Thursday, June 17, 2010

Douglas McGregor’s Theory and its Affective Relevance to Small Quantity Workplace

I’m more inclined to define organization just as I learned it during the time I was taking my Master’s: a group of people working together towards a common goal. There are people who will disagree with me when I say church can also be considered as an organization. Speaking of which, I wanted to make baseline truth or information to establish my post. The basic elements of organization are there: 1) group of people (human resources), 2) money (financial resources), 3) facility (physical resources), 4) common goal, and 5) certain rulebooks. I’ll not write too much about this; there are many resources discussing about the elements of an Organization.

Let us recall briefly Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and Y. To avoid being too academic and lengthy, let us just summarize the difference between these two Theories. In an employees’ perspective, if he’s a Theory X, He’s lazy. He will work when coerced, pushed, and mandated. He will not go beyond what is demanded by his immediate boss. Unless hugely compensated, he’ll not work. Now, if a manager thinks of his employees as a bunch of Theory Xs, he will not trust them. He thinks that employees will only work if coerced, pushed, and mandated. He thinks that employees only work plainly because of money. An employee or an organization member is a Theory Y if he’s self-motivated, ambitious, and able to control himself. If an organization manager thinks of the organization members as Theory Ys, he thinks that each and every member is a valuable. He trusts his employees and assumes that the employees enjoy their work. Again, I’ll not dig into this so much. I just made baseline information. THIS IS THE VERY REASON WHY PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT IS NOW CALLED HUMAN RESOURCE DEPARTMENT. Let’s give credit to Dr. McGregor for that.

Having said this baseline information, let’s move further (not farther). What am I trying to say? HUMAN RESOURCES ARE VALUABLE RESOURCES. Okay, I’m referring to employees and former employees who have sincerely and adequately performed based on clear-headed interpretation of company guidelines (and not the truthfully primaddonas). In small companies, employees must be treated with respect and dignity because whether you like or not, you’ll always cross paths, because the company is quite small. Especially in small companies (let’s say below 120 employees), being courteous enough to contractual employees if their service is no longer needed is a good asset. This means not treating them like commodities. This means doing your best to disregard personal feelings of like or dislike when renewing or not renewing employees (or in case regular employees). Always remember that “feel” factor is never enough. Just because you don’t feel the person doesn’t mean you’ll just throw him or her out. By the way, don’t follow the “I’m just being real” band wagon. Be courteous and professional. Yes, it is the head’s call and prerogative, but the head should always have a heart for employees who did their job well. Give them dignity and respect. Trust in their capacity. Sometimes, giving a certain amount of trust to employees will make wonders to your department. In fact, it will pull down the wall if you give a certain room for trust even to the employee that you don’t like. You don’t have to pretend you like all the employees and your subordinates; all you need is to be professional and courteous enough. Bullying should not have room for a head of department; it will hunt the department, one way or another, no matter how preventive you are.

Yes, Theory Y is just a theory. There are no laws strictly telling you to adhere to this theory (or else it will be called Law Y, not Theory Y). In this day and age when management and administration of various small organizations are marred by complaints and dissatisfaction, it still makes wonders when you treat your employees (be it contractual or regular) with dignity and respect. When you spread that attitude of respect and dignity, respect and dignity will spread very fast. After all, your organization is small.

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