Why Your Employees Are Losing Motivation by David Sirota, Louis A. Mischkind, and Michael Irwin Meltzer from the Harvard Management Update:
Clear, simple and right. Douglas McGregor explored this topic well in 1960. He explained theory X management (managers believe the workers will do only what they are forced, coerced into doing) and theory Y management (managers believe the workers want to do a good job and the managers job is to help them do so) in his excellent book: The Human Side Of Enterprise.
According to the Harvard Business School article:
- Equity: To be respected and to be treated fairly in areas such as pay, benefits, and job security.
- Achievement: To be proud of one’s job, accomplishments, and employer.
- Camaraderie: To have good, productive relationships with fellow employees.
One goal cannot be substituted for another. Improved recognition cannot replace better pay, money cannot substitute for taking pride in a job well done, and pride alone will not pay the mortgage.
It would be nice if we can do a better job in the next 46 years of incorporating theory Y style into our management systems. The article provides good ideas on what management should do. While not amazing new ideas, the ideas presented are good ideas that management far too often fails to properly apply.