Written by Rebecca Brewer,
M.A. in Leadership and Management:
According to a recent Gallup poll, 70% of American workers either proclaim to hate their job, or are disengaged. Disengaged workers are much less productive, take more sick days, engage in more workplace conflict, and have a higher turn over rate. How might you, as a leader motivate your employees to recommit to their work? If your answer is, I don’t have time for the touchy-feely work of leadership, I’m too busy managing the operation, think again. Leadership and management, at one time, presented as polar opposites, the Yin and Yang of roles in American business and organizations. Not only were they considered opposite ends of a spectrum, they were viewed as diametrically opposed to one another, a contradiction in terms.
|Overly critical management styles tend to de-motivate.|
Over the course of the twentieth century, leadership received most of the attention in terms of research and concept development. Leaders were thought to be the next new development for the promotion of American business while managers remained a negative, though necessary, party of company structure. While these roles are different in terms of overall function, an acceptance in cross-over regarding the use of leadership styles by managers, and management skills by leaders is rising. Both roles are equally necessary for the continued survival and growth of businesses in today’s global market. In addition, employees are not only commonly regarded as more self-managed, modern business culture demands it. Therefore, both managers and leaders need to maintain flexibility in their style and approach with employees.
|Everyone has a different way of motivating and leading people.
Not all styles are equally effective.
Motivation of employees remains a challenge commonly faced by both managers and leaders. Keeping staff interested and productive in order to ensure company goals are met while minimizing turn-over and disruption of the company culture requires an understanding and appropriate use of effective motivational tools and techniques. Both leaders and managers benefit from a continual renewal in this understanding and information is equally available to people in both roles. As the need for direct interaction of leaders and managers with employees as well as employees receiving more autonomy to perform their jobs, the distinction between leader and manager disappears.