The management-employee relationship is very important for the progress of an organisation. 'Man' is the most important resource of any organisation but perhaps least attention is paid towards man-making. We always pay more attention towards resources like building, equipments, furniture, etc. The management may sometimes be unduly concerned about working hours also. It is not that these areas are not important. They certainly are, but in my view these are subservient to man, who is the core of the organisation. Unless there is an inner urge to work, no amount of external facilities can motivate a man to improve his productivity. They can at best help marginally.
Now the question arises as to how an inner urge can be created in human beings. I must hasten to add here that an inner urge is something which is always there. It may be dormant in some persons. The meaning of creation is to revive this urge. Human beings are basically divine and this fact is to be accepted before making efforts in developing them. The approach should therefore be to trust your men. Someone may say that trusting may at times be harmful. To this I will only say that non-trusting is always harmful, while trusting is occasionally so. By trusting, an organisation always stands to gain. Of course, trusting does not at all mean 'not being careful'. That one has always to be. Even while one walks on the road, one has to be careful. This does not mean that one should not walk on the road.
Trusting is a two-way process but the initiative has to come from those in superior position. A precondition of trust is the realisation of a common objective. The goal of an organisation should be well defined and known to everyone. An individual should also know his role in the realisation of the goal and feel proud of it. A feeling should prevail in the organisation that everyone is important at his place and should be treated with dignity. The dignity of the lowest paid employee is as important as that of the Chief Executive or perhaps even more than him.
Having created such an atmosphere in the organisation, one can safely trust his colleagues. The general experience as well as my personal experience have shown that more than 80 per cent of the employees do respond positively. Others should be given the benefit of doubt. The management should think from their point of view. May be their past experiences have not been good. May be their personal life is not happy or maybe the management has not done justice in some of their personal matters. And lastly, some margin for the circumstances around may also be given. Once these factors have been taken care of, another ten per cent follow the suit and fall in the mainstream of the organisation.
The remaining ten per cent or less may not be fortunate enough to understand this philosophy. We need not be unduly concerned about them. The only factor which should be kept in mind while dealing with them is an open approach. The management should be careful of not getting biased towards them but should deal with them on merit. This includes firm action whenever necessary. My experience is that such occasions arise rarely. The force of ninety per cent will be strong enough to deal with these ten per cent.
This process should be continued, otherwise there may be cracks in course of time. Communication is something very important for this. In the absence of proper communication, even good intention of management or employees is misunderstood and leads to unhealthy situations. My personal view is that there should be minimum secrecy in decision making. Once we accept the principle of participative management, I do not see any reason why decisions should be secret. It may be so in rare cases. It is my firm belief that secrecy is an indication of weakness. The greater the secrecy of decision, for whatsoever reasons, the greater are the chances of rifts between the management and employees. Therefore, it is necessary to create forums where communication may take place in a healthy atmosphere. This may be in the form of Joint Councils, Quality Circles or periodical meetings.