Empowerment in the workplace

Empowerment is one of the biggest vehicles for the promotion of employee growth.  I know that people like to feel value and every time that a manager can match the employee skill with a job task, greatness is accomplished.   As an example, in the fitness room, I had a desk staff “just collecting id’s”, I asked him about his major and I found out he was a PE major.  I ask him if he was willing to do some research on the calories of typical meals found in the fast food restaurant and the amount of time that it takes in cardiovascular equipment to burn those calories.  He loved it!  He was so happy to be able to put his knowledge into a project that he could see and use in his portfolio. 

In a similar way, outdoor instructors that are reaching a point in their life that having a less demanding job (long expeditions vs. office) is a better option, looking into the other passions and skills of the person is a great way of retaining staff in the organization.  Please share some of your experiences with empowering employees in the workplace!