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Let's Empower People In the Workplace

Tamala Bradham

The year 2020 will forever be in our memory. There were many positives, like spending more time with family, deep cleaning, and getting rid of items no longer needed. 

At the same time, many of us also experienced real hardship. With the loss of jobs, companies downsizing, having to resort to layoffs, or going out of business; we have witnessed tough decisions being made that will have lasting effects for years to come. Depending on one's business, budget planning for the next fiscal year is usually finalized now.

Investing in your people is especially important during this time. For example, one research-based organization demonstrated employee value by offering professional development and learning opportunities. Have you accounted for professional development as a line item in your budget?

I'm not sure that I believe that an organization's greatest assets are its people. Don't get me wrong, people are essential in any organization, but our greatest asset is how we empower our people in our organization.

Did you know that:

  • Walt Disney was fired from Kansas City Star because his editor felt he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas?"
  • Over 1,000 people reject Colonel Sanders in starting a franchise-model chicken restaurant.
  • Favorite author J.K. Rowling was rejected by 12 major publishers before Bloomsbury accepted her manuscript.

Something, someone empowered these people not to give up. Research shows that when employees feel empowered at work, greater job satisfaction, more robust job performance, and more significant commitment to the organization. Empowering employees often come in many forms, such as how the managers operate their area, benefits offered by the organization, and that the employee feels valued by the organization.

One strategy employed and back by research is offering professional development. For example, Network found from their 2016-2017 survey that people who took advantage of their employer's educational programs achieved organizational goals such as decreased turnover, increased customer satisfaction, and profit.

Unfortunately, after the Great Recession, educational expenditures were cut in 2009 and 2010, showing evidence of decreased costs allocated to professional development over time3. Furthermore, less than 5% commonly take advantage of professional educational opportunities offered by their employers4. Fortunately, this number seems to be slightly increased since the recession.

When an organization dedicates resources to training and professional development, evidence supports greater employee engagement and a sense of empowerment. Empowering your employees and giving them the knowledge and skills to perform the best they can in their role ultimately impacts your organization's financial performance and reputation.

There is much at stake with new technologies, leadership skill development, systems science, and new diagnostics and treatment approaches evidence. If we lack appropriate knowledge, we will not perform at our fullest capacity.

Learning doesn't stop after school. I am proof of this. While I have a Ph.D., the highest degree you can earn, I still went back to school to earn a second doctorate in a different field to learn how to be and do better. 

At 3C Digital Media Network, we all believe we have much to learn from one another and know we can do better. Offering educational options is only a start.

Telling a horse that the water is not far doesn't get the horse moving, but when you salt the oats, the horse will lead the way! So how are you empowering your employees to lead the way? 

I hope you will keep your line item for professional development and include ways incentives this tremendous benefit. There is no more extraordinary gift than investing in your employees through professional and personal development.

Connect, Communicate, and Collaborate. That IS the 3C way!
~ Tami Bradham

1Strickler, B, Ash, D., Sheffer, H, Zimmerman, Z. (2017). Bridging the Talent Fap through Data Insights and Community Action. Graduate! Network.
2Miller, S. (2015). Educational Assistance Program Lead to Career Success: Helping low-level workers-some with no prior no college-to become managers, accountants, and lawyers. SHRM. Available at
32019 Training Industry Report. (Nov/Dec, 2019). Training. Available at .
4Held, J., Mrkvicka, N., Stitch, J. (2015). Educational Assistance Benefits 2015 Survey Results. Brookfield, WI: International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. (Note: 2020 results are now available for purchase. The 2015 are now publicly available.)

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About the blogger

Tamala S. Bradham, Ph.D., DHA, CCC-A, CPPS, CPHQ

For 25 years, Dr. Bradham’s career has always centered on developing and implementing new, innovative service delivery models to improve care delivery.

 As a clinician, researcher, published author, and professor, she is a multi talented and multifaceted leader that inspires those around her to deliver best practices based on the current state of knowledge, explore opportunities to improve service delivery, and innovate solutions for the tomorrow.

As a partner with 3C Digital Media Network, Dr. Bradham will connect people with great talents and knowledge to the network, collaborate with others to improve and develop oneself, and communicate with genuine passion and transparency.

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