Engaging Employees Through Operationalizing Good Power, Starving Bad Power, and Disallowing No Power
By Michelle Malay Carter on December 21, 2009
Throwing The Baby Out with the Bathwater – Egalitarianism
We are kidding ourselves to believe?managerial hierarchies can be?egalitarian.? Power must be exercised.? We can “nice up” the word power by calling?it leadership or authority, but?it is power just the same.
So then the question becomes,?if power must be?excised, how can we set up a managerial leadership system to channel power to every one’s advantage??
Designing for Good Power
Elliott Jaques’ Requisite Organization Model outlines just a system.? Here is how it addresses power to create an environment of trust and fairness.? Without trust and fairness, employees disengage.
Operationalizing Good Power
- Granting managers the authority they need to hire their people, refuse unacceptable candidates and remove non-performing employees.
- Pairing the aforementioned authority with managerial accountability for the output of their employees.? No more scapegoating.? Employees are accountable to do their best.??
- Employees are?judged by their EFFECTIVENESS, not solely their output so no employee has to resort to cheating or short sightedness to “make their goals”.
- Offering a science-based means to ensure that employees have managers who are cognitively more capable than themselves.
- Offering a science-based means to ensure that employees are hired and/or promoted into roles that suit their capability.
Starving Bad Power
- Clearly defining accountabilities, authorities and escalations procedures so no employee has to resort to manipulation to get his work done.
- Making sure there are not redundant layers in the organization that bog down work or leadership vacuums (too few layers.)
Making sure that at least two sets of eyes are on each employee by:
- Making managers-once-removed accountable for the fair treatment of their subordinates-once-removed.
- Making managers-once-removed accountable for the career development of subordinate-once-removed.
Disallowing No Power
- Making all managers accountable to exercise managerial leadership, not just to contribute on the technical part of their role.
- Making all employees accountable to give their best advice and speak their minds.??When managers are accountable for the output of their employees,?managers actually want to hear the truth?so they can make changes.? Scapegoating is no longer an option.
- Making all managers accountable to listen to the advice of employees, but pairing this with the ultimate authority to decide.
What kind of power do you experience in your organization?
I’m OK.? You’re OK.? Let’s fix the system.