Empowerment means pushing responsibility and decision-making to the lowest level (in a traditional management organization) as possible/practical
For example, giving an airline ticket clerk the authority to change/refund/transfer tickets immediately at the counter makes lines shorter, relieves busy management to handle more troublesome problems, and keeps customers happy. Of course, regular review of the metrics (statistics, measurements) of those actions is good management. So, how does this motivate/demotivate the employee who has been given such authority/responsibility?
Many employees are excellent workers, but poor managers (the skill set is very different), and those people are quite ineffective when promoted to management. Empowerment grants these people authority for decision-making without the personnel management tasks (which are huge).
Never should a manager delegate the ultimate responsibility (you know, “the buck stops here.”). But, it is totally impractical for a high-level manager to know the many technical details required at lower levels. So, managers have developed mission statements, vision statements, values statements, etc. to convey the precepts/concepts that the company holds so that empowered employees have some general guidance for decision-making. Often, there are also thresholds of authority, for example, on of my former bosses simply said, “You are the program manager, send me a list monthly of spending over $5,000 and get my approval of spending over $50,000; other than that, it’s your project.” (and he reviewed by written monthly progress reports pretty closely).
You should highlight the reasons for, and problems with, micromanagement (in regard to motivation).
A computer science concept, “levels of abstraction,” helps me here. I can drive my car because I’m licensed in my state and I follow good driving rules. However, I empower the garage mechanic to replace the brakes (a very important component of my car). To the two of us, that car looks completely different!
Also discuss employees who don’t want to “take work home” versus, say, the small business owner, who lives and breathes the business 24x7 (it is their livelihood).