Empowerment refers to approaches in work that encourage individuals to discover their own strengths and develop a higher degree of autonomy and self-determination. Originally from pedagogy, empowerment aims to strengthen existing skills of individuals and to utilize their resources.
Empowerment: a definition
Don’t have all the time in the world? Here’s a short summary of our extensive article: Empowerment (or self-empowerment) describes the process in which people gain the ability to recognize their own needs and interests and proactively stand up for them. Through empowerment, people can create their own changes to free themselves from stressful life situations and improve their quality of life. This process aims to help people regain control over their lives and surroundings, leading to a higher degree of autonomy and self-determination.
Empowerment also includes access to information and resources to make decisions based on facts and knowledge. The ability to create access to information and resources for oneself and to utilize them is an essential part of the empowerment process. It also means standing up for one’s rights and making autonomous decisions. It’s about developing confidence and the ability to make decisions and take responsibility for the consequences of those decisions.
In summary, empowerment is a holistic approach that aims to support people in realizing their full potential and utilizing their skills and strengths to lead a self-determined life. Empowerment can take place on an individual, organizational or societal level and can contribute to reducing or preventing inequality and injustice. Especially in companies, empowerment should be a fundamental part of the company’s values.
The psycho-social background of empowerment
Empowerment in the psychosocial field describes the process in which people with mental health challenges are enabled to recognize their own needs and interests and stand up for themselves. It’s about recognizing and utilizing individual strengths and resources to achieve a higher degree of self-determination and autonomy.
This can be achieved through the promotion of self-help, peer support, access to information and resources, strengthening identity and self-efficacy, and support in overcoming challenges and obstacles. In summary, it’s about empowering people with mental health challenges to actively promote their own well-being and lead a fulfilling life.
An example of empowerment in the psychosocial field is the establishment of self-help groups for people with depression. Affected individuals meet regularly to exchange experiences and support each other. Through the exchange of experiences and information, participants learn to cope better with their illness and find their own solutions to their problems. Such groups improve the self-confidence and self-efficacy of the participants, create a sense of community and team spirit, and contribute to the destigmatization of mental illness.
Empowerment in the workplace
Empowerment in the workplace refers to the process of enabling employees to work in a more autonomous and self-determined manner. The aim is to encourage employees to make decisions, take responsibility, and actively participate in shaping work processes.
Promoting empowerment can lead to higher levels of satisfaction and motivation among employees, as they feel like an important part of the company and can actively contribute to the business goals. Additionally, self-empowerment can lead to higher productivity and efficiency, as employees are more motivated and engaged when they feel that their work is valuable and meaningful. Performance reviews with goal setting or training and development opportunities are part of empowerment.
Empowerment in the workplace results in increased performance and employee motivation, as well as employee satisfaction. Employees feel valued and can identify better with the company.
Measures to establish empowerment in the company
By sharing every important information with the entire workforce, the willingness to take on responsibilities will increase. This is particularly important to ensure smooth collaboration. Also, the trust in the company is strengthened because everyone is up to speed. Sharing information can increase the willingness to take on responsibilities, as it helps employees gain a better understanding of the connections and processes in their work area and the company as a whole. B having access to important information, employees can assess which decisions and actions are necessary to achieve goals or solve problems.
2. Opportunities for education and training
Employees should be given the opportunity to continuously educate themselves in order to fully tap into their full potential. Opportunities for training and further education can support empowerment within the company by providing employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their work better and take on more responsibility. By promoting training and further education, the self-confidence of employees is strengthened, as they feel that they can develop professionally and expand their competences.
3. Responsibility and decision-making power
Only those who are given responsibility can effectively contribute to the company’s development. An expanded scope of action and decision-making can improve empowerment by giving employees more autonomy and responsibility in their work. When employees have more freedom and opportunities to make decisions and shape their work independently, they can identify more strongly with their work and feel like an important part of the company.
VIDEO: The Power of Empowerment (TED Talk)
Is there an empowerment concept?
Yes! Especially when it comes to empowerment (regardless of the context), there are clear concepts. The goal is always to enable people to draw on their own strengths and to embrace autonomy.
Which levels can be influenced by empowerment?
Empowerment can be applied to various areas. In most definitions, it focuses on personal empowerment. However, empowerment can also take place on a group level, through training or workshops, for example.
What is psychological empowerment?
Psychological empowerment consists of four fundamental pillars: meaningfulness, competence realization, self-determination, and impact.