We see it everywhere, front-line staff who are not allowed to make decisions or be involved in decision-making. Yet these individuals have the most significant interaction and impact on our customers. There are numerous reasons why B2B organizations have failed to create an empowered work environment. Some of them include:
1. Management fears they will lose control and/or power.
2. Employees are not trusted to complete their tasks and responsibilities or make decisions.
3. Previous organizational experiences with empowerment have not worked.
4. Management lacks the skills to motivate and/or train others.
5. Rules and policies are more important than people.
6. It would mean sharing more information about the organization and the front-line staff’s decision-making process.
Empowerment is a more productive way to run a B2B organization
Employees who are empowered benefit the organization, the customer, and themselves. People come to work excited and motivated to complete the tasks at hand within an empowered B2B organization.
Your organization may want to consider the process of creating an empowered staff. Although changing to an empowered organization will take planning and work, the end results for the team, customer, and business are worth the effort.
Benefits of an empowered B2B organization
Creates a learning organization
To develop a staff that can make decisions confidently, assist the customers promptly, and help the organization grow, they must be trained appropriately. Training is an ongoing process in an empowered organization, conducted in formal and informal settings. Management uses every opportunity to help the staff improve their skills.
Staff feels confident
The team is assured to make decisions quickly and on the spot. Because they are regularly trained and prepared for the decision-making process. They have the necessary skills and knowledge to function appropriately within the organization. Additionally, they know that management supports their efforts and decision-making process.
Decisions are made throughout the organization
Decisions that affect customer’s need to be made by the individuals who serve them the most. In the empowered organization, the emphasis is on fulfilling the customer’s needs as soon as possible. That means the front-line entry-level staff has to be appropriately trained to make decisions in a timely and appropriate manner.
Responsibility is shared
Because everyone within the organization has been appropriately trained, management can move on to other duties and responsibilities. Leadership changes with the challenge and the task. Whoever is most qualified to lead the team does so, depending on the job or assignment.
Staff is accountable
Employees participate in establishing their work standards. Because the staff is given a say about performing their tasks, they feel responsible and more responsible. The staff knows they have the necessary training and information to make informed and logical decisions. If they feel uncomfortable or unqualified to decide, they willingly request assistance.
Staff seeks help when necessary
When the team cannot create a logical resolution to a customer challenge, they feel comfortable requesting assistance and information. Fear is outweighed by courage within an empowered organization. Staff is encouraged to ask questions, and they will not be ridiculed. The empowered organization knows the only way people learn is to ask questions.
Communication occurs in all directions
The traditional organization operates on a “need to know” basis only. Few secrets exist within an empowered organization, and employees at all levels of the organization communicate with each other. The traditional chain of command is virtually non-existent.
Empowered B2B organizations are visionary
All employees, from the CEO to the janitor, are involved in fulfilling the mission and vision of the empowered B2B organization. That means everyone is involved in creating the concept of the organization. Then, input is generated from all levels to create a united vision that helps the organization grow.
A top priority is quality products and service
Because the empowered organization is well trained, flexible, and team-oriented, it can focus on quality. All team members are involved in establishing the standards for work, service, and the products created. Team members take great pride in establishing a reputation for quality service and products.