How to Lead, Manage and Motivate Knowledge Workers| MBA colleges in Bangalore accepting PGCET

Posted by Dr. Rajasulochana On 11/12/2021 07:55:20

A knowledge worker is someone who is employed because of his or her knowledge of a subject. They perform best when empowered to make the most of their deepest skills. Knowledge workers have high degrees of expertise, education, or experience, and the primary purpose of their jobs involves the creation, distribution or application of knowledge.

The ideas, experiences, interpretations, and judgments of knowledge workers keep business, economy and society progressing. They invent new products, develop new strategies, lead negotiations, and help keep business ahead of its competitors. MBA colleges in Bangalore accepting PGCET

Knowledge workers can be identified by the amount of time they spend engaged in coming up with new ideas and strategies, as opposed to more repetitive work. They will often spend their time focusing on things like product design rather than manual processes.

This type of work is often complex and requires a certain set of skills. All employees may display these skills to one degree or another but these five characteristics are common to nearly all knowledge workers.

Here are the five main characteristics that are present in most knowledge workers:

Specialized knowledge of a subject

Most knowledge workers have a specialized set of knowledge about a particular subject. They often have spent years developing and gaining their skills and resources either through formal education or in the workplace.

The ability to find and access new information

In our society, information is constantly changing at a pace that is hard to keep up with. There is a lot of material employees will need to be familiar with to perform their jobs well. Knowing how to find and access the resources and information they need is a crucial skill to have.

The ability to utilize new information

Just having the information is not enough if you don’t know how to apply it in a useful way. Employees must be able to take the information they accessed and use it to solve problems in new and innovative ways.

Good communication skills

Successful knowledge workers are usually able to communicate effectively through both speaking and writing. They can work well in one-on-one and group settings and are able to collaborate with others to meet company goals.

A growth-motivated mindset

Because the nature of technology and information is that it is constantly changing, employees must have a growth-motivated mindset. They are interested in learning and applying new information to change the way they work and use their talents.

Knowledge workers can be motivated by

1) Create opportunities for knowledge workers so they can self-improve.

2) Respect their professional status and identity.

3) Set a stretch goal and provide challenging work.

 4) Minimize bureaucracy and the management burden.

Managing  Knowledge  Workers

It can be difficult to measure and analyze the work performed by knowledge workers. Knowledge workers are expected to produce creative ideas. You can’t measure the productivity or efficiency of knowledge and ideas the same way you can with more repetitive tasks.

Although it poses a unique challenge, managing knowledge workers can be done. Their performances and output must simply be measured in a different way. Here are five ideas for how you can effectively manage knowledge workers:

Encourage them to think outside of the box

Create a workplace environment where employees are encouraged to think outside of the box. Invite them to share new ideas in group settings but also give employees the space they need to generate those new ideas. Many employees could benefit from having more private spaces available to think and accomplish their work.

Come up with creative ways to measure performance

It is impossible to measure ideas and creative input the way you can manage physical steps in a process. And because the finished product is what is important, the steps along the way are largely irrelevant.

For this reason, you will need to come up with creative metrics for measuring performance. Look at establishing longer periods for measuring performance as opposed to every quarter.

Offer support as needed

Most knowledge workers will require a certain level of autonomy. Offer knowledge workers the freedom they need to accomplish their work and provide support and encouragement as needed.

Treat everyone as an individual

Knowledge workers will come up with new ideas and use information in different ways.  Allow them to personalize their work environment, the technologies they use, and even their schedules to a certain extent.

Focus on big picture thinking

Knowledge workers are often motivated by the bigger picture. Explain your motivation, goals, and the ultimate “why” behind every new project. This will allow them to have a greater sense of connection to the project and will increase their motivation to add to its success.

To manage knowledge workers effectively in the modern knowledge-driven enterprise, modern managers should balance management with leadership and coaching to keep all these independent thinkers pointed in the same direction and working towards the same goal. Managing knowledge workers requires that managers themselves act as good followers, team players, leaders and technologists.

Recognize Expertise

In a knowledge incentive company, workers often know more than their managers. They are experts. To acknowledge them can be hard for any manager afraid of being seen as less important, less skilled, or less adept at creative problem-solving. But not trying is equivalent to constructing inauthentic positions where power and authority become more of a struggle than a negotiation.

Working the Peer Network

As a leader, you must work with the peer network of your knowledge workers actively. For example, if you have to manage a difficult employee, don’t try to do it on your own. Reframing the problem from a boss-employee situation to a workgroup issue can be effective. Get their peers involved, since letting them down often has a much faster and stronger impact on the employee than letting the boss down.


Recognize the different needs and motivations of knowledge workers. This will make it much easier to find creative and effective ways to keep their productivity high. The motivation techniques for all knowledge workers are not alike, and as a manager, you must discover what motivates them individually and what each one needs to be more creative. Some knowledge workers want acknowledgement, others might have monetary or social recognition desires.

Acknowledge Knowledge Workers

To acknowledge knowledge workers is to involve them in dialogue, invite them into strategic decisions, help them see that they are responsible for their own actions and the organization’s development. Acknowledgement is appraisal and reward; it is confirming others as important, valued and interesting. 

Social Recognition

For knowledge workers, recognition from peers or other experts may be a prime driver for growth. A knowledge manager’s job is to facilitate opportunities for such processes, perhaps by methods such as allowing groups to form, organizing mentoring programs, or peer guidance systems, or providing and maintaining arenas for organizational learning.

The knowledge manager should not aim for control, rather, knowledge managers should aim to build a system of mutual trust and learning, a system in which they themselves are a crucial part. The stepping stones for knowledge managers are context-sensitivity, recognition, and respect in harmony with the use of appropriate tools and systems, clear expectations and possibilities for growth. Knowledge workers need collectivity to learn, and managers are co-learners in that same collective.

Knowledge workers can be retained in an organization by

1) Providing challenging and meaningful work.

2) Enabling learning and career development opportunities.

3) Ensuring adequate resources.

4) Recognizing contributions.

5) Creating a supportive environment

6) Provide training.

7) Seek and listen to feedback. 

8) Boost your employee recognition efforts.

The passion to go well beyond the extra mile drives people to create insanely great products and services. Management practices should accommodate or support knowledge work and help employees.

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