Empowerment is the process of giving people the power to act. Employees are empowered if they feel they can take decisions and initiate action on their own, without having to ask permission from people in positions of authority.
Done well, empowerment gives employees a higher sense of ownership and motivation, while allowing them to move more quickly and flexibly. For managers it means delegating more and directly controlling less, freeing up time and energy to invest in other activities.
The Empowerment Cycle is based on the premise that you can’t force people to show initiative but can only create conditions that will entice them to take actions themselves. As these actions need to be effective, empowerment is a gradual process, going through constant iterations, instead of a one-off event. The model is based on the metaphor of a (British) roundabout, that empowers motorists to make their own decisions, but still nudges them to do the right thing. There are six conditions (split into three categories) that managers can use to facilitate the process of empowerment. However, employees still need to grab the power offered to them.
The three main categories of management actions that empower ar