Every CEO dreams of having an empowered workforce, but empowerment doesn’t happen by itself. Training provides education, and education leads to empowerment. Empowered employees can take ownership of their duties, and this ultimately results in increased effectiveness, output, and a more capable, responsible, and devoted workforce.
Training is a conscious investment
To undertake training for your workforce is a conscious investment. Once you’ve taken the decision to empower your employees, it means that certain tasks will be handed over to them, resulting in staff taking ownership of their work. But empowerment should happen one step at a time. The first step towards empowerment is to train the ability of an employee to start making certain decisions on his own.
English and maths are key basic skills required for empowerment
Many large factories employ blue-collar workers for simple tasks like putting a label on a box to confirm its contents before it goes to the logistics department for transport to a retailer. Imagine the increase in productivity if your blue-collar workers could count the content, read the label, and confirm the content before putting the label on the box and sealing it, thereby deciding on his own whether the box is fit for transport. This would free up valuable time of the supervisor, whose skills and abilities can be put to better use than checking the content of boxes before sealing it, thus empowering the factory worker without disempowering the supervisor.
Because English and maths are key basic skills required for empowerment it is important for companies to regularly assess its blue-collar workforce to determine the level of competence in English and maths. Even though your workforce may have matric, it is often true that their schooling was done in a rural area where English was not the main language. This means that a large portion of the South African workforce can only partially speak English, and often cannot read or write in English.
Letting go, testing the new skills and abilities, and handing over
The second step in empowering your workforce is to let go of the control over them, and to give them an opportunity to put their new skills to use. This can be done in a simulation where staff could be asked to check the boxes so that the manager can see if they are able to make the right decisions. For the empowerment process to work, the manager needs to be sure that the person is competent enough to make the right decision. Once the person is ready the new task of taking responsibility for the boxes becomes that of the employee, who is now fully accountable for ensuring the correct boxes reach logistics for distrubition.
Training educates, enriches, and empowers employees
Through basic training in basic English you can ensure that your employees receive an education that will enrich their lives and careers, and enable them to be more productive employees who can make decisions that will allow them to feel empowered and happy.
At Triple E Training we offer Communication in English as a basic course for your employees. Classified as Category B training, it will also benefit your organisation’s BEE scorecard. For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 010 597 7611.