Staff Empowerment Process

Managers who have used this product have learned that their employees have made them look awfully good.

Our approach

Bruce Holland doesn't see the empowerment process as "changing" your people or "fixing" them; it is more about reminding them of who they are, and drawing out the greatness that already exists inside. With the possible exception of a few "trace-elements" he expects to find all the knowledge, skills and experience needed within.

The problem

Everyone wants to feel important, yet many organisations manage to make their people feel quite the opposite.

This is not just my view, research over the last 25 years has shown that 80% of workers feel they are not using their strengths on a daily basis (reported in "The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave". In his comprehensive review of research, Jeffrey Pfeffer concluded that organisations with enthusiastic employees are 30 to 40 percent more productive. This research involved more than 2,500,000 employees in 237 companies, quoted in 'The Enthusiastic Employee' by David Sirota.

It's as Ken Douglas said to me "I don't know a worker who did not want to do a good job but they are often disgruntled because they feel unrecognised. Everyone needs a job which is a reflection of self interest and leads to fulfillment of self."

The process is about breaking down barriers and silos, opening communication and building trust.

The aim

In the best organisations leadership comes from Tops, Middles and Bottoms. Leadership is not so much whether you have a position or a title. True leadership is about influence - and influencing others is a matter of disposition, not position.

The aim of this program is to deepen and strengthen the leadership disposition throughout your organisation.

The aim of our process is to get your people doing the right things, at the right times - because they understand what ought to be done, and they take the necessary actions without being instructed.

It's about breaking down barriers and silos, opening communication and building trust

Does your organisation pass the "everyones a leader" test?

  1. Does your organisation have an effective process to harness your employees' energy and best ideas? More importantly, do your employees agree or is their potential untapped?
  2. Are all your employees working to the benefit of your customers? Do your best customers agree?
  3. Do your managers suffer from iceberg ignorance?
  4. Do more new ideas for new products and services come from your grass roots people or are you reliant on your management? Do you have a competitive advantage because everyone works as though they owned the company or are you going backwards?
  5. Are your people tied up in red tape and unnecessary procedures or is everyone focused exactly on what needs to happen in order to get the biggest return?

This program is different - it's a breakthrough

When we designed this program, we started with the understanding that to make fundamental changes in behaviors takes at least three months. But who, in today's environment, can afford three months training? We set ourselves the challenge that there has to be a better way.

We asked: "How we can give people three months training at cost of about two days off work?" We also wanted to reduce the costs of bringing people together.

The solution

  1. To deliver short modules with gaps in between for practice and testing of concepts
  2. Training does not stop during the gaps in between the workshops
  3. Gaps used to test and trial theory
  4. Most of the work takes place in participant's own time
  5. Participants practice using the theory in between modules making the program far more immediate and practical and real
  6. The Modular approach makes the selection of content far more flexible
  7. Deliver the content when participants come together anyway.
  8. The training is in-house which gives many advantages.

The modular approach

The modular approach is important because we need to change habits and this takes time. Weekly or biweekly modules are the best way to achieve this without killing the budget and taking people over. The breakthrough comes from understanding that one-hit programs nearly always disappoint because changing behaviours (habits) takes at least 16 weeks.

To support the sessions there is also readings and exercises in between the weekly modules. The result is that people get something like a 3 months training but the organisation only pays for about one week. And it all happens in your workplace, on your problems; a formula that's proven to give the best learning results.

Before each module, pre-workshop readings will be issued and exercises undertaken so that the most effective use can be made of the workshop time in facilitation mode rather than teaching mode. Information exchange will happen largely between modules rather than during the modules. Over the course of the training the readings, notes and practical exercises supplied by Virtual Group will grow into a highly valuable body of material for future reference.

The benefits

The processes we are going to talk about can produce savings of:

  • 20% of sales in manufacturing
  • 35% of operating costs in service companies .

The benefits come from:

  1. The program taps into combined brainpower of the people
  2. Solutions provided by those who do the work (tend to be highly practical)
  3. People become more commitment to the solutions
  4. Ideas for improvement across a wide front - "Mountains from dust"
  5. Less Waste
  6. Better quality.

Lessons I learnt from experience in BNZ and subsequently

Why empowerment works

Case study - Canary Butter

When to use empowerment

  1. Whenever managers are too busy
  2. When the organisation's greatest resource, its people are under-utilised
  3. When the organisations needs to make more money
  4. When barriers and silos need be broken down
  5. When communications need to be faster and more open.

Probable outcomes of using empowerment

  1. All people (Tops, Middles, and Bottoms) contribute more effectively to the organisation's goals
  2. Communication and decision-making is significantly faster
  3. People are happier and more fulfilled because they are doing useful work
  4. Manages are able to work on the business rather than in the business airline
  5. All staff have a greater commitment to the organisation and its goals.
  6. Process develops into a positive self-reinforcing cycle.

Product support

This product has been developed and is supported by Bruce Holland with help where required from other members of the Virtual Group Business Consultants. Bruce is a specialist in empowerment Wellington, nationally and internationally. He specialises in public sector empowerment and in other large private sector organisations.


All work undertaken by Bruce Holland is guaranteed. If at the end of the program the client doesn't feel that they have received value for money, they may adjust the bill and pay an amount equal to the value they feel they received.

Next step

For more information about how you can use our Staff Empowerment Program give the Virtual Manager a call or ring Bruce Holland direct.

Bruce Holland
Phone +6421 620456
Key words: Leadership, leadership development, leadership management, leadership training, leadership program, leadership skills

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