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Workplace Improvements (final)

Ask reviewed in two earlier posts, there have been many studies conducted and theories postulated about what management actions have a positive impact on employee motivation and retention.  Since experts report that retaining skilled employees will be one of the next business challenges, a review of findings can be very timely.

Douglas McGregor and his Theory X – Theory Y is a simple means to review the effects of management’s attitude on employee motivation and retention.  It highlights how your expectations can either hinder or help your workforce.

Theory X describes a management attitude that employees must be coerced to perform, must be forced to complete work and cannot be trusted.  Theory Y is a management assumption that employees by-and-large like to work, can exercise self direction, after proper training, and will strive to achieve satisfaction and recognition for work done.  The assumption is that the hiring process has sorted and selected those best matched for the position to be filled.

Here are a few management reminders:

Management by walking around works and is effective because employees see upper management in their work area. If added with encouraging words, the results are very positive.  It demonstrates that, “What you are doing is important!”  Leadership almost always shows up when things are not going well.  Just as important to be seen when things are running smoothly.

The supervisory staff have a great impact by the words they speak and the actions they take.  According to exit interviews, the vast majority of employees do not leave the job or the company but, they leave the managers and supervisors who made staying next to impossible.

Plaques are nice but sincere words of appreciation spoken outside the official program are more impactful.  Catch and reward employees for doing right things right as it happens.  Always be aware that, “Praise in public and Correct in private,” is a policy worthy of remembering.

This review will is a reminder that the most effective employee retention is spawned by leadership that demonstrates an attitude of appreciation for the contributions of all employees and recognizes their unique personality and gifts to the business.

Pushker Pandey


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