Get Involved and Get Productive
In a culture where productivity is highly valued, people often view any form of socializing as a time waster. However, there is evidence that workers are better motivated and thus more productive when their social needs are met at work. For managers to be effective, their open door policy must be a two-way street. Workers are welcome to come in and discuss issues, and managers also make an effort to get out of their offices and talk to employees.
Management Theorist Elton Mayo believed that employees are not just concerned with money, but could be better motivated when they interacted socially at work. His theory applied not only to employees interacting, but to supervisors circulating with their troops.
Mayo devised the Human Relation School of Thought, which focused on managers taking more of an interest in workers, treating them as people who have worthwhile opinions, and recognizing that workers enjoy interacting with each other. He conducted an experiment in a factory to determine the productivity impact of changing lighting and working conditions. What he discovered surprised him: whatever the change in working or lighting conditions, the productivity level of the workers improved or stayed the same. From this he concluded that workers are best motivated by:
- Better Communication
- Greater Manager Involvement
- Working in Groups or Teams
Internal communications between supervisors and their employees work constructively on many different levels. When you involve yourself in discussions you can be simultaneously taking interest in a worker, informing people of plans and work strategies, and instructing and learning at the same time. To ensure that you aren't compromising your managerial authority, there are simple guidelines you should follow:
- Listen Attentively
- Avoid the Urge to Gossip
- Don’t Make Derogatory Remarks About Groups or Individuals
- Make Sure Your Humor Isn't Offensive
- Never Play Favorites or Alienate Others
Mayo noted that employees are very motivated when they work in teams. When you interact with team members, be careful to encourage respectful dialogue and always seek out ways to make things more interesting. A good leader learns to praise people in public and correct them in private. When they interact with their troops, they communicate a clear, personal vision and let employees know that they are genuinely respected on a personal level as well.