Therefore, this model has rapidly spread and has been widely adopted.
However, as much as a Human Service System would differentiate itself from the other types of services, there are some common elements and strategies that must be reached in every organization, in order to provide a successful development. And the most important regards employers motivation to work and by their personal involvement, to contribute to the overall effectiveness. No matter the area of activity, it is motivation that leads to productivity and further, to success.
Productivity and well carried out tasks by employees are, of course, the managers part of the managers duty and supervise activity. Yet, one should distinguish between management and leadership. While the former regards the field of task issues, the latter focuses on finding the most suitable manner for motivation and the best organizational innovation. A manager is not compulsory a leader, and vice-versa, but a good manager has to learn efficient strategies of leadership, in order to reach to the point where he becomes able to understand his employees needs and furthermore, the motivation that satisfies these needs.
In the specific area of social work, managers must be aware of the fact that Human Services reunites people from different fields and with various educational backgrounds. Therefore, along with the traditional notion that they “just want to help people,” social workers have specific needs in accord to multiple factors and require specific motivation.
As a consequence, human service managers, along with their responsibility of leading employees and motivating them to succeed, must learn to apply and update classic theories to the social work field. Fortunately, studies and researches during time present a wide range of theories that can be empirical tested in everydays practice and from where managers can choose the strategy that best meets their needs and expectations. From Maslows Hierarchy of Needs to more recent theories (McClellands Trichotomy of Needs, for example), psychologists and sociologists have long tried to identify what best motivates the employee.
However, there is no theory or model that best suits the Human Services area and it is the managers role to find it by keeping in mind an important point: once a need is satisfied, it is no longer a motivator. The key is to study employees profiles, both in general and in particular and to find adequate motivators for each. Some can be motivated by salary, working conditions (Hygiene factors from “Herzbergs Two-Factor or Motivator-Hygiene” theory), others by power, affiliation and achievement (“McClellands Trichotomy of Needs”), by comparing their performance to the performance of their peers (“Equity or Social Comparison Theories of Motivation”) etc. Managers and leaders must also be aware of the fact that social work agencies are turbulent environments which one needs to pay great attention to when choosing a certain strategy of motivation. Also, another significant element one must take into account is to provide an ethical management and leadership, based on strong principles. Manager must lead in such a manner that he would inspire motivation, along with an ethical path of activity, which is maybe even more obvious in social work environments than it currently is.
All in all, one can draw a conclusion by saying that Human Services field is an extremely complex area of activity and also, one of the most important pillars of the societys wealth. if, on one hand, its specific characteristics, actions and purposes particularize it and require special attention, organization and analysis, on the other hand, “Human Services” remains an organization that is conducted through values and norms and which must benefit from internal suitable intervention strategies regarding work, employees and relationships among them, in order to benefit from a successful development.
1. Olooney, John (1996). Redesigning the Work of Human Services. Westport, Conn: Quorum
2. Fisher, Elizabeth a. (2009). Administration in Social Work. Motivation and Leadership in Social Work Management: A Review.