1st example – Motivational theory Need – Security and Safety Needs
Situations where need not met – In my previous role I was with the company for almost 14 years. It was a large organisation with plenty of opportunities. I started out as a graduate and worked my way up to management. As an organisation we provided IT services to other organisations and the contract that I was in was coming to an end. Previously, the contract had been extended several times and thus we expected the same this time round too.
However, the contract only got extended for another 2 years on the premise that there had to be huge savings made across the organisation.
Effect on team – This provided insecurity across the whole organisation. They felt that their jobs were at risk. As for my team some left immediately, stress levels were high, which meant there was a lot of absenteeism. People were refusing to do both on-call and overtime, which had such an effect on productivity as we supported live environments.
Team moral was at its lowest with no one knowing exactly what was going on.
Effect on individual – Similar effects were seen at the individual level where stress levels were high and morale really low. Some had been with the company (on that contract) for 30 years plus and thus didn’t have the confidence in looking for newer opportunities, which naturally would be challenging.
How motivational theory was used – Acknowledging the fact that this would have a direct impact on people’s financial situation.
I tried to get as much information from higher management to avoid the spread of rumors, which was only adding to the anxiety. I ensured my team were well aware of my actions and knew that I was there to answer their questions and also assured them that I will be transparent with them regarding the whole situation. In the end the situation was not as bad as it seemed. Yes, there were going to be redundancies but, a really carefully put together criteria would be used. This would be a fair process across the organisation. The first redundancies will be offered to those who are looking at early voluntary retirement and the packages/offers were really attractive. Some would get moved across to other areas, opening up further opportunities of advancement and development. The process was no doubt long and draining but keeping the communication lines open and having that transparency really worked in this situation. Not forgetting the fair treatment. Each individual in the team felt cared for and the insecurity soon became insignificant.
2nd example – Motivational theory Need – Social Need
Situations where need not met – When I joined my new company, the team I was hired to manage was one that hadn’t been managed for almost 2 years. They were so dis-engaged with the whole organisation, especially the common sense of purpose. Even within the team they worked in silos. No common processes where in place and everyone just picked and chose what they wanted to work on. I received many complaints from almost every team regarding service level agreements and targets not being met and thus affecting productivity. I also had complaints about poor behaviour regarding some members of the team.
Effect on team – They had no sense of belonging and felt really demotivated as they felt that there was no real challenging work, morale was low, energy levels were low. There was so much negativity towards the whole organisation. They felt that they were never recognised for their achievements and that no one listened to them.
Effect on individual – On an individual level they felt isolated, and when I tried to tackle the issue of behaviour with some of the individuals, their instant response was they were stressed and said that they felt anxious as didn’t know what people expected of them.
How motivational theory was used – I immediately recognised the fact that the team lacked a sense of belonging. Knowing the importance for this need in driving human behavior, I knew I had to tackle this issue straight away. I arranged 1-2-1’s with each member to try and understand the issues and to set expectancies. I placed a priority to the projects so that the team knew what they should be working on. I worked on resolving some of the quick wins, this included getting funding for training so that they could start building the trust in me. I put in place regular weekly meetings that helped the team align with the common purpose. There are many methods of promoting a friendly, collaborative culture within the organisation, but one of the most crucial steps is getting people to spend a little time together off the clock, so I got a budget arranged for some team building events. I showed them respect, provided positive feedback, and involved them in decision-making. All these efforts helped towards getting my team re-energised and engaged at work by making them feel part of a group and wider acceptance from the organisation. This ultimately reflected increased production.