"The Empowering Work Environment Quiz"

Matt M. Starcevich, Ph.D., Carol A. Otto, Ph.D., and George M. Benskey

(For individual use only, not to be reproduced or distributed without permission)
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Published in Spirit, the magazine of Southwest Airlines

To remain competitive, organizations are abandoning the traditional hierarchical command-and-control management style in favor of establishing a work environment that advocates employee empowerment at all levels. To establish this new environment entails encouraging employee responsibility, accountability, self-management, trust and recognition; it requires leaders who are willing to let go of their role as bosses and take on roles as coaches and facilitators. Achieving this change is not easy. Some deeply ingrained obstacles and beliefs about leadership, management, employees and modern organizations must be confronted and challenged.

The empowering work environment requires a set of values and beliefs that must be embraced and practiced by all levels of management. This quiz tests your readiness to accept an empowering work environment by evaluating the degree to which you hold these values and beliefs.

In evaluating/recommending three candidates for promotion into a middle level managerial position, you believe:

You are composing next year's budget. What criteria do you use to determine allocations for training employees?

Your organization is revising its management appraisal system. Whose feedback should be considered when evaluating a manager's performance?

You have made a very costly error that has resulted in extensive budget reductions for your department. How do you explain the reductions to your group?

Your organization invested heavily in a new technology that will change the way work is done in your group. In implementing the changes you:

When evaluating a department's performance, how much importance should be placed on individual performance; how much on the team's effort?

You have been called into an emergency budget meeting and asked to reduce your department's budget by 5 percent. Which of the following items would you cut?

You have been asked to identify the obstacles to implementing an employee-empowering environment at your company. Where do you start?

Which of the following best depicts how the role of the front line supervisor will develop in an employee-empowering environment?

How would you to describe the employee empowering work environment?

How long do you think it will take to implement an employee-empowering environment?

How do you typically refer to the people you work with?

Which of the following are true statements about the employee-empowered environment?