1.0 Introduction 简介
As the importance of human resources in the competition of enterprises has been realized by more and more enterprise management, these enterprises begin to implement a series of reforms of human resources management (Schon, 1983). One of the most important policies is employee Empowerment. Employee empowerment has a positive meaning for improving the enthusiasm of employees, improving employee satisfaction, reducing the cost of enterprise management and shaping the benign competition environment of the enterprise (Wilkinson, 1998). As a result, nursing empowerment is also widely used in the UK healthcare industry in the hope of improving the quality of care, increasing nurse motivation and reducing turnover by increasing nursing empowerment. However, in specific medical practice, whether employee empowerment can achieve the expected goal is an issue that needs to be further analyzed (Jones, Lantham and Betta, 2013). In this essay, it first reviews the relevant theory of employee empowerment, and then it introduces the author’s experience in the P&O Workshop, and then based on critical analysis on the relevant theory to discuss the employee empowerment of the P&O Workshop, and finally the author recommends on how to improve the nurse empowerment of the British medical institutions.
2.0 Main body 正文
2.1 Literature review
Empowerment is the key to the operation of an organization, it refers to delegating the power necessary to accomplish a job to subordinates (Aiken and West, 1991). Empowerment is the process by which leaders achieve organizational goals by giving their employees and subordinates more empowerment (Hanaysha, 2016). Hanaysha and Tahir (2016) figured that empowerment refers to giving employees more power of participation in decision-making and management in pursuit of the overall interests of the enterprises. Other scholars believed that empowerment refers to the business operators’ granting subordinate departments and employees a certain degree of power, so that under the guidance and supervision of the business operators, so they can make their own decisions within the scope of work (Allen, Lehmann-Willenbrock and Sands, 2016). The above definitions of employee empowerment mention that one of the basic characteristics of employee empowerment is to give employees more power, the difference lies in that Hanaysha (2016) held that employee empowerment must meet the goals of an organization, Hanaysha and Tahir (2016) emphasized that the scope of employee empowerment is mainly the power of participating in management and decision-making. Allen, Lehmann-Willenbrock and Sands (2016) thought that employee empowerment must be guided and supervised.#p#分页标题#e#
Hyde, McBride, Young and Walshe’s (2006) research mainly affirmed the importance of employee empowerment in enhancing employee motivation in terms of corporate culture and teamwork. AAMIR (2008), Aiken et al. (2001) agreed with what Hyde, McBride, Young and Walshe (2006) put forward to further analyze that effective empowerment of first-line nursing management to the grassroots nurses can increase the subjective initiative of the grassroots nurses. Boye and Jones (2012), Becker and Kernan (2003), Amabile et al. (2004) explained why employee empowerment can effectively improve employees' enthusiasm for work. The reason is that employee empowerment gives employees more power, opportunities and respect. As a result, employees’ work is more motivated to reduce their turnover rate. In addition, employee empowerment is also important to building a healthy and competitive corporate culture and atmosphere.
Aamir (2008) found the active role of employee empowerment from the perspective of employee performance. His findings show that modest employee empowerment can make employees work more efficiently, more purposefully, and more creatively. Aiken et al. (2001) explained the reason for why employee empowerment can improve employee’s performance of nurses from another angle. They pointed out that employee empowerment is good for alleviating the pressure and fatigue of employees. Becker and Kernan (2003) affirmed Aiken et al.’s (2001) findings and further commented that employee empowerment increases employees' sense of responsibility and encourages employees to work harder to better fulfill their responsibilities. Avolio, Zhu and Koh (2004) proposed that employee empowerment is particularly important for employees to deal with emergencies in their work. In particular, employee empowerment in service industries such as hotel management is very important (Kele, Mohsin and Lengler, 2017).
The above researches have confirmed the positive meaning of employee empowerment, but some other researchers were through empirical research to learn that there are many problems in the implementation of employee empowerment. Cooke (2006) pointed out that employee empowerment may increase the workload of employees, employee satisfaction may decline. Hyde, McBride, Young and Walshe (2005) found four changes brought to work of nurses by employees empowerment. Each change requires corresponding measures taken, otherwise, employee empowerment will not serve the expected purpose (Brown and Kanter, 1982).
Morrell and Wilkinson (2010), Beirne (2013),Jones (2000) affirmed the conclusion of McBride, Young and Walshe’s (2005) that different organizations should adopt a model that suits their situation in implementing employee empowerment, instead of copying a fixed pattern. Jones (2000), Beirne (2013) also pointed out that if management neglects the needs of employees to take tough measures to promote employee empowerment, it will aggravate the tension between employees and management.#p#分页标题#e#
Becker and Kernan’s (2003), Hyde, McBride, Young and Walshe’s (2006) and other studies have proved that employee empowerment may have a positive effect in practical work, but Jones (2000), Beirne (2013) and other scholars showed that employee empowerment is a systematic work, simple empowerment does not bring positive meaning, successful empowerment needs an organization to take more targeted supporting work to play the roles of desired effect.
2.2 Employee empowerment status and improvement of the P&O Workshop
Kele, Mohsin and Lengler (2017) proposed that employee empowerment plays a positive role in improving nurses' enthusiasm for work, reducing staff turnover rate and improving work efficiency. These studies have laid the theoretical foundation for NHS to implement the policy reform of employee empowerment in medical institutions. According to the policy of the NHS, P&O Workshop has adopted a system of employee empowerment for nurses. The author has the following views on the empowerment.
First, the supervisors were not uniform about whether it should empower the nurses. Some of the supervisors thought that empowering the nurses would make them more convenient at work. Other supervisors believed that many nurses lacked the experience of possessing power, empowering them would make them confused. Such results leaded to that some nurses took more responsibility, and some nurses took less responsibility, the nurses were confused about what responsibilities they should undertake, what power they have and how to assess their own job performance, which instead of reduced the efficiency and motivation of the nurses’ at work.
Second, in order to save on medical expenses, the number of nurses has been drastically reduced for hiring medical assistants. Therefore, experienced nurses were not enough. In this case, the nurses' responsibilities and pressures to work after their empowerment would be further increased because they needed to take care of more patients and at the same time did the work that they originally did not have to do, such as clerical work, which further reduced the job satisfaction of the nurses.
Third, empowerment has changed the traditional assignment of nurses' tasks, they managed the patients according to the beds of the patients’ instead of the wards. As a result, the patients in the same ward were managed by different nurses. When the doctors went to a ward, they needed to find different nurses to inquire about the conditions, which may make the work efficiency lower than before empowerment.
Judging from the above analysis, nursing empowerment of the P&O Workshop failed to achieve the expected effect, as Cooke (2006) and McBride, Young, Walshe (2005) analyzed, simple employee empowerment is hard to succeed, it is also necessary to make some improvements for the employee empowerment system by making some necessary measures to make employee empowerment achieve the expected purpose. According to the research results from Cooke (2006), McBride, Young and Walshe (2005), coupled with the author’s observation on the P&O Workshop’s nursing empowerment, the author brings forward the following recommendations on how it improves its nursing empowerment.#p#分页标题#e#
Firstly, P&O Workshop should unify the recognition of employees empowerment, let the nurses know what their power are, what responsibilities should be taken, and what changes will happen to the performance appraisal. This helps the nurses to cope with the changes brought about by empowerment, and changes in performance evaluation can also help to motivate the nurses to actively confront the challenges posed by empowerment.
Secondly, the degree and scope of the empowerment should be in line with the difficulty of the work, the nurses’ knowledge, skills and experience to ensure the enough empowerment, it should also make sure that the empowerment will not be hindered because of the difficulty of the work, the ability of the nurses’ and their lack of experience and skills. At the same time, it should pay attention to the evaluation of the empowerment effect, discovering the problems in the empowerment process in time and taking corresponding measures to make targeted adjustments to the empowerment policies and systems.
Thirdly, because of the lack of experienced nurses, the nurses may be more stressed after the empowerment, so the medical institution should provide personnel, fund, resources, information and other resources to nurses empowered, as well as development opportunities, which helps them to better deal with the difficulties encountered in the daily work of performing their duties, at the same time, it will improve the nurses’ confidence and initiative to solve the problems.
Finally, the modification of ward housing space arrangement should be carried out by designing a circular distribution that the wards should take the reception desk as the center, which will shorten distance for the nurses to go to each ward to ensure that the nurses’ work efficiency will not be decreased after empowerment, so the empowerment can achieve the desired purpose.
3.0 Conclusion 结论
Employee empowerment in nursing practice can bring positive effect, but employee empowerment is a systematic work, simple employee empowerment can not bring positive significance, successful employee empowerment also need medical institutions to take more targeted work to form a complete set to achieve the desired effect. These measures include: a clear empowered power, responsibility and performance appraisal system, reasonable empowerment, giving appropriate support and help to the nurse and modifying ward space location and so on.