Our biggest Big Cat Anthony is talking at the next PEG event, taking place next week, to discuss the Myths of the Employee Empowerment Model. Can’t wait until then? Read on to find out more and to take a sneak peek at Anthony's views on this topic in the following interview piece.
At this event you’ll be discussing the myths of the employee empowerment model. Can you briefly explain what the principles of this model are?
Upside down management is an employee empowerment model created by John Timpson, founder and former Managing Director of Timpson’s, the high street retail brand famous for key cutting and shoe repairs.
The tenet behind this style of management is that you can’t create a great service culture by laying down lots of rules, running training courses or inventing a code of service. The only way is to trust frontline colleagues with the freedom to serve customers in the way they know best.
Timpson’s employee empowerment model puts the sales assistant at the top of the management chart with the CEO at the bottom. Like every other manager, they are there to support the people who make the money and service the customers.
What are the potential benefits of adopting this model do you think? And the drawbacks?
Giving frontline employees the freedom to do things their way and using their initiative is very empowering. I agree, that the best way to learn is to do, and that most training can be done on-the-job. Managers supporting customer service employees to be the best they can be can only be a good thing.
Timpson said that their approach took several years to fully adopt. The first obstacle he faced was getting the right people in his shops. As with most customer facing roles it takes a particular personality in order to thrive. The second challenge was to change the mind-set and style of his middle management team.
It seems to me that it is a pendulum swing too far from the factory management style of managers standing over people to optimise how they complete repetitive tasks.