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Managing Individual Performance Essay

Abstract

This paper will discuss how managing individual performance have affected my personal and professional development. It will also briefly identify and discuss several written works on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as well as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Also this paper will discuss my experience through the Managing Individual Performance simulation and results improvement.

Managing Individual Performance

A good manager can motivate employees and equally to go the extra mile, and complete the unachievable, despite their limitations. As a leader and manager of people, it pays to understand what is important to each team member. Understanding motivation helps me to put my emotions and actions in perspective. Contemporary motivational theories recommend that managers should realize individual differences, evaluating needs correctly and addressing these through the right interventions. Criteria a team leader use when selecting members of a team

Team leaders or managers must ensure that the teams and their projects have the ability to survive. To maintain the team’s viability, I included the following elements: proper membership, interpersonal skills, each member should be a contributor, a clear charter or purpose, achievable, noticeable results, understand and agreed-upon ground rules, and intensive teambuilding up front.

The changes needed to improve team effectiveness across the organization do not involve individual teams, but rather the systems that support them. These systems include the following: organizational structure, motivation, promotion and performance appraisal criteria, and compensation. In addition, Jeff Cowell and Jerry Michaelson (2000), recommend “in selecting team members, and prepare a draft charter” (p11). It is very important to prepare a draft charter where you can briefly describe the team’s purpose, and you can see candidates interest.

Team selection in the simulation

I selected the team in the following order: first, Michelle Levy for the build case files position, because she is a natural problem solver with good communication skills, and an investigative nature of collecting facts. My second selection was Lisa Srafford holding the moderate self-help groups. She has conflict management skills, ability to facilitate groups meeting and very patient in stressful situations. My third selection was Tony Wu to perform follow-ups.

Tony has capability to interpret reported data, good observation skills, and his bachelors in business make him more capable in accounting for external factors. My last team member, Daniel Nichols, trainer with knowledge and domineering attitude, was selected to supervise confrontation sessions. His Master in Business Administration (MBA), prepared him to have good communication skills, excellent conflict management, and with his strong personality made him capable of build mutual respect, discipline, and motivation to victims while handling sensitive personal issues.

Factors I need to consider in order manage my team effectively

There are many factors in order to manage a team effectively. McShane-Von Glinow (2002) gives us six of the important elements “reward systems, communication systems, physical space, organizational environment, organizational structure, and leadership” (p232). Reward systems indicate that people tend to work more effectively when they are partly rewarded for their performance. Communication systems, maintain valuable information and feedback between team members. Physical space, with a good layout will improve communication between team members. Organizational environment and structure, where team members have secure resources for their performance. Last but not least, the most important factor is leadership to maintain the ongoing support from all executives to provide the right coaching, motivation, and all elements mentioned.

Individual’s personality play a role in the team’s success

Kreitner (2003) describe personality as “the relatively stable pattern of behaviors and consistent internal states that explain a person’s behavioral tendencies” (p84). Personality has both internal which represent the thoughts, values, and genetic characteristics, and external elements are the observable behaviors. Also personality has recover credibility in organizations in the last years, the reason is that some personality habits predict some work-related behaviors and emotions under certain conditions, and stress reactions. Besides individual personality play a role in the team’s success because this help people find the jobs that best suit them and their company’s needs. Personality preference in the MBTI assessment and how this may affect the way an employee carries his or her tasks.

Depending on the job description, you can find personality preference in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). We have 16 distinct types. Some job description prefer ISFJs people with a high sense of duty, others prefer ENTJs because they are considered natural leaders. For example, corporate executives tend to be ESTJs, meaning that they are more extroverted, sensing, thinking and judging types, and so on. These types indicate a person’s preference. All of this may affect the way an employee carries his or her tasks because these types do not indicate the way he or she behaves all the time. I think that these indicators can limit the creativity and decision making besides limiting good people to perform a specific job in determinate area. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, how it affects motivation and my team choice.

McShane-Von Glinow (2002), described Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as “a content motivation theory of five instinctive needs arranged in a hierarchy, whereby people are motivated to fulfill a higher need as a lower one becomes gratified”(p133). From the bottom those are physiological, safety, belongingness, self-esteem, and the top is self-actualization. People have different levels of motivation, and they may fit one of those levels. As a leader you have to measure the needs of each member of your team, because when you have to motivate or reward them, you can select the wrong level. According to Maslow the lowest needs are initially most important, but higher need become more important as the lower ones are satisfied. Maslow’s model may not predict employee needs as well as scholars initially expected.

Team selection and how that falls on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

During the simulation, I selected the best people for the different positions. It was an 8 months project. I had my first situation during the second month. I failed at motivating one of my team members, giving me the wrong results. The same situation was present in month 4 with other team members. After I repeated the simulation and learn more about my team members needs, I overcame those situations successfully. Team selection performance, expectations and factors in selecting strategies to motivate my team

Money and other financial rewards are a fundamental part of the employment relationship. Also public recognition, awards, and membership will help employees to have better performance. It is important to know the different levels of needs mentioned before. You have to know what kind of an employee need have in that moment. Some of the factors include task performance, competencies, job status and seniority. Results improvement after running the simulation again

I repeat the simulation three times, and definitely each time my results improved significantly. My weakness was motivating my team members with the inappropriate reward, giving as a result to the decrease in the team performance.

Application of the lesson learned at my workplace

Job design involves assigning task to a job and distributing work throughout the organization. Job specialization, which subdivides work into separate jobs for different people, increase work efficiency because employees achieve the tasks quickly, less training, and matching more closely with the jobs best suited to their skills. Although, reduce stress, problems, increase product or service quality, and decrease costs. Leadership is the process of influencing oneself to establish the right direction and motivation needed to perform a task. Also I have to include personal goal setting, constructive thought, design the right rewards, self-monitoring, and self-reinforcement. Better knowledge of the needs of each team members will help leaders to make the right decisions without affecting the individual performance.

Leaders require a process of observation, reflection, and evaluation. It necessitates that we take time periodically to think about what has happened. Were there conflicts? How were they handled? What has gone well and why has it? What has not gone well and why? Could we have done better? Most importantly, we must develop the skill of asking ourselves what steps we can take to be more effective either in our current team or as a member of future teams.

As I said in the beginning, a good manager motivates people to achieve the impossible without limitations. This become possible only with a clear understanding of each individual needs with the help of all motivational theories recommended. This understanding is implemented though optimal intervention. Also evaluating needs correctly and addressing these though are the right interventions.

References

Bagraim, J. (2001). Organizational psychology and workplace control: the instrumentality of
Corporate culture. South African Journal of Psychology; Sep2001, Vol.31, Issue 3 p43. Bower, M. (2003). Company philosophy:” the way we do things around here” McKinsey
Quarterly; 2003 Issue 2, p110, 8p.3c. [University of Phoenix Special Edition Series]. Cowell, J., Michaelson, J. (2000). Flawless Teams. Executive Excellence, 17(3), 11.[University of Phoenix Special Edition Series] Kreitner, R. (2003). Organizational Behavior, Sixth Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill McShane-Von, G. (2003). Organizational Behavior, Second Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill


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