Key Mechanisms by Which Managers Can Improve Motivation of Their Teams

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THE KEY MECHANISMS BY WHICH MANAGERS CAN IMPROVE THE MOTIVATION OF THEIR TEAMS AND HOW THEY WOULD KNOW WHEN THEY HAVE SUCCEEDED

There is an increased use of teams in the workplace as they tend to produce better outcomes for an organisation as compared to the sole efforts of an individual (Kokemuller, 2012). It is therefore paramount to identify how to stimulate teams to perform better and to know the end results of this motivation process. Managers could motivate their teams by communicating with them, designing jobs in so that they exercise autonomy, incorporating periods of relaxation and through the use of monetary incentives.

Motivation is the inner state or forces in an individual that causes him to put in effort to accomplish a set goal (Certo and Certo, 2009; Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborn, 2005). A team is a small group of individuals with complementary skills and competencies who work together to achieve shared objectives for which they are answerable (Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborn, 2005). Motivating a team therefore involves being able to make a group of people to be enthusiastic and put in the required effort in achieving a common goal. It is important to consider what constitute a source of motivation such as the team members’ goals and needs and also the nature and context of the work.

One of the most basic motivation mechanisms is for managers to communicate well with their team members. The Mayo theory developed in the early 1930’s by Elton Mayo, the founder of the human relations suggests that motivation is promoted by greater communication and taking interest in others (Mullins, 2011). Managers should find out how each team member feels about their individual performance and what could make them enjoy the job more. This would help to build strong relationships and trust. It is also important for managers to give constructive feedback on the work of team members and recognise them for the achievements they have made. At Tesco, the line managers hold daily team meeting to update staff. The staffs also have a 360o feedback by the people whom they work with. This allows them to know their strengths and weaknesses and gives room for improvement (The Times 100, 2012). However, a 360o feedback system may be judgemental so there is the need for managers to sift biased feedback (Cable and Elsbach, 2012). The feedback should also be anonymous (Robert et al, 2009).

In order to motivate their team, managers should seek to improve the job design. The job should be stimulating. According to Lewis (2011), the work has to be intrinsically interesting. The team members should be given the opportunity to show initiative and self- leadership skills (Konradt, AndreBen and Ellwart, 2009). Also work should be based on their individual strengths and capabilities. This is supported by collective efficacy which is rooted in the self-efficacy theory developed by Bandura in 1997. It implies that team members have a shared perception in their ability to perform a task (Lewis, 2011). They therefore find the team goal to be one that is challenging and attainable. The team members would be motivated if they have a perceived value attributable to a goal. At Siemens, the nature of the work is varied and staffs have the opportunity to try out different roles. Employees are given the privilege to be creative and influence their own work (The Times 100, 2012).

Job design also includes rearranging job schedule to fit individual needs. This could be through the use of flextime which refers to flexible working hours (Certo and Certo, 2009). The Royal bank of Scotland enables its employees to develop a work-life balance between work and non-work commitments through practices like part time and home working (The Times 100, 2012). The downside to this is that there could be abuse of flextime and an inability to organise team projects. The job should also be designed in such a way that there are opportunities for advancement. Herzberg...
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