Understanding Respective Roles

According to Weinbach ( 2009) a positive work climate also consists of an "understanding of the respective roles" of all "team players" in an agency ( p 253). Managers really need to understand the responisbilities of subordnates and subordinates nned to grasp the resposibilities of their managers. Doing this saves individuals from assuming and making unfair judgements of what they think their manager should be doing. It is the leader's responsibiltity to make sure that staff member's understand what their role is as to debunk any myths or correct misunderstandings or as Weinbach (253) states " dispel the mystery that surronds managers" ( p 253).

Proper ways of doing this are:
  • Have a mutual understanding that much of what the staff does is directed towards achieving the same goal or objective
  • Managers should remain in touch with staff
  • Managers should understand what their subordinates do and know how it FEELS to do it.
  • " Managing by wandering around" (see below)
  • Leaders need make sure that their staff members know that they can empathize with them and their concern

Managing by wandering around refers to the notion that managers should always keep in touch with their staff. If managers were in previous subordinate positions before climbing up the hierarchy they should never forget what it was once like. In order to stay in touch with the staff managers should make themselves available to the staff, not seperate or seclude themselves, and making sure to interact and talk to staff members from time to time. It is critical to consider this in being a manager although wemight be overwhelmed and consumed with our own responsibilities these sort of strategies, the outcome is worth it in order to maintaing a good organizational climate where understanding is a key component.

If there is not a general understanding of what each individual does in their role of an organization distance can be created and assumptions of staff that managers are not interested in the work of their staff. It is important for leaders to consider that if this sort of distance is seen an agency where it might be coming from. Perhaps it was never intentional but often times managers get consumed in the duties of a manager. Therefore it is critical to the organization's climate and mission to serve others to " let people see that one remains sensitive to their needs ( Weinbach, p 256, 2009).


("Michael's Demands" - The Office, compliments of www.hulu.com)

A positive task environment can oftentimes be maintained if leaders of an organization serve as advocates for their staff members. Advocacy for employees can be required for many different reasons; such as, when there is a need for change in the task environment and when employees want to fulfill their professional needs. Weinbach (2008) suggests that leaders can find advocating for their employees conflicting at times because they depend on evaluations from their superiors. However, respect and confidence in a leader can be a result from standing up for staff interests when the superior has nothing personally to gain (Weinbach, 2008).

Advocacy can be seen as complicated when social workers assume a managerial role, though social workers strive to advocate for changes that will benefit clients and society (Weinbach, 2008). Research has found that social work administrators tend to be more politically active and devote more time to advocating (Ezell, 1991). Advocacy expectations and policies should be clearly outlined for employees, so if they want to advocate for change, they are protected (Weinbach, 2008).
Found: www.keighleypeoplefirst.cswebsites.org

In the above article, Gabris and Mitchell (1985) examine research on leaders as advocates for their employees. This study discusses the possibilities of advocacy and merit leading to higher productivity and a more satisfied task environment.