Empowered employees – Asset for your company

by Ashvini on August 27, 2013 · 3 comments

in Business,General

Empowering the employees is good for business. During my recent vacation ( because of which I missed a few posts ), I had chance to stay at  a well known hotel and experience its great hospitality.

The thing that struck me most was the sense of empowerment each employee had. The housekeeping person was empowered to go beyond the mandated service. The restaurant manger had the power to  offer the guest some of the dishes that were personally loved by the guest for free ( really) . In every department that I had a chance to interact, it was quite obvious that employees were encouraged to take decisions, to provide the best of the services to the customer.

The end result is that the customer is not only happy, he is delighted. The unexpected things, which I felt were meticulously planned ( contradictory but it was not) made a lasting impact.

Often the decision making is centralized because it provides for better control of the cost and quality of service. A well planned robot like system often succeeds. It does not raise the hopes of those dealing with it and delivers what is expected. However in the times when there is huge competition all around , often the difference between two companies is not two robot like systems but the level of human interaction with the customer.

That is where empowerment comes in. At the time of crisis or making an impact with customer, empowered employees are the ultimate weapons. Human touch is a big differentiator, provided all other things are equal ( for example fast billing as a process). Entrepreneurs survive because they lack processes ( on the account of small size of business). They have more human level interaction that process level interaction.

I don’t mean to say that processes are not fruitful but the fact that a good balance of human level interaction ( achieved through employee empowerment ) and well defined processes is the best strategy to keep customers happy.

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Daria Steigman August 28, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Hi Ashvini,

It sounds like you made a wise (vacation) choice.

The key point is that wowing customers starts with empowering your employees. Not to mention that it makes your employees happy, leading to reduced turnover and a whole bunch of other things that are good for your business & bottom line. Because they are your front-line brand representatives.

All you have to do in the U.S. is to fly Southwest Airlines to understand the value of happy employees; and then fly almost any other U.S. airline to see what happens when employees are neither valued nor empowered. (It’s not a pretty picture.)

Jeevan Jacob John August 28, 2013 at 5:05 am

Agree. We need to have a balance between human interaction and processes. A well defined process can save us a lot of time, money and effort (and we certainly don’t want to waste those things). And, as for human interaction, it can generate more revenue than you expect to receive.

Isn’t there a higher level of chance that you might recommend this particular hotel to others? That’s exactly what we – as entrepreneurs – want and would like to replicate.

If only most businesses were like that, encouraging their employees to make decisions.

Anyways, thanks for sharing the experience, Ashvini!

Ashvini Kumar Saxena September 10, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Hi Jeevan,
Oh yes, I always recommend this hotel to everyone. They have made their indelible mark on me. There is so much to learn even by just walking into the place.
I believe that they have one of the best HR policies of all organizations in the world.
Thanks for your thoughts on this . I appreciate them a lot:)

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