Higher Level Management Should Give Up Control

Getting employees to be motivated and stay motivated is a challenge on all levels of management. Motivated employees not only work more productively, but are happier people in general. This is important for ensuring that your work force is as efficient as it can be.

While your employees, and even the members of your own team as the CFO, may seem to be getting along just fine and working well, they could still be very disengaged from their work and from the rest of the company.

Ken and Scott Blanchard have a fascinating viewpoint on how management should adjust their way of managing to give up control, and they write about it for FastCompany.

Carrot-and-Stick = Resentment

According to the authors, employee “disengagement still stands at about 70 percent, the same as … in the late ’90s.” This isn’t exactly an encouraging statistic for management. What managers all the way up to CFO and CEO need to understand is that when it comes to encouraging and motivating employees, they really cannot help an employee’s motivation.

“Carrot-and-stick thinking is, at its core, a control method – and people always resist being controlled,” write Ken and Scott. What management should really be doing is encouraging “autonomy, relatedness, and competence,” as these lead to “positive employee intentions to stay with organizations,” and encourage employees to “apply discretionary effort and be good corporate citizens.”

This is important because CFOs have increasingly become more of an assistant to the CEO, as well as the person controlling corporate financial strategy. The personality and management style of higher-management tends to “trickle down” to influence how the rest of management treats its employees. A highly competitive view from above will spread throughout the company, forcing employees to compartmentalize their workspace and interact less with coworkers.

Bring Everyone Together

It is important for management to focus on creating an environment from the top down that is about autonomy and inclusiveness. Involve employees and help them understand the big picture – for a CFO that means helping them understand the financial health of the company and how their work affects it.

Consumers are increasingly demanding consistency and inter-operability from corporations and their brands in almost all industries. Your work environment should reflect that demand and put your employees in the right mindset to meet it. The added bonus to this management style is that employees are generally happier, making them even more productive.

Let your employees be as effective as they can be. Don’t hold them back with the misconception that they need to be controlled. It will only stifle creativity, teamwork, and productivity. Happier and more productive employees are more inclined to stay with a company long-term than those who are controlled and less happy.