What management does still exists must maintain an open door policy, so as to help lower level employees transition and communicate concerns but again managers are likely to have a clear idea that this is a behavioral manner of influencing actions. (Tyler, 1997, p. 323)
Though the transition to flat organisation may benefit most organisations, it is still a transitional situation that requires special understanding of employee empowerment as well as interactions. Smaller firms of coarse will find this transition easier while larger firms may need to create quasi-flat systems that better serve multi-factorial production systems and require the system to work together in a streamlines fashion, without one area of production causing unintended problems for another. Employee empowerment is clearly one of the biggest reasons why employees express happiness and comfort within a system and therefore create active retention and motivated work. (Weissberg, 1999, p. 46) a flat organisational model may be the right way to create such empowerment, as long as the transition is done effectively and communicated well to all levels but it must also be clear from the perspective of managers that final decisions will be made at the top to maintain control and appropriate power distribution. (Foss, 2005, p. 162)
Employers and mangers must not only recruit and train qualified individual employees but more importantly they must motivate the individuals to then work productively in the given environment. A healthy bottom line is therefore a symptom not of business success but of effective employee motivation and motivation is at its core coercion. (Weissberg, 1999, p. 46) When employees are not motivated to do the work given them, for any number of reasons even a strong business idea or model will not save the business from eventual failure. The employer must meet employee expectations and therefore retain and effectively use this human capital to demonstrate success and the perception of employee empowerment may be the key to this in many organisations, as the story line goes employees who feel they have a voice in the system will be more likely to create innovation and be highly motivated to produce. (Maddock & Fulton, 1998, p. 106)
Leadership concepts in general have transitioned to a teams approach in the many nations and the implementation of such an approach, from theory to practice have proven difficult in some areas, as the traditional hierarchical system was difficult to eradicate, as it was based upon many years of progress and political motivations. Many would also argue that some form of the traditional model must be retained for order and productivity to occur. (Silver 2003, pp. 35, 257) (Anderson 1995, p. 284)
The potential leader must sharpen the skills of quiet negotiation by being able to appear as a cooperative team member in the harmonious adjustment of various opinions. Ultimately the leader's opinion may prevail in the final decision. In other words, although the leader's influence was the dominant factor, the supporters must not feel that their opinions were ignored in the final decision-making process.
(Duke, 1991, p. 22)
The team approach is an essential element to all leadership application as it allows for the development of perceptual employee empowerment, which leads to greater employee motivation. According to Duke in his full length book discussing the transitions of leadership over time, much has changed in the culture of leadership and, "...future leaders of America and Britain are receiving an education that prepares them to become effective leaders at both the domestic level, either regionally or nationally, as well as the international level." (Duke 1991, p. 145)
The value of passion and experience in leadership is discussed by Peck. Peck also stresses the importance of being able to apply theory to practice. Peck, clearly states that with all the other aspects of leadership aside what is probably most important, in addition to creativity, knowledge and experience is flexibility, or the ability to rework the team as many times as it takes to come up with the best possible team situation and eventual outcome. Lastly, Peck offers three bits of advice, * Use passion as the driving force. * Select people who believe in your vision and goals. * Don't be the lone ranger. Motivation is therefore associated with management choice of team and team structure as well as ultimately the members of the team itself....
(Peck, 2003, p. 50) the idea that managers must be reminded, even in this "team focused" culture to not be lone-rangers is the essential point of understanding that empowerment is coercion and only so much real power is actually given away. Though the article could be seen as simplistic its points are foundational for team leadership as it defines the need to set goals, based not only on the needs of the organisation as the leaders sees them but also as the other team members see them.
The current trend in government and large employment systems, to adopt new (empowerment) business practices rather than relying upon old bureaucratic, hierarchical models is particularly interesting as it reflects a pervasive culture of dogmatic change, but again one must note who really makes the final decisions. (Saint-Martin, 2001, p. 573)
In one of the most interesting articles I have read in years Bill Trahant discusses one of the greatest problems facing governments of all types, How to best "develop effective and motivated federal employees." The problems facing federal agencies have a great deal to do with the multi-level agendas that govern their work.
That's a critical question for government human capital (HC) professionals because of the pressures their agencies face to comply with the HC requirements of the President's Management Agenda, the Chief Human Capital Officers Act, and the Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework. They also need the answer to attract and recruit a new generation of workers to federal government service and energize them to perform to their fullest potential in the years ahead. (Trahant, 2007, p. 53)
Government agencies are pressured by many outside forces, many who have differing opinions about the goals and the best ways to meet them. Additionally traditional industry is one that is driven by profit, while government agencies are bellied to be driven by altruism but must still compete for skilled workers in the broader community. (Walsh, 1978, p. 12) Lastly, government pay is frequently an issue with regard to the acceptance of appointments by skilled employees. When an employee can frequently seek employment outside the government at much higher rates of pay it becomes difficult for the government organisation to compete, emphasizing the altruistic civic social responsibility of the organisation recruiting employees has traditionally been the offset for such organisations, and yet in the modern world this may not be enough, especially in traditional areas where people can perceptually make a great deal more money than they would if they were in the private sector doing a similar job. (Saint-Martin, 2001, p. 573)
Trahant's article is one that stresses the importance of creating a situation for employees that empowers them to motivation and innovation, almost despite the traditional hierarchical distribution of government with all its traditional restrictions. The movement of government to pure business models, rather than traditional models is suggested in this work, when Trahant discusses the importance of the empowering employees, beyond hierarchic models. "Organisational success no doubt depends on committed and motivated employees, but our research shows that organisations need to look beyond commitment and seek to build employee engagement, enablement, and integrity." (Trahant, 2007, p. 53)
Engagement happens when an organisation gives a committed workforce "line of sight," a clear view of what they need to do to succeed in their daily jobs -- the actions they take and choices they make -- to help their organisation achieve success. Enablement as borne out by both the Work USA[R] 2006/2007 and 2004/2005 reports, successful organisations also show enablement, which includes giving employees the formal training and resources they need to be effective, setting reasonable workloads, giving employees a say in how their work gets done, and assigning enough colleagues to perform the required work. (Trahant, 2007, p. 53)
Trahant offers a set of suggestions that will help any organisation to empower employees, and offers inference that bureaucratic organisations in government would benefit greatly from this standards restructuring:
Research findings show that organisations that create a solid culture of enablement are more likely to use specific HC practices to empower employees to succeed in their everyday jobs:
Actively seeking employee suggestions and opinions
Acting on employee suggestions
Considering and involving employees in decisions
Investing in continuous improvement, encouraging employees to suggest better ways to accomplish objectives, and generally doing a good job improving efficiency. (Trahant, 2007, p. 53)
Trahant also points out that with this empowerment movement employees at every level will be more invested and motivated to do the work, as their investment is personal as well as professional. In a new organisation such as the NCHM this would greatly benefit the whole of the organisation,…
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