Impacts of Employee Empowerment and Psychological Safety

Impacts of Employee Empowerment and Psychological Safety

Comparing and analyzing the interviews

Speaking up bravely and powerfully has increasingly become an important quality in the workplace, particularly for the vulnerable demographic groups. It allows personnel to share revelations about their workplace cultures and how they affect them. It is important to note that speaking out is not without risk, and the scope and degree of the risk varies widely given the situation and context. In such cases, personnel will not speak up against damaging or intolerable behavior if the risk includes punishment that outweighs the gains. Yet, speaking up is important to a functioning and healthy workplace (Finkelman, 2016) Impacts of Employee Empowerment and Psychological Safety. The present paper compares and analyses the results of interviews conducted with three participants to collect their perceptions on empowerment and psychological safety.

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The interviews first collected the participants’ perspective on the concept of empowerment for personnel. A common themes on the definition for employee empowerment is that it is the management approach that offers personnel responsibility and autonomy concerning their specific job tasks. One participant specifically mentioned that it is the workplace concept that allows lower level personnel to participate in decision-making by offering unique views on the problems and issues facing the organization. Besides that, they noted that empowerment has been advantageous. Firstly, it results in increased responsiveness to problems and issues facing the organization. Secondly, it helps in increasing productivity. Finally, it improves personnel commitment to the goals of the organization since they take ownership of the decisions made. Also, they noted that it presents some three disadvantages. Firstly, it reduces the speed of decision making so that it is not optimized and uniform. Secondly, it creates coordination problems since decisions are decentralized. Finally, it blurs authority and presents opportunity for conflict. Finkelman (2016) presents similar views on employee empowerment, defining this concept as the control and autonomy that personnel assigned in their workplace activities. It also notes that the concept includes having less oversight and allowing personnel to have greater voice in workplace processes (Finkelman, 2016) Impacts of Employee Empowerment and Psychological Safety. Overall, the participants presented an informative awareness of employee empowerment as a concept, noting that it allows employees to be involved in decision making to improve productivity as well as quality of life.

Secondly, the interviews collected the participants’ perspective on whether autonomy is important in the workplace. The interviews identified autonomy as the freedom that personnel enjoy in completing job tasks with all of them conceding that they enjoy some autonomy. One of the participants linked autonomy to being allowed to set work schedules so that an employee is only expected to meet the set deadlines. Another participant identified autonomy as the freedom to make workplace decision with minimal supervision. Still, they all conceded that autonomy allows them to enjoy freedom that in turn results in increased job satisfaction so that they are motivated to continue working for the organization and improve their productivity Impacts of Employee Empowerment and Psychological Safety. Ozbiglin, Groutsis and Harvey (2014) acknowledges the views presented in the interviews, noting that autonomy gives personnel freedom that results in increased job satisfaction. This results in greater feelings of responsibility among personnel so that they are motivated to improve their quality of life. Besides that, autonomy helps with reducing turnover and increasing happiness. The mentioned benefits can only be realized if the autonomy is moderated so too much freedom could result in disorganization. Besides that, individual personnel have unique characteristics that make them respond differently to autonomy. Some personnel thrive in autonomy while others report improved outcomes (Ozbiglin, Groutsis & Harvey, 2014). It is clear that employee autonomy offers unique benefits to include improved happiness, motivation, and productivity.

Thirdly, the interviews collected the participants’ responses on whether they have been involved in workplace decision-making. They all acknowledged that although they do not make decisions, they routinely offer input on decisions affecting their jobs. The nurse interviewee particularly noted being involved in decision making concerning patient care, and this has helped with gaining personal and professional stake in the medical facility, as well as its overall success. Crawley, Swailes and Walsh (2013) concurs with the views presented in the interviews, explaining involvement is an indication of commitment, and this leads to increased productivity of personnel as they actively participate in the different aspects of the organization. This is particularly useful for the workers who wish to see their efforts succeed. Besides that, it helps with on the job training as personnel get increased responsibility that expands their skill sets and prepares them for future additional responsibility (Crawley, Swailes & Walsh, 2013). Finkelman (2016) also mentions that involvement in workplace decision-making increases personnel morale through reducing the power gap between management and workers, and opens communication lines. As functioning participants in decision processes, workers get to understand that their ideas are important contributions to the organization. This gives them the power to influence work outcomes thereby leading to positive attitude and increased work satisfaction towards the organization and their position (Finkelman, 2016). Overall, it becomes clear that the concept of personnel involvement in decision-making processes ensures that the company has timely and reliable long-term assistance Impacts of Employee Empowerment and Psychological Safety.

Fourthly, the interviews explored the decision-making authority practiced by the participants’ organizations. They all practice centralization of authority whereby all authority to make decisions is retained by top level managers. The authority can occasionally be delegated to the lower level managers. The participants explained that the financial implications of decisions demand that top level managers retain authority so that they are rightly held accountable for the outcomes. The authority is vested in the management position, allowing each manager to control activities under his/her jurisdiction to include affecting and influencing the behavior of subordinate personnel even without obtaining their permission. For instance, the nurse mentioned that shift assignments are typically done by the nurse managers without consulting the individual nurses. Crawley, Swailes and Walsh (2013) notes that it is not surprising for managers who take care of the organization and are policy makers to be central in decision making. The managers are in charge of the organization and are responsible for overall performance. They provide a sense of direction, evaluation organization methods, provide leadership and formulate strategies. Through centralization of authority, the organization gets to use the expert skills available in the organization. The managers possess valuable leadership knowledge, experience and skills that enable them to present the best decisions (Crawley, Swailes & Walsh, 2013) Impacts of Employee Empowerment and Psychological Safety

Finally, the interviews explored how comfortable the participants are in making suggestions in the workplace. All the participants indicated that there are mechanisms in place that enable them to make suggestions in the workplace. They specifically mentioned that they are comfortable because they can make the suggestions anonymously thus avoiding victimization. In addition, they have representatives who collect their suggestions and present them in the appropriate forums thus allowing the personnel to remain anonymous. As such, the interview participants reported being comfortable pointing out problems in the workplace. Ozbiglin, Groutsis and Harvey (2014) acknowledges that power structures in the workplace creates a situation in which personnel do not feel comfortable making suggestions for improvements. Through the use of anonymous suggestions, personnel are assured of not being victimized so that they remain free to offer unique ideas and perspectives (Ozbiglin, Groutsis & Harvey, 2014).

The interview analysis makes it clear that speaking out is an important resource that organizations should not overlook. It notes that personnel will only be comfortable if they are protected and are allowed to contribute towards decisions. Overall, employee empowerment and psychological safety allows the organization to get new ways of thinking and perspectives, give a voice to personnel, promote active participation, and improve loyalty as well as productivity.

References

Crawley, E., Swailes, S. & Walsh, D. (2013). Introduction to international human resource management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Finkelman, A. (2016). Leadership and management for nurses: core competencies for quality care (3rd ed.). London: Pearson Education. Impacts of Employee Empowerment and Psychological Safety

Ozbiglin, M., Groutsis, D. & Harvey, W. (2014). International human resource management. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.\

 

Impacts of Employee Empowerment and Psychological Safety
Note: You began this Assignment in Week 3 and it will be due by Day 7 of Week 4. Plan your time accordingly.

As you wrap up your analysis of the three interviews you completed, draw on the information and perspectives gained through the Learning Resources and Discussion, this week, to assess psychological safety in each workplace. As a nurse executive, you will have new avenues for making a difference for staff and patients. With those opportunities in mind, consider how to apply the insights you gain regarding psychological safety in healthcare settings.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

To Prepare:
Review Learning Resources that will guide your analysis of employee empowerment, engagement, and psychological safety.
Use the Guidelines & Questions document, from the Learning Resources, to help you in completing your Assignment, including providing the signature sheet to confirm your three interviews.
Assignment:
Finalize your Module 2 Assignment. Impacts of Employee Empowerment and Psychological Safety

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