motivation by Daniel H Pink and others points to these intrinsic drivers:

  • Autonomy: the urge to direct our own lives
  • Mastery: the desire to get better at something that matters to us
  • Purpose: the desire to make a difference
  • Success: the need to make progress towards a goal
  • Community: the need for social interaction

Individuals at all levels of the organisation engage fully when their job triggers one of or all of these intrinsic drivers and checks out mentally or emotionally when it doesn’t

Can companies take advantage of what their employees naturally want to do?



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