Tuesday, 15 January 2013

How to empower human resource

Empowering human resource is a hot topic among corporate trainers. Empowering is multiplying the human resource that a firm already has without adding new employees. But empowerment is not a corporate only subject. Empowerment is a part of our life. It happens from the day we are born and extends to our last day on this earth.

This is not a real incident. I have imaginatively created this story after watching life closely.

When I was a small kid, my father used to carry me on his hands. I never walked. After I learned to walk short distances in my home, he used to beckon me to come to him. I used to walk towards him with unsteady steps. Still when we went out at evenings strolling around, he used to carry me in his hands and the distance we traveled was short. As I grew up a little more, I could walk without help for longer distance. Strolling in the evening continued. Distance grew. We went beyond neighboring houses peeping through their grilled gates enjoying their small garden. I was afraid of dogs. One of our neighbors had a big dog. At the beginning of the short trip itself, I made it sure that the dog will not come to their gate and bark at us. My father guaranteed safety. But one day as we approached their house, the dog rushed to the closed gate barking like a lion. I was afraid and stopped at the other end of the gate, crying and screaming to go back home. But my father smiled, he held my hands and encouraged me to walk forward. He promised safety; he assured that the dog will not come out of the gate. After hesitating for a while, I laid my faith in my father’s arm holding me tight and walked along with him. We crossed the gate and the dog safely. My father told me as my sobs subsided, ‘See, the dog did not harm us. If we went back in fear of the dog, we will never learn the truth that the dog will not come out of the gate to harm us. And also we will never realize our ability to overcome troubles.” Still I wondered for years, why he did not carry me in his hands while he walked across the gate and the barking dog. But now I realize that he was empowering me to walk over troubles in life.

What my father did is empowering. What did he do?

He decided to let me walk.
He did not carry me on his shoulder during the trouble.
He promised his presence and safety through it.
He assured that the barking do will do no harm
He encouraged me after I finished the task.
He concluded the whole incident generalizing the lesson we learned.

How to empower our employees?
The answer is given above.

Let me add few more words with it.

Decide to walk with them. Do not let them alone. They may feel desolated. Do not be a hard leader, not a task master.

Do not try to solve the problems for them. Ask them to narrate the problem and suggest solutions for it. Like a moderator, let us examine each one at their presence and again ask them to choose the apt solution. It is their way out.

Be with them. Assure our help at every point. Be ready to help them. Follow the progress of the task. Be informed of every victory and defeat.

Assure them that this problem or task is not going to defeat them. There are many reasons why they can overcome it. Highlight their ability to handle the problem. In brief, motivate them.

Applaud them after finishing the task. Call their attention to the fact that how well they could overcome the problem.

Moralize over the whole course of action. Generalize the action and success.
If they could win here, they can win anywhere.

Further readings:

Professor Jacob Abraham

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