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Business Advice

Loosen your grip

Keeping employees on a tight leash will strangle productivity
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - April 12, 2011
By: Sheila Lim
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Loosen your grip

As customers, we know how annoying it is to deal with apathetic service workers who give stock answers like “No, cannot”, “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure” to requests that require some decision-making on their part.

On the other hand, it’s always pleasant to be served by someone who is able to act on his own initiative and respond promptly to your request, or even go beyond the call of duty to find a solution to your need.

Employees belonging to the second category are usually those are empowered to serve their customers to the best of their abilities, possess a strong sense of job ownership and duty, and are proud of the organisation they work for.

Empowering employees makes them feel like they are an important part of the company and partially responsible for its success, and can foster a highly productive environment:

  • Most employees are capable of contributing to their company in significant ways. Giving them the opportunity to do so will help boost their self -esteem.
  • Empowered employees are not only happier, but also feel a greater sense of purpose, as compared to those who are micromanaged and not permitted to make everyday decisions.
  • When employees are provided with the necessary tools, training and support they need to perform their jobs well, and entrusted to make important decisions on behalf of the company, they are likely to reciprocate by acting responsibly and with the best interest of the company in mind.
  • Having a greater sense of job ownership means that they will also exercise greater initiative and creativity in problem-solving, and play their role to the best of their abilities in achieving corporate goals.
  • Employees who feel they are trusted and appreciated by their employers will naturally strive to prove their worth and contribute to the overall success of their company.


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