The Role Played by Institution's Management in Promoting Employee Empowerment in Private Universities in Nairobi-Kenya
Mururi, James W.
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The objective of this study was to assess the role performed by the organization's management in promoting employee empowerment within the private university context in Kenya. In the quest to attain the study's specific aims, anexploratory design was adopted to collect data from a sample of 140 respondents selected from a total of 2400 university staff involved in the human resource matters. However, after the data collection duration a total of 94 questionnaires had been filled and returned, which represented a response rate of 67%. The collected data were edited, coded and analyzed using the descriptive statistics to generate findings on which basis generalizations were be made. It was found that private universities in Kenya adopted employee training, open-policy communication and delegation of leadership responsibilities, team building and demand-based scheduling as the main empowerment strategies. However, despite the fact that management played a significant role in boosting employees' effort and ability through scheduled empowerment, more was needed to ensure high quality standards and subsequent sustainability of empowerment. Management intervened in areas such as human resource policy formulation and implementation, outsourcing of empowerment facilitators and facilities, progress monitoring and evaluation, auditing of programme content and matching of skills with respective areas of competence. Most universities' management facilitated skill empowerment programmes for employees within their jurisdiction mainly in technical, human relations and conceptual skills. However, not all employees were consistently involved in the development programmes and the empowerment packages were hardly adequate to the satisfaction of the audience. Managerial role was poorly rated concerning delivery of skill empowerment packages in respect of providing direction in nurturing efficiency and effectiveness. Findings indicated that most institutional managers were slow to implement any initiatives to monitor employee progress. Moreover, most evaluations were only conducted after the employee empowerment session, which implied lack of commonly agreed benchmarks for comparison. The empowerment feedback played role in remedial decision design, as basis for advanced empowerment, criteria for delegation and promotion, and as a strong indicator for employee termination. Finally, some hindrances that thwarted progress in empowering employees were identified as managerial rigidity, limited fund allocation, lack of collective decision making, subjective selection of trainees especially for external empowerment programmes and work overload that did limited space for individual development. On the basis of study's findings, the private universities' management needed to strategize on how to boost employee satisfaction through diversifying available incentives schemes and to establish standards within which all employees would have access to equal treatments through empowerment of their potential. Also, it could be essential to frequently adjust and validate the existing range of empowerment packages to instigate introduction and sustainability of modem ways of unlocking employee potential as a basis towards inducing work performance.