In the 17th century, “empower” was a legal term, meaning “to invest with authority.”
In the 1960s, when the civil rights movement and women’s movement hit their stride, “empowerment” became a fancy way of saying “power to the people.” Sort of a way of saying, “We don’t want equality, we want power.”
Now that the college students of the ’60s are all grown up and, in many cases, are in positions of power, they are promising to “empower” their employees.
But today, “empowerment” has a new meaning. Roughly translated, when employers “empower” employees, they are giving them more responsibility without more pay.
If you are an “empowered” employee and disagree, try any one of the following and let us know how empowered you really are:
· Tell your boss that the weather is too nice, so you are taking the week off.
· Give yourself a raise.
· Redecorate your office, charging all expenses to the company.
· Tell your boss, “You report to me now.”
· Better still, fire your boss.
“Empower” is a word that has lost its power. Employees are still employees, no matter how “empowered” they’ve become.