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Friday, May 17, 2013

Concept of ‘Self Control’ & Improved Employee Production

Employers have been rather clear about insisting that the employees produce results, but they have been less than clear about defining the means needed for employees to carry out the job, i.e., the intention for self-control.  Some of those essentials for exercising 'self-control' are:

  • means for knowing what an employee is supposed to do
  • means for knowing whether the employee is doing what he is supposed to do
  • means for changing what the employee is doing if it does not conform with what he is supposed to do       
If the employers have failed to provide any of these essentials, the resulting errors should be deemed as ‘management-controllable’. On the other hand, if the employee had been provided with the essentials, then the resulting error/s should be deemed as ‘operator-controllable’.

Once identified as operator-controllable, it then becomes timely to talk about employee-motivation. Most of the indifferent behavior of employees at workplace is more due to their lack of skills to perform it. It is to cover up this ignorance before co-workers, employees often tend to behave indifferently. The best way of motivating such employees to perform well is to train them to develop their job skills.  

How to get ready to instruct an Employee?

  •  Have a timetable.  How much skill you expect an employee to have and by what date?
  •  Break down the job.  List important steps.  Tick out the key points.
  •  Have everything ready—the right equipment, materials and supplies.
  •  Have the workplace properly arranged.  

How to instruct?
Step 1
Prepare the worker.
Put the employee at ease.  State the job and find out what he already knows. Get him interested in learning the job.  Place him in correct frame of a mind.
Step 2
Present the operation.
Tell, show and illustrate one important step at a time.  Stress each key point.  Instruct clearly, completely and patiently. Keep him at a right position so that he can watch the demonstration well.
Step 3
Try out performance.
Ask him to do the job—correct errors.  Have him explain each key point as he does the job again.  Make sure he understands every step and their inter-relationships. Continue until you know he knows.
Step 4
Follow up.
Then put him on his own. Designate the person to whom he can go for help.  Check frequently.  Encourage questions.  Taper off extra coaching and close follow up.
This sounds rather an innocuous issue and thus rarely gains organizational attention. The net result is: organizations seldom realize the full potential of their employees.  

However, once addressed, it becomes part of the organizational culture—a body of learned behavior—and then everything becomes automatic.

Till then, managers/leaders have a role to play. Else, production losses will continue to haunt them!


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