Empowerment and Delegation

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Shared decision making can improve the quality an acceptance of decisions, bolster worker motivation and self-esteem, increase sense of ownership and improve interpersonal relations with employees. But it is not always easy to delegate. A farmer wondered why his workers came directly to him with their problems and questions, skipping righ over the foreman. Upon further reflection, this grower realized that he was encouraging this behavior by answering questions and solving problems for the employees. Instread, he needed to support his foreman by having employees go to him with these matters. 

There is a tricky balance, here, however. While workers should feel a need to work out day-to-day issues directly with the farm foreman, the door should be left open for workers to sense that the farmer can also listen to them. At one farm operation, the grower made it clear to the employees that his door was open to listen if they ever needed to talk. As soon as the farmer would leave the filed, however, the foreman would close that door, by telling employees that they were not to ever bother the grower. 

Gregorio Billikopf
University of California