Employee perception of empowerment practices at Unga limited
Empowerment is a dynamic process that focuses on linking competencies and employee strength towards being proactive in a social dynamic and subsequent change. Its practices are manifested through levels of employees’ involvement in decision making, levels of work related participation, effective communication, continuous employee training and development, favorable organizational culture, well laid incentive systems, trust among employees, clarity of roles and expectations, sufficient information about work and teamwork. The objective developed for this study was to determine employee perception of empowerment practices. The study was descriptive survey design whereby data was collected by use of semi structured questionnaires. The study was undertaken within Uasin Gishu and Nairobi Counties where the focus were the permanent employees of Unga Limited at Headquarters office, Nairobi and Eldoret branch. The sample size of the study was 46 permanent employees of Unga Limited selected through stratified and random sampling, however only 40 employees participated, hence response rate of 87%. The data from the study was analyzed using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics whereby frequencies, percentages weighted means and average weighted means were used to weigh employees’ perception of empowerment practices. The findings revealed that employees have a positive perception towards empowerment practices as weighted means to all statements were above 2.5. It emerged that Unga Limited has its Vision and goals clearly spelt which had the highest weight of 3.95, followed by employees’ participation in decision making and company having pro-empowerment policy and structures in place, both coming second with a mean weight of 3.875 each. However, managers mentoring lower cadres had the least mean weight score of 2.55. The main limitation in undertaking the study was failure to get 100% response, and getting the respondents return back the questionnaires on time. From the findings, there is need for Unga to have some reforms on its management through encouraging formal mentorship programs of lower cadres spearheaded by management, management to enhance positive attitudes, commitments and involvement of employees in work related matters, delegate duties more and avail sufficient resources needed in execution of tasks. Given that this study used structured and semi structured as the only data collection tool, suggestion is made for future researches using other tools. Future research could also focus on perception of employee empowerment practices in other industries and service organizations using similar variables to identify if employee perceptions are similar or differ from one industry to another.