dr carl robinson

The Currency of Success - Interpersonal Intelligence™


Management Styles for Today’s Dynamic Workplace

Various management techniques and styles are evident in any workplace. Some managers rely on their own skills to create, implement and control the workplace from the top down. Other managers are more comfortable in a team approach to management where everyone has responsibility and input. This second type of manager has a strong preference for encouraging employees to use their own creativity to get the job done and meet objectives.
These two ends of the management spectrum were first identified by social psychologist Douglas McGregor in 1960. His book on the subject introduced the concept of X-Y Theory in management.  X managers are authoritarian and directive and motivate employees by universal threats and extrinsic types of rewards which are typically minimal. Y managers are more participatory and foster a culture of problem solving and self-direction.
They use unique, internal motivators and rewards to recognize achievements on a team and individual basis.
It is obvious why it is essential for today’s managers to incorporate more Y
Theory than X Theory into their management styles. However, sometimes moving those managers into a new style is not an easy task.
Strategies for Moving People from the X to Y Management Style
Convincing an X style manager to move to a more Y friendly style starts with focusing in on what is of importance to them. The following are critical strategies to start the transition and change in managerial mindset:
  • Emphasize the benefit to the bottom line and results through shared responsibility and accountability in the Y management style
  • Stress the benefits to the company, budget or department through increased productivity, increased motivation, employee retention and increased buy-in to the project by all involved on the team
  • Provide assurance that the manager will still have control and leadership abilities without all the challenges that come along with being forced to micromanage and coerce team members to participate
  • Develop team building programs for all managers and employees that emphasize effective communication, listening, delegating skills, problem solving, conflict resolution and participation
  • Encourage managers to focus in on what motivates employees to excel rather than on punishments and consequences for not meeting deadlines, production goals or objectives
  • Avoid criticism, blame or direct confrontation of the manager with regards to the authoritarian style he or she has used in the past
Going Beyond Y

William Ouchi has gone beyond the basic X-Y Theory to propose a Theory Z. This is more of an entire workplace shift with both employees and managers working as a team to achieve workplace goals. It’s not always easy to help a theory X manager see the light in theory Y or Z methods, and it’s not easy to change people’s personalities. However, if training continuously reinforces a close linkage between the achievement of actual workplace goals and theory Y/Z methods, even stubborn individuals who resist change can be influenced to modify their behavior – to get the job done better!

Demographics Can Impact Strategy

Some very interesting statistics to inform your business strategy:
Race and Ethnicity—The United States Is Becoming More Diverse
  • U.S. Census Bureau projects that net migration will continue to be an important component of population growth in the United States through 2050 with net immigration continuing at higher rates than currently observed.
  • The number of legal immigrants in the last decade has fluctuated, but has averaged about 1 million annually since 2001.
  • The primary destination states for immigrants in 2009, as in every year since 1971, were California, New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey.  Sixty-two percent of all (legal) persons immigrating to the United States in 2009 lived in these six states.
  • Researchers at the Pew Hispanic Center estimated that there are more than 11.1 million unauthorized foreigners currently living in the United States which is approximately 4% of the population.
  • Since 1950, the United States has been in the midst of a profound demographic change: rapid population aging, a phenomenon that is replacing the earlier “young” age-sex structure with that of an older population. The population aged 65 and older has been increasing as a percentage of the total U.S. population. The older population represented 8.1% of the total population in year 1950. That percentage increased to 12.8% in 2009, and is projected to reach 20.2% in 2050. Stated another way, one in five persons in 2050 will be aged 65 or older. To put these figures into perspective, the “oldest” state in 2009 was Florida with 17.2% of the state’s population in the age category 65 years and older.
  • In 2009, almost 45 million persons, or about 15.1% of the U.S. population, identified themselves as Hispanic. If current demographic trends continue, the population of Hispanic or Latino origin is projected to steadily increase as a percentage of the total U.S. population through 2050, (approaching one in every three persons).
  • The declining labor force participation of older men is one of the most dramatic economic trends of the past four decades in the United States. Between 1963 and 2008, labor force participation rates declined from 90% to 76% among men aged 55-61. Over this period, labor force participation rates dropped from 76% to 53% for men aged 62-64 and from 21% to 15% for men aged 70 and over.
  • The number of foreign-born people residing in the United States is higher than at any point in U.S. history and at 12.5% (in 2008) has reached a proportion of the U.S. population not seen since the early 20th century.  Of the 38 million foreign-born residents, approximately one-third are naturalized citizens, one-third are legal permanent residents, and one-third are estimated to be unauthorized (illegal) residents.”
  • The U.S. population is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. Once a mainly biracial society with a large white majority and relatively small black minority—and an impenetrable color line dividing these groups—the United States is now a society composed of multiple racial and ethnic groups. Along with increased immigration are rises in the rates of racial/ethnic intermarriage, which in turn have led to a sizeable and growing multiracial population.  These trends are projected to continue for the next decades.
  • America’s racial minorities continue to have disproportionately high poverty rates. In 2009, African Americans and Hispanics had poverty rates that exceed those of whites by several times. In 2009, 25.8% of blacks (9.9 million) and 25.3% of Hispanics (12.3 million) had incomes below poverty, compared to 9.4% of non-Hispanic whites (18.5 million) and 12.5% of Asians (1.8 million).
  • Childbearing by unmarried women reached record levels in 2008. More than
1.7 million babies or 40.6% of all births were to unmarried women.
* Preceding bullet points were summarized from:
The Changing Demographic Profile of the United States
Laura B. Shrestha, Assistant Director/Senior Specialist in Domestic Social Policy
Elayne J. Heisler, Analyst in Health Services

March 31, 2011

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