M9 – Understanding Work Teams

This week we are studying two chapters on Group Behavior and Work Teams. It is critical for managers and leaders to know about working in, working with and motivating work teams to increase productivity.  With two chapters to read, your class discussion post is due Saturday, October 27.  Replies to your classmates are not required, but encouraged.

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Read the article on page 333 of the textbook (17th Edition) “To Get the Most Out of Teams, Empower Them.”  Determine which side (Point or Counterpoint) you resonate with. Write a paragraph (with references) on why you chose such. Don’t just do this as a class assignment, but really think about yourself in a managerial role and how you would “empower” your work teams.

When you are ready to reply, scroll to the bottom and “Post Comment.”

37 Comments for “M9 – Understanding Work Teams”

Erin Kitchin

says:

After having read this article, and having been in a job where developing leadership is important, I side with the point to empower employees. I certainly understand the counterarguments for why empowering should be limited. Though it is a challenge, a good leader will know where to draw the line and how to empower without losing their position. According to John Maxwell, a good leader will maintain their power (and respect) by distributing power and influence. Productivity is seen when individuals or groups are responsible for a task. If the leader has established a good rapport with their employees, the empowerment given will result in the completion of activities out of respect for that leader. In my job, we have to empower firefighters to teach and pass on knowledge because the turn over is so high. The right type of leadership and knowledge needs to be passed on, continually, so it has to be recognized, taught then supported.

Jami

says:

I agree with Erin. I feel like some organizations if given the opportunity could increase productivity with empowering their employees. Some research shows how much more committed they are to their team and organizations. It can show the progress on products and them taking the lead to complete them.

mjwilliams10

says:

I also agree with Erin. I have worked several jobs now, and I did my best work when I was allowed to make my own decisions. Actually, the more hands off the better for me. I respected the managers who trusted me and so I made more effort to meet the company goals. I was happy at work when working with these type of managers. I also felt much more accomplished and responsible for my work. At places where I was micromanaged, I was always stressed out and could not effectively do my job. I would hate going in to work and eventually quit, because it felt like I was not trusted to do my job and thought of as incapable. As long as some guidelines and goals are established, I do not see anything wrong with empowering teams.

Joshua Counts

says:

I would say I resonate with the “point” side of the argument. The reason is because while reading the counterpoint I found the statement, “…the organization’s leadership already has a good idea of what it would like it’s teams to accomplish… how likely is it that the teams would choose what the manager wanted…” I am not a union man but this to me showed a leadership that is conservative, lacking imagination, and unknowledgeable of the generation diversity. This way of thought promotes stagnant workflow and hampers the mission.

Even being in the military, I am expected to follow orders, which I do. However, our leadership always expresses the want to accomplish the tasks they want to be done in the most productive and efficient way. They understand that morale and support of the goals from junior leadership and even the newest member are important.

Of course, this way of thinking may change as older minority leadership phases out and a new majority warrior moves in who may not be able to accomplish the tasks the managers want. More strict, fluid thought limiting control may be more effective.

“Chapter 10.” Organizational Behavior, by Stephen P. Robbins and Tim Judge, Pearson, 2019, p. 333.

Tyler J Cline

says:

Counterpoint would be my choice if I was in the management decision. I mean point seems like the better option right now for what spot I would be in as an employee but, looking at a business decision you need to have the leadership role of the manager making decisions. Having the manager pushing the business in common goal will help the business plus, if the goal doesn’t work it falls on the manager instead of everyone because they all were going in different directions. Just like the book says, “They got to be leaders for a reason, and they can best guide the team to stay focused and perform at top levels to maximize organizational outcomes.”. If I had a different option for the discussion I would try to mix the two options a little bit.

dafausnaugh

dafausnaugh

says:

Ironically, I agree completely with what you just said but I picked point. The hard part for me is that I feel like point and counterpoint can be used in the same management department in some cases. Yet, I completely agree that “They got to be leaders for a reason, and they can best guide the team to stay focused and perform at top levels to maximize organizational outcomes.” I guess I can say that I am just lost at which way I would go entirely because both paths could go either way, but I like setting others up for potential success when they need to face a challenge of growth. I am not saying that counterpoint makes this impossible, I just feel like it could be a little difficult. Thank you for the great post and insight.

alhansen6

says:

After reading both positions, I would side with empowering the employees but to a certain extent. Of course, there are the huge decisions that the manager should make, but I feel like the employees should always have a voice and a right to speak up whenever they want. A huge reason for an employee to not speak up is by feeling unimportant, and empowering employees and giving leadership/responsibility can help many people as this seems to be a common inner conflict in the workplace. According to re:Work, to help empower employees you can do many things like asking for their ideas, giving positive feedback, and letting them know that communication is good. I feel like employers can learn from employees, personally and in the workplace and this is why I feel like I side with Point more. Everything is trial and error and it’s important to figure out a solution when there is a problem. Building trust is a very important factor as well.

References
https://rework.withgoogle.com/guides/managers-empower-your-team/steps/empower-your-team-and-build-trust/

Ashlyn Warning

says:

I like your take on this topic. Giving employees power to a certain extent would always be beneficial in my opinion. You’re right in saying that employees are less likely to speak up if they feel unimportant. I have felt that myself. I would always want my employees to have a voice and to even help me in decision making. Their contribution would be very important to my process. Nice post!

bherbert2

says:

After reading both sides of the little article in our textbook I am going to side with the point side. This side requires many things as a manager as setting up a great working atmosphere to having a workforce that is self-motivated. From a manager point of view, the workforce is what keeps the business running and they will understand also what should be fixed or changed in order to make the business more productive. Allowing employees to make decisions is a part of this side and this does require trust going both ways especially when management is putting the decisions in the hands of its employees. Research has also found that empowering employees will result in better creativity. “Empowered employees are more likely to be powerful, confident individuals, who are committed to meaningful goals and demonstrate initiative and creativity to achieve them” (Lee, Willis, Tian, 2018). Having employees be more creative in the workforce is something that I would strive for being in upper management, always continue to strive employees to look for new ideas to improve and increase productivity. As research has shown that this way creates better creativity and this way shows the workforce to be more motivated, but it doesn’t come with its difficulties. As a manager, I would strive to make sure that the team does have authority but I would also make sure that I am there for them to help make decisions when they need too, and also I would always have an open door if my employees were stuck. The workforce will have to understand that if they hit a dead end that someone from leadership will have to come in and point them in the right direction. This type of leadership requires a lot of trust between employees and also management to do the right things and to keep on target, also having a team that is experienced also can help make this type of management style a little easier because they understand the company and its goals. As a manager my work would be hard, in the beginning, setting everything up but I would have the confidence that it could work creating a great work environment.
REFERENCES
Lee, A., Willis, S., & Tian, A. (2018, March 05). When Empowering Employees Works, and When It Doesn’t. Retrieved October 25, 2018, from https://hbr.org/2018/03/when-empowering-employees-works-and-when-it-doesnt

Stephanie Nelson

Stephanie Nelson

says:

The point and counterpoint provide insightful explanations of how empowering employees can be beneficial or harmful in the workplace for managers to use. According to, Susan Heathfield, “employee empowerment is a philosophy or strategy that enables people to make decisions about how to do their jobs” (Heathfield, 2018). Managers who incorporate empowering towards their employees reveals the outcomes of “stronger job performance, job satisfaction, and commitment to the organization” (Lee, Willis, and Tian, 2018). In some cases the use of empowerment within an organization can cause more harm then good, if it is not implied properly from management to employees, it can cause miscommunication and confusion of roles. With this in mind, the key behind empowerment that makes this most effective is having a trusted relationship. Also, empowering can be effective if a structural framework is established and followed by the manager to employee’s. Being clear on what guidelines that are in place for employees will allow them to achieve the goals without being micromanaged. To ensure employees feel empowered, offer authority by handing out responsibility, make guidelines clear, engage in communication, offer team coaching, allow opportunities for growth, and provide organizational support for employees (Limeade Marketing, 2018).

Given the opportunity in a managerial role, I would build a trusted relationship to create a welcoming environment for my employees. Where they communicate with me if there is any concerns or questions with their work or challenges that may arise in the workplace. As a manager I believe it is important to determine how and when to use empowerment with employees. For instance, new hires should be micromanaged to an extent to ensure their work is correct and follows the procedures on how to do the job. As for employees that have experiences within their job and acquired the training necessary to allow them to make decisions without the manager in projects than empowerment can be extremely beneficial. In order for empowerment to achieve within my organization or department guidelines will be implemented to ensure my employees are aware of their roles and responsibilities. If an employee falls short from this level of responsibility than necessary changes will take place where the manager will oversee work to confirm goals are achieved and guidelines were followed.

References

Heathfield, S. (2018). Top 10 Reasons Why Employee Empowerment Fails. [online] The Balance Careers. Available at: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/failing-to-empower-employees-to-make-decisions-1918506%5BAccessed 22 Oct. 2018].

Lee, A., Willis, S. and Tian, A. (2018). When Empowering Employees Works, and When it Doesn’t. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/2018/03/when-empowering-employees-works-and-when-it-doesn't [Accessed 22 Oct. 2018].

Limeade. (2018). The importance of employee empowerment in the workplace – Limeade. [online] Available at: https://www.limeade.com/2018/04/importance-of-employee-empowerment-in-the-workplace/ [Accessed 22 Oct. 2018].

mswalker

mswalker

says:

Point is definitely my management style. There are guidelines set, but I trust that my employees can do their jobs without being micromanaged. This in itself has given them empowerment. There are times that I will have to assign an additional duty, and I do that by taking into consideration the most motivated employee. Again, this empowers them to do good at the additional duty that can give them the experience to progress. I had a supervisor who did the same with me. Had I not had this type of supervisor, I would not be in the position that I am in today. His trust and empowerment made me who I am in my occuptation and that is what I strive to do for my staff.

Alden

Alden

says:

After reading through the article in the book, I found myself leaning more towards the counterpoint side. While I do agree with the point side in terms of empowering teams to foster a better result, I feel as if the counterpoint has a good standpoint. Within the article they mentioned that leadership more than likely already had their own idea as to what they wanted the teams to focus on. If they did not, why would they have put the team together in the first place? According to Brian de Haaff, empowering employees is not always the best idea, “Your team does not need power. But they do need you to share the company’s overall vision and goals — and then give them space to do their best work. But if you start espousing empowerment without action to ground your words, it is nothing more than disingenuous corporate jargon. And that breaks down trust” (Haaff). Empowering a team can be very effective in that it can bring about some good decisions from within, but it does not always mean that the team will come up with what is most needed or desired.
Reference:
Haaff, Brian de. “Your Employees Do Not Need To Be ‘Empowered’.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 26 Aug. 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-de-haaff/your-employees-do-not-nee_b_11710974.html.

Sean Stetzinger

says:

Alden, thank you for your post. I agree with you and appreciate your point “if they did not, why would they have put the team together in the first place?” The perspective you shared from Brian de Haaf resonates with me because it seems that empower employees to the extent suggested by the point side, either disconnects them from the company’s vision or suggests it is not necessary, and when that happens, the fundamentals of corporate design cave in on themselves.

Joshua Counts

says:

I would say I resonate with the “point” side of the argument. The reason is because while reading the counterpoint I found the statement, “…the organization’s leadership already has a good idea of what it would like it’s teams to accomplish… how likely is it that the teams would choose what the manager wanted…” I am not a union man but this to me showed a leadership that is conservative, lacking imagination, and unknowledgeable of the generation diversity. This way of thought promotes stagnant workflow and hampers the mission.

Even being in the military, I am expected to follow orders, which I do. However, our leadership always expresses the want to accomplish the tasks they want done in the most productive and efficient way. They understand that morale and support of the goals from junior leadership and even the newest member is important.

Of course, this way of thinking may change as older minority leadership phases out and a new majority warriors moves in who may not be able to accomplish the tasks the managers want. More strict, fluid thought limiting control may be more effective.

“Chapter 10.” Organizational Behavior, by Stephen P. Robbins and Tim Judge, Pearson, 2019, p. 333.

Ashlyn Warning

says:

In this particular scenario, I think I would have to go with the Point side of things. In the jobs that I’ve held in the past my favorite ones were always those where I could go to work and be independent. My performance and concentration was much better being able to do my tasks without worrying about being micro-managed. I’ve noticed that in jobs where I’m trusted to make my own decisions I work better both independently and in groups. I feel a lot less “watched” and like I can have my own voice.

If I were a manager, I would definitely consider who my subordinates were based on their personalities and judge my management style based on that. Would my group work better with some guidance or are they all responsible enough to make their own decisions and be trusted? It would depend on what type of job it was an what age range, but I would try to lean more toward letting them make their own decisions as I feel it builds better morale.

Ashlyn Warning

says:

Adding to my original post (accidentally pressed submit too soon):

I know that if I were to give them more trust to make decisions on their own, I would have to consider extrinsic rewards such as pay. Self-managed work teams, “may be more or less effective based on the degree to which team-promoting behaviors are rewarded” (Robbins and Judge, 315). So, as a manager, to make the decision to let my employees work more independently I would need to think about beneficial rewards to compensate for their added workload.

References

Judge, Timothy A. and Robbins, Stephen P. Organizational Behavior. Page 315.

bbell19

bbell19

says:

Both sides of the article had valid points, however I personally side more strongly with the counterpoint: groups are better with structure and leadership allows for employees to be able to defer to a higher power rather than delve into issues that are above their paygrade. One example that could lead to team discord is not allocating the right individual for the right task. If everyone shares equal leadership responsibility it will be harder to delegate tasks. Having an individual acting as a manager with oversight over an entire section allows for the leader to grasp the whole picture of what will most help an organization rather than viewing each project separately. Oversight allows for cohesion, “managers need to understand the individual strengths each person can bring to a team” (p. 362, Organizational Behavior) and use those assessments to make educated decisions on what is best for the company. Also, having a position outside of the actual group will aid in giving a clear judgement should conflict arise or to bolster the team’s confidence. Managers have a duty to “helping the team achieve small successes that build confidence, and providing training to improve members’ technical and interpersonal skills” (p. 327, Organizational Behavior) which may go unnoticed at the peer level. Without an active leadership role, such as a manager, productivity would most likely be derailed by conflict or a lack of direction.

negentzwilkins

says:

You have some very good points to your position.
One thing to consider when setting up a team would be to establish what exactly the end goal is and identifying who the decision maker will be on the team. They can’t all be decision makers but they should all feel that they have a voice and they are contributing to the team’s success. Over time you will get to know the people on your team, and will be familiar with their strengths and weaknesses. I find it helpful on my teams to rotate who the decision maker is and then they sort the rest out as they work towards the steps of achieving the end goal. It has worked well so far and each person on my team feels comfortable in bringing forward new ideas and solutions. Some are comfortable leading, and others not so much but they all have a voice.

rjburns2

rjburns2

says:

Both sides of the article are extremely valid in my own experience. That being said, I relate more strongly to the point side because I appreciate autonomy in my work. The key to empowering employees is as stated: ensure they have a clear understanding of the goals, values and policies of the company. After a certain level of training, all employees begin to develop competency and you learn their strengths and weaknesses, allowing for a much greater degree of autonomy. The instances I can think of where this was not true were simply a result of high employee turnover, due to dissatisfied employees. So, when I can retain skilled individuals who work well as a team, autonomy is a great option. When I am working a job where employee satisfaction is low, direct oversight becomes much more important. In conclusion, you should always take the time to learn your people and ensure proper training before considering higher levels of autonomy but it is a great option for professionals.

References:
Judge, Timothy A. and Robbins, Stephen P. Organizational Behavior. Pages 313-332

https://www.forwardfocusinc.com/inspire-leaders/the-pros-and-cons-of-employee-empowerment/

negentzwilkins

says:

rjburns2
I agree, the key to empowering employees is to “ensure they have a clear understanding of the goals, values and policies of the company”. Yes, once they have the training and experience their strengths and weaknesses will be apparent. In my experience it is absolutely worth the extra time and effort it takes to empower employees. I feel by doing this it creates cohesion, trust, and loyalty to their work group. As they show they are competent in making minor decisions they may have more, which in turn builds trust and more confidence.

negentzwilkins

says:

M9 – Understanding Work Teams
I resonate with both sides, maybe more strongly with the point side. Depending on the team and/or task, point and/or counterpoint may appropriately be applied. I supervise four teams that are spread over 800 miles.

Although I work for a company that has many layers of bureaucracy, I do my best to remove the leash (point) and let members on my team make their own decisions. I have noticed that when the leash is removed the workers feel more trusted, more motivated, and more willing to offer up new ideas.

Even though I take this approach within my own team, due to the many layers of bureaucracy, my authority only goes so far. Instead of a fully empowered team I have to push learning and development goals for workers if they don’t pursue them on their own (counterpoint).

I would like to point out that a company can be flatter, or can become flatter, however as long as the company holds on tight to policies and procedures without any room for flexibility, the bureaucracies will remain.

It is also important to keep in mind that while an individual may be empowered with authority to make decisions, it is their choice on how they accept the responsibility and ultimately how willing they are to be accountable for their actions.

With either approach my team always has an established goal(s), how the goal(s) will be reached, and who is responsible for certain tasks. Not everyone is going to be empowered with the role of decision-maker. I will often assign the decision maker role to different workers, depending on the task or goal they are working towards. By doing this, I have found over the years that sometimes those that I didn’t think would be strong decision makers were actually very methodical in their approach, and were very good decision makers.

I have also found that by empowering my teams and allowing workers to take on different roles, it has enabled me to address areas where additional direction is needed in order to maintain our goals, or just simply work through the day to day tasks. At the end of the day, empowering my team may take extra time and effort in addition to my never-ending workload, I know that I can go on vacation and my workers will have the most important action items taken care of while I am away.

kaariola

says:

After reading the text, it makes the most sense for me to have employees who feel empowered from making decisions, of course to an extent. It’s important for employees to feel satisfaction from their work because it not only motivates them, but it also gives workers a sense of pride in their work. Of course management gets the last call when it comes to decisions, but getting input from their employees also gives employees the opportunity to be creative when coming up with solutions. As a manager I would want to get input from my employees because not only do more hands make for less work, but it can also create comrade among employees.

bherbert2

says:

I agree that employees should be given authority to an extent, as the article said to give employees decision power but also to still leave the major decisions up to management. Getting input from employees is a valuable tool to have to be in management because sometimes employees see problems before management does.

rcskieens

says:

You make good points and I agree with the positive benefits of empowering employees. In my current work I feel that I have a lot of different oppurtunity’s to feel empowered based of projects and responsibilities being delegated to me. One thing that I have started to see is that some of the projects that are delegated to me are done so to make it easier on other people and makes my work load overwhelming. Looking at it from this perspective I think it’s important to consider what your employees are currently working on from a management point of view.

Justin Shepard

says:

I believe employees should be empowered to make their own decisions, up to a point. The counterpoint against employee empowerment made a very good point, if you leave the decisions up to your employees, how can you guarantee their efforts will be directed the way the leaders of the company want them to? Fortune 500 companies aren’t paying CEO’s millions of dollars to put those choices in the hands of their entry level workers. People need to be given freedom to make their own decisions on how things get done occasionally, especially since they are on the front lines and see things daily that upper management is never exposed to. However, their efforts need to be directed to ensure company goals are being achieved.

dafausnaugh

dafausnaugh

says:

After reading the article titled “To Get the Most Out of Teams, Empower Them” on page 333 of our textbook, I would say that I resonate more with the Point side. I was contradicted on picking because I believe that you can have leaders and have small leader roles that are designed for a department. When working as a teller we had a teller manager, but every teller had a specific job that they were a leader of. Mine was keeping track of a ledger dealing with coins. Yet, having people do their own thing when they understand that it is theirs is important. I wonder if there is any truth to it making it harder to tell the actual mission though.
If I was a manager, I would use the Point side while also obviously using the counterpoint side because I am the manager. It would not make sense to say that both situations are not being used if you yourself is a manager. To empower my teams, I would give small management roles to reach our goal. Yet, while giving them small management roles I would make sure it is in their strengths and slowly building them up. I do not want to have a team that I am not training to potentially have a better position in the future. I think this is a good way to empower because it is allowing a person to understand that you expect them to grow and that giving them the opportunity is the best way to do so. It shows them I believe in trusting what they know or have learned.

brlund2

says:

My biggest issue with this excerpt was the black/white, all or nothing nature of it. You’re not alone in thinking that utilizing both strategies in balance is more in tune with the real world. There are many professions where one of these options definitely will not work- the first one that came to mind for me was the fast-food industry. How on Earth would McDonald’s (or their customers for that matter) survive without sincere and classic management techniques? The correct answer is likely somewhere in the middle ground as you, I, and many other posters this week have acknowledged.

Sean Stetzinger

says:

When reading “To Get the Most Out of Teams, Empower Them,” the counterpoint resonated with me. On the surface, the idea of empowering teams seems positive for morale; however, there are limitations to this, and the counterpoint does not indicate that empowerment is bad. Rather, the counterpoint gives empowerment a nod indicating it “can do some good in certain circumstances” but points out that it is “certainly not a cure-all” (Robbins & Judge, p. 333).

Empowering employees to make their own decisions about what is important and to reach a solution by following the path of their choosing can indeed boost employee morale. However, when it becomes the standard, employees are left with too little guidance and it sets the stage for social loafing, where some team members can “coast on the group’s effort when their particular contributions (or lack thereof) cant be identified” (Robbins & Judge, p.329). Empowerment should be used as a tool when appropriate, for example to reach a desired solution on a particular project. This removes the concern of “how likely is it that those teams will always choose what the manager wanted?” because the specific outcome is identified for them by a leader and the team can grow into their decision making ability through the process they choose to take to reach the outcome (Robbins & Judge, p.333). Then, once members of the team prove themselves through this work, they can be considered for a leadership position in the future. To discredit the need for guidance from a leader is short sided. It views each situation as independent of all others and discredits the value of learning who has the ability to clearly identify what the group should be moving towards, “so, leave the power to make decisions in the hands of those who were assigned leadership roles. After all they got to be leaders for a reason” (Robbins & Judge, p.333). Finally, when shifting the focus from a typical organization, like a large corporation or a government agency that is scoffed at for being bureaucratic, even children’s sports teams designate leaders or team captains. In my opinion, a team without a team leader does not accomplish anything as a team; without a leader, the team is left to pursue individual outcomes. A designated leader who can convey a single voice for the team to unite the team and be the person to make the tough decisions is necessary, even on a children’s playfield.

Alan

Alan

says:

I identify more with the counterpoint argument. I don’t particularly like the method of empowering teams by “enhancing member’s beliefs that they have more authority, even though legitimate authority rests with the organization’s leaders.” It feels like trickery just like the counterpoint argument states, “empowerment is an excuse to relegate more responsibility without the benefits.” Though this did irk me it wasn’t why I sided with the counterpoint argument. Without guidance a group may make a decision that on the surface may seem effective but is actually incorrect. Imagine asking a group of people how to sail from San Francisco to Tokyo. It would make sense that the group would say to sail due west because both cities are relatively close to the same latitude and a straight line is the shortest distance. Now ask an experienced sailor the same question. The sailor would tell you to sail through the Alaskan Aleutian Islands and back down to Japan. This is called the Great Circle Route, the shortest distance over a sphere, which when plotted on a flat map looks like an arc and appears to be a longer path. The experienced sailor and a manager share something in common, experience. The manager knows there is a shorter distance to the goal, if they let the team steer the ship it may take longer than the company allows. The manager is there to keep their hand on the wheel and prevent their team from making easy mistakes.

mjwilliams10

says:

I side with the point view of the argument. I am unable to respect a manager who micro-manages and disregards employees’ input and distrusts them to do their job. I know many people who feel miserable and uncomfortable when watched like a hawk to the point they cannot work. For me, I will not bother trying anymore, because I get so annoyed with this approach. It may seem effective in the eyes of the manager, but it can be quite the opposite. Miserable employees who feel unappreciated and incapable of doing their job are not going to do great work. A manager can establish goals and guidelines while backing off from employees.

If I was a manager, I would follow the tips in the article “5 Things Smart Leaders Do to Empower Employees”. The first tip is to make sure employees care about what you care about, which has to do with hiring people who match your vision. Second tip is to make the path to advancement clear. Third tip is to challenge employees and allow them to expand their skills. Fourth tip is to tell employees how they will be measured. Upon hiring, it is important to have a conversation about responsibilities and evaluations. Last tip is to get out of employees’ way by giving employees general goals and allowing them to figure out how to reach those goals.

Reference:
https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/5-things-smart-leaders-do-to-empower-employees.html

brlund2

says:

I would like to start by saying that the literal interpretations and resulting positions of both points fail to acknowledge that employee empowerment considerations aren’t rudimentary as “black or white”. It also fails to acknowledge that one method may work in certain industries but have no benefits or be hurtful for other industries. With that now off my chest, given the options, I resonate more with the “point” of empowering employees. The text explains that this has been a long-growing trend due to evidence of increased productivity and positive impact on the bottom line. It can also be said that by empowering employees, the ceiling for their job satisfaction, another factor that increases productivity, is raised. In the army, we would call this a force-multiplier due to the compounding nature of it’s benefits. My leadership style has always been to “leave some slack on the leash”, so to speak. In charging my soldiers or employees to take responsibility, for their work, their professional development would take off, their motivation would increase, and they would generally be happier overall which contributes to organizational morale overall. I have not, however, and do not expect to, ever “cut” the leash completely, and this is where I think the excerpt fails in reality. Rules need to be followed and focus maintained. In a profession where 18 year old kids are responsible for deadly weaponry and force, it simply wasn’t feasible to allow complete freedom of movement. In the private sector in a professional organization, this is likely a more reasonable venture to experiment with. Conversely, ruling with an iron fist is hardly effective and rarely necessary.

Resources:
https://www.cutimes.com/2012/02/15/the-benefits-of-employee-empowerment/?slreturn=20180927232406

hjmoyle

hjmoyle

says:

Both points from the article “To Get The Most Out Of Teams, Empower Them” have valid arguments. I think that depending on the organization or division of the organization one style might be better than that other. For a chaotic work environment that lacks order or has high levels of deviant work place behavior having a firm manager would be beneficial. I think more management would be give structure and direction on how to accomplish goals effective and efficiently. Giving power to people that can’t lead or don’t want to doesn’t help anyone. Sometimes less management is for the best. For example, It would be odd to micromanage people like doctors or engineers because they would become resentful and frustrated. Individuals that have proven themselves to be highly motivated and are willing to take responsibility should be allowed more freedom to make their own decisions.
https://leadersinheels.com/career/6-management-styles-and-when-best-to-use-them-the-leaders-tool-kit/
https://getsling.com/blog/types-of-management-styles/

kveech2

kveech2

says:

I found this assignment to be challenging in deciding which side I resonate with most because I see good and bad aspects of both the point and counterpoint. At first, when reading the point I definitely thought that I’d take the side of the counterpoint because I have personally seen how employees without management and they started to manage themselves based on their personalities and not their qualifications. While personalities do play a part in who should lead, it doesn’t make up the whole job and the results were not ideal. While on the other side of the coin, I do agree that giving freedom to employees allows for creativity. In an article about companies accepting a more nontraditional work environment called “Let it go: Embracing employee freedom in the workplace” by TechRepublic used Google as an example, Google has allowed their employees to work in a nontraditional space and it has shown to be effective.

The issue I had with the counterpoint was when the article said: “If managers leave teams to their own devices, how likely is it that those teams will always choose what the manager wanted?” If the manager had an idea of what they wanted then why did they have a team try and come up with that answer instead of just telling them what they wanted. It seems to be a waste of time. The other thought that came to mind was what if the team is able to come up with a better idea than what the manager was wanting them to come up with? I am the President of the Pre-Dental Society on campus and when I bring an issue to my officers and let them work on it without restrictions, they always come back to me with many good and different options that I hadn’t ever considered. The last issue I had with that point was the use of the word “ALWAYS”. How often does managing people one way ALWAYS come up with the result that the manager wants, regardless of the type of management style?

If I had to choose a side, I would choose the points side because I disagree less with the management style than I do with a restrictive management style. However, I think that the best case scenario would be a combination of both management styles with enough structure to keep the team on track and enough freedom to allow for creative thinking.
References
Carson, Erin. “Let It Go: Embracing Employee Freedom in the Workplace.” TechRepublic, http://www.techrepublic.com/article/let-it-go-embracing-employee-freedom-in-the-workplace/.

rcskieens

says:

As with most things in life there needs to be balance. I think it’s important to empower employees but there needs to be a healthy relationship and balance between delegating work and overseeing it yourself. I feel that there should be an understanding of what the capabilities of the employees are so that they are not overwhelmed by a task. Anything that is out of the scope of an employee should not be placed on their shoulders. With that in mind, I believe it would be very beneficial for employees to be responsible by being empowered with completing a larger than usual task and leading other employees. I believe by empowering employees with a reasonable responsibility or task that they would have more buy-in for the company and have more meaning and purpose in what they do. If that responsibility or task is too complicated and overwhelming I think it would have the opposite effect and have them lose faith in management.

nataylor2

says:

After reading the article the side that resonates most with me is the point side. This is because I really like the idea of empowering everyone in the office. Since we all come form different backgrounds we will all have different views and ideas that we should be able to share. Empowering people wil let these ideas and views be shared more easily.

Folkman, J. narrows his potential benefits down to a total of six. Among these is a positive work environment. Being on a team for the last three years I would have to say that this is what I deem the most important. No one wants to work or be in a place that is not positive because it is very stressful and will always do more harm than good in the long run. Being in a place that is positive lets everyone feel like they are valued and appreciated which is what is needed for a business to run smoothly. As long as employees feel like they are valued they will give their 100% which benefits the compay.

Folkman, J. (2017, March 14). The 6 Key Secrets To Increasing Empowerment In Your Team. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/joefolkman/2017/03/02/the-6-key-secrets-to-increasing-empowerment-in-your-team/#53673eed77a6

ajvinzant2

says:

I sit firmly on the point side. I don’t feel you should have someone on your team you don’t have both faith and trust in. Empowering your team is really just a sign of trust after all. A true leader recognizes that one person can’t do it all. Attempting to do so is asking not only to breed resentment in those you are supposed to lead, but likewise ensure your own failure when you burnout. In my opinion, managers who try to control everything their ‘underlings’ do, so to speak, are acting more on their own need for power than in the interest of the company. It’s a mistake to become so arrogant as to believe that your way is always the best way—everyone has something to teach you. You can give power to team members without leaving them entirely without guidance simply by being a part of the team. If your solutions are as sound as you feel they are, defend them with logic and facts, show your co-workers that you show them mutual respect despite your position, and you won’t have to tell them to follow you.

Sources:
Collins, S. Collins K. (2002) Micromanagement–a costly management style. College of Business and Administration, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12510608

clsmith24

says:

After reading both sides of the situation considering employee empowerment, I can easily see both arguments and can see the pros and cons to both. From the business management point of view, it is easy to side with the point, because I agree with the stance in letting the employees self-motivate to complete more within the work place. As stated in the book, “When teams get the freedom to make their own choices, they accept more responsibility for and take ownership of both the good and the bad” (Page 333). Not only do they work better on their own time and motivation, but they have a sense of freedom in their work so they are more likely to be held responsible for their work. Along with this opinion, I also read this debate in a protective point of view, in case of fraud or theft. When the reigns of management are loosened on employees, it not only empowers them in a motivational way, but it could empower them in a more frivolous way as well. If the management is not continually checking their performance and legitimacy, it completely excludes the accountability side of the business. I’m not saying that fraud will happen because of the lack of management, but it will give the employees room for more freedom without the supervision and revision side of a business, which is crucial. That being said, I decide to side with the counterpoint stance.

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