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Alert Managers–Positive Employee Results

Traci Foster, David Milen

Many different industries are experiencing the effects of the economic recession. Departments are cutting back, businesses and organizations are decreasing their workforce by discharging large amounts of employees, other jobs are being eliminated or outsourced, and the numbers of work responsibilities are increasing. In an order to facilitate a working relationship between managers and their employees, it is important for both to understand that the success of the business or organization depends on knowledge, motivation, and organizational skills.

During these economic hardships throughout the world, morale in the workplace is difficult to maintain at a positive level. It is important that businesses and organizations, especially managers, keep employee satisfaction levels high.

In order to sustain a positive working environment, it is imperative to focus on key areas of your workforce that will promote teamwork, job satisfaction, continued loyalty and overall employee–management development for the improvement of the business or organization. There are both positive and negative connotations affiliated with management styles, but understanding the value of employees is the key to successful operations within your working environment.

One of the many areas that employees fear is not only the unknown of maintaining employment, but having a manager who is considered a “control freak” and micromanages a specific area. The considerable economic pressures are enough to cause issues and worries amongst employees, but consistently being placed under the watchful eye of a manager in daily activities will cause issues and friction between managers and employees alike. Managers are placed in a position in order to create a working atmosphere conducive to the business or organization, however, there must be a balance between working under scrupulous conditions and being able to manage personnel and their daily activities.

Managers should consider leading by example and being part of the overall team. In essence, managers should encourage employees to express their thoughts and ideas for the benefit of the team and, eventually, the benefit of the business or organization. The manager will experience less pressure because employees are allowed to participate in the decision-making processes and all parties involved will feel a greater sense of accomplishment. Therefore, the manager may wish to consider the teamwork approach as it may influence product design, policy decision–making, market share, and stakeholder buy–in.

If managers are willing to include their employees in decision-making and sharing thoughts and ideas, all stakeholders can gain valuable ideas for improvement. The willingness to listen to employees and appreciate them for the skills and knowledge that they possess diminishes the likelihood of experiencing frustration, negativity, and feelings of not being a part of the organization.

Working together and finding solutions can be mutually beneficial for the manager and the employee, but also benefitting the business or organization. The overall effect of management styles on performance can be seen through the daily habits of employees and can have a direct bearing on the levels of health, motivation and commitment linking managers and personnel. The idea is for both managers and personnel to work alongside one another in a mutually beneficial environment fostering collaboration and teamwork.

There are other pitfalls being associated with management styles. The laissez faire approach to managing personnel and employees may cause further issues with the amounts of time and energy spent on projects. Managers who are normally “easy going” will have a difficult time maintaining credibility. They also combat having the image as a leader that needs to be able to accomplish tasks; however, they are not able to adhere to deadlines and other timely issues.

Thus, the manager has to adjust to working with firmness and leniency in order to promote a good work ethic and accomplish the tasks at hand. The manager needs to be able to create a balance of working alongside personnel in order to accomplish goals and objectives. The manager must also be firm in adhering to deadlines.

Another pitfall that many managers experience is the endless “twine” of bureaucracy that entraps employees. Managing styles may differ from person–to–person, however, utilizing the same approaches to overseeing employees, limiting freedom of expression, and suppressing personal goals will also decrease morality within the ranks. A simple team orientated methodological approach will assist the manager not only in earning respect, but also permit personnel to experience growth in their own professions.

Teamwork is an essential component of a business or an organization. Businesses and organizations function better when they have employees who work together as a team and are engaged in either decisionmaking processes or are selected for project development. If the need arises to expedite a project for an upcoming meeting, managing by teamwork will improve the chances of success. The manager’s ability to motivate employees, ask for their knowledge, and pool resources will foster collaboration and create a sense of belonging. Furthermore, the manager may exceed expectations on the last minute project due to the overwhelming response and participation.

Teams will often be able to tackle the project much quicker, produce results above and beyond what is expected, and be able to accomplish several other tasks that may be required in a short period of time. The give-and-take approach between the manager and employee can create a process that one can replicate in other projects. Empowering and entrusting employees with projects and other decision-making activities will allow the business or organization to cope with sudden changes and negative unforeseen economic impacts. Eventually, cooperation will lead to an overall healthier lifestyle both inside and outside the working environment limiting stressors.

Due to the economic recession and changing work conditions, managers and employees must be flexible and work above and beyond what is expected of them. Building a bond of trust, being honest with employees, and being truthful regarding business matters will provide the employee with a feeling of satisfaction. This sentiment oftentimes leads to job satisfaction and a sense of belonging.

The employee also feels that their opinions and comments truly matter. On the other hand, managers may consider while being firm, still work alongside employees rather than giving the sense of superiority due to positional status. Understanding cultural barriers, becoming internationally culturally competent and maintaining fairness in all areas of the organization or business are
keys to a successful working relationship between employees and management.

Traci Foster is nursing manager at St. Margaret Mercy Hospital. Email: [email protected]

ASPA member David Milen is bioterrorism/disaster preparedness coordinator at St. Margaret Mercy Hospital. Email: [email protected]

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