Focusing your energy on clear objectives is a source of satisfaction and self realization.
Name: Juan Viera Andrade
Home Country: Ecuador
Study Program: MBA
Recently I had an interview with the Human Resources chief of a large food manufacturer company in my country, Ecuador. We spoke about her view regarding company objectives concerning Human Resource (HR) Management. We discussed some HR principles, as the Mc Gregor theory about employee behaviour. It stated that in the labour world there are two types of employees: worker type X, who works mainly looking for economical rewards. These types of employees are generally in need of an authoritarian boss and permanent supervision. They will deliver results only if their bpss pushes them hard enough. The other type of employees are workers type Y who’s main characteristic is a strong work ethic. Their efforts go to achieving work objectives. They find satisfaction not only through economic reward but mostly through a working environment where their performance is evaluated and measured. They look for self realization at their work.
I was surprised to find that we both believe the big majority of employees fit the Y category. The question we faced was if a company has a majority of Y workers, how can they create a working environment where they can fulfil their potential at work?
During my university research period I came across a premise to create a working environment suitable for these type of employees. Leading companies search to achieve a work environment in pursue of “Flow”. Flow is achieved, when workers focus on the product and its needs, rather than the organization or the equipment, so that all the activities needed to design, order, and provide a product occur in a continuous stream.
If you take the flow premise to an individual basis one can observe it when a person solely concentrates on doing a challenging, rewarding task putting all of their efforts in accomplishing that task. Since the concentration needed in working at this task is intense, there is no room for anything else. The individual doesn’t have any energy left to worry or think about failure. In short, when working in flow the individual performs at his best, at the top of his or her capacities.
It is also true in a larger scale for an organization. The flow working condition demands everyone in the organization to work at their full potential.
Actually people want to deliver their best and they struggle to find opportunities to do so. Many people spend energy practicing sports or finding a hobby where they can feel all their concentration is needed. An activity like that fulfils the human need of self realization. It is in the best interest of the organizations to create a working environment favouring flow. In fact, such a full use of workers’ capacity can be translated into a, not easily imitated by competitors, competitive advantage.
I, as many people, enjoy working in such conditions and look for ways to do so permanently . During my MBA studies at Hanze I deal with a constant amount of work. The courses and the lecturers push you in such a way that all your concentration and resources are needed. And I realized first hand; focusing all of your energy to achieve clear objectives is a source of satisfaction and self realization.
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