Owing to increasing demands, stern deadlines and uncertainty over performance rewards and at times poor working relationships with colleagues, stress in the workplace has become unavoidable. This is because they are sandwiched between personal and the company or organisation’s goals to be met. The two have made many workplaces with excessive workload demands or conflicting expectations of both employees are good examples. As a result, many employees suffer from job stresses when the requirements of the work do not match the capabilities, resources or needs of the worker. What is least known, employees have not understood that a company concerns itself equally with the two aspects of: Division of labour and allocating work-loads to individuals as well as groups of individuals; and establishing lines of communication, influence and authority among individuals and groups of individuals handling allotted workloads and ensuring the coordination of their activities in relation to the given objective. However, when we base the applicability of the aforementioned principles according to the 14 principles as postulated by Henri Fayol, who examined the nature of management and administration on the basis of his French mining organization experiences, in the workplace, certain principles are not applicable. For instance, aspects to do with: Initiative, Remuneration, equity, Subordination of individual interest (to the general interest), discipline and division of labour are principles which have not been adhered to by managers of companies. For instance, in the media industry, this has only left many being sacked, shifting to other media houses- “ an aspect of musical chairs”, and the overuse of one’s’ talent to fit in other spheres of work tasks. The Manager’s attitude towards the employees has to be abreast with changing times. A realistic attitude recognizes a basic factor – people want to be treated as human beings and accorded minimum respect and courtesies no matter what their position in working life is. The company should have a comprehensive system of rules of discipline or culture. A company cannot function efficiently if its members are at cross-purposes and their efforts are random and undirected. People want to know what the rules of the game are and also that the game is fair. The employees have to know when they should be at work, what they can do, and what they cannot do Equally important is to ensure that the rules whether of procedure or discipline are purposeful and designed only for more efficient and effective achievement of the objectives and mission of the company. Rules which are meaningless, erratic and give the impression of being used to repress, subdue or eliminate basic freedom, can be as harmful to a company as the feeling that rules are administered without due impartiality and objectivity. The company must maintain an adequate system of communication. Information, news and even rumours must flow through the system freely. Secrecy – other than where it is justifiable, say, in the case of question papers or matters of high policy-begets suspicion and results in imputing motives. “Inner Cabinets of managers acting as custodians of information and decisions can be a major factor in the growth of antagonism in “less privileged” circles, leading ultimately to the development of “cliques” working against the company’s objectives. Communication does not mean that employees only should know what and why the manager decides. It includes also the very significant need for the manager to know what the employees think about what he/she does. The company should have an objective follow-up pattern through which the performance of its members is supervised by results. For instance, in the media industry, the esteem or egoistic needs of a reporter determine the boundaries of the function of journalistic supervision. A worker worried with only his physiological and safety needs may not worry if the supervisor keeps on shouting at him all the time. But the reporter’s needs are different and his sense of self-respect, his desire to be honoured and accepted by his superiors and colleagues determine that a more subtle approach is needed for his supervision. It is here, that supervision by results has a greater role to play. A practical difficulty – apart from the motivational requirements -indicates the need for this kind of supervision it is becoming almost impossible to find a supervisor who can competently supervise even one-third of the subject-areas of a media house. The most important condition to be fulfilled is the maintenance of a sound organizational atmosphere. The interdependence of the different levels of managers, administrators, supervisors, office staff and other employees within the organization and the community outside has not only to be recognized but every effort has to be made to ensure that each plays his legitimate role for the betterment of the organization. The secret of creating and maintaining the kind of organizational climate conducive to motivation lies in three simple but extremely important steps: Relaxing top-to-bottom pressure to conform; providing more opportunities for unrestrained organizational performance; and Resorting to principles of participative management to the maximum possible degree. All these contribute to the maintenance of the morale of the organizational members and that is a fundamental duty of the manager.
David Indeje is a writer and editor, with interests on how technology is changing journalism, government and society. He has been practicing Journalism since 2008. Environment, Agriculture Business, Health and Gender Development stories are his passion.David can be reached on: (020) 528 0222
Email: [email protected]