Empowerment is making a fast decision on the spot in favor of the customer. The customer must win. If you want to grow like Amazon, master empowerment.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and now the richest person in the world. In the first six months of 2018 his net worth increased by over $45 billion which giving him a net worth of over $150 billion…so far! I have still never figured out why most companies do not want to copy the values and principles of Amazon. I guess Amazon is growing too fast for most companies in the world.
Amazon is now valued at over $1 trillion. The stock has surged this year 75% and added $430 billion to the company’s market capitalization. – about the size of Walmart, Costco and Target combined. It is the world’s most customer driven company. They are better at empowerment than any company in the world.
There are several reasons employees will NOT make empowered decisions.
- Almost all employees believe they will be fired if they make an empowered decision. They KNOW they will lose their job. If you cannot overcome this fear you will never have an empowered workforce.
- Employees are concerned they will be forced to pay for what they gave away. Front line employees everywhere in the world are the least paid. They fear having to personally pay for what they give away to make the customer over happy. This is a fear. Not reality.
- They do not want to be screamed at or reprimanded. There is no upside. Their manager will chew them out.
To make empowerment work, managers and supervisors have to support and drive empowerment. I find many managers are young and the worst offenders of empowerment. If you really want an empowered work force all employees which includes everyone in any leadership role must be trained on empowerment.
Most employees are afraid the company will suffer financially if they make an empowered decision in favor of the customer. Many fear the CEO or owner will not have enough money to cover dinner that night. Many managers fear the employee will give away the store. That our dishonest customers will take advantage of our young dishonest employees.
If you want to drive empowerment you have to be a role model. Celebrate everyone making an empowered decision. If you have an internal communication in each issue celebrate 1-2 wild empowered decisions by employees.
Most customers will never complain to the company. Surveys tend to be worthless. HR uses them because everyone else uses them I doubt if anyone does anything with the surveys. My wife will never complain but, she will also not be back!.
Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool you have. Empowerment is the least expensive way to leverage this. If you want to be a Service Leader you must have an empowered workforce.