Employee motivation for managers: sense and nonsense of hierarchies


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Text comes from: Mitarbeitermotivation: Die neue Lust auf Leistung (2014) by Michael Hübler, published by BusinessVillage Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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Just as animal welfare does not go without them, Hierakhia has some advantages in the economy, in spite of all the disadvantages, such as the consequences of the Peter principle (employees are promoted until they reach a place which surpasses them) Offer: Employee motivation for managers: sense and nonsense of hierarchies balance


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How to help hierachies

  1. Responsibility and decision-making: hierarchies help to define clear responsibilities. Decisions are made more quickly. In case of wrong decisions, the responsible persons are clearly identified. Above all, risky professions (in the areas of military, health care, fire brigade, police) depend on clear hierarchies and command chains.
  2. Career orientation and motivation: hierarchies provide a clear motivation for advancement, combined with power, money and privileges. If the rise is automated, some bankers get their bonuses one way or another, hierarchies understandably have little motivation.
  3. Security and clarity: The guess is close to believing a further step on the career ladder would lead to rest. This is only partly true. The question, who creates the ascent, is clarified, which could calm all concerned. But in disputes this leads to further unrest. Only the one who is at the top or the bottom of the hierarchy can feel secure. All others are in a sandwich position in which they must constantly prove, justify or delineate themselves, especially if they have not worked in the sense of a donor on their network basis.

The balance between submission and overburden

A central motivation factor is the balance between the employee's under-exertion and exertion, as well as his ability to take on responsibility, his personal career aspirations and the enduring uncertainties.

If we accept that executives are actually part of a hierarchy of responsibilities, their task is to get more out of the individual than he can give alone. Even if employees are perfect professionals, they usually need someone to point in direction and tact and are ready to hold their heads. The more knowledge about company decisions or budgets requires this type of work. The prerequisite, however, is to make decisions wherever it makes sense.

Example: Provided before completed facts

The head of a medium-sized company one morning asks an employee what he thinks of a bid for a tender in a business unit unusual for the company. With reference to the good reputation of the company, the lack of experience in this area and the high risk, the long-standing employee advises against a tender.

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Two weeks later, he learns of the offer of the boss and the award. What happened here? The employee suspected a defiant reaction of the boss. If the boss is a stimulant type, it could also be an adventure for him. Or, as a caring boss, he would like to get enough orders to pay his employees.

Transparency is important

Without transparency, all of these hypotheses remain groundless, but cause a wide variety of reactions and future behavior among employees. Depending on the hypothesis and personality of the employee, one responds with defiance, according to the motto: “Next time, he won't have to ask me anymore!” Another employee reacts with uncertainty: “Is the boss crazy now? I have no idea what's next. ”

In the long term, such hypotheses lead to a bad mood and, finally, rumors of the bosses' and idiosyncrasies of the boss, who have their own logic. In the long term, hardly any employee will be motivated to think about a possible project if they assume that the boss decides at his own discretion.

What can we learn from this example?

The only way out is transparency. If it is clear why the boss made his decision, there is no more speculation.

Even though hierarchies still have their necessity, historically it takes on the importance of hierarchical ones Guide rapidly. Here are analogies to political developments. Authoritarian states that gave their subjects orders became democratic constitutional states, in which individuals have more and more freedoms, even though it currently seems in the eye of the NSA scandal that these freedoms are fictitious freedoms.

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