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EMPOWERED ORGANIZATIONS DRIVE IMPROVED QUALITY AND PRODUCTIVITY

 PITTSBURGH, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- This Labor Day, companies across the nation are striving to create empowered organizations that will drive continuous improvement in quality, customer service and productivity.
 In July at the Conference on the Future of the American Workplace, President Clinton declared that empowerment is the key to more jobs. William C. Byham, Ph.D., author and president and CEO of Development Dimensions International, is the leading expert on empowerment. His best-selling book, "ZAPP! The Lightning of Empowerment," has sold more than one million copies and has been translated into nine languages.
 "For empowerment to work, there are two critical success factors," stated Byham. "First, jobs must be designed to provide ownership and responsibility. Second, an environment where supervisors encourage initiative and coach employees to take on more responsibility."
 After working with hundreds of companies around the world, Byham has identified key characteristics that are shared by truly empowered organizations. They fall into two categories: job design and corporate environment.
 Job Design
 1. When designing or reengineering jobs, define tasks so that people are responsible for a meaningful process or outcome, can make decisions and measure their own successes.
 2. Consider developing work teams. More and more organizations empower by encouraging teams and teamwork -- cross-functional quality action teams, customer focus groups and integrated product development teams.
 3. Job and technical skills training is critical. In an empowered organization, employees tackle additional tasks and often rotate jobs, so they need to understand how to do not only their own jobs, but every job on their team. For individuals who represent the organization to the customer, customer service skills training is key.
 4. Interpersonal and problem-solving training will give employees the confidence and skills to lead others and resolve their own conflicts without appealing to a higher authority.
 Corporate Environment
 1. Effective communication at all levels about the company's plans, successes and failures helps employees understand the organization's direction. Then they are more likely to support its actions.
 2. Leaders have a tremendous impact on the degree of empowerment their employees feel. The tools for coaching employees successfully are the four key principles of empowerment: maintain or enhance self-esteem; listen and respond with empathy; ask for help and encourage involvement; and offer help without taking responsibility.
 3. Organizational systems can either give people a sense of power or make them feel powerless. Develop performance management systems that provide a clear understanding of job responsibilities and methods for measuring success. Make sure that reward and recognition systems build pride and self-esteem. Also, selection and promotion systems should identify workers and leaders with motivations and skills appropriate to an empowered environment.
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 /EDITORS: For real-life examples of the impact of empowerment, to schedule an interview with Byham or to receive a copy of "ZAPP! The Lightning of Empowerment," call contact./
 /CONTACT: Nancy Hrynkiw, public relations director of Development Dimensions International, 412-257-3860/


CO: Development Dimensions International ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

LV -- NYLFNS2 -- 4157 08/19/93 06:47 EDT
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Date:Aug 19, 1993
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