Do Bosses Inspire Their Juniors? [opinion]

ZAMBIAN citizens, workers and employers need to learn a lot from what is said in some circles of our society if we are to sustain our job security, operate profitably and win the praise of our workers, employers, various other stakeholders and of our society at large respectively.
In Nsenga language of Eastern Province, we have a saying which goes: ‘Mwana wa nchete envwila pa mphero’ meaning that an orphan learns a lot from people who aise their own children, while milling millet on a grinding stone.
This local expression seems to tally well with the aice National AIDS Council (NAC) chairperson, Joshua Banda gave to the new NAC director general, Jabin Mulwanda which was reported in Times of Zambia on July 18, 2014
While NAC board chairperson’s aice was directed at Dr Mulwanda as the new NAC DG, different supervisors, head of departments and other chief executive officers in various other organisations should learn something from such aice.
Bishop Banda aised Dr Mulwanda to inspire his staff for them to continue delivering adding that motivated workers determine the success of an organisation.
With reports that Zambia is ranked among the top six in rapid reduction in new HIV infections especially in the prevention of Mother to Child related initiatives, one can also request Dr Mulwanda to take Bishop Banda’s aice seriously because should such ranking dwindle down in future, one might argue that Dr Mulwanda’s administration wasn’t inspiring and motivating NAC staff who worked as a team and produced good results before for Mother Zambia.
Some supervisors, heads of departments and chief executives took over their offices from other officers.
And depending on how the predecessors performed, one can easily be evaluated in comparison with the predecessor
These are some of the challenges one faces when one is taking over a section, department or an organisation from someone.
Although Bishop Banda’s aice sounds simple and straight forward knowledge to most supervisors, how many supervisors practically implement such important knowledge in staff supervision and motivation that lead to effective, efficient successful utilisation of scarce available resources for the benefit of respective workers, organisation, its stakeholders and the society at large?
If all supervisors and chief executives put the knowledge and aice Bishop Banda gave to Dr Mulwanda, all public and private organisations were going to be effective and efficient in their operations leading to huge expansions of such organisations.
Facilitating huge expansion for each public and private organisation in this country would have lead to increased job creation, high quality service delivery to the community and eventually lead to poverty reduction in this country.
This is the challenge most supervisors and chief executives face in our country.
As long as they have challenges in motivating and inspiring workers, productivity, profitability and increased job creation might remain a pipe dream in our country.
But the question that one might raise is: ‘How can a supervisor or chief executive inspire workers?’
Inspiring workers has little to do with decision-making, allocating and directing various resources.
It has more to do with personality, work culture, morals and ethical conduct and quality of decisions one makes in his or her position.
In short, inspiring workers demands to be exemplary in personal and official conduct
Language used and how one speaks should inspire workers. A good leader should be effective and persuasive in various oral and written communications.
Vulgar language to workers should be avoided at all costs in leadership.
For a boss to inspire workers, one should have a good work culture.
Being a boss doesn’t mean that one should be coming late just because one is a supervisor or chief executive. Unless otherwise, a leader who inspires workers should be the first to report for work and the last to knock off.
Always being absent from office on social or malicious official errands don’t inspire workers.
Allowing conflict of interest to prevail through practising nepotism, bribery and other malpractices don’t inspire workers and works against the interest of an organisation.
Moral and ethical issues are highly debatable.
But not everything about morals and ethical business practices is debatable. Some moral and ethical issues are straight forward.
And it is imperative for leaders to demonstrate high moral and ethical values and practices both personally and officially.
Moral and business ethical issues have a g bearing on how workers develop work culture.
If a boss is morally and ethically low, most of the workers in an organisation will follow suit and show casual approach to most official duties that lead to poor work culture in an organisation.
It is against this background that one can argue that poor work culture in most organisations is a product of low motivation, immoral and unethical practices by some organisation’s leaders.
Morally upright leaders who are also ethical in their business practices are honest, objective, factual and fair in their decision-making processes at all times for all workers to see.
Moral and ethical leaders follow Christian values and adhere to and practice what Matthews 7:12 urges us to do on others as we wish others to do on us.
Lead by good examples in all personal and official activities.
Economic wages and salaries, bonuses, awards and ‘Thank you’ to workers become key to staff motivation and in the process in increasing staff morale and productivity in a respective organisation
It is pleasing to find some organisations with ‘best worker of the week or of the month’ picture hung say, in the reception or board room of an organisation.
Some supervisors find time to call a hard working or an honest worker or anyone with good work culture just to say: ‘Thank you for your high levels of honesty, or for your hard work or for your good work culture.’
All such efforts from top management to subordinates are part of staff motivation
Workers want to see that top management appreciates the efforts they put in to contribute to the smooth operation and development of an organisation.
Talking about motivation, this writer remembers one worker who rang me to complain that one of the road construction company hasn’t implemented government directive on minimum wage
This caller who didn’t want to be named for fear of victimisation said their employer gives them two hundred and fifty Kwacha (K250,00) every fortnight adding up to five hundred Kwacha (K500,00) per month.
The concerned called wondered how a worker with a family of six members in a rented house with some children going to various long distance schools in town can survive with such a wage in such a biting economic situation where most prices of essential goods and services are always rising.
Therefore, just as bosses need good rewards and sound benefits from their employment, giving workers economic wages and salaries is part of motivating and inspiring workers.
It is in this light that Bishop Banda’s aice wasn’t only directed to Dr Mulwanda, but it was also directed to all of us as supervisorsand chief executives in our respective organisations to consider taking staff motivation and inspiring workers as an effective tool to effective and efficient management of our sections, departments or organisations.
But one can argue that motivation is a two way thing.
Each worker can also develop good work culture, work hard and meet deadlines effectively and efficiently to the amusement of a supervisor or employers.
In short, workers can also motivate or inspire honest, objective and ethical leaders in an organisation.
In a situation where a worker or group of workers motivates one’s boss or their employers, the latter will have no option but giving a respective worker or those workers what they deserve as their motivation for a job well done.
Therefore, although motivation in organisations is always associated with employers pleasing their workers, it can also be argued that it is a two-way process where either a worker or a boss can initiate such a motivation process.
Don’t be like some people in some marriages when a husband or a wife expect the other to always be showing love and care for her or him as the case may be without the other person doing so at all times.
Effective relationship is in most cases a two-way process.
Therefore, while bosses should inspire their subordinates, motivation is a two-way process for the betterment of both workers and bosses on one hand and workers and their employer on the other hand.
Wishing you and your organisation a highly motivating and inspiring environment.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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