Empowerment and Participation
It is interesting how the word communication can change life at home and at work. When everyone is aware of what is going on around him or her, they can function better. What a concept! All of the readings I have done taught communicating is the key. We read about ridding the stigma of upper management, getting their hands dirty, understanding their position, and why it is important to the rest of the company. This chapter takes it one step further and says talk about the company finances as well.
It is important for employees to understand the business in its entirety. That includes the finances of the job. All of the readings in this chapter had something to offer. I feel taking a bit from each will provide a work place of splendor.
Finances include a variety of things: From hiring a new employee to purchasing a new tool to make the job easier. It is those decisions we make which can make difference of saving, spending and making money. It is these decisions that can make or break a company.
The old school tells us not to share finances with anyone else in the company but those directly on top. The new school is saying that this philosophy is all wrong. If one want an employee to do the best he or she can do, and feel important, give them the company information. Let all the employees know what role they play. Allow them to make decisions that will make their job easier. As implied before, who betters know the job than the employee performing the job?
The reading, Zapp! The Lightening of Empowerment suggests managers help their employees take ownership of their jobs. This requires trust, listening to the workers, and giving feedback. The novel concept here is to treat people like humans. Like any relationship, one needs these qualities to survive.
If one gives positive reinforcements people tend to respect them. Employers hire people everyday with the hopes and trust they will do their job. But when people do not understand the role they really play in the company, they may not give their full effort. Hence, we have Saps, people who lack the main ingredients of relationships discussed earlier. We must let the employees know we trust them to make good positive decisions. Give them the empowerment by letting them know they are valued, and commending them on jobs well done.
Open Book Management suggests we share our finances with the other employees no matter what their status, and give them a stake in the company. After all, this is a good suggestion, why work if one can’t reap the benefits of their work? It also suggests that many employees are business illiterate, and if we want them to understand business we need to teach it to them.
In conclusion, all of the readings I have done so far make management more then just problem solvers. They have become part of the problem. To solve their own problems managers need to be teachers, coaches, and a wealth of knowledge to be shared. Businesses need to be a team, and to this they need to share every aspect of the team. When the business succeeds all should have a share in the profit, and when it fails all are responsible.
Pierce, Jon L. John W. Newstrom. The Manager’s Bookshelf. 5th ed. Prenticw Hall: 2000, 1996.129-173.