Self Motivated Candidate

You might have seen in the job requirement that company requires self-motivated people. Do you think the condition work? Do you feel that people with other matching condition do not come up as they feel they are not self motivated? Do you feel the addition of the condition makes any difference? No, candidates just overlook the criteria. They think it as a formal statement. So why do the company put the condition in the job requirement?

Let us first look at what is self motivation. By self motivation we expect a person to do his or her work in motivated way independent of external agent and condition. They will boost up themselves and adjust to the changed scenario. They will be self running machine with respect to motivation. But is it possible as per motivation theories? The most renowned and popular motivational theory is Herzberg Motivational Theory (1959). It says there are two types of factors for motivation Hygiene factor and Motivator factor. Hygiene factors are needed to ensure an employee does not become dissatisfied. They do not lead to higher levels of motivation, but without them there is dissatisfaction. Examples of Hygiene factors are working condition, pay and benefit, relationship with co-worker and supervisor, job security, company policies and administration etc. Motivation factors are needed in order to motivate an employee into higher performance. Examples of Motivation factors are recognition of work, awarding responsibility of work, chance to excel and education, opportunity of growth etc.

Now think, can a person control the Hygiene or Motivational factors for himself or herself on its own? It needs thoughtful management system to design and control. An employee needs some desired interaction with rest of the members of the organization to get and remain motivated. So a self motivated employee is not a normal occurrence, if he is not a super human or abnormal.

Come to the question again why do the companies put the requirement of self motivated candidate? The companies who do not have the proper motivational environment and the confidence to motivate its employees, they feel if they can get some motivated people by default. It is the spontaneous expression of their weakness.

Management Style – past and future

Simple and raw definition of management is “get work done by others”. So definitely managerial activity would have been taken place from time when men become social animal. The way we are familiar with the term “management” it is though to think some ape is doing managerial work. Forget that prehistoric age; come to something that we are familiar. Say building the pyramids. Without a management it is not possible to guide the effort of a large number of people to a definite brilliant structure. But how was the style of management. It was slavery or a very close kind of it. There manager was interested on the outcome what he wants. Worker did not have any value. Human was almost equivalent to an animal. With time, due to revolution or some other reasons slavery went off. Worker got better human value. Manager told “do my work and get some money”. But he can use the worker as he wishes. There was no limit, there was no liability. It was as good as running an electric apparatus and paying for electric bill. Again due to revolution and some other pressure manager had to agree that worker are different than mechanical apparatuses. So workers got better shape like human.

Though there was a gross change in management style with time, but each work used to be controlled and directed by the wisdom and intuition of individual manager. Scientific thoughts and studies on management started at the end of nineteen century. Systematic approach to work, organization and hierarchy was put in place. It is mainly after world wars; value of participation of worker in an organization was felt deeply. Different theories came in forefront how to motivate and involve workers in organization processes. So management style accepted that human is different and more important resource than a machine.

Different people brought changing thoughts to management process. They tried their ideas experimentally and came to some conclusion. People learned from each other and changed their habits and processes. So management style kept on changing for betterment. There were no such definite dates for those changes. But things that came in mind to the leaders were experimented and then implemented and then become a habit. After some time when the habit becomes more pervasive then it turned to be a law or rule.

With time human value of worker has been increased in management style. Now a day employees are being given health insurance, travel allowance, kid’s education allowance. These are the evidence of giving higher importance to human resource on other aspect of life. If you consider the motivational theories they all based on the social, family, psychological needs of human.

I feel due to scientific approach management process has reached its height. When people apply Six Sigma, which is 99.999% accuracy, it is definitely quite high and we never dream to reach that level in other activities in our life. I can remember in our Physics lab in college we could not reach the 99% accuracy on same old experiment even with senior’s workbook in hand.

So where will we be moving in future? What will be the changes in management style? To understand the possible change let us find what are the things we are missing now-a-days? As I observed, we are different identity in our work and in our personal life. We are not supposed to mix those up. Can you say to your supervisor that “ today I had a fight with my spouse and after that I had to spent 3 hours to make the things normal and I got late in office” ? But we all know that it is a common and natural event, which happens to everyone of us. Can you take a few days off when your girlfriend/ boyfriend leave you? We can understand the emotional situation but we do not respect the fact in workplace. Can your manager ever ask you “are you happy in life? Do you need any help?” It is not the etiquette, but you always feel if there was a good friend to share. This dual role creates contradiction in a human and this builds up tension and dissatisfaction. You can not give your best under this environment. Your emotional values are not considered. Extrapolating the change of management style that happened in past days, this is the area where our future management will definitely consider. Emotional part of human worker need to be considered more in our future management style to give worker comfort feeling along with his rest of the part of his life. As far as the management process is concerned the strict process and methodologies gives worker a mechanical feeling. As a basic nature, human do not like that. If a little flexibility and scope of creativity is allowed work becomes more interesting. Agile management technique is becoming more successful and popular than the traditional methodologies, though it is not so perfectionist. This trend is supposed to get enhancement and importance in future, as it emphasizes the human quality which is superior to machine. You can definitely make lots of argue. I do not know how and when things will take place, but have a strong feeling that it will happen. It is the natural trend. May be if we accept the natural fact and refine our thoughts it will happen earlier and earlier will be better for mankind.

I dream and management style where workers will be attached to the organization like supporter of a soccer team.

Different manager

One chief operation manager was supposed to join a software development company at its development centre. Its head office was at some different location. It was a Monday when he was supposed to join. Before joining he planned his first day with his would be PA (personal assistant). He kept his first days work very short. Beside the joining formalities he kept a meeting with the sweepers and cleaners, that’s all. For rest of the days of the week he told that he will be busy in head office. He told his PA that he will start his full activity at development centre from the next Monday.

 In the meeting with the sweepers along with the maintenance head, he announced that the sweepers have to be off from work for a week or so, till he does not say to join again. He told that it will be a paid off. He told maintenance head not to make any alternative arrangement for the work. With his hard face he specifically mentioned that it is his first instruction and it should be followed without any question. He left the meeting and left for the day. People started to guess lots of things and rumors started to spread.

 As planned he went to head office from the next day and started his activities. Tuesday people somehow managed, Wednesday they became angry, Thursday it was intolerable, Friday they become furious. People tried to contact him to know why he has given such order. He kept on avoiding answering and only said it should be followed. People planned to report against him, they planned protest. People lost concentration in work and kept on discussing the issue. Most of the people thought that may be during weekend some higher authority will solve the problem.

 When on next Monday people found that the situation is unchanged and it is too bad, they stopped working and broke into protest. Chief Officer came little late and while entering he could feel the situation. As soon he entered his office, his PA told that lots of high ranked people want to meet him immediately. Then he called for an immediate all hands meeting.

 He took all the updates of events for the last one week from his PA. He told to the gathering that “ I didn’t know that sweepers have such a big contribution in software product….. I think sweepers get less than one tenth salary of junior most engineers. But I could not think they are so valuable in the company…. Tell me what is the problem if I do not want to keep a few so called lowest category, lowest qualified people in such a big software company?” Now the crowd understood his intention and kept spell bound. He continued”Sorry for the weeklong inconvenience to you. But I could not otherwise make you convinced, how important the sweepers are in a software company….. If sweepers are so important, my dear engineers, you can feel how important you are in this organization….. Never think that you are doing a less important or more important work than other. I am also no way more important than you. Every person is equally important for the organization. We only play different roles……  Some of you may ask if we all are equally important why we don’t get same salary. Here you have to understand the difference between the importance and the value creation. Your salary depends on how much value you create to the business of the organization. If you are a good artist, your quality may not pay you much to draw flow diagram, but it may pay you high in film industry….. Let me tell you one incident of my life to understand the difference between importance and value. In one of my previous company there was an office boy who was little dull but was very sincere, obedient and always having smiling face. He used to do exactly what was told to do, nothing more, nothing less. I used to keep work for him in a tray with notes. He used to do one after another. One day I put a paper to be sent by fax. I put a note on a paper “to be faxed by 11:30” and put the number also. I left for a meeting. Actually that day he was absent and so another new boy on his substitution took the work. Somehow the number was not working. The new fellow turned the piece of paper and found another number. He assumed that to be the alternative number. He sent the fax in that number and that was a big blunder. I knew the new fellow tried to be proactive at his level best without disturbing me in meeting. His intension was not wrong. But it was not expected from his level to take the intelligent step. If it was my old fellow he would have asked me. Lack of confidence of my old boy made him important for me. But I can not pay him the salary of a manager, because he is not doing the work of that value. He is indispensable and I can not replace the boy by any other, but his salary can not be excessively high….. So I wish you improve you capability, capacity to produce more value to the organization and grow in your career path, but do your current work with high importance….. Non-cooperation of any of you will create bigger impact to the organization than what happened last week…. As you are equal important with me to the organization you have all rights to point out even my faults if you think so.  ……..”

Emotional Blackmail

Sometime back one day we had one day motivational workshop in our office. Some people from some management consultant firm came for the camp. A large number of people from our office had to attend the session. In a tea break discussion one of my colleagues told that “I do not believe in these. By these management wants to make us sentimental and want to get our best work at cheap price. These are emotional blackmail. I want to see whether I am getting hike or not. Nothing else motivates me. I am working for money. More you pay money I shall have more interest in work.” It reminded me some old events of my life. I am sharing with you. I do not know who is right who is wrong.

 At beginning of my career I used to work in a government office. Proactive action, motivation etc was valueless there. There used to be fixed increment depending on number of years of service. There was no chance of loosing job if someone does not do a big blunder. You can imagine the work environment. We had individual tables and we used to get our tea and water supply on our table. There was some office boy to do the supply. There was a culture to give some tips to the boys every month to get tea hot and to keep glass always filled up. When I joined a man named “Ratan” started to give me service. Normally people used to call these boys by name. I used to call Ratan as “Ratanbabu”. In our area “babu” is attached after the name to give respect. He was much elder than me. When he used to bring tea for me or fill my glass, I used to say “thank you”, however busy I am. After some day, to my wonder, I found a paper napkin was being given to me along with tea, which is very special and only for me. After some more days I realized that my workplace is cleaner than others. Though came to my mind that being a new person, may be Ratan was giving good service with expectation of better tips. I tried to get information from my other colleagues how much they give as tips. At the end of month one day I offered a note to Ratan. He shrank like anything and told me that he is doing his duty, not for tips, he can not take that. I did not force to keep his dignity. I got the same service without any tips as long as I was there. Now I think, did I do emotional blackmail.