A Case for Empowerment: Why is an Empowered Culture Crucial to Success Today?   

Why is an empowered culture crucial to engaging and retaining talent?

What is empowerment?

What does an empowered culture look like?

What is the link between “trust” and “empowerment” and “collaboration?”

This is the first in a series of blogs on “empowerment.” 

Having an Empowered Culture is Crucial to Success:  Having an empowered, team-oriented culture is crucial to organizational sustainability.   Engaging and retaining people depends on it.  This is true now but will become even more critical over the next decade as Boomers continue to exit and the workplace fills with Plurals.

Disengaged Work Force: Over 71% of the U.S. work force is disengaged.  Research links disengagement to our inability or unwillingness to meet human needs of respect, purpose and trust.  This is especially true of the two youngest generations, Gen Ys and Plurals (born after 1997).

High Employee Turnover Rates:  On top of the disengaged work force issue, most organizations are looking at employee turnover rates (employee churn) of 95-100% for new hires—Gen Ys and Plurals. 

The two senior generations, Veterans and Boomers, were loyal to organizations.  They stayed and tolerated the bad and ugly behaviors and cultures.  Gen Xers may stay.  The two youngest generations, Gen Ys and Plurals, are not loyal nor do they trust any organization unless relationships develop and trust evolves.  They will not tolerate the fear-based tactics their senior colleagues tolerated.  They leave.

A Cry for Empowerment:  The two youngest colleagues want a voice, self-expression, to be empowered to think for themselves and make decisions on their own.   If these needs are not met, they will exit.

Money is not the answer:  A competitive salary s a must, but when human needs are not met, people will leave.   Research shows that “when you consistently treat people right, they place salary fourth behind human needs of respect, purpose and trust.”  You can use all the tools in the world to assess motivational factors, but at the end of the day if human needs are not met, people leave.   

“Historically, we have focused on the process at the expense of the people.  We MUST turn this around and meet human needs of respect, purpose and trust first, then the people will take care of the process at a higher level than they would have otherwise.”   

Engagement and Retention are linked to Culture:  The foundation of your culture must be “trust” because you cannot create an empowered culture if people do not trust one another.  Distrust and fear freezes.   People become silent.  In the absence of trust, young people leave. Empowerment occurs when people feel safe to be the unique individuals they are and to speak their minds. Trust must come first.  But you cannot arrive at trust until you meet human needs of “respect, and purpose.”    

Your greatest challenge will be “retaining” people: 

Over the next decade it will become increasingly difficult to attract and retain people, but the bigger challenge will be “retention”.

Consequently, there is NO place in today’s world for abusive, fear-based tactics.  These behaviors will destroy you.  Furthermore, these behaviors to the younger generations may be considered abuse

Bottom line:  an empowered and collaborative culture has become a definitive strategic must for all organizations.   


Training and Consultation Available to Help You Develop an Empowered Culture:   This Empowerment blog series is not meant to be all inclusive on what is needed to create an Empowered Culture.   Training is available either as self-paced online or live instructor led classes at your site.  Follow this link for more information at Add link.  Download the syllabus free.   Live instructor led costs are negotiable based on many factors, including location.  Reasonable and affordable rates.  Curriculum is based on years of research and proven results achieved through teaching and using the tools.   

About the Author: 

With over 30 years’ experience developing and leading teams in corporate and non-profit environments, Patricia Hatley is a skilled team facilitator who has a passion for teaming and an empowering style of leadership.  She is a leadership author and researcher, speaker, trainer and coach, focusing on developing an empowered culture which is crucial to engaging, and retaining younger generations (Gen Ys) and (Plurals or Gen Zs), in any environment and community.  Her work focuses on developing a culture conducive to engaging and retaining all people.  Her Goal is to “empower people to empower others.”  She believes that all people have a right to be treated with respect, and that developing trust, is the foundation of success today. 

She develops and delivers leadership and management training to business and industry, including serving as an Independent Contractor for community colleges.  Her work focuses on methods that work today and in the future.  A passionate and engaging speaker, she has spoken to groups and conducted training in multiple states about “5 Generations at Work: Attracting, Engaging, and Retaining Gen Ys and Plurals” for business, government, and non-profit organizations.  Her methods and curriculum are proven to be successful in creating an empowered culture.

She has a Master’s of Science in Strategic Leadership (transformational & authentic leadership), a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, studied communications, and has been coached by numerous journalists, authors and educators, as well as completing many leadership programs. A former journalist, lobbyist, and public affairs specialist, she has served in a host of leadership roles spanning her career. 

Currently a national SHRM and Catawba Valley SHRM member, Pat earned her SHRM Certified Professional certification in July 2017.   Her curriculum, “5 Generations @ Work: Attracting, Engaging, and Retaining Them,” has been approved for recertification credits by HRCI and SHRM. 

Her publications, based on over 10 years of research, including her graduate research project, include: “4 Generations @ Work: Leading from Conflict to Collaboration” (2012), “Three Things all People Want” (2013), Digital Grenades (2014), and “4 Generations @ Work: A Case of Empowerment” (2015). Training Module content is based on research and real-world applications and has been proven to be successful in developing empowered and trusting cultures.