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Teamwork and Motivation Essay

Imagine that you are the owner of a small manufacturing company. Your company manufactures a commodity, widgets. Your widget is a clone of a nationally known widget. Your company’s widget, WooWoo, is less expensive and more readily available than the nationally known brand. Presently, the sales are high; however, there are many defects, which increase your costs and delays delivery. Your company has fifty (50) employees in the following departments: sales, assembly, technology, and administration. The motivation of the team lays heavily on the leadership of the company.

Managers must learn how to motivate the team in an effective manner to reach a common goal. In this case, making sure that the widgets are being produced with little to no defects, and being sent out in a timely manner while keeping costs down. The objective is to design an organization motivation plan that will encourage the team to work and achieve this goal. Highly motivated individuals can make a huge difference to the overall attitude of a team and the production. The first step in developing a motivated team is being able to understand what a team really is.

According to Organizational Behavior, “A team is a group of people holding themselves collectively accountable for using complementary skills to achieve a common purpose. ” (Schermerhorn, Jr. , Osborn, Uhl-Bien, & Hunt, 2012) Team work then occurs when the members of the team take collective accountability to reach and accomplish the common goal. In this case, there are fifty employees in various departments of the manufacturing company. All must come together and work collectively as a team to achieve the common goal of designing, producing, and selling the widgets.

Each role of the sales, assembly, technology, and administration, all work collectively together as a team for the sole purpose of making the widgets and selling them. However, each department has their own goals to focus on their specific areas of the company. The motivation of each employee may vary among each department. Knowing how and what to do to keep these areas motivated falls in the leaderships hands. The first step is setting a goal by developing and formalizing performance targets or objectives. Goals are the most motivations when they are challenging and specific, allow for feedback on results, and create commitment and acceptance. Management by objective is a way of applying goal-setting theory in day-to-day management practice. ” (Schermerhorn, Jr. , Osborn, Uhl-Bien, & Hunt, 2012) Job satisfaction is a key factor in keeping an employee motivated. “Job satisfaction is an individual’s emotional response to his or her current job condition, while motivation is the driving force to pursue and satisfy one’s needs.

Managers can help employees achieve overall job satisfaction, which, with the employee’s internal motivation drive, increase performance on the job. ” (Alshallah, 2004) The individual attributes and work efforts fall into how one’s work performance and job satisfaction falls in with what keeps an individual motivated. Motivational opportunities are what drive job satisfaction. There are two types of motivation opportunities that can drive a reward system to an employee; intrinsic rewards and extrinsic rewards. “Intrinsic rewards are valued outcome received directly though task performance.

Extrinsic rewards are valued outcomes given by some other person. ” (Schermerhorn, Jr. , Osborn, Uhl-Bien, & Hunt, 2012) The combination of both drives overall job satisfaction. Rewarding employees intrinsically or extrinsically is a sure way to motivate employees and overall job satisfaction. Another role for leadership in this case, is to come up with a motivational plan that encourages low turnover.

High turnover can hurt the morale of the team. An important factor for leadership to determine how high turnover is affecting the workplace and understanding and knowing what causes high turnover. High employee turnover sometimes has a detrimental effect on motivation. The employees who leave may be looking for other jobs because they are unhappy with their current working conditions, causing workers who stay to wonder if they would be better off doing the same. Even if employees leave a job for personal reasons, if their co-workers have truly enjoyed working with them, it may be difficult for them to continue doing their jobs without their accustomed support system. In addition, getting used to new co-workers who are inexperienced can hurt employee motivation by increasing the workload of established staff. (Gartenstein, 2013)

Lower turnover can increase employee motivation by building solid relationships and create synergies that reinforce the talents of the team. This in turn, helps keep the team enthusiastic and productive, creating stability within the company culture. A solid stable company culture motivates employees to come to work and gives the employees the job satisfaction and the belief that their company is a great place to work and where they want to be. Managers in this case, need to create a working environment that encourages stability in the company’s culture which will reinforce the retention of the team.

Creating a workplace atmosphere that heightens employee motivation. Increasing productivity and high quality while keeping costs down is another factor in this case. Leadership can use incentive plans that motivate employees to commit themselves to delivering a quality product in a productively timely manner. In order for leadership to “integrate employee incentives with organizational objectives is to focus incentives on the specific activities that are necessary to achieve the objectives, rather than basing them on traditional or expected factors such as seniority or political prowess. (Ingram, 2013) Incentives are rewarding their employees such as the intrinsic rewards and extrinsic rewards.

The production and quality of a product is most effective when they are measurable. Leadership should develop an incentive systems based on the performance of the production and quality goals. Using a reward system will contribute to the company goals and make a positive more measurable difference in obtaining these goals. “Employee incentives and organizational objectives can come in a variety of forms. A popular incentive for employees is a monetary bonus, given either in a lump sum or as a salary increase.

Other tangible incentives include gift certificates, paid vacation time, vacation packages and dinners. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, intangible incentives, such as public recognition, job enrichment, and expressions of gratitude from senior executives, can be more effective than tangible rewards for certain employees. ” (Ingram, 2013) Two ways to motivate all of the employees in the organization is to incorporate ways to job development and rewards. Job development is a way for an employee to know what is expected of their job function.

Providing additional training is a great way for one to develop their skills in the work force. Using one-on- one coaching time is a way to improve skills to help develop an individual in the work place. This can create a positive working environment. It also allows the employee to be engaged in their work and add value to the work that they do. Another way is through rewards, by creating extra incentives for the employees to do go above the expectations of their job duties. Rewards can be intrinsic or extrinsic as mentioned before. Recognition provides a fulfillment to the employee of doing a job well done.

Another great way to motivate all employees is to get them engaged have team building activities such as having a team picnic or other activities outside of work. “One of the biggest demands a business owner, manager or supervisor faces is that of motivating employees. While it is difficult enough to motivate the experienced worker, many in management find themselves especially perplexed when it comes to encouraging production from minimum wage employees – people who tend to be younger, less experienced and less inspired to stick with their job.

Managers and supervisors expect – and plan for high turn-over and tolerate whatever performance level they get, as long as the employee shows up for work and does not cause trouble. When employees dislike their jobs or are indifferent toward them, the result can be poor customer service and low productivity. The overall effect can be devastating to a business’ bottom line. ” (Train2GainUS, 2006) There are several ways to motivate the minimum wage workers. One way would be to take interest in the employees.

This would be engaging in conversation, allowing them to participate in team decision making, and using coaching techniques to help the employee feel valued and engaged in the work that they do. Another way to motivate the minimum wage worker is through employee development and training. Offer additional training to help develop the skills of the worker so they will not only feel like they are taking the steps of career development, but it also provides a sense of value that the company is investing in the employee. Lastly, rewards are motivating to the minimum wage worker.

Rewards can be monthly or yearly bonuses that can help in their financial situation. Rewards can also be just the recognition of the jobs that they do, such as employee of the month, service, or production rewards. Being flexible and creative in ways of motivation can go a long way whether it is for the experienced worker or minimum wage worker. In the team the relevance of the individual worker in today’s organization structure is key to having a successful team. Each individual plays a certain role in the company’s goals whether it is from various department areas such as; sales, assembly, technology, and administration.

Each organization behaviors in the business environment helps managers build a better working environment and create sustainability in each job function. Each individual in a team have different backgrounds, skills, and personal traits or behaviors. Understanding the individual behavior is an essential step in creating team development. “Members must learn how to respect individual differences in personality traits and adjust to individual attitudes. In the long run, a team should generate a collective behavior that is complementary to each member to be more effective. (Exforsys Inc, 2010)

As a leader, one must learn what inspires and encourages an individual. This can be done by collectively gathering information from the individual, which will add value to the individual. If an employee knows and understand their role in the task at hand, then they are more likely to achieve and adhere to the common goals. As each member contributes their own skills and attributes, it will create a more productive team, one that will collaborate and meet the team goals as a whole.


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