a. Discuss: 394
i. What can a manager or supervisor do to effectively create a work environment that promotes employee motivation?
A manager or supervisor should create a highly competitive and fair environment so that employee motivation is promoted. Initially, it should study its employees well – what makes them motivated and what makes them discouraged and the like. All these qualities and distinctions must be cross examined against the goals and objectives of the organization. The task of the supervisor is to check where is the clear intersection between the highest points of employee motivation and the utmost fulfillment of their organizational objectives. This can be accomplished through a formal motivational test and organizational assessment.
ii. Which of the "common myths about employee motivation" are most common in your organization? With what consequences? Compare these myths with the ones in VHC, pp 144-146.
One of the most common myths in our organization is that the assumption that money is the greatest motivator. With this, the organization entices the staff to work their best to realize the goals of the company. They give hefty company bonuses, travel perks, lifestyle prizes, among others. However, this usually works only during the initial period of time. After all the perks and benefits are accrued, most of these awarded employees start to perform less than their usual.
Another common misconception is that fear motivates people. Hence, the buzz word in our organization is the company memo. Everyone would be so frightened not to get it at every end of the day. However, this does not ultimately lead to greater performance. Most of the time, the employees perform dishonesty so as to accomplish which they would not normally accomplish in a restricted time frame. This false notion actually promotes inequality as some employees have more access to resources and people which can put them at a vantage point during an assessment.
iii Which "Basic Principles to Remember" and "Steps You Can Take" would make you a more effective leader? Why? (VHC pp. 146 - 151).
A major principle which this exercise strikes me the most is to start the motivation from one’s self. This means that in order to be effective and in order to encourage others to work their best, I should also be motivated. Hence, before assessing the motivation levels of the other people inside the organization, I should be able to identify the important things whish make me want to perform my tasks and accomplish what I have to do.
Another important principle is to align my goals and my employees’ goals to that of the organization. This would never lead me astray. As long as I am focused with what the people and I have to achieve, then, I would be more knowledgeable as to how to ignite the inner desires of everyone to work towards that certain goal.
b. Are you emotionally connected to your job? Using the material in “Exploring Employee’s Emotional Connections to Their Jobs,” as a reference point, explain why.
I certainly think that I am emotionally connected (and even attached) to my present job. This is because I feel more connected to my customers when I am attuned to my tasks and my responsibilities. By being emotionally connected, I am more creative, resourceful and innovative in my approach to my work. I am also contented with what I do and I likewise encourage my co workers to be the same as I motivate them to work better as well. I also attach positive emotions to my work and my working conditions. Positive emotion pertains to the pleasant feelings brought about by the commonplace circumstances at work or elsewhere. I have the greatest tendency to help others and be more conscientious.
If I am not connected to my job, I will not be able to see and realize my worth as a person and as a professional. Seeing my worth and being more confident makes me motivated to do my job better. Likewise, it follows that when I am encouraged to do my work best, I can sense the esteem and appreciation of others. This makes me feel more worthwhile of my time and efforts inside the organization.
c. What are some of the most effective behavior activities a supervisor could take to enhance employee commitment in your organization? Why? Compare your responses with the material in VHC, pp. 19-32.
Some of the most important and most effective behavior activities a supervisor could take in order to improve employee commitment inside one’s organization are the following:
1. Promote and Demonstrate a Commitment to Teamwork – if all the team members are personally involved with the company’s daily tasks and operations, it would be so much easier for the manager to enforce more productivity and high level performance. Hence, the supervisor must be more visible and must spend more time working with the employees. Through this, the employees would feel important and very much motivated and guided in their tasks. As it is, employees also love to work as a team and they will be more committed if they see their manager demonstrating his or her commitment to the team performance. It is also effective if the supervisor will constantly back up his or her employees. The employees will be more confident in their actions and decisions once they feel that their superior is often on their side. It is also best if the supervisor encourages and comples more cooperation and teamwork between different work groups or departments.
2. Promote Employee "Ownership" of the Work – the supervisor should foster more autonomy and independence particularly when the employees make decisions. They must feel empowered and united. Hence, the supervisor should let his/her people do their job and be more independent as they accomplish their tasks and fulfill their goals. A major approach in this regard is to get the employees’ involvement in all aspects and steps of their work performance. The supervisor should involve them in determining the problems, developing solutions and drafting an action plan.
3. Walk a Mile in Employees’ Shoes – supervisors should know how it feels like to work in the orientation of their employees and staff. They should understand the circumstances and the contexts which bind their employees. If the supervisor is guided by their right knowledge on the employees’ situation, he/she will be more supportive and helpful in times the employees need specific directions and help. As employees feel more understood in their work contexts, they will be more motivated and inspired to work better and contribute to the team efforts.
d. Which of the Manager Behaviors identified in Building a Committed Workforce would most effectively build employee commitment in your organization? Why?
This author believes that the following managerial behaviors are highly effective in building a committed workforce and employee commitment towards one’s organization:
1. Involving Employees – this makes sure that the employees are important parts of the group and of the whole organization. Hence, the supervisor’s inquiries on the specific outputs of the employees, consulting them with how things should be done instead of just giving them orders, among others are very effective in making their employees feel valued. Once they feel valued, they become more attached to the organization. It is best if the supervisor regularly asks the employees’ suggestions and proposals and let them participate in decision making.
2. Supporting Employees’ Innovation – this is also an effective way of developing more commitment from the work force. When the manager or supervisor listens to the employees' ideas and be keen to their suggestions, the employees feel appreciated and they are more inspired to think of innovations to make their work better. They try to solve organizational concerns and problems independently and/or cooperatively. If the supervisor allows for innovation, the employees have more freedom to try new things and their commitment increases. This is because they have a stake in all the undertakings and they do not just follow their supervisor’s instructions. By inspiring the employees to work on a project with their suggestions and proposals, the supervisor encourages them to successfully carry out their ideas. Those employees who are rewarded and recognized for their ideas and innovations will certainly feel more proud and committed towards the group or the organization.
3. Backing Up the Employees’ Career Goals – by having a regular career development planning discussions with employees, the supervisor is establishing more partnerships and loyalty with their employees. The employees become more empowered and confident because they actually feel being supported along the way as this is concretized when the supervisor suggests training or specialization/certification for their staff. A supervisor who actively mentors his employee will definitely develop more trust and loyalty among his/her team. This redounds to greater work performance.
However, the support should be fair and magnanimous and it should not single out those who are favored. A supervisor should see to it that the awarding of such trainings and specialization opportunities are geared to those who deserves it or else it will build contention and rivalry instead of employee commitment. A well informed team with regards to career opportunities will be more motivated and challenged to face more professional enhancements as they move through the corporate ladder.