For this blog post I interviewed the Senior Director of Annual Giving at the OSU Foundation, Lacie LaRue. Lacie has been my boss and mentor for the last three years. Through her and my other managers I have learned the art of philanthropy and personal relationships. I have learned how to manage student employees. Lacie pointed out that managing students vs. Adult staff is much different and the role of empowerment changes as well.
I work in the telefund. Lacie did as well for about 8 years before moving up to where she is now. Students at this job get empowered in many ways. We have incentives and friendly fun atmosphere that help create a sense of empowerment. The callers can see how much money they raised and feel accomplished knowing they helped attain part of that total and directly see the benefit of their work. In the professional setting it is much different. Every employee needs to be managed and treated differently based off learning style and personality. As a manager Lacie feels very empowered. She knows her thoughts and ideas are taken into account. She wants the same for here subordinates. Each employee has the ability to approach here and give their opinion. She believes in the hierarchical order but at the same time knows everyone in the professional setting has a level of expertise and need to be motivated as well.
Students are much more replaceable and so motivating is easier. They get excited over small incentives. Adults have different priorities like family and empowerment goes hand in hand with managing that aspect of the job and still being sufficient. Everyone here at the foundation hasa say and all information is shared. Its like a giant brainstorming session, some ideas work and otehres don't.
Many managers have a problem with controller, whether its how to use it or whether its actually obtaining it. Being higher up in the Foundation Lacie has alot more control and power than the average employee. But she also wants to keep everyone empowered and keeping that relationship between conrtol and power becomes very adaptable. Every person has a different job as well and so the idea of empowerment is so important and something taht you have to constantly be learning and adapting for.