There are very diverging views on management and the role of the superior. We at Educo Valmennustalo have observed that in companies and even among professionals in management training there is often the thought that a superior’s most important task is to motivate subordinates and that the superior bears the responsibility for the motivation of the employees. We think this is an incorrect assumption, because we can motivate ourselves, but we cannot motivate others – that is an impossible task.
What, then, is the role of the superior? To ensure that the elements that influence employee motivation are in order. One of the most important motivation factors is the goal. The feeling of having accomplished something is an important motivator for everybody. Correct goals are an important management tool. It is hard to hit the bull’s-eye, even with a good dart, if you don’t have a dartboard. Too often the goals are not very clear. Alongside goals, credit for achievement is also needed. This means a culture of active feedback from superiors to subordinates, from subordinates to superiors and from one employee to another. This ensures that the right things are being done, and it then becomes clear to everybody what is most important and where results come from.
Lead people’s thinking
People often also think that there is only one correct way to lead everyone. This does not work in practice, though, since people should be led according to the situation and individual needs. We also believe that if you want to achieve a real change in people’s activities in an organization, you should direct people’s thinking. However, this cannot be managed using budgets or numbers, but by directing management towards ensuring the right kind of thinking from the point of view of the organization’s goals. The right kind of thinking and the right attitude ensures the right kind of action and thus the right results. Thinking is most efficiently directed by means of company values. They create the ground rules and frames for all activities and the entire organizational culture.
Results instead of Band-Aids
The matter is not quite that simple, though, since management skills and practices in an organization must be at a good enough level in the first place to allow for the emergence of a systematic management culture that still nurtures individual needs and motivational factors, and considers different situations. That is why we at Educo Valmennustalo believe that we do not just offer Band-Aids for the challenges of leading an organization, but instead, we believe that our task is to unearth the underlying reasons for the challenges and to identify the obstacles to change in solving the challenges. Only then do we think about which kind of solution we can use in order to find the best results with our customer.
THE SUPERIOR’S MEMO BOARD
Ask us about more!
Educo Valmennustalo Oy, www.educo.fi,
02 2828 511 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The expert perspective:
CEO Janne Annunen,
Educo Valmennustalo Oy
Text: Mia Heiskanen