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Managing to Make a Difference by Larry Sternberg

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Chapter 24Empower Your People

Let me get my supervisor.” As a customer, how many times have you heard that statement when you expressed dissatisfaction with a product or service? Or perhaps you have heard it when you requested an exception to stated procedures. As your complaint or request escalates to someone who has the authority to make a decision, you talk to the next person (and the next). How many times do you repeat your story? And how much more dissatisfied do you become with each repetition? Lack of empowerment results in terrible customer service, and, as we have suggested in previous chapters, it has a considerable negative impact on engagement, motivation, and retention.

Who Gets to Decide What?

In this chapter, we focus on the following aspect of empowerment: giving employees the authority to make decisions and take action without first getting approval. Empowerment is always a matter of degree. Every employee is empowered to make some decisions without seeking approval.

Additional benefits include improved customer service and satisfaction, increased flexibility, accelerated process improvement, and improved ability to respond to unanticipated events.

In terms of the impact on engagement and retention, the importance of empowering people cannot ...

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