The Warsaw Voice » Law » Monthly - November 29, 2012
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Management style—a (de)motivating factor?
Struggling with an employee? Are the results still unsatisfactory although your requests seem to be clear? Do you wonder why? Are you considering ending the employment relationship?

For many it may seem obvious, but some still fail to notice that management styles play an essential role in getting an employee to function properly in the workplace, and should be tailored to each individual as appropriate. As psychological studies are fond of telling us, a person’s work cannot be separated from their personality, their values, their skills and a number of other factors. Work treated as a duty and an obligation is naturally less effective than work done with pleasure, which brings satisfaction (see B. Mróz “Functioning in the Workplace—Quantitative and Qualitative Psychological Research,” Scholar 2012). So how can employers and managers put this into action and reap the benefits?

While working with employees and managing them, it is both the culture of the organization as well as one element in particular—organizational climate—that affect the performance of the employees and their approach to the tasks entrusted to them. The culture of the organization sets the general, abstract rules of the organization and affects the human relationships. It provides a common vision. The climate, however, seems to be more of an individual aspect—how the common vision is perceived by employees and executed (see A. Lipińska-Grobelny “Creation of the organizational brand by culture” in Psychology of management in organization, PWN 2010). Following psychological studies, evaluating the climate at work based on the criteria of supervisor-employee relations, assessing the tolerance of risk and conflict, feelings of loneliness, identification with a team, competitiveness, attitude to the organization, and perceptions of internal procedures, all shed valuable insight into what can be improved, and how improvements can be introduced, leading to increased satisfaction and effectiveness.

Researchers into this area have identified four basic culture types: innovative, authoritarian, bureaucratic and social. Depending on the motivation drivers affected by the personality, experience or requirements of a given job position, the culture types are developed and build the organization climate.

The organization culture is also categorized by the dimensions: scope of individualism-collectivism, the approach to power, and the level of avoiding uncertainty. If job satisfaction is a driver of positive change in the workplace, leading to deep involvement in the entrusted task and increase in quality, then the research into the organizational climate will underline the borders of loneliness and engagement of the employee, and reveal (de)motivation factors. Motivational factors allow a given organization to adapt to the new market situation (see A. Lipińska-Grobelny). Knowledge about the organizational climate in the workplace is crucial for the employer. It affects the employees’ approach to work. Many employers, despite establishing the basic values that should be shared in the organization, do not review whether they are adapted or adopted properly. There should be a constant evaluation of the execution of the basic norms, and respecting those norms should be a sensitive factor when evaluating an employee, and an employer. If the norms are not respected, this may lead to an unsatisfactory work atmosphere, or even to bullying in the workplace (mobbing), with an effect on the financial results. In addition, negative aspects such as a lack of involvement among employees and a decline in innovative actions may be observed. The employer also has to face the problem of absenteeism and higher turnover of employees. And it is not the average employees that will leave first, but the creative and frustrated ones who will manage their professional life by leaving the organization, possibly to competitors. For many employees, identification with the organization, independence and openness are important factors improving the quality of work and their life. The management style should be a manner of an individual approach to the employee, or group of employees. Some of them may value the safety that comes from a more strict management style, for others it will be the respect of innovative ideas, which will require a flexible and open management style. Not evaluating the needs of employees and failing to understanding the nature of their work and paths of development will lead to internal conflict. This conflict, in turn, usually leads to the termination of the employment relationship, which nobody wants or planned. The reasons for such termination are also difficult to define, which in many cases leads to civil court disputes. The best way to cope with it is to pursue a policy of self-evaluation and consistency in management respecting individuals.

Joanna Jasiewicz, lawyer at Gide Loyrette Nouel law firm

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