This document is a guide for new and existing managers to assist them in team motivation and empowering team members in order to accomplish team harmony, inspire innovation and development whilst achieving objectives, in both a day to day setting and as part of the wider organization’s goals.
We will look at how improving job satisfaction and motivation along with empowering team members can lead to achieving efficient performance and business delivery. We will then look in to how team motivation and empowerment can impact on the organisation’s culture and values and finally we will look, in more detail, at empowerment and its implications on business and considering rewards.
What traits are required to achieve team harmony and accomplish business performance?
Job satisfaction – when a person feels fulfilment and enjoyment from their job
Commitment – a person that is dedicated to all aspects of the company adheres to the companies quality and is loyal in their devotion to their role.
Motivation – A person who has a direction and a desire to achieve the aim of the goal. A person can be motivated by external factors or be self motivated.
Empowerment – when a person is given authority to do something leading to increased self confidence and developing own strength.
Business performance – achieving the desired goal of the business in an efficient way.
We will now look at the above terms in more detail and establish whether they compliment each other and work together to contribute towards achieving efficient business performance.
When aiming to improve business performance your own motivation and that of your team’s needs to be at a level that will lead to job satisfaction. As a manager or leader, in order to achieve job satisfaction you will need to offer your team the things that are important to them and therefore improve their motivation. Some people are motivated by achieving and learning, whilst others are motivated by control and support. You will need to establish the needs of your team in order to motivate each member appropriately. This will mean that one leadership style does not fit all. Recognition for the work your team put in is also key to improving motivation and recognizing what they have achieved. Offering flexibility shows team members that there is an element of trust between you and will result in greater job satisfaction and creative thinking. The more your team feel motivated then the more commitment they will put into their role and commit to the goals of the wider team. Please be aware that for a number of team member’s work- life balance is essential to achieving motivation and job satisfaction. The higher the job satisfaction of a team member the more committed they will be. (www.blog.sandglaz.com)
I believe that increased motivation leads to an increase in job satisfaction. I think that the commitment of a team member may vary based on what motivates them. If a team member is motivated by their salary and a work- life balance then they will only commit to a certain level. They will complete their daily tasks within their remit but not necessarily strive to develop. This type of team member may not respond well to certain examples of empowerment due lack of ambition and interest in the strategy of the wider organisation. However, these team members are essential and play a role in keeping the day to day workings of a business running. They may be motivated and have job satisfaction and committed to their role to a certain level but their goals stop there.
You will have other team members that do have drive and ambition. They are motivated and inspired to be innovative and creative and they get great job satisfaction from being involved in decision making and understanding the part they play in the bigger picture. These team members do require high levels of motivation and job satisfaction for them to achieve commitment to the business. They also thrive when empowered by new tasks and initiatives in order to improve their personal development and achieve their own goals and aspirations as well as those of the business.
In summary, when considering if motivation, job satisfaction, commitment and empowerment result in improved business and performance outcomes, it depends on the drive of the individual and the level of input and commitment they are willing to put in to the business and team they work in. Business performance can be improved by a motivated team member with job satisfaction to commit to a certain extent to accomplish the daily goals. These people may be motivated by task and empowerment may decrease their motivation due to lack of interest in the bigger picture. On the other hand, you may have team members that are motivated and achieve job satisfaction by developing themselves and that of the business. They seek new innovations and are committed to developing and learning. These team members respond positively to empowerment and therefore may lead to improvement of the strategy of the business. To motivate a team member you must establish what interests them and engage with them in utilizing their skills and interests in order to improve productivity.
As discussed above, it is important to understand that not everyone is motivated by the same things. Managing teams of people mean that you must establish what drives people and adapt your management style to accomplish a well-motivated team. Some team members will be intrinsically motivated meaning they will be motivated by a personal passion or interest, alternatively, others will be extrinsically motivated meaning they will complete a task that results in a reward.
Intrinsically motivated team members gain job satisfaction from performing fulfilling tasks and the task therefore becomes important. This theory suggests that innate desires will motivate you, such as the need to feel accepted, unique, ethical and important and have the ability to influence others. These team members may respond to well to a democratic leadership style and welcome the opportunity to be empowered and have delegated responsibility.
Extrinsically motivated team members gain job satisfaction from external factors. The external outcome will be rewarding for the team member to complete a task. This external factor can be in the form of money, awards and benefits, perks of the job or bonuses. Some extrinsically motivated team members may not seek innovation and development, but others may be very driven to achieve promotion and bonuses and therefore react well to empowerment and additional responsibility.
As stated above some individuals are motivated by reward and extrinsic factors, also known as transactional theory. These can be financial such as pay rise or non-financial such as employee of the week awards.
An awards ceremony can motivate all types of individuals as those motivated by external factors will gain satisfaction from receiving an award whilst those motivated by internal factors will find satisfaction from their achievements being celebrated. Such an event may result in improved team relationships and fulfillment.
Those team members that gain motivation from their achievement being celebrated may also react well to praise and recognition of their work. Research carried out in 2004 by Gallup Organisation found that regular praise is likely to improve productivity; they are more engaged and more likely to commit and stay with the organization, this leads to improvements in customer satisfaction and therefore business performance. Gostick and Chester developed The Carrot Principle, where they found that leaders who practice effective recognition lead to lower staff turnover, better business performance, and a stronger organization in goal setting, communication, trust, and accountability; all key factors in achieving successful leadership and improving business performance.
Team members with lower confidence react well to encouragement and to clear goals being set. Team members with little experience and knowledge may perform well if encouraged at each step along the way and by setting SMART targets at short intervals, to keep them within the timeframe, ensure the goals are achievable for their level of experience, and to ensure more control and less ambiguity or misinterpretation.
For more advanced team members feedback on their performance will encourage learning and development. Empowering these team members to take responsibility for decision making and remaining accountable for these decisions whilst offering coaching and feedback will encourage them to further develop.
A good leader will require the skills to motivate their team to ensure each team member and the team as a whole experience job satisfaction. When looking at motivation the basis for establishing how a team may work together and with its manager, we turn to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943). (www.simplypsychology.org)
This is a motivation theory which explains the five different levels that human’s progress through to achieve optimum motivation. The needs lower down the hierarchy must be satisfied before progression can take place. In 1978 Maslow did confirm that each stage does not need to be satisfied 100% in order to progress. For example, someone may go straight from physiological to social and skip safety entirely.
Maslow’s primary need in his motivation hierarchy is that of physiological needs, ones that are required until you can move to the next step of motivation. These include basic needs such as warmth, food, and water. Any human without these needs simply can not function. The work environment must meet a basic standard of human acceptance. The second step is for security and for people to feel safe in their environment, knowing that they will still have a job tomorrow. The third level is for interrelations, such as trust, friendship, a sense of belonging. Esteem needs come fourth in the hierarchy meaning that people need to have self-esteem and/ or feel they have achieved a certain reputation or respect from others. The hierarchy then ends with self-actualization, this means that people are aiming to realise and achieve their full potential. This may be where empowerment comes in. To empower people to reach their maximum and beyond if possible.
There is no set timeframe for these stages to be complete. The jump from two to three may take a group of people one hour, whereas it may take another group weeks or may be months, whereas some people may never reach this level motivation in their work. The order of the stages may change too, it can not be assumed that people will progress from the bottom up, it may be that people lose motivation and therefore this may result in some one demoting down a stage or two. For example, they may lose trust in a colleague or a manager and therefore declining from stage three to stage two. Both circumstances and individuals may also change the order of progression here. For example someone may feel that self fulfilment is more important above the most basic of needs.
Maslow concluded that the most motivated of people are those that are at the self- actualization stage, they are fulfilling all that they are capable of, which is reliant on self-development, each person’s idea of self-actualization is different. Self-actualized people have certain characteristics, including; accept themselves and others for what they are, strong moral and ethical standards, and peak experience. They also show certain behaviors, including; trying new things, taking responsibility and working hard. The main problem with Maslow’s theory was within his methodology, most of his qualitative research was carried out on educated males. This method is now somewhat dated and teams of people in the workplace are diverse and from various backgrounds, such as different sex and cultures.
This theory has links to Maslow’s theory and is based on a two-factor theory. He states that there are certain things that businesses can introduce to improve motivation (motivators) whilst there are different factors that if a business lacks, will lead to demotivation of staff (hygiene). These factors that are absent would not necessarily motivate staff members if they are present. Herzberg disagrees with previous theories, such as Taylor, that motivation increases with rewards such as salary. Herzberg’s motivating factors include responsibility, fulfillment, challenges, and achievement and recognition, whilst the lack of financial rewards, working conditions, and appropriate policies and rules would demotivate team members.
According to Herzberg, leaders and managers should ensure the motivators are present and that hygiene aspects are met in order to achieve a certain level of motivation in the team and in individuals. Herzberg particularly supported that of job enrichment, including setting a variety of tasks that were challenging and complex and allowing staff to manage their own workload resulting in a greater sense of achievement. He also believed in empowerment; giving more responsibility, allowing team members to make decisions through less supervision, which in turn demonstrated trust.
We previously discussed the intrinsic and extrinsic forms of motivation. This theory focuses on a person utilising their intrinsic values to behave in an effective way, i.e. people are motivated from within by their values and interests. They can sustain passion, creativity and commitment. This theory also considers how external factors can adjust a person’s initiative. This theory suggests that we should use the strengths of people to compile the organization’s structure and culture in order to achieve job satisfaction.
(https://staffnet.gloucestershire.gov.uk/employee-information-and-support/hr-and-employment-handbook/). All policies and procedures can be defined as the employee relations policy. The County Council has numerous policies that must be adhered to, such as capability; an staff member must be capable and carry out the task of their that are expected of them, failure to do so will result in warnings. There is also a code of conduct that all employees must follow. This is made available to all new starters and is published on the GCC internal web pages. Failure to comply with this may result in disciplinary action and dismissal. There is also a grievance policy that allows anyone to raise an issue they are not happy with if they feel the code of conduct has been broken or if they feel unfairly treated, outside the spirit of the organisation’s culture. All of these rules and regulations are in place to ensure that working relations throughout an organisation are respectful and that communication is carried out to a certain acceptable level throughout all employees, no matter their role within the wider organisation. The code of conduct includes but not limited to;
The county council have a keen interest in supporting all staff members from all cultures and backgrounds and as a result have certain initiatives in place to form groups that can people can join to actively support these individuals. An example of this is the LGBT group which includes individuals that have an interest in supporting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The council have a legal requirement to protect people from a list of protected characteristics, as defined in the Equalities Act 2010.
Empowerment can include many forms such as a manager delegated authority to an employee to make decisions that may not necessarily be within their day to day remit. An example of this is Gloucestershire County Council’s Delegated Powers Policy. Part 3, Section 5 of the Council’s Constitution sets out the Officer Scheme of Delegation. This gives officer’s added authority to sign off decisions intended for their managers. This gives staff a more strategic over view of the authority and the trust to make such decisions based on the knowledge and expertise in a specific area.
When considering organisational structure (www.smallbusiness.chron.com) some adopt a flat approach which is a hierarchical structure where there is a clear progression path on who makes decision and who manages who. There is also a more flexible, matrix approach to structure. The flat structure employees are responsible for managing projects and making decisions in their own sections only and then report to senior figures. This approach can work well in small companies. The matrix approach works for larger companies, such as local authorities, where employees work on a number of varying projects based on their skills and knowledge and project managers can manage a number of relevant projects from start to end.
The matrix approach can lead to conflict between a number of managers who end up competing for staff member’s time on projects. As f or channels of communication, flat organistaions communicate with all involved in a project whereas matrix organisations only communicate with those that are involved in your element of the project. The matrix approach can lead to lack of staff development and therefore a lack of opportunity to empower a team member to learn new skills, potentially resulting in demotivated staff.