Your role as a contemporary manager is ever changing. Many of the traditional day-to-day tasks have been improved or eliminated by technology, and perhaps in that respect the job of a manager has been simplified.
However, the global business environment has created quite a different managerial role. If you read or access any source of daily news, you are bombarded with information about organizations that are dealing with consolidation, mergers, acquisitions, and downsizing. These major strategic decisions are forcing organizations to consolidate technologies and functions, merge culture, and deal with generational diversity issues. As the current workforce continues to change and evolve, all of these directly impact your current role as a manager. As John Naisbett discusses in his recent book High Tech/High Touch: technology and Our Search for Meaning, as a business community we are intoxicated by the power of existing and emerging technology and the perceived impact it has on success. However, these ongoing changes mean you must now be highly skilled in interpersonal communication and human development if you are to get your job done effectively. John Naisbett reminds us that more than ever we need to place as much emphasis on people as we do technology.
In addition to an ever-changing global environment, many people have come to expect and demand much more out of their jobs. They have a different set of expectations for what they should derive from their work. For instance, people are demanding more and more non-monetary rewards from their employers. Research documents individuals are looking toward their work as a major source of fulfillment as it relates to their self-esteem, sense of accomplishment, personal challenge, and involvement. Studies have also shown the average employee tenure is at an all time low, which is a huge indicator that individuals are not getting what they need from their positions. There is a direct correlation between individuals staying or leaving an organization and their relationship with their manager.
The challenges facing managers today include creating an environment, a climate, and a culture where your people can satisfy their personal needs and achieve personal goals while accomplishing organizational results. If the individuals within your organization are not fulfilling their needs, are not made to feel as an important part of the organization, and/or are not committed, work and results will be given a low priority. Your employees will devote only the minimum amount of effort needed to get by or choose to move in another direction.
The basic desire to achieve and accomplish exists within most employees, as they want their work to hold meaning. Therefore, you must discover ways to reshape relationships within your organization to create a climate of personal growth and contribution. As a great manager, you must discover new methods to channel the energies of your workforce, new ways to communicate, and new ways to help your people become motivated. We are in an exciting business era, one in which our people knowledge must match up with our technical knowledge!
Tammy A.S. Kohl is President of Resource Associates Corporation
Developing Potential, Producing Results