Friday, July 15, 2011

Talent Management - Check and Balances

You don’t know how people will response to your leadership style. Your direct subordinates may be convenient and may response differently in different situations. You can not sweet always with the people, not only due to the bad interpersonal relations but merely due to the professional fact. When you are good, they will be good but when you are bad (in their perspective) with them for mistakes, they will go into the capsule.  The problem is with the attitude and they do not understand the reality of the market.
You can be friendly with employees, but you can not be the friend of them. At least, in professional life and especially when you are working in Human Resource.  Imagine the incident where you have to issue the termination letter to non performer who is your cafeteria friend. Professional relationships are always vulnerable.

Organizations are the matrices of different human groups and relationship. Like minded people come together and form groups in cafeteria or near water cooler. Most of the gossips are discussed within these groups.  There are troublemakers and opinion makers.  There are sincere employees and there are employees who abuse facilities given by the company. In the changing world talent management is the major agenda on the table on the HR.  There are fun activities, employee engagement initiatives. The issue is where is the check and balances on the behaviour of the talent? Off course, including performance issues also.

There should be always checks and balances in talent management processes. The main challenge is to inculcate the professionalism and the right attitude. We all are aware about “Douglas McGregor's XY Theory” of managing the people.

Theory X is the 'authoritarian management' style which believes that the average person dislikes work and will avoid it he/she can. Therefore most people must be forced with the threat of punishment to work towards organizational objectives. It also says that the average person prefers to be directed; to avoid responsibility; is relatively un-ambitious, and wants security above all else.

Theory Y is the 'participative management' style which believes that the person takes effort in work is as natural as work and play. People apply self-control and self-direction and can be aligned towards organizational objectives, without external control or the threat of punishment.
They are committed to objectives and their motivation is associated with their achievement. They usually accept and often seek responsibility if they are provided the opportunity to use a high degree of imagination, ingenuity and creativity in solving organizational problems.

Do you believe this theory? After working so many years in HR and in different organizations, I started to believe on the theory. But which is more effective? Most of the people believe either one theory. They will fully believe on wither X or Y.  

In most of the cases most people prefer ‘Y-theory’ management. These people are generally uncomfortable in ‘X-theory’ situations and are unlikely to be productive, especially long-term, and are likely to seek alternative situations.

What does this means? I believe on check and balances and combination of both. We should believe that we have different personalities and our personalities are the consequences of our upbringing, surrounding and influences of society, parent and people around us.  This influence force us in either theory X or theory Y.  Sometimes mix of the both. You can not fully rely on one aspect.  When your subordinate has the repeated issues with understanding, then you have to match your style. Not necessary all employees will behave in same manner. As discussed earlier, there are different personalities and hence not a single theory works.  

You can be best boss, but subordinate also needs to be best employee.  Yes, you should do every possible effort to develop him. But when it does not work, you have to be in different style.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Indeed thought provoking article. The question is which theory or management style is best. Ultimately results are counted. When you are sucessful in the organization and you are able to create the brack, then nobody will ask or question your style, but you are unable to produce the result, you are gone. Democracy always does not work, you also need to keep the balance between democracy and atocracy.

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