Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Evidently, there is no single way of managing every employee. One has to apply a contingency approach to leadership that suits a given individual’s needs.
It is the roles of managers to apply their knowledge of people and their behavior to build a climate, in which people are motivated, work together and become more effective persons. A successful and effective organization ensures achievement of human, organizational and social objectives. People find their jobs and work enjoyable when they find cooperation and teamwork. Organizations benefit since better quality products are produced at lower costs and society benefits because of better products. More satisfied citizens and a general climate of growth and cooperation.
Of all the organizational resources, people are the most valuable. Managing people is the most difficult and the most rewarding exercise.
A great understanding of the way managers manage has come out of Douglas Mc Gregor’s study. According to him, all managers fall under the two specific theories: Theory X and Theory Y.
Managers of the Theory X type have an autocratic approach and assume that most people dislike work, and therefore try to avoid anything in the nature of work. Because of such an assumption, such managers resort to a coercion, control and threat to secure high performance from their subordinates.
On the contrary, managers of the Theory Y type have a humanistic and supportive approach to managing people. They assume that people are not, by nature, lazy and indolent and that they would surely be willing to release their potential under appropriate environment.
It is the Theory Y assumptions which form a strong basis for developing human relations and work satisfaction since no self-respecting person will regard work as a curse on human kind but as an opportunity for progress.
That is why in their modern human resources approach, many corporations emphasize the supportive behavior which helps people grow in their control and expand their capabilities with the associated feelings of work satisfaction. This is also different from the traditional approach to management where managers decided what should be done and then closely controlled employees to ensure task performance. Most of the employees weren’t satisfied with this kind of impersonal approach.
In order to keep the employees satisfied, managers need to know what motivates the individual and provide the necessary leadership support.
People have varying attitudes which affect the way they view their jobs and even life in general. Some people have achievement motivation and are fired with a drive to overcome challenges and then grow. They seek accomplishment for its own sake and acquiring wealth is incidental to them. Some people have affiliation motivation and exercise a drive to relate to people. They work better and get satisfied if they are surrounded by friends and are regularly complimented for their work. Some others have competence motivation with a strong drive to do a high quality work and derive an inner satisfaction by accomplishing the work. They also expect high quality from others and get impatient if they deliver a shoddy job. There are a few people who have power motivation with a strong drive to influence people and situations.
Managers need to analyze and understand the motivational patterns of their subordinates to keep them satisfied. An achievement motivated employee may be given a job in terms of its challenge while a competence motivated person can be given job with high degree of quality requirements.
Thus a manager can communicate and operate with his employees in ways that suit the particular person’s needs, drives, interest and points of view. Evidently, there is no single way of managing every employee. One has to apply a contingency approach to leadership that suits a given individual needs to enable him willingly carry-out his job with a sense of fulfillment and success.
Mention may be made in this context of the well known need hierarchy theory of A.H. Maslow. It says that all needs have a certain priority. As the more basic needs are fulfilled, a person seeks to satisfy the higher level needs. According to Maslow, the five levels of needs are basic physiological needs, safety and security, belonging and social needs, esteem and status and finally self-actualization and fulfillment. A person starts fulfilling the needs one after the other. Once a need is fulfilled, it doesn’t motivate by what he is seeking than by what he already had. In simple words, man works for bread alone only when he has no bread. Therefore, we can conclude that need satisfaction is a continuous task for managements in order to keep their employees perpetually motivated. As one need gets satisfied, yet another dominating need has to be understood and brought out, the satisfaction of which becomes the driving force for the employee during the subsequent period of work.
Herzberg studied employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction and came out with his two factor theory. Accordingly, two separate factors are responsible for employee dissatisfaction and satisfaction. There are called hygiene factors leads to dissatisfaction. These include company policy, quality of supervision, pay, security, working conditions, status and relations with peers, supervisors and subordinates. The presence of all these brings employees to a neutral state without dissatisfaction.
On the contrary, motivators are essential for satisfying or motivating the employees. These factors are achievement, recognition, advancement, work itself, possibility of growth and responsibility. Herzberg’s model has explained what managers for many years had been wondering to know why their fancy personnel policies and fringe benefits were not increasing employee motivation. Critics however say that Herzberg’s model does not give enough emphasis to the motivating qualities of pay, status and relations with others.
One important development of the two factor idea of Herzberg is the job enrichment and quality of work life that gained a widespread popularity in due course. The traditional design of scientific management focused attention on specialization and efficiency for the performance of narrow tasks. The idea was to lower costs by using unskilled repetitive labor to do a small art of the job. This gave rise to many problems. Specialization isolated workers from their fellow workers leading to absenteeism, isolation and loss of pride in work leading to poor quality of work life.
A need was therefore felt not only to redesign the jobs to give adequate attention to human needs and aspirations of workers. In other words the attempt was on humanizing the work so as to have the best fit among workers, jobs, technology and the environment.
In job enrichment, the work itself is made more challenging and achievement is encouraged providing opportunity for growth and advancement. While employees are final judges of what enriches their jobs, managements can try to judge what trends enrich the jobs and try these changes to determine whether employees felt the job enrichment. If employees perceive the job as important and interesting and are given some freedom of work and feedback on progress at regular intervals, they tend to consider jobs satisfying. However, job enrichment programs have their own limitations as some employees may not want enriched jobs and therefore a contingency approach needs to be taken depending on the given situation.
Lack of motivation is reflected in organization in the form of absences, slowdowns, strikes, low performances, disciplinary actions, employee turnover, etc. Simply defined, job satisfaction is the favorableness or un-favorableness with which employees view their work.
It reflects the gap between one’s expectations of the job and the rewards that the job provides. As employees’ expectations are rising the management practices should simultaneously be improving to maintain satisfaction. Job satisfaction therefore requires attention, diagnosis and treatment.
And this should be done on a continuous basis since job satisfaction is dynamic in nature. A satisfied worker today doesn’t remain satisfied for ever.
Keeping employees continually satisfied in their jobs is no doubt a complex and tough job. But as every manager knows, it is essential if one has to maintain a human culture in organizations which is so vital for employee motivation.
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Saturday, August 13, 2011
There's no question about it. It can be such a challenge to eat vegetables. Their taste leaves much to be desired and it takes an experienced cook to make vegetable dishes palatable. Fruits, on the other hand, are easier to eat. Their naturally sweet, luscious taste is appealing to most taste buds. Plus, they can be picked straight from the tree or from the grocery shelf and can be munched on anytime.
For optimum health, the Harvard School of Public Health recommends at least "nine servings (at least 4 1/2 cups) of fruits and vegetables a day." Unfortunately, most individuals do not even come close to the minimum requirement of 2 1/2 cups!
One of the best and most popular ways to address this deficiency is to combine fruits and vegetables, most commonly leafy greens, in one delicious drink called the green smoothie. This health drink is basically just like a fruit smoothie, but with veggies like kale, broccoli, spinach or lettuce thrown in. It's a tried-and-tested method of meeting an individual's fruit and vegetable requirement.
There is actually no one method of making that perfect green smoothie. The variations of fruit and vegetables that can be thrown in to suit one's discriminating tastes are as many as the number of leafy greens and succulent fruits available at a particular season.
Here are some tips and best practices to help you make that delicious and healthy green smoothie:
Invest in a good blender. If you want to make green smoothies a healthy part of your daily diet, you are going to need a powerful blender since the frequent grinding is going to be hard work. However, you don't have to make this a major requirement. Make do with what you have for now. You'll eventually have to shop for a new one anyway once your current one gives out.
Prepare your smoothie by first adding about 1-2 cups of water, lettuce (about 1/2 to 1 head will do) or other leafy greens. Put in about 4-5 pieces of fruit. Bananas, apples, oranges, mangoes, papayas, strawberries or any other fresh fruit in season are perfect. If you can't find them fresh, frozen alternatives are good, too.
Blend these together for a couple of minutes or until they are of the right consistency.
If this is your first time to try this beverage, add more fruits than vegetables so that it becomes sweeter and thus easier to drink. As you get used to guzzling down these smoothies, you can even out the ratio to fruits and vegetables. For green smoothie veterans, going for an all-veggie green smoothie is a great way of maximizing the power of those leafy greens against cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases, lowering hypertension and protecting or fighting cancer.
You can drink from one to four quarts of green smoothie a day. However, like any regular consumption of fruits and vegetables, the general guideline can be summed up in this line: The more, the better.
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