This essay will look at the role of the manager in motivating staff in the care setting that I work for, which is a residential children’s home. It will look at different methods of motivation that the manager can use and also the way the manager uses it. The way that they use it will depend on the type of manager they are as they could be either a theory x or y type, as defined by D Mcgregor 1960. For the purpose of this essay we will look at the line managers as they have most contact with staff.
In order to run an effective home the manager needs to not only ensure that they have a sound structure in place to deal with the day to day running of the home but to also ensure that the staff are motivated to do the job. In respect of the day to day running of the home there will be set procedures in place, that will have to be adhered to by all of the residential homes within RCT in regards to budgets, the manner in which children are admitted, contact with other agencies and so on.
Within the home there will be an officer in charge and then seniors. The seniors are your line managers and have the most contact with staff it is their responsibility to ensure that staff are happy in their work and to ensure that there are no problems. The officer in charge will be responsible overall for staff along with the rest of the procedures mentioned earlier.
The way that the manager motivates their staff will vary depending on the type of manager in a particular home. If you have a line manager who is a theory x manager this can have an effect on staff as they may not feel able to talk to the manager about things and discussing things is vital in this particular job, as being able to talk about things that affect the children and yourself within the environment you work contributes enormously to the happiness of the children. And the ultimate aim in the home is to provide a stable home for the children.
A theory X manager will believe that as individuals you need to be told what to do. This does not then allow for confidence within yourself in regards to your development within the job to develop, as you will worry about what they will think about your work .It would also result in you needing to check everything through with them before you make a decision. This can have long reaching affects as the manager is not always available and as staff you have to make daily decisions in regards to the children and their welfare.
On the other hand a theory Y manager will believe that as individuals and as staff that you are capable of making decision for yourself this can lead to them passing on more responsibility to the staff for various tasks within the home. This is something that is dome successfully in beddau with staff having taken responsibility for a number of different things such as doing the weekly menu, ensuring that the training file is up to date, ensuring that the accident, missper and sanction books are updated regularly these along with a number of other tasks done by the staff singularly might not look much but as a whole they contribute greatly to the homes effectiveness.
This also show staff that their capabilities are noted it also allows for staff development as you are gaining experience in a number of different aspects of the work done at the home which in itself is good for motivation. This is supported by Fredrick Hertzberg who says if you want someone to do a good job, “then give then a good job to do” it does not matter the size of the job but that the staff feel appreciated and valued and that you have belief in their abilities.
Although financial and physical resources play a big part in the running of a home the greatest contribution is made by the human resources, i.e. staff this includes all members from the domestic to the officer in charge. If the staff are de-motivated for whatever reason then this has an effect on the smooth running of the home. The human relations school of management 1960/70’s support this as they say that workers take along with then a number of different things, ideas, knowledge, intelligence, experience, skills humour, expectations and beliefs. In order for these to be utilized effectively then the manager has to be aware of staffs strengths as well as their weaknesses. This can be achieved through supervision. If supervision is used correctly it can be a good motivator for staff. If done incorrectly it can result in further de-motivation.
The way in which it is done will again depend on the type of manager. Supervision in itself is not a motivator but a hygiene factor get it right and it will stop your staff becoming ill. I.e. de- motivated. Get it wrong then you have problems as staff will become de-motivated which will result in then doing things wrong or not at all and this will have a detrimental effect on the home. Other hygiene factors that can have an effect on staff are the working conditions salary, interpersonal relations and company policies .As with the above they will not motivate the staff but help to improve the conditions that they work in. this will then lead to their lower needs being met, as defined by A marslow, in his pyramid of needs. He says that in order for a person to reach self-fulfillment they have to meet the different needs in their life as set out in the pyramid. Within the work situation the needs will be met through a number of different way as illustrated appendix1. Steers and porter 1991 suggest that the various organizational factors illustrated can be used to satisfy the different needs. Obviously outside of the jobs the needs will be met in a different way, to a certain degree.
The aim of the supervision is to get the work done well, support staff and to encourage staff development .The three strands of supervision are inter wound if you are able to help staff develop by offering then support then this will lead to better work. If one strand of the supervision is weak then the rope is weak. Which could then lead to de- motivation instead of motivation as already mentioned.
A good line manager during supervision will not only point out where you are going wrong but will look at what you have achieved in relation to your job no matter how small it might be, it could be something as simple as having picked up a mistake in one of the books which if not rectified could have had an effect on the children or it might be that you have handled a situation with one of the children that resulted in then not harming themselves. A theory X manager would not tell you that you had done well in that instance, as they would say it was your job to deal with such an incident. And even though that is the case, if you just thought like that when dealing with the incident the you would not be giving your all to the job. So for a line manager not only to recognize what you have done but also to make you aware that they recognize it is a huge motivator.
The second strand which is support can be met in a number of ways during supervision and on a daily basis. Support can be something that needs to be given when an incident has occurred at the home as above or when something personal is affecting your work .The member of staff receiving support must be able to trust in their supervisor as this will make it easier for them to talk about what is affecting them will then lighten the burden. This trust and also friendship to a certain degree will again depend on the type of manager you have. A good supervisor will also recognize when they are not able to support you and be able to refer you to someone who can, be that another member of staff or possibly a counselling service.
The third strand of supervision is staff development. This involves looking at not only the training needed by the member of staff but also at what training they have already achieved and how best to use that to the advantage of the home. In respect of training that is needed it is important to ensure that the member of staff understands why they need that training so that they do not feel inadequate. As if they are not told appropriately why they need it they may feel that the manager thinks of them as being inadequate in a certain area rather that looking at it as a way of developing and progressing within the job. The one that comes to mind for this is NVQ training many staff look on it as something that they have to do or they will lose their job, rather than something that will not only benefit then in the job they do now, but could also lead to job progression for them.
If the manager is able to recognize a member of staff’s strengths due to training they have received in the past they need to capitalize on this by ensuring that the member of staff is able to use that training in the work place. It could be that they have training and an interest in a particular area which would not possibly have been an area that staff have been able to work in with the children before, such as outdoor pursuits. As before recognizing what someone is good at in its self is a motivator as is recognizing potential within that member of staff.
If the manager is not able to recognize these strengths and weaknesses to a certain degree then they are not able to provide the member of staff with appropriate training to help them develop within the job. The member of staff will then start to question their abilities which in turn will have an effect on their work and motivation.
In conclusion it has to be said that in order for the home to run effectively and smoothly to give the children a stable home as well as ensuring that their needs are met the staff and their needs are as important. The staff being happy at work comes down to how motivated they are if you have a staff that are well supported by the management and that they get training appropriate for them along with recognition than you will generally have a reasonably effective work force. The managers role in all of this is vital as they need to be looking at and addressing the issues around the above. How they will look at the above and deal with them will vary depending on the type of manager you have. John Harvey Jones said 1988.
“Management…… is an art not a science. Each of us approaches the problem from a different background, and each of us is dealing with a situation, and a different culture, and from a different starting point”
For me this statement sums it up in that different people will deal with things in different ways because of different factors. Ultimately a manager or team leader who is able to listen to and appreciate their staff will have a much more motivated team than one who does not listen to consult with or appreciate their team. As a member of such a team I believe that as a staff that we respond to situations and changes that we face better due to the way in which our team leaders deal with things like supervision, which is in the mode of theory Y management. This then creates an effective home for the children to live at some where they can call home and some where those staff are happy to be.