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Continued from Previous……
The beginning is important as it sets the scene and pace. As the saying goes, ‘Well Begun is Half Done’, a positive and inspiring beginning sets a highly encouraging tone.
On the job, the responsibility for inspiring lies with the line managers. Lies means ‘rests’, not ‘lies’ (pun intended).
There are several things that the line managers may consider for inspiring the team members. Following proposals may be considered.
True that most work is repetitive and routine, and that it leads to boredom, intellectual decline and laziness. The managers will do well to design activities which are aimed at intellectual stimulation. These can include the following in various forms.
- Academic sessions
- Problem solving sessions
- Open forum discussions
- Mind games
Intellectual stimulation is the among the strongest tools for inspiration. It is different from training, learning and development. People get intellectually stimulated when they feel intellectually challenged, such as in competitions. When our mind is stimulated, our reflexes get sharp and we can perform at our best.
The popular belief is that giving people more relaxation, more holidays and more comfort will keep people motivated. This is a wrong notion. All above things only promote laziness and stop motivating after a little while. As explained earlier, inspiration is different from motivation and these factors do not inspire at all. Inspiration is achieved when people are challenged mentally and even physically.
There are finer differences between ‘challenge’ and ‘stress’. A demanding work is a ‘challenge’ when we are primed for it properly. Priming includes mental and physical preparation. Without priming, the same work would be ‘stress’. Most managers do not understand the difference and end up causing stress upon stress.
Keeping Challenged has another variation also. In many jobs, it is quite possible to switch responsibilities among team members, without work loss. In some organizations, it has been done officially at times.
Inspiration remains on when we believe we are moving forward. Moving forward is a metaphor emphasizing continuous development. It is understood that career growth is not something that happens every day. It is a slow process with several conditions to it. However, job enrichment, learning and skill development can be affected without career growth. Rather than waiting for change of status, people should be encouraged to change their personal grooming status continuously. Personal development is a great stimulus for remaining inspired and moving forward.
Congenial Work Environment
Proper environment is a primary requirement for inspiration. Three ingredients are mandatory for a good work environment.
One is Freedom from Fear, which means that people should not feel threatened at all times. Fear is caused when punishment is expected for no reason or when punishment is expected to be much higher in proportion as compared to the deed done. Many managers create fear deliberately by humiliating others publicly, often giving job threats publicly and sometimes executing job threat publicly.
Two is Freedom from Coercion, which means that people do not have to do labor which is not due to them. Or they are not forced to do things under pressure which they are not required to do. Every employee has a set of work assigned to him/her. An occasional add-on may be accepted but it should not be a routine. Asking staff to do a manager’s personal chores is the worst form of coercion.
Three is Backup Support. Managers are the biggest source of support. The team feels secure in the presence of their team leader. There are good reasons for feeling secure. The manager would support them when they need it; the manager would salvage them when they are in difficulty; and the manager would channelize all energies together. The backup support is a great source of comfort for the team.
The summary is this. Inspiring the team members shall bring great results. Managers have the possibility and responsibility to cause and continue to cause to inspire.
To be Continued……Disclaimer. Most pictures in this blog are taken from Google Images which does not show anyone’s copyright claim. However, if any such claim is presented, we shall remove the image with suitable regrets.