Team Empowerment - Boundaries Clarify Roles

Historically people have gone to work to perform a task. Over the last twenty-five years, however, the “task” has evolved significantly. With the introduction of workplace participation or employee involvement, workers are now more directly involved in process improvement.

Empowerment moves this involvement to another level by shifting more authority and responsibility for workplace decisions to the front lines. The impact of this change has not been fully appreciated. Consequently, organizations transitioning to empowerment sometimes experience setbacks as they attempt to move forward.  Helping people to understand their roles in an empowered workplace is critical to success. How should a manager or supervisor act in such an environment? How does the worker act? When should a worker make a decision, and when should that decision be referred to a higher authority? These are some of the questions encountered as the journey to an empowered team begins.

Boundaries play a significant part in the process because they begin to define tasks, behaviors, and roles.