Spiritual model for nurturing and empowering employees

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Business Matter

Manish Shah is the former president of Midwest Law Printing in Chicago. He also worked at Intel, PwC and Motorola. He has an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and a MS in Computer Science from Illinois Institute of Technology. He can be reached at manishshahus@yahoo.com.

By Manish Shah
Employees want better pay; employers are looking for better performance. When these goals become a cause of conflict between the employer and the employees, a power struggle ensues. The party with more power wins. The conflict does not end here because the losing party waits for the opportune moment and retaliates. According to Swami Someshwaranda, the author of Business Manage-ment the Gita Way, when the employer and the employee are engaged in a conflict for power, they are operating based on the Shakti (power) model. The Shakti model is destructive because it creates dissatisfaction among employees. It is not an appropriate model for nurturing and empowering the employees.

Swami Someswarananda re-commends that a manager start with a Bhakti (devotion) model with an employee. In this model, the manager emulates the behavior of a parent. Parents nurture their children and train them to handle the demands of the world. Similarly, a manager should first establish a good rapport with his subordinates and then nurture these relationships by providing constant guidance and support.

Once the foundation for a good relationship has been laid, the manager should move towards the Yukti (logical reasoning) model. In this model, the relationship between a manager and his direct report is like that of a teacher and a student. In the Bhakti model the parent appeals to the heart; in the Yukti model the teacher appeals to the intellect. The manager, like a teacher, sets boundaries and expects a certain level of performance from his direct report. The job of the manager at this stage is to make his employees realize that he will get what he deserves and not what he needs. 

Next stage is the Mukti (freedom) model. The end goal of the Mukti model is to make the employee self-reliant. In this model, the manager acts like a grandparent by empowering his employee and giving him a lot of freedom. The manager only steps in when it is absolutely necessary. 

The Bhakti-Yukti-Mukti model clearly lays out an effective way of managing manager-subordinate relationships. It is an optimal model for developing and retaining the employees.
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