Management is not Domination, but Liberation (2)
When do workers feel hopeless and worthless at work? If employees don't grasp the purpose of their works, and don’t know what the expectations of their managers are, they won’t be able to attain the sense of accomplishment.
Therefore, in the process of motivating employees, managers have to respond to them quickly, and let them know that they mean so much to the company and play key parts in the success of the company.
Helping the employees to see results at work will make them feel motivated.
Some people may question, “ In real-life, what kind of information should be disclosed to the employees? Don’t tell me to reveal all information to them.” It’s true that not all information should be disclosed to the employees; however, we should strike a balance between information and responsibility. Thus, all information that would affect the work efficiency including strategy, direction, performance, change within department, resources allocation, adjustment of strategy, should be disclosed to the employees. Especially information related to performance, should be revealed to employees openly, in order to let them know whether they did a good job or not, and bring out the performance measurement objectively.
Giving employees chance to get involved, and train them to look at things from entrepreneur perspective
Help the employees to understand why certain work tasks are done in certain ways; the creativity within employees will be released at work only if they understand the motives behind the business strategy of the company. It’s much more effective than forcing employees to follow your work style and methods all the time.
It’s important to foster the entrepreneurship of employee: help them to grasp the business status of the enterprise, the business strategies that are undertaken by the company, how the company creates customers, and guiding them to find the meaning of their works.
Through broadening their horizons and elevating their perspectives, they will be able to view from the standpoint of entrepreneur, to recognize their duties, and come to realization that their performance would influence the survival of the enterprise, only then they will take up the responsibility of attaining higher level of performance, and exploit their full potentials and creativities.
Sense of accomplishment comes from sense of involvement; therefore, the employees will attain real sense of accomplishment and pride through getting involved with the operation and management of the company. All entrepreneur should ask these questions to themselves: Are all the business policies set by both management and employees together, or simply a bunch of orders that are set by the management for employees to follow? Do we make the planning together? Do our employees get involved with the setting of business strategy?
Reflecting on my working life, I try to recall whether I simply pass the orders to the subordinates, or I would take their thoughts into consideration, and get them involved with the decision-making process through talking with them?
Someone asked, “It seems easy to get employees involved with the making of strategy; however, it’s difficult to actualize in at workplace.” There are a few reasons for this situation, “ The manager is hot-tempered, who is impatient and tends to rush through things, who fails to communicate with the employees nor encourage the employees to express their ideas; the boss doesn’t have trust in the employees, and thinks that the employees are incapable of bringing out intriguing ideas. At the same time, even though the manager has learnt the importance of communication with employees, and starts to break through the old thinking habit, one still fails to actualize the newly acquired managerial skills. Thus, the employees feel sense of failure, and are not willing to think anymore, gradually lose the passion for their works.
What should we do in the face of such situation? We should encourage our employees to take responsibilities that are assigned to them. We can raise the following question through work, “ I want to know about your planning for the next stage of the project.” We should persuade the subordinates to tell us their planning, and draft out the working plan together with them, while make suggestion to them according to the overall business target of the company; instead of simply pass the orders to the employees forcibly.
Ways to make the knowledge worker feel accomplished
With the arrival of the knowledge society, the group of knowledge workers expends fast; the sense of accomplishment of knowledge worker comes from a different source than that of the traditional physical workers. I would like to remind all entrepreneurs, traditional workers and knowledge worker exist at the same time in an enterprise, these two types of employees have different needs. If the employers fail to recognize the difference between these two groups of workers, the motivation techniques will not work.
What is important to knowledge workers?
Trust and appreciation:
Knowledge workers emphasize importance of appreciation and trust. The creativities of knowledge workers are released through the trust and appreciation. The big difference between knowledge worker and traditional workers is that advantages of knowledge worker are blurred. They hope to find someone who appreciates their talents, to be recognized from the crowd. As a boss, one must be able recognize the real abilities of the knowledge workers, and help them to work at their full potentials.
Knowledge workers are self-oriented, they don’t like to be controlled nor steered. Therefore, it’s important to encourage the knowledge workers to practice self-development. It’s ridiculous for any enterprise trying to take up the responsibility of planning the career path for an employee, since that’s the responsibility of the employee.
Opportunity and challenge:
Knowledge workers emphasize on growth, they have independent thinking regarding their own futures, and they have their own sets of ideology and planning, and focus on the opportunities and challenges in the surrounding, since they know that they can only grow faster in the face of opportunities and challenges.
Placing the right person in the right position:
Let the employees to work at their full potentials, situate them in the right positions, and require them to work to the fullest in the fields that they are good at.
Sharing power and responsibility:
Identify the job tasks of all employees, share managerial power with them and ask them to take up certain responsibilities.
Creating a working environment that is filled with creativity:
Viewing from the standpoint of a knowledge worker, what differentiate a good working environment from a bad one?
Bad organizational relation:
Management tries to maintain good interpersonal relation with the subordinates, by hiding away from the actuality, and staying away from critical performance measurement. Everyone in the organization is afraid of taking up responsibilities for reaching targets and be responsible for failure.
Good working environment:
Emphasis on performance and results, simple relationship between management and subordinates.
How to create a good working environment?
Encourage the employees to face the result of performance, make them understand the purpose of performance measurement is for improvement, instead of punishment. Performance analysis is far more important than performance evaluation.
Encouraging experiment, challenge the present:
Explore the subject of “How can we do better? Is there any other way?” with the employees.
Allowing employees to make mistakes, while encouraging them to take up responsibilities and make corrections to the mistakes that are made, “What will we do if we are allowed to do it all over again?”
Focus on opportunities:
Pay attention to the change and its changing pattern, open to any change; manage a company with sense of “ignorance”, only “ignorance” can embrace change.
Building a Learning team
Learn together, get pass oneself.
Management is not domination, but liberation. A truly outstanding management executive is able to bring out the kindness in each person. By holding onto the ideology that “Employees are allowed to experiment with any methods at work that are in conflict with the company policies”, this power of trust can bring out the sense of responsibility within everyone. Even though there are many articles out there discuss on the topic of Motivation; I hope that my sharing can broaden the vision of readers. Motivation is not simply praising the employees “You are the best!” continuously, instead it is a systematic work, and utmost important tasks of an entrepreneur.
Author: Shun Bo