Business English | Management Styles

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What is this episode about?

Learn about management styles and motivation, theory X and Y, the hygiene factors, and empowerment in this new Business English Episode from English Plus Podcast.

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Show Notes

Disclaimer

I am using an automatic transcript service as it is not possible for me to do it on my own and I cannot afford human transcription at the moment. The service claims to have about 95% accuracy, which means there will still be some mistakes, so my apologies for having a less than perfect transcript, but I hope I can afford human transcription soon and I will solve this problem. However, the service is pretty good, and the transcript is almost perfect.

Transcript

Welcome to a new episode from English plus podcast. In today’s episode, we will talk about business English. We will focus on management styles. Maybe the topic we will focus on even more within management styles is the idea of motivation and different types or different ways managers use to motivate their employees.

[00:00:26] We will talk about theory X and theory. Y we will talk about hygiene factors and other motivator factors, and we will talk about empowerment. So without further ado, let’s start our episode about management styles and specially motivation. So let me start by asking Ben the quick or the most obvious question at the beginning, that is theory X and theory.

[00:00:49] Y in motivation, what does that mean? Well theory X and theory, Y comes from us management thinker, Douglas McGregor in his book, the human side of enterprise. And he mentioned that there are two theories theory, X and C. Are you why? In a nutshell theory, X is the idea that people dislike work and will do everything they can to avoid it.

[00:01:12] And theory, Y which has the more advanced view that given the right conditions, everyone has the potential to find satisfaction in work. All right. So are we going to give some examples about this? Yes. Sure. I’ve prepared two examples. One is taken from Yolanda who is a senior manager of a car rental firm and the other from Jonathan, who is a factory manager.

[00:01:36] Now I will quote what they said about. Their idea of motivation. I will start with Yolanda. Remember Yolanda is a senior manager and she is going to talk about her idea of satisfaction and motivation. And then we will know which one believes in theory X and which one believes in theory. Y so I will quote what Yolanda said.

[00:01:59] She said, I believe that all our employees can find satisfaction in what they do. We give them responsibility. And encouraged them to use their initiative. My style of management is participative. We hope this feeling of empowerment gives employees the feeling that they are valued. We believe that all this leads to a higher sense of motivation among employees when everyone feels motivated.

[00:02:26] Morale is good. And there is a general feeling of wellbeing in the organization. This leads to improve job satisfaction. So that is what you, London things. Well, I kind of tend to agree with her. Yeah, me too. I mean, she makes sense with what she says. I mean, if you take care of your employees and you do your best to make them happy, the company will be healthy and the company will perform a lot better.

[00:02:52] All right. But before we move on and talk about Jonathan’s view, let me stop at a couple of words. You said that we give them responsibility. What do you mean by giving them responsibility? Well, when you are given responsibility, that is the idea that the decisions they take have a direct impact on our success.

[00:03:12] That is on our success as a company. Of course, now here, this is the idea of giving them responsibility, not holding them responsible. That’s different when you hold them responsible. That means you just want to say who’s responsible, especially for mistakes. That’s a different story. That’s a different thing.

[00:03:28] When you give your employees responsibility, you kind of make them feel that the decisions they make matter because they have a direct impact on the success of the company. Okay. And then you talked about Yolanda, encourages them to use their initiative. What does that mean? Well, when you use your initiative or according to what she said, that means they don’t have, we’re talking about employees.

[00:03:53] You, of course, they don’t have to ask her every time they want to make a decision, they can take the initiative or use their initiative and make their own decisions without asking their manager all the time. That’s the meaning of using your initiative here? Some people already have that. Some people don’t have it.

[00:04:11] But according to your London, they encouraged them to use their initiative. Because even when people have that in their personality, I mean, they take initiative, they use their own initiative, but the company has to encourage that. Some companies don’t encourage that. Some companies want their employees to check with their managers for every single decision they want to make.

[00:04:32] And depending on the job that might be justifiable sometimes, but sometimes it’s just about being authoritarian. All right. I mean, so far I agree with. Everything Yolanda said, then she said her management style or her style of management is participative. What does that mean? Well, the style of management that is participative, that means employees take part in the decision-making process.

[00:04:56] That is the meaning of participative. Everybody participates in the decision-making process. And let me add something else. Yolanda talked about. She said, we hope this feeling of empowerment gives employees the feeling that they are valued. I want you to say that that means with management, knowing the effort they make.

[00:05:14] I mean, employees have to know that the management knows the effort they make. That’s the meaning of, they feel that they are valued. It’s very important for employees to have this feeling, to know that what they do makes a difference and it is acknowledged by the management. And then she talked about the motivation, which is the key word in our episode today.

[00:05:36] And here, we’re talking about the interest into Z ASM and energy among employees. Well, this was about Yolanda and obviously Yolanda believes in theory, why that’s the, uh, given the right conditions? Everyone has the potential to find satisfaction in work. That’s right. Theory. X is just the opposite as we will see in Jonathan’s view.

[00:05:57] But yeah, definitely Yolanda believes in Syria. So tell me more about Jonathan and tell me more about his management style. All right. We said Jonathan is a factory manager. He said, I don’t believe in all this. Talk about motivation. My subordinates are basically lazy. They need constant supervision. Some people think this is authoritarian, but I think it’s the only way of managing there.

[00:06:21] Have to be clear rules of discipline. Decisions must be imposed from above, without consultation. Wow. That’s too strong, right? I mean, I can’t agree with this guy. Yeah. I don’t agree with him either, but some people do believe in that and some successful people do believe in that. So they might be using this management style and it might be working now.

[00:06:45] Of course, we’re not here just to judge whether he’s right or Yolanda’s right. I definitely agree with Yolanda more than I agree with Jonathan. But it is there, it is out there. Some people out there believe in this kind of management style, which is kind of authoritarian as he said, but it is there. Okay.

[00:07:01] So let’s dig in a little bit deeper and talk about some of the words you used when you talked about Jonathan’s view. What about subordinates? He said, I don’t believe in all this talk about motivation. He said my subordinates are basically lazy. Who are the subordinates? Well, the subordinates are the people who are working under you.

[00:07:21] If you are the manager or a supervisor or any kind of management, doesn’t matter which level of management you are. But if there are people working under you, that means they are your subordinates. And then you talked about supervision, or actually he talked about supervision. Well, supervision means that you have to check what employees are doing all the time.

[00:07:44] And what about the word authoritarian? He said, some people think this is authoritarian. Well, if you describe a person or an organization as authoritarian, you are critical of them, controlling everything, rather than letting people decide things for themselves. That is authoritarian. Again, some people believe this is the right way to rule or to manage.

[00:08:05] Obviously we’re talking about companies here and some people believe this is totally wrong. It doesn’t matter how you believe. But usually when you say authoritarian, you’re not using it just to be neutral, you are criticizing someone. So it is a negative word to use. So if you want to use the word authoritarian, you’re definitely criticizing this person, this company, or even this country.

[00:08:26] All right. He also talked about discipline. What do we mean by that? Yeah, that’s right. He said there have to be clear rules of discipline. When you say that, that means you have to be able to tell subordinates what is right and wrong with a consistent set of disciplinary procedures. It’s just kind of like school or something.

[00:08:46] Well, I don’t believe that will get you anywhere because it’s not even working at schools anymore, but some people believe in that one last thing about what he said. He said that decisions must be imposed from above, without consultation. When we say without consultation or consultation itself, that means we don’t discuss decisions with workers.

[00:09:07] Jonathan doesn’t discuss decisions with his workers. He just tells them what to do. No questions asked. And again, he is authoritarian and it’s obvious. And definitely Jonathan believes in theory, X and theory X, let me remind you again, that that comes of course from the U S management thinker, Douglas McGregor in a nutshell is the idea that people dislike work and will do everything they can to avoid it.

[00:09:33] And Jonathan definitely believes in theory, X. All right. So here we talked about Yolanda and Jonathan, we talked about theory X and Y we will move on to talk about hygiene factors, motivator factors, and empowerment. But before we do that, let me remind you that you can find the transcript of this episode in a link.

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[00:10:24] That will definitely help us go on. And now let’s move back to management styles and let’s talk about hygiene factors. Ben, what do we mean by hygiene factors? Does it have to do with being clean? Because that’s the word hygiene, but it’s not about being clean. It’s from the work of Frederick Herzberg who studied what motivates employees.

[00:10:44] And he talked about what we know as the hygiene factors. Some aspects of work can lead to this satisfaction. If they are not at a high enough standard. These are what Hertzberg calls the hygiene factors. Now the hygiene factors are the supervision. The way employees are managed policy, the overall purpose and goals of the organization, working conditions.

[00:11:06] That is the place where you work the hours, et cetera, the salary, peer relationships, how you relate to and work with others on the same level of the organization and security, the level of confidence about the future of your job. So here. Those hygiene factors. If they are not at a high standard, they can lead to dissatisfaction.

[00:11:28] So we’re not saying that these things have to be there or not. We’re talking about the quality of these things, the quality of supervision, the quality of the policy and the clearness of this purpose and goals of the organization. Because if you don’t have clear goals for your organization, you just want to make money, which is okay.

[00:11:45] But of course, this is a business and you are out there to make money like everybody else. But you need to have purpose and goals. And these goals must be known by everybody in the organization. And if they are of a high standard that will lead to satisfaction, if not, that may lead to dissatisfaction and the working conditions, of course, the place where you work, the hours, the salary, your relationship with your peers.

[00:12:10] And of course the security. If you were always afraid, you might lose your job. That will definitely lead to dissatisfaction. All right. So let me recap here. You talked about hygiene factors. We talked about supervision, policy, working conditions, salary, peer relationships, and security. That’s right. Okay. So can we talk about other things or other aspects of work that can give positive satisfaction?

[00:12:34] Yeah, sure. These are called the motivator factors. Now let’s first talk about achievement. Achievement is the feeling that you have been successful in reaching your goals. If you have the sense of achievement, where you work, that will give you satisfaction. If you can’t get this feeling that will lead to dissatisfaction and you will feel useless because you are not achieving anything.

[00:12:57] Maybe you are working, you’re working very hard and you’re finishing a lot of projects, et cetera, but there’s no sense of achievement. You can’t see it. You can’t see the end product. Now we understand that sometimes you might work in a phase of the project that doesn’t let you see the end result. But you must know how your work relates to the end result.

[00:13:20] The thing that is enjoyed by the customer, because that will definitely give you a lot of satisfaction. Some companies do their best to help their employees have this feeling and see how their contribution to a project leads to kind of achievement in a product or service and how this thing is appreciated by the customers.

[00:13:40] So that will give them a sense of achievement. Then we have the recognition, this feeling that your employees understand and value what you do by giving positive feedback, which means telling you what a good job you are doing. Of course, this doesn’t have to be like kindergarten where you have to just get positive feedback all the time or almost all the time.

[00:14:01] Of course, that’s even not a good idea, even in kindergarten, but a good manager has a very good timing of positive feedback because you don’t want to overuse that if you overuse it, it is useless. He doesn’t have value anymore. And if you don’t use it at all, that will lead to dissatisfaction. So with recognition, with this feeling that your employers understand and value, what you do that definitely gives you positive satisfaction.

[00:14:25] And that is another motivator factor. There’s also the work itself, the nature and interest of the job. Are you interested in what you’re doing at all? If you are not interested in the job itself, it doesn’t matter what you achieve or the recognition of all that. If you’re not interested in what you’re doing, you will definitely not be motivated to do it.

[00:14:44] So you will not be satisfied. So that is a question, of course, you need to ask yourself, and sometimes it’s similar to our relationship. I mean, you need to work on a relationship to keep it fresh and interesting. And the work itself, you also need to do that, but sometimes you really need to ask yourself the difficult question.

[00:15:03] What am I doing here? I mean, if you are not interested in the work at all, you should leave and find something else that you’re really interested in because you’re just going to live once at least get a shot at being satisfied. You might not be satisfied no matter what you do. I know that at least increase your chances.

[00:15:20] But again saying that doesn’t mean that if you’re not interested in a project, that means you should leave your job. No, of course not. I mean, sometimes we all know that at least anybody who’s done any kind of work in the past knows that not everything you’re going to do in your job is going to be interesting.

[00:15:36] Some of the jobs we do are some of the tasks we undertake or the projects we do are not that interesting, but they’re a part of the job, but the work in general is interesting. It is satisfying. So if the work itself is interesting, that will definitely give positive satisfaction. And that will add to those motivator factors.

[00:15:57] Then there is the responsibility when you are in charge of something and it’s success or failure. Now you might argue here that some people don’t like to take responsibility, don’t like to be responsible and you might be right. Not all people like responsibility, but most people like to feel that they are responsible.

[00:16:15] They are in charge even of a small part of the project or whatever this work may be, the service, the project, et cetera. If you feel you are in charge and you will be responsible both for the success and the failure of the project. And of course, if you succeed or you fail, that’s not the end of the world.

[00:16:35] There are second chances, but you are responsible. You feel that you are in charge that will increase your feeling of positive satisfaction. That’s another motivator factor when it is correctly implemented in management. There’s also advancement. Now how far you will be promoted in the organization and or how far you will go up the career ladder.

[00:16:57] I mean, imagine you work in a place and, you know, for a fact that there’s no way for you to be promoted anymore, that’s it? That’s the end of the line. That’s the highest you can get up the career ladder. So that will not be so satisfying. Right? I mean, You will not be satisfied knowing that this is as far as you can get.

[00:17:17] Not because you don’t have what it takes, but because that’s it, I mean, for senior management, you will have to be one of the family. For example, if it’s a family business. So, you know, for a fact that you can’t be a senior manager, even if you’re better than everybody else, or sometimes for some other factors sometimes because of the nature of the job, you can’t advance anymore.

[00:17:37] But when you have this feeling of advancement, that you can be promoted if you work well, if you do your best, if you work hard, you will be promoted and you can go up the career ladder. And usually that comes with a place where there’s no discrimination of any kind. And do you know that they’re not going to pick people because they know them or because of a color or because of a race or something?

[00:18:01] No. When you know that. You can be promoted in your company. If you’ve really earned this promotion, you will definitely be satisfied. And there’s one last motivator factor I would like to talk about. And that is the personal growth. How you develop personally in your work and your opportunities to do this.

[00:18:19] I mean, you can get a job because you are very good at doing something, but that’s about it. They want you to do this thing for the rest of your life. They don’t want you to grow. I mean, I need somebody to, uh, let’s say a program, a certain kind of thing for my service, but that’s about it. I want you to work eight hours every day, just program the same thing over and over and over.

[00:18:43] There’s no growth. That will be frustrating in the long run. That will be this satisfactory in the long run. You wouldn’t want to work in a place where you don’t feel that you can develop yourself. I mean, it’s very important to know that there is a chance to develop personally in your work and it’s even better when you know that the company provides opportunities for you to do this.

[00:19:05] If you have this feeling, if you are in a place where the company helps you grow and develop personally, You will definitely be satisfied. And that will add to our motivator factors that we talked about. All right. So you talked about motivator factors. You talked about achievement recognition, the work itself, responsibility advancement and the personal growth.

[00:19:27] Now we will talk about one last thing and we will call it a day. Uh, we will talk about empowerment. Empowerment is a more recent idea, but what can you tell us about it, Ben? Well, empowerment is the idea that decisions where possible should be made by employees who are close to the issues or problems to be solved without having to consult their managers further up the hierarchy.

[00:19:51] In other words, managers have to delegate as much as possible. Delegation is one of the keys to employees being empowered in this way. Also organizations become less hierarchical with fewer management levels. That’s very important that, you know, these are the key benefits of empowerment. Now we talked to you about delegation.

[00:20:12] Can we just, uh, shed some light on this word because maybe not everybody knows what delegation means. Yeah, sure. If you delegate duties, responsibilities, or power to someone, you give them those duties, those responsibilities, or that power so that they can act on your behalf. That’s the meaning of delegate, but some people hate to delegate, right?

[00:20:33] Yeah. Because some people believe that they are the best people for the job. I mean, they can perform this task perfectly better than everybody else. And it might be true maybe. Maybe they are the best, but if you can’t find, or if you can’t teach your subordinates to do the job, as well as you do it, there are some serious questions about your leadership skills, because obviously you won’t have time.

[00:20:59] If you want to climb up the career ladder. That means you won’t have time to do everything yourself. You have to trust people. You have to train people well so that they can take their own decisions, that they can use their own initiative and they can feel empowered. That’s the key thing about empowerment.

[00:21:18] All right. So I guess we’ve covered a lot of ground when it comes to management styles and motivation. We talked about theory X and theory. Y the hygiene factors, some other motivator factors and empowerment. I hope you found the information we shared with you today. Useful. I hope you can use some of those ideas in your working places, whether you are managers or not, but at least things to think about things to discuss with your supervisors or managers, maybe things you can ask your managers too.

[00:21:51] Add or to consider at least for your working environment and for your company. So that being said, let me remind you again, that you can find the transcript of this episode on our website, English plus podcast.com. This is your host, Danny. Thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcast.

[00:22:07] I will see you next time.

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