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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Negative Management Style Causes Employee Stress and Ill Health

Metal Health and Wellbeing (a UK Government Office of Science 2009 publication) reported that one of the leading causes of stress at work and ill health is linked to the style of management. That is to say that stress and ill health are minimised, if a manager provides autonomy to his or her subordinates, manages them by ‘praise and reward’ rather than ‘fault-finding’, provides them with flexible working arrangements and creates a ‘person-friendly’ organisation culture.

Studs Terkel, in his book Working, wrote; ‘Work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor, in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying’.

Many people believe that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is with external rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That is a mistake according to Daniel Pink, writing in his provocative and persuasive book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.

Leading at a Higher Level: Blanchard on How to be a High Performing Leader with its underlying theme of ‘selfless leadership’ as opposed to ‘selfish leadership’ is the perfect compliment to Drive.

It is to be hoped that all leaders of the future will read these or similar books, take the messages to heart, and make the world a better place.

Ron Wells