Motivational techniques

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Thesis

"The most important responsibility of a modern manager is to ensure his/her staffs are motivated but the complexity of the modern working environment is making it increasingly difficult but comes along with new methods of dealing with it"

Keywords: Modern Manager, Motivation, Modern Working Environment

Introduction

"...only a life lived for others is worth living" beyond ambition of wellbeing and happiness - Albert Einstein

Mitchell defines 'motivation as a degree to which an individual wants and chooses to engage in certain specified behaviours' and performance of a person is derived from the product of individual ability and motivation. A Manager to improve the work of organisation must pay attention to level of motivation of its members and guide them to be Uni-focussed towards organisational goals. A manager is influenced by other factors such as skill levels, knowledge, feelings and emotions under facilities provided by the organisation although they are not completely under his control.

Approach to Motivation by todays Manager in Modern Competitive Corporate world

The new economic standards compared to the first half of 20th century brought in new set of expectations for an employee from a manager and vice versa, than when industries freshly observed motivational techniques adopted by managers for motivation, it has come a long way from F.W. Taylors rational economic-need theory of motivation to a concept of humanity, now with increasing competition and luring comforts of the surrounding environment a manager's approach to keep an employee motivated is growing dynamic and with it the difficulty in tailoring the satisfaction of each employee. But what motivates anyone? Is satisfaction everything? 'In any work situation u can distinguish between factors that dissatisfy and those that satisfy, the interesting thing is they are not opposites of each other - Herzberg's 2 factor theory. - Handy, C., 1999. On the motivation to work, ln: Handy, C., 4th ed. Understanding Organisations. England, penguin books, 38 and As per the Maslow's hierarchy of needs the basic needs once satisfied comes the love and esteem, largely it holds good in current times which is strategically bestowed by a manager. Today's corporate management pampers its staff taking into consideration every aspect of its staff comforts which has become a default factor of satisfaction but not motivation enough. There are feedback surveys conducted with motivational lectures organised to understand them clearly and provide them with all possible necessary elements of satisfaction. General Electric (GE) former CEO Jack Welch prioritises training and further growth options to employees to keep them motivated and focussed to inter organisational promotions and growth, his belief that people working with the organisation when are motivated becomes the core competency for the organisation.

Managers are leaders in an organization, who are expected to motivate the work force by a word of praise or incentives in place of penalties or punishment, a sense of belongingness infuses positive behaviour as Anita Roddick, Business As Unusual, Thorsons (2000) stated 'There are not many motivating forces more potent than giving your staff an opportunity to exercise and express their idealism' an employee looks forward to be treated as a thinking organ of organisation instead to a mere human mechanical element of organisation, managers understand the developing psychological changes in person and accordingly places his human resource management strategy in the interest of organisation. Most of the times recognition and fame stands paramount for an employee than monetary incentives. A small word from manager complementing ones work can make a person work hard and smart as is observed true by many industry observers and management consultants and trainers like peter Dixon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHoGRBuRsKQ&feature=channel [Accessed 6th March 2010], the Hawthorne experiment findings say that people who are intrinsically motivated can overcome the external hindrances and meet or can even go beyond production targets. While extrinsic elements like incentives, benefits, bonuses does motivate the staff however a manager is caught in the tangles of cost control by management and staff motivation.

During the times as now the managers of organisations from small to large have a daunting task of retrenching people as they were inevitable scenarios but further challenging becomes the task of keeping up the morale of employees still on board as otherwise that would pave way to the collapse of an organisation on the whole. This complex situation in such times of recession it may seem that '...for a manager it must be simple to keep people motivated as they work under pressure of loss of job' However, an employee motivated under such negative influence may not be ideal for proper growth of organization as it can demoralize a person from doing basic job on a long run, as fear is a cause for frustration that induces defending or negative behaviour, based on study undertaken by Proudfoot consulting it is observed organisational growth is directly proportional to working morale of people. According to Mary Parker Follet a pioneer management consultant, a pull rather than push is recommended to managers indicating a carrot is more favoured to a stick as a motivational tool for a manager and equally it is looked forward by his/her employee. Also Allen and Helms suggest that reward practices enhance organisational performance. - Mullins, L.J., 2007. Management and Organizational Behavior, 8/E, Pearson Education. United Kingdom, 475 - 477

Competent Managers Qualities and Expectations in an Organisation

A manager is expected to be knowledgeable in the Field, be a frontrunner in a period of crisis, Honest and Loyal to people above and below the line, Hard-working, Visionary, possessing Values and Verve, a Planner, Provider and Protector of his team. Managers do learn from mistakes but sometimes they get so unaffordable that it costs the reputation of whole organisation like a recent crisis of Toyota releasing its automobiles with malfunctioning parts followed by admission to the fallacy and bow down apologies by its president Mr Akio Toyoda - defines the consequence of a mismanagement which incident reflects with in organization as an example for managers to learn a lesson from the situation that motivates every staff to perform with high standards and cannot let go any fallacy unnoticed however its viewed by observers as a result of complacent attitude of the quality division and this results into saying that some of quality managers failure in an organisation impacts the whole brand although on a long run employees may seldom make way for such errors but it does leave behind a blemish and loss of customers loyalty and brand image starting from an immediate dip in sales which takes a long time to rebuild it or sometimes may not be able to regain however this becomes an example for managers to look back and talk as a provocation motivational strategy tool.

Difficulties of a Modern Manager

Peters Principle

'In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence', a manager must equip oneself well to befit the position before accepting the offer of promotion as it might end up harming career of self and cause damage to the organisation. - Adair, J., 2009 "Effective Motivation- How to get best results from everyone" ln: Adair, J., ed. "John Adair New Revised Edition, Chatham, UK: Pan Books, page 41 A manager has to be self-motivated and a knowledgeable leader acting like a beacon for others to get self-motivated rather than pushing with extrinsic means of motivation, Stephen R. Covey said "Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly" http://www.motivational-inspirational-corner.com/getquote.html?categoryid=56 [Accessed 1 March 2010] but what makes a manager a leader with characteristics that leads to commitment for the organisation is their skills built over a period of time , Chris smith a veteran army officer worked at various levels had to say about his observations on leadership of knowledgeable and their contributions, "In my 30 years at ford motor company, I have no doubt the preceding veterans' demonstrated skills have both an asset to the company and to me. For example, we veterans can help improve a company's bottom line by utilizing leadership, a can-do attitude and team work skills. The skill set of being able to multi-task, manage time and embody the core values of selfless service have enabled me to be a controller, Facilities manager and military reservists simultaneously. This challenging triad has been a part of the motivation of why I have remained with ford motor company for 30 years and encourage others to stay, thus reducing training costs and personnel turnover costs." By Chris Smith - A Veteran Army officer Employing veterans of our armed forces - Fed-Docs - US government printing office - Washington 2005, page 1, but there are arguments of managers not always need to be over a period of time, they can be young and still possess similar qualities a manager is trained to manage and know the realms of management by practical exposure to situations and reworked with constant feedback sessions.

Team Selection and Approach by a Manager

A team is a unitary force which has to have coherent thinking with a supporting manager, a manager's role over team management begins with team selection ensuring every member of a team gels with the system and are in line with his ideas of progress. Early research efforts on emergent leaders indicated that they were socially perceptive and uniquely able to identify & understand understated team needs (Chowdhry & Newcomb, 1972). They used their perceptiveness to address team needs in ways they knew would be acceptable to their team ( Steiner,1972) - "Nurturing leaders emotional intelligence through brainstorming and emotional mastery training programs; Implication for human resources Management" Qgunyemi, A.O (Ph.D.) Dept. of Education, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Agoioye ,Nigeria. (Paper Presented at the Conference of Counselling Association of Nigeria) CASSON.HELD AT CONVENANT UNIVERSITY OTTA FROM 14-17 AUG 2007. He ensures the provision of a favourable environment, which enables tasks to be carried out & makes it possible for the accomplishment of business objectives, it is due a balance between motivation & hygiene factors supported by understanding of the work force. -Understanding the work force; they buy to success in a youth hostel in Scotland. Jeff Papis, P.no 593,(International journal of contemporary hospitality, Vol 18,no 7,2006,p.p 593-600,Emerald Group Publishing limited.

Conclusion

The most critical of all factors of organisational growth is team motivation and a manager involves himself in every aspect of his team functionalities and counters the discrete day to day difficulties strategically where strategies vary with dynamics in people management.

Recommendations

  • There is a constant need for enhancement of skills and knowledge by the manager for a thorough understanding of abilities of team so to oversee the strengths of his teammates and motivate them accordingly.
  • Must understand Positivity and patience are the keys to success and remain motivated by citing opportunities in problems.

Strategic planning should be adopted like team selection and motivating the staff with achievable targets.

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