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John Harvey-Jones, former Chief Executive of ICI, one of the largest chemical producers in the world, said: "the real purpose of management is motivation of the group to use its energy to achieve objectives" (Islam & Ismail, 2008). The topic of employee motivation is one of the complex issues in the field of management because each individual has different motives and reasons for work. It could be money, esteem, need for achievement, security or simply socializing.
According to Harvard Business Review, a survey was conducted by the Ashridge Management Index to measure what managers value more and the result was that they value "challenging and interesting work" more than increased compensation (Baldoni, 2008). The survey also revealed that 50% of managers indicated that their organization's approach to motivation was not right for them (The Ashridge Management Index 2008, 2008).
Leaders should know what motivates their employees and if they don't know they should ask. Dr Patrick Dixon, who is ranked among the top twenty most influential thinkers by Thinkers 50 2005 and named Europe's Leading Futurist by Press Association (Patrick Dixon - Futurist), said that organizations talk most of the time about growth, profit and market share, but the people working in those organizations talk a different language; they talk about personal happiness, family and friends, and the world we all live in. This gap, Dr Dixon says, is the reason why organizations are not reaching their full potential through people, because they talk different language and as a result, employees are losing passion about their work. (Youtube, 2007).
The purpose of this report is to research some theories of motivation in greater depth through analyzing a real organization in the real time and report how the theory is practiced in this organization and what could be the enablers or barriers for application. We have selected the United Arab Emirates University - UAEU located in Al Ain City for our research purpose.
The investigators have invited key personnel at UAEU for interviews to obtain their insights about the research topic. Two of them have accepted the invitation and accordingly the interview time and date was scheduled, also a consent form was sent to the interviewees explaining the purpose of the study, the procedure and the confidentiality terms.
Data were gathered through in-depth, semi- structured interviews, appendix. A questionnaire was designed to identify what motivates employees and to which extent they were motivated in their job at the time of the study. 10+ responses were received out of 12+. A copy of the used questionnaire is found in appendix. The official website of the university was a main source of information gathering as well.
What is Motivation?
Many researchers and authors have defined motivation in different ways. According to (Islam & Ismail, 2008), motivation is a group of psychological processes that stimulate, direct, and persist a voluntary activity that is goal oriented. Also, it is defined by the "person's desire to do the best possible job or to exert the maximum effort to perform assigned tasks" (Mejia & Others, 2007). Also, (Mathibe, 2008) has described motivation as being "intentional, a person makes a choice to act, and directional, indicating the presence of a driving force aimed at attaining a specific goal".
Why Motivation is important nowadays?
As motivation goes up, so does productivity. It is that important for organization to focus on enhancing their employee morale and motivation which will reflect on their financial charts (Youtube, 2007).
Organizations should focus on motivating their employee now more than ever because of the economic downturn. Organizations are making massive decisions of redundancies and the impact on those who "survive" is significant. Many organizations have either put a freeze on their annual pay increase or have reduced the salaries. Managers should find other ways to keep employees motivated to come to work and stay focused despite the increased workload with nothing much to offer in terms of money.
Teams are becoming an essential part of any organization. Managing teams to develop and implement projects is a difficult task. The first question that people ask when you assign them for a project is:"What is in it for me?" An effective team leader should know how to motivate team members to work together towards one goal and get their buy-in and commitment.
Theories of Motivation
The theories aim at understanding what motivates people and why they are motivated by one type of activities or work. Theories on motivation help managers and organization to bring out the best of their employees by designing motivational programs or re-designing their jobs (Mejia & Others, 2007). There are many theories on motivation and in our report we will discuss some of them for the purpose of the study:
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
This theory was developed by Abraham Maslow and it states that each human being has basic needs that should be fulfilled. The needs are shown in the diagram below and the main idea is that low level needs (like physiological and safety needs) must be fulfilled before higher level needs (like self actualization) can be satisfied.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Source: (SHRM, 2009)
The hierarchal aspect of the Maslow's theory is supported by little evidence. This comes from the argument that people can satisfy different levels of needs that are not necessarily in the same order presented by Maslow. This could be because of cultural differences as some cultures value social needs before anything else. Another limitation is that people can satisfy more than one need at the same time which contradicts the theory (Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs).
Adam's Equity Theory
Named for John Stacey Adams, who developed this theory in 1963 .The main idea of this theory is that people need to be treated fairly to be motivated. They do that simply by comparing their input and outcome with others' input and outcome. If they feel that others are receiving more outcome for the same amount of input that they both gave, people start having inequity feelings which may lead eventually to quitting the job. Inputs can be the effort, qualifications or education level, and outcomes could be the pay, benefits received, status (SHRM, 2009).
This topic has expanded the role of equity theory to introduce the following three concepts (Nabatchi & Others, 2007):
Distributive Justice: The extent to which people feel fairly treated when it comes to distributing or allocating resources.
Procedural Justice: The extent to which people feel treated fairly when it comes to the processes in the allocation of resources.
Interactional Justice: The extent to which people feel that they are treated fairly when those processes are implemented.
The equity theory has been a topic for many researchers. Some of its limitations which were reported by (Gilmore, 2001), are the ambiguity of the equity concept, the suggested methods of how employees can deal with inequity make the result more ambiguous, for example, employees have a choice of "behaving in a way that induces others to change their inputs or outcomes" (SHRM, 2009). Finally, it is not clear how employee can choose "others" or what is called "referent" as basis for comparison.
Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory
The Two factor theory of motivation, developed by Frederick Herzberg, attempts to identify and explain the factors that employees find satisfying and dissatisfying about their jobs. According to his theory, people are influenced by two factors:
Motivators: are internal job factors that lead to job satisfaction and higher motivation. In the absence of motivators, employees will probably not be satisfied with their work or motivated to perform up to their potential.
Hygiene factors: are external to the jobs; they are located in the work environment. The absence of a hygiene factor can lead to active dissatisfaction and demotivation and extreme situations, to avoidance of the work altogether.
According to Herzberg, if management provides the appropriate hygiene factors, employees will not be dissatisfied with their jobs, but neither will they be motivated to perform at their full potential. To motivate workers, management must provide some motivators. (Luis Gomez, 2008)
Source of picture
Goal Setting Theory
Goal setting Theory, developed by Edwin Locke, suggests that employee's goals help to explain motivation and job performance. The reasoning is as follows: Because motivation is goal-directed behavior, goals that are clear and challenging will result in higher levels of employee's motivation than goals that are ambiguous and easy.
Work on the theory of goal-setting suggests that it's an effective tool for making progress by ensuring that participants in a group with a common goal are clearly aware of what is expected from them if an objective is to be achieved. On a personal level, setting goals is a process that allows people to specify then work towards their own objectives - most commonly with financial or career-based goals. (Ghebre, 2008).
Managers can increase employee motivation by managing the goal-setting process; goal-setting theory has some important implications for managers:
Employee will be more motivated to perform when they have clear and specific goals.
Employees will be more motivated to accomplish difficult goals than easy goals.
In many cases, goals that employees participate in creating for themselves are more motivating those goals that are simply assigned by managers. Managers may establish mutually agreed-upon goals with employees through a management by objectives (MBO) approach or by creating self-managed teams that take responsibility for establishing their own goals.
Employees who receive frequent feedback on their progress towards reaching their goals sustain higher levels of motivation and performance than employees who receive sporadic or no feedback. (Luis Gomez, 2008)
Job design refers to organizing tasks, duties, and responsibilities into a productive unit of work. It involves designing the content of jobs and the effect of jobs on employees, and identifying the components of a given job is an integral part of design.
Importance of job design:
Job design can influence performance in certain jobs.
Job design can affect job satisfaction.
Job design can affect both physical and mental health.
Designing the structure of the work to improve satisfaction and productivity through:
Job Simplification - reduce the number of task that a person must do, typically done with workers of low skill level. Job design often based on scientific management principles
Job Rotation - helps to provide variety and stimulation.
Job Enlargement - makes a job more varied and interesting by expanding the scope of the job.
Job Enrichment - combines a series of tasks into one new broader job. Gives employees greater opportunity to plan, organize and control parts of their jobs, and requires a boss that is willing to delegate some of the responsibility to the worker (Safficool, 2009).
Other Forms of Motivation by Job Design are, flex-time, working from home, job sharing, part-time employment, casual dress, on-site day care, fitness center.
Stretch Goals Management and Motivation Approach
The term "stretch goals" which is considered a principal aspect of the Six Sigma framework, was implemented by Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, who increased the company's market value from $ 12 billion in 1981 to $280 billion in 2001 (Value Based Management). He restructured the company and the way its leaders think. The concept is that GE leaders should look outside the box and set the target high for their employees to reach the unattainable or impossible given the current situation or resources. He believed if they do so, then they might actually achieve more than what they would have done without "stretching" their goals. He says: "By reaching for what appears to be the impossible, we often actually do the impossible. And even when we do not quite make it, we inevitably wind up doing much better than we would have done" (Schindlholzer, 2008)
Stretch goals, or as (Hughes, 2001) described it "Mission impossible" is all about seeking for the impossible but if you don't set the right goals you may burnout your employees (Schindlholzer, 2008). Also, this strategy is not applicable in all situations because of its high risk of failure where the organizations may not be able to handle such level of risk, and because it requires high level of integration. (Hughes, 2001) in his work study about the contingent use of stretch goals said that "the ideal situation for the implementation of stretch goals can only be found in autonomous work units â€¦with minimal or no workflow integration" (Hughes, 2001).
Open Book Management (OBM)
OBM is another important modern approach to maximize the involvement of employees and as a result enhance the organizational performance. The concept was originated by Jack Stack, CEO of Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation, which is known as an employee owned company where employees have a stake in the outcome (SRC). As the name indicates, the open book management trend is based on the idea of treating employees as business partners through sharing financial information and opening up the books" so that employees will be motivated to make better decisions about their work and better able to understand the implications of what they do, how they do it, and the ultimate impact on the bottom line. It requires leadership and philosophy of sharing the decision making and the wealth (NCEO). It is believed that OBM increases employee satisfaction as it motivates them to think outside the box as they feel part of the company and start working as an innovative team. It identifies a line-of-sight between their jobs and the big picture (Bado, 1999).
Some organizations take open-book management a step further. For instance, employees not only get financial information but also receive bonuses and incentives pay based on profit improvements. . (Robbins & Coulter, 1999)
On the other hand, those who are against the concept believe that opening the books may result in feelings of dissatisfaction if people see they are receiving less compared to others regardless of their contribution, or they may be disappointed if the promised enhancement in their pay packages is not yet received. According to (Bado, 1999), sharing financial data could be dangerous because employees will have the power to influence or question the decision making, and they would leak the sensitive information to other competitors.
Management by Objective(MBO)
MBO approach is based on the goal-setting theory and it was developed from the studies of Peter Drucker in early 1950's (Business Dictionary). The main idea is that both employee and supervisor participate in the goal setting process and they agree to pre-determined set of goals and objectives to be achieved before the next evaluation cycle. It is believed that this approach would enhance employee motivation and commitment as they feel they own part of the process and at the end they would be rewarded based on their achievement (SHRM, 2009).
Problems with MBO:
According to Hofstede, MBO is very suitable to USA context because it assumes negotiation between subordinate and supervisor; it also requires low level of power distance and weak uncertainty avoidance because both sides should be willing to take risks, where in other countries like France it has faced problems due high power distance (Mejia & Others, 2007). Other difficulties include time and effort needed for this process, it requires a lot of training and it could be confusing for employees if too many goals are set.
Management by Walking Around (MBWA)
Originally called "Managing by Wandering Around", it is a technique in which managers walk around and talk to employees in an informal way to enhance the communication, get their feedback and bond with employees in highly trusty environment. It was developed by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman but it was already practiced at Hewlett-Packard since 1973. It aims at improving motivation, loyalty, trust and job satisfaction (Serrat, 2009).
Problems with MBWA:
Managers may see this practice interfering with their direct and clear authority. Also, some employees may take personal advantage and complain about their managers. MBWA takes time to be part of an overall philosophy of participation; initially employee may be suspicious of frequent visits by management.
UAE University is a leading institute in academic and educational services industry and it is considered to be the first and foremost comprehensive National University in the country.
The university, which is located in Al Ain City, was established as a small academic institution by the Federal Law No. 4 in 1976. The founder was H.H Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan. It was founded to be the first and the only university serving the nation. Since that time, it has expanded from an original 4 colleges to the current 9 faculties. As of 2010, the UAEU has over 12,000 students and over 3,000 faculty and staff.
In order to compete effectively with more than 60 universities and colleges in the country, UAEU in accordance with the Chancellor's vision has started the transformation phase to be one of the top 100 research-intensive institutions in the world and the best in the Middle East.
"The United Arab Emirates University will be an internationally distinguished comprehensive research university. While adhering to UAE values, it will become a world-class center for applied research, national and international outreach, innovation and outcome-based learning. It will ensure the quality of all programs and services through international accreditation and external quality assurance reviews."
"As the UAE's first and most comprehensive residential university, the United Arab Emirates University is committed to excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and service to the nation and beyond. Through a student-centered educational experience, the University develops the intellectual, practical, creative and leadership abilities of the nation's men and women while enhancing cultural, social and economic growth." (UAEU)
Why we selected UAEU?
Academic institutions strive to deliver high quality education to their students and to make a contribution to the society. In Addition to that, UAEU has taken the lead to become a research-intensive university of international stature and to be in the global top 100 universities within next few years. In his transformation report, the Chancellor H.H. Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, said: "Most of our money is spent on people; most of our effectiveness depends on people. We will change our processes to ensure that the investments in people are as effective as they can be in enhancing education, building our research capability and developing and maintaining links with the communities that we serve". This new vision requires full commitment and engagement of employees. It also requires exceptionally well motivated people. Therefore, we decided to study and analyze the extent to which the theories of motivation are implemented.
Motivational Practices at UAEU
The task of designing motivational practices at any organization is considered a challenging task, as one of the HR senior staff said, "defining motivation and knowing what motivates each person is difficult and if it is all about money then you will never satisfy people and they will always ask for more." (HR Senior Staff, 2010)
Orientation Process: The HR department at UAEU has released recently the "Welcome and Introduction Guide" that is designed to welcome the new joiners and get them acquainted with the university values and norms and both national and organizational culture. It contains "Before Arrival" and "After Arrival" phases. The guide has 50 pages which provide information about their basic needs like living in UAE, sending their children to schools, shopping centers, visa regulations and other survival needs (UAEU). This practice ensures that new employees are motivated to work and be highly involved from day one.
Another factor that influences employee motivation and commitment is what UAEU calls "Brand Identity". One part of that is the identification card that employees receive and it provides an additional benefit like special discounts for university employees at several hotels and stores in Al Ain.
Performance Management System (PMS): The University understands that having a PMS is a critical component of the strategic plan to transform the university into a leading research intensive institution. Therefore it has established a new PMS where both supervisors and employees set the goals and a plan for accomplishment. Also, the new PMS will allow employees to discuss with their managers their own career goals and how they can develop within the university as the system is an ongoing process where managers are expected to coach and mentor. The PMS will also allow managers and employees to identify their training needs. It also provides a fair and just tool to evaluate employee's performance and decide annual salary increase which spreads a sense of organizational justice. Employees are asked do self assessment before they meet with their supervisors. The MBO concept is implemented in the new PMS in UAEU through three well defined phases of Performance Management:
Plan: SMART Goals are set and personal development plan is created
Develop: Continuous coaching and reinforcement
Evaluate: Review data before formal evaluation conversation
The PMS contains two types of goals (see appendix):
Career development goals, which are related to employee's future career path within the next 2 to 3 years.
Performance Improvement goals, which are goals for next 12 months highlighting the development needs in employee's year-end performance evaluation.
At UAEU the goals are cascaded from top management down to managers and then to employees, to ensure everyone understands how they participate in achieving the goals. The PMS process is published in university's official website and specific timelines are also established to ensure procedural justice. See Appendix xxxx. Part of the PMS is the Career planning questions that managers ask their employees like: What motivates you? What potential you have? What type of role should you do next? Does your profile match the next role?
Recruitment: Employees have the opportunities to apply for internal job transfer and they are given priority over external candidates if they are qualified which helps in identifying their talents and better fit between job and person. The internal posting program was a result of complaints received from staff for not being promoted to higher positions (HR Senior Staff, 2010). Also, UAEU offers Secondment which describe the process by which an employees is assigned to a vacant position outside the UAE or a temporary assignment of an individual to a vacant position within the UAEU to meet a short time specialized human resources requirement, and the purpose is usually for career development purposes.
Job Design: Roles and responsibilities are clarified through the PMS so that employees know their exact responsibilities and have the opportunity to discuss with their managers how they can increase skill variety or autonomy. One of the main benefits of their new PMS is to provide motivation and two way feedback, as the manager of Performance and Development, Ms Sally Al Shafey said in the informational presentation on their website (UAEU). Through the PMS different types of development activities can be agreed upon between the manager and the employee like rotation assignments, acting assignment, and enlargement.
Compensation and Benefits: UAEU provides variety of benefits such as monthly salary, accommodation, phone allowance, moving expenses, furniture, education allowance, airline tickets, medical insurance, vacation leave which ensures a good level of satisfaction and motivation (UAEU). They also provide car loans which are interest free up to a maximum of AED30,000 for new faculty only. They have automated some of the benefits so that employees can easily apply online to avail their tickets or apply for leave, for example. Appendix. The (HR Senior Staff, 2010) said "The offered salary and benefits are comparable to those offered by institutions in the same industry, but they are much less than what other governmental organizations are offering, for example the Municipality, which can be a challenge for us"
The allocation of benefits is based on pre-determined benefit scheme which ensures equity and organizational justice and it provides basic needs for majority of staff members.
Immigration Unit: UAEU understands that staff members, especially new comers, need assistance to settle and overcome the culture shock quickly, so they have developed an immigration unit that assists in finalizing visa issues for families. This ensures that the basic needs for employees are delivered so that they can be engaged in work as quickly as possible without worrying about their family's visa status.
Training and Development Unit
Training and development unit has been established to facilitate number of training programs for UAEU employees through three main streams. First is the "Front Line Leaders", for example they recently designed a training program for all managers which includes techniques for motivating employees. The second stream is "Support Staff" which is part of the action plan for HR unit for next year, and the third steam is training specific for units (HR Senior Staff, 2010).
The Continuing Education Center (CEC), established in 1998, offers a range of professional development courses and programs to develop the skills and abilities of individuals.
Brand Identity Philosophy
Brand Identity includes everything from the logo, colors, symbols that identify how customers position a specific brand in their mind and how they compare it to other similar products. It identifies the organization's position in the marketplace or what is called "Brand Positioning". UAEU has adapted this concept and published a "Brand Book" that explains how the university positions itself in the market. From the book we quote the following: "at the heart of everything the University does, our core brand positioning summarizes everything we stand for". This approach helps motivate employees, especially those who have "y" personality, as they look for high order needs that are identified by Maslow such as "Esteem".
University Social Club (Al Multaqa)
The UAE University Social Club was established in March 1999. Multaqa is the university's social club which brings together faculty, staff and families to foster personal relationships through sharing events. Some of the services offered are selling books and magazines, children activities, restaurant & café, special offers and discounts for UAEU community, cafeteria and park, Al Multaqa shop, ATM and Etisalat services, large screens for showing TV channels, hosting several activities and events, tennis hall, hosting poetry evenings, arranging recreational and leisure trips. "The main objective of the Social Club is to strengthen social ties and to have a convenient outlet for the various skills and social, cultural, scientific and sports activities." (Al Multaqa)
The Office of Research Support and Sponsored Projects (RSSP)
This office aims at encouraging faculty members to engage in research activities which are funded by the university or by external grants. The objective is to develop many areas in the UAE and to ensure the development of its faculty members as this is considered part of their professional development which will affect their promotion and advancement in the University. According to (UAEU), the university is now ranked the first in gulf area, the second in the Arab world, and the 9 in the Muslim world as a research university. The office offers access to great library sources across the UAE to facilitate research activities.
The Teaching Assistant and National Faculty Development Program
This program was established to assist national faculty members in professional development. It also provides opportunities to offer scholarships for national candidates to pursue their academic studies. To encourage and motivate nationals to apply the program offers attractive incentives like monthly salary, full sponsorship, travel and health insurance. Also, they get to join the university as assistant professors upon completion of their studies (UAEU). National Faculty members are entitled to attend two academic activities (conferences or symposiums) and a training course each academic year. It also allows national teaching assistants to attend academic activities during their study to obtain Masters or PhD degree.
The University IT Services (UITS)
The university IT services are very advanced and they aim to provide state-of-the-art services for customers and employees so they can collaborate and communicate efficiently. The university has its own portal (Web 2.0 tools - my.uaeu) which is a gateway for all employees. Some of the services it provides are receiving university announcements and messages, communicating with other people within the university, having access to libraries, reading news in both languages, maintain calendars and much more. E-service is another aspect of the IT services provides for all employees of UAEU. Through e-services they can have access to their personal information, salary details and they apply for vacation tickets. Blackboard, a course management system that enables faculty members to communicate with students easily through chats, discussions and email. It also allows the faculty to better manage the course and the grades and evaluate the performance of the class. Polls Service is another attractive service that brings people together to participate and send their feedback on a specific topic.
The New Campus Development Department (CDD)
As part of its vision to become a leading research centered institution, the UAEU is building a state of the art new campus to welcome and inspire its employees as well as students. The new attractive buildings will contain a "Faculty club, expanded car parking areas, shops and restaurants, and clustered college sites." (UAEU). All these facilities are expected to provide a foundation for innovation and world class learning as well as working environment.
Institutional Effectiveness & Planning Unit
How does it motivate:
Ex: Focusing on Performance Excellence, they implement procedures to ensure performance excellence relative to comparable organizations and to appropriate benchmarks.
Accreditation (Program And Institutional): Assist colleges in conducting an effective, efficient, and meaningful self-study for accreditation and re-accreditation of the programs.
Conducting survey's to measure employee satisfaction
Campus and General Services
Safety Procedures: "An Emergency Evacuation policy has been created because UAEU believes it is important to protect the lives of staff. Part of this responsibility lies in being prepared should an emergency evacuation of part or all of the University be necessary" (UAEU). A large safety and security unit is available to ensure providing safety measures.
Employee Services Unit: This unit is responsible for providing services related to employee and family visa, housing and health care.
Community Relations Department
Center for Educational Technology
UAEU Organizational Culture
The UAEU is committed to principles of freedom for teaching and intellectual enquiry and to the ethical and reasoned conduct of research, publication of findings, and expression of ideas and beliefs.
Open communication+ Sharing news and achievement - Convocation meeting Oct 2010
Future Strategies at UAEU to Enhance Employee Motivation
The UAEU Transformation Report has outlined specific goals and action plans to build institutional capability and a culture of policy, delegation, audit and accountability to foster creativity. Also, the new plan aims at giving greater focus on HR issues like effective management of performance.
The UAEU has started taking initiatives to enhance its employees' motivation. They realize that in order to reach their goal of being pioneers in the field of research, they must get everyone involved and committed to the goal. They are still at the beginning of the journey as they have announced the new transformation report and the move from decree culture to more delegation and empowerment.
The motivation theories are practiced in the university to some extent. For example, Maslow's theory of needs is reflected in the "welcome guide" and the compensation and benefits system which both ensure basic needs are fulfilled, also the Office of Research Support ensures self actualization and fulfillment. The Brand Identity philosophy fulfills the need for prestige and reputation as indicated in the hierarchy of needs. Social needs are clearly demonstrated through "Al Multaqa" which has been a vital source of friendliness for all UAEU community. However, more effort need to be directed through higher order needs like "Esteem" and "Self Actualization".
The Two factor theory is also practiced to some extent. For example, the â€¦â€¦.. (questionnaire) and the National Development Program which provides recognition and advancement for nationals, (motivators), on the other hand the Campus and General Services unit provides the basic needs (hygiene factors) for employees. Also, they allow employee to decorate their work areas (HR Senior Staff, 2010). According to (HR Senior Staff, 2010) more focus is given to Hygiene Factors in most practices of UAEU but this doesn't motivate people.
The Management by Objective Theory is at the core of their PMS practices as we have seen. For example, every month of November employees meet with their supervisors to discuss the goals and objectives and how they can be met. This should allow employee to participate by owing part of the process which makes them feel satisfied and recognized. However, since the PMS is new and has not been yet implemented fully, the results in employee satisfaction and motivation will be seen in the next coming years, therefore the HR department should take the lead to ensure full implementation of the system.
Equity Theory is also practiced at UAEU through fair allocation of resources and fair treatment. For example, they have allocated research grants for all faculties to ensure that all members have the same chance of developing their knowledge. Also, the compensation scheme followed at UAEU is based on specific grades and scales that are pre-determined to ensure equity and fair treatment, yet they have different scheme for locals and non locals.
An example of equity practice is the recent adjustments in the benefits policy related to annual ticket allowance. Some employees at UAEU were not receiving this benefit as their grades would not allow them to do so, accordingly they addressed their concern to the HR Department and the policy was revised to include them in the ticket scheme (HR Senior Staff, 2010).
Job Design: PMS
Talk about the match between what senior leader thinks about the five things.
The open book management approach is not practiced in UAEU because of the nature of the organization which is non profit, however, access to budgetary information, for example, is allowed and it is not considered a secret (HR Senior Staff, 2010).
Enablers and Barriers of Motivation at UAEU
The mindset of employees that money is the best motivator is a big barrier as the (HR Senior Staff, 2010) said. He added that some managers lack the ability to motivate their employees because they are young managers with no or small experience in managing and leading people. Another big barrier is the cultural diversity at UAEU. He said that they have over 60 nationalities and in each nationality people are motivated in a different way. Also, the training budget is a challenge as they have specific allocated amounts for this purpose. Language is another barrier because some people don't speak English while others don't speak Arabic which results in communication difficulty. For faculty, the long teaching hours are not allowing them to go for conferences which demotivates them.
Although UAEU is moving towards a culture that is less decree based as we said, it is still considered to be highly centralized and bureaucratic in many ways like most governmental organizations (HR Senior Staff, 2010), which could prevent employees from voicing out their needs or preferences. Lack of empowerment and delegation is also a barrier according to (Senior Executive, 2010)
The current policies and procedures of UAEU which are related to employees could be enhanced by focusing more on engaging and empowering employees. Also, more attention should be given to motivator factors, of the two factor theory, as they don't have a formal program for advancement or career planning.
The performance management system at UAEU is still new and will take time to meet the expectations of employees who are required to perform to a certain level in line with the new strategy of transformation, and since there is no formal program for offering incentives to employees for their outstanding performance at UAEU, it is recommended that HR department assists unit heads to identify exceptional performers and reward them through simple tokens of appreciation for individuals or team based rewards. This will have a great impact on their motivation and in turn their productivity. (HR Senior Staff, 2010) said "some departments implement the flexible working hours but other may not be able to do that due to work requirements", we recommend that HR finds other solutions to help employee reach a work-life-balance, like telecommuting or flextime which have appositive influence on job satisfaction (Ivancevich, 2010).
UAEU and HR in particular, should play attention to providing proper ergonomic design to prevent work injuries and sustain employees' well-being (check survey).
The (HR Senior Staff, 2010) said that recently the university had to cut 11% of its workforce and the selection of those who should leave was left in the hands of the Deans which may have resulted in favoritism. The HR Department should play a key role in this matter to ensure that those who are laid off are chosen based on a job-related criterion.
It is important to realize that professional development for faculty members is essential part of their academic advancement; therefore, the Colleges should look into the fact that some of them teach for very long hours and are not able to attend conferences or seminars.
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