Friday, August 27, 2010

Do you create clerks?

Most of the managers create clerks. They do not want to develop their team members. They want to be on the top of the situation which we should appreciate, but they underestimate the power of empowerment and delegation. If you ask team members to take some decision, they will tell you lot of reasons for avoiding the decision. But this is not only about the decision. One of the senior managers was always telling me that every decision is taken by an employee, but the organization has assigned the responsibility to somebody as a signing authority, it goes to that authority for validation; hence your decision should be effective enough but what he was preaching was not always practicing. If somebody had taken the decision, he would criticize on and always would challenge the decision. At the end of the day employee would be frustrated. After that he would not take any decision and would go to him for everything.

What normally managers expect from their team? Just have a look on any employee. There is big hierarchy in most of the organizations. General Managers, Dy. General Managers, Chief Managers, Sr. Managers, Managers, Executives etc etc. for each functions. Everybody in the team wants to take the decision, General Managers speaks about delegation and empowerment, and it is push to the DGM, to Sr. Managers. Everything comes on the table of Executive. Poor executive does everything, but he has to struggle to run from his line manager who asks him to wait so that he would take the matter to his line manager and likewise goes on to the General Manager. General Manager would give the big lecture on personal productivity, accountability and empowerment. This is all philosophical only for preaching. Next day if somebody takes the decision, he would ask lot of questions and will challenge the credibility of that decision.

Micro management is another issue most of the professionals suffer (!). One of the directors, (such designations are always fancy in India, actually this guy was a purely head clerk) I have seen wanted to know everything what’s happening in the organization. He wanted to control the managers. Managers won't feel internally committed if someone always controlling them from the top down. In such cases accountability doesn’t come.

We always live the world of paradoxes. We speak about delegation and empowerment, but we don’t pass the authority and still we expect the accountability and ownership. It doesn’t take much if you start the empowerment. It is an engagement issue. For example you must have seen the HR Head signing each and every paper even including provident fund nomination forms, returns, etc. Unless you do not empower the person to sign the documents, his commitment and accountability will not be at expected level. I have seen the case where HR director went on a business tour for 15 days, in his absence; he has not nominated his manager to sign the documents. All the documents would go to another director for signing. How you can expect that the manager would exhibit the ownership in this case. Philosophically yes, he should show, but real world is not the philosophy. It is individual and commitment driven.
The million dollar question is how to bring this internal commitment from both sides?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

a very good article and have observed senior management in MNCs expecting Managersn to work as clerks..

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