Article (October-2019)


Values for workplace relationship

Dr. Upinder Dhar & Dr. Santosh Dhar

Designation : -   Vice Chancellor & Dean - Faculty of Doctoral Studies and Research

Organization : -  Shri Vaishnav Vidyapeeth Vishwavidyalaya, Indore


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When a person joins an organization or sets up an enterprise, he/she does it with great enthusiasm and wants to do his/her best and achieve maximum results. However, it is possible that he/she may lose interest due to lack of incentives or dysfunctional stimuli in the work environment, and become a non-performer or may divert his/her energy to other interests. Even the best organizations periodically make mistakes in dealing with people. They mess up their opportunity to create effective, successful, positive employee relations. They consciously or unconsciously invest uncountable energy in actions that make employees unhappy and result in ineffective employee relations.

Transparency must prevail

Managers treat people like children and then ask why people fail so frequently to live up to their expectations. They apply different rules to different employees and wonder why workplace negativity is so high. Nothing affects employee morale more detrimentally than persistent workplace negativity. It saps the energy of the organization and diverts critical attention from work and performance. Negativity occurs in the attitude, outlook, and talk of one department member, or in an upsurge of voices responding to a workplace decision or event.

There may be number of demotivating factors in the organizations like criticism, fault finding, belittling the achievements of others and backbiting; unwillingness to hear others' viewpoints and repeated assertion of superior-subordinate relationship mismatch in terms of qualifications, experience and assignments; lack of interest in juniors i.e., you also learn the hard way attitude; arrogance due to success; those who work get more work while others get pay, perks and promotions; irregular and unsystematic work; what is there in it for me i.e., demonstrating the attitude that others work only for money or out of fear of authority of senior people. People work hard and yet do not receive positive feedback. Over a period of time, they too join the non-performers.

The keys to financial success and a profitable business are not only the strategies or the systems of the organization but the skill of individual managers, who practice what they preach, and recognize their role in coaching and motivating employees. The heart of motivation is to give people what they really want the most from work. Motivating employees about work is the combination of fulfilling the employee's needs and expectations from work and workplace factors that enable an employee to remain motivated. Too many workplaces still act as if the employee should be grateful to have a job.

Managers are on power spree and employee policies and procedures are formulated based on the assumption that you can't trust employees to do the right thing. Communication is rarely transparent and there is always a secret message or a hidden agenda. Trust is the foundation of all positive relationships in an organization. It is one of the strongest bonds that can exist between people and is also one of the most fragile human values. Once trust is destroyed, it is the most difficult facet of organizational culture to rebuild. For trust to exist in an organization, a certain amount of transparency must pervade the intentions, direction, actions, communication, feedback, and problem solving of executives and employees.

Moral and ethical principles

No matter how hard managers try, there is a bottom line for motivating employees. Employees choose to exhibit motivated behaviour at work and are ultimately in charge of motivating themselves. What is required is that the subordinate/or superior should learn to work and achieve in spite of non-conducive environment. They should not allow these factors to come in their way of advancement and self development. Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita had placed before Arjuna and through him before all, the ideal of superior or well developed human being. Though this ideal is described in terms of (i) Sthitapragna (ii) Gnani (iii) Bhakta, and (iv) Gunateeta, they are all different aspects of the same ideal. He has explained the qualities of Sthitapragna and elaborated the qualities of a Bhakta and also declared that such a person is very dear to Him. These qualities are to be mediated upon and can be treated as criteria for examining and judging one's own behaviour and progress.

Employee management has to be the first concern of the supervisor/manager at work. Effective employee management and leadership allow capitalizing on the strengths of other employees for the accomplishment of goals. Employee orientation or on boarding process forms the foundation for a lasting, successful employment relationship. Successful employee management and leadership promote employee engagement, motivation, development, and retention. Successful organizations score better on virtually every aspect of employee attitudes. In fact, if an organization wants its people to be productive, then it must set high standards and give employees something they can get excited about. These employees must be managed by someone who is trustworthy, cares about people as well as business, and acts with integrity.

Integrity is one of the fundamental values that employers seek in the employees that they hire. It is the hallmark of a person who demonstrates sound moral and ethical principles at work. A person who has integrity lives his or her values in relationships with coworkers, customers, and stakeholders. An employee too expects the values of honesty and trust in his/her employer. Acting with honor and truthfulness are also basic tenets in an employer of choice. People who demonstrate integrity draw others toward them, because they are trustworthy and dependable. They are principled and can be counted on to behave in honorable ways even when no one is observing them.

Employees have the daily opportunity to demonstrate the core and fiber of who they are as people. Their values, integrity, beliefs, and character speak loudly through the behaviour that they engage in at work. Similarly, some failures on the part of superior to practice every day workplace behaviour are essence at workplace motivation. No one but manager/employee will ever know about the decision they have made, but each lapse affects the essence an individual, an employee, as a superior and a human being. Even the smallest lapse in workplace ethics diminishes the quality of the workplace for all employees.