Employees should be treated as a part of the same machinery system as the managers in terms of problem solving process

March 30, 2016

Working in a team is not always as glorious and calm as one may take it to be. Cakewalk is a totally opposite defination of team work. Since there are many people involved in it with various mindsets and from varied backgrounds, conflicts are bound to arise. That is why some managers believe that keeping an upper hand on their employees by only ordering them what to do and not involve their own mind in the work is in everyone’s best interest.

 

This approach is called the “Scientific Approach” to management which is still held fast by many large organisation even though it is outdated and creates a demotivating and frustrating work environment. Frederick Winslow Taylor is the mind behind this strategy, who helped business florish during the industrial revolution.

For rapid labour efficiency, Taylor desinged this strategy of entrusting the managers only with all the planning, thinking and other important decision making duties, by doing so they supervised and controlled the workflow. With such a plan, the emploees had nothing to think about or question. All they were required to do was come on time and follow their manager’s orders.

At the time, this approach indeed had increased productivity, but it also had a pretty negative effect on the workforce. The employees became nothing but impersonal and unemotional beings like robots who only followed orders from detached managers, only caring about meeting production quotas.

Of course, employees are not actually robots, they are all humans at the end of the day and naturally motivated and productive if they get the chance to play an important part in the projects that they have actually had a hand in developing.

Consider the following example, knowing this can make problem solving in the workplace much smoother:

A children’s hospital in toronto faced a reduction in MRI budget in 2001 which meant they had to work quicker and still, at the same time, get quality pictures.

An impasse followed: Since children sqirm a lot during an MRI scan, technicians proposed sedating the kids so that there is less movement and the process  would not have to be repeated much due to excess movements. On the other hand, this proposal didn’t sit well with the nurses because according to them sedating children unnecessarily was too dangerous to consider.

The solution to this impasse was given by manager Susan Jewell by setting up a meeting which went on for an entire day between the representatives of both the groups where they could all amicably find a solution that everyone could agree upon. Because of this, the nurses felt more involved in the desicion making process and the fact that they were being entrusted with a major responsibility of deciding which of the children wont be needing sedation and which would need, gave way to a succesful carry out of the plan.

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