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The Role of Leadership in Employee Motivation
Motivation is the key to organizational success. Leaders cannot derive productivity from the employees by force but they can motivate the employees by reward, fair treatment and incentives to work well and enhance their performances, enabling them to strive for the achievement of organization goals. (Tucker, 2014)
Talking about motivation, we can never underestimate the role that managers play as an effective leaders to boost the morale of the employees.Leaders should have the power and charisma to affect the behaviour of the employees by means of effective communication, training, reward and discipline. Leader is a person, not necessarily the manager of the organisation who can influence others. Peter Drucker states that managers acting as leaders have the role to form and set the goals and objectives for the group, organise tasks by initiating division of work, is the key motivator and communicator and measures performances by having yardsticks.He is also responsible for developemnt of the employees . (Murray, What do Managers Do?, (n.d))
Evaluating from different perspectives using the lens of contemporary orgsansational behaviour theory the application and practices used to manage people
Transformational and autocratic types of leadership have been identified resulting in enhanced performance of the organisation. Transformatiomal leader changes the state of affairs by bringing major orgasnizational change and involving the empployees in the process of change.Autocratic leader is more self centered in action and depends on their authority to make things heppen. A leadership style should be such that it appeals and ,motivates the followers. Leaders need to be efficient analysts and have the skills to identify the course of action they need to adopt.Such as motivate and communicate a new hire more and do not leave him or her to do job without being supervised and trained, as it wopuld lead to errors and demotivation ultimately. (Selesho & Naile, 2014)
A visionary leader is efficient to give a new direction to the organisation as it empowers the people to innovate and experiment and take risks that are calculated. Coaching is a style of leadership that is oriented to achieve individual devlopemnt. By showing them means and methods to improve individual performances.Affliative leadership style lays stress on the importance of working in teams It increases harmony and synchronising in the team. (Murray, (n.d))
Leaders as efficient motivators
Leaders can act as efficient motivators if they;
- Have the abiltiy to match the individual needs of the employees with the organisational goals.Practice ethical and morale code of conduct and set an example to the subordinates.
- Have the quality to reward a job well done by words of apreciation, prizes or certificate which mentions the reason for the award.
- Efficient motivator is a leader who encourages the employees to be a part of the organisational development and planning. Being a part of the planning and developemnt process qualifies the employees to better understand the organisational goals and needs and act accordingly.
- Leader if encourages the team to get involved in the decision making process enables them to be empowered and motivated high morale boosts the entire state of the organisation.
- Empathy is an imnportant trait a leader should posses. Employees feel highly obliged if the leader has the quality in stepping in the shoes of the subordinates.
There are different factors responsible for motivating an individual. There are easy withdrawals to the process or state of being motivated, Organization need to prepare a constant action plan to keep the staff motivated at all times.
Maslow and Herzberg had the view that human beings act in order to achieve their needs or outcomes that they desire.
According to Victor and Locke the motivating factors for humans are not their personal needs but the targets given to them and expectations that the firm has.
According to Maslow’s theory;
- It is necessary for the employees to fulfill their needs of basic or lower levels before targeting needs of the higher level
- A satisfied need is not a motivational force , the employee aims to satisfy need of higher level (Maslow, 1943)
Herzberg stated two elementary needs
- The environmental factor also known as hygiene factors – these prohibits the occurrence of dissatisfaction at the job
- Motivational factors –motivating employees in the place of work
According to Porter and Lawler human beings have certain expectations embedded in their mind and act accordingly. They feel that a certain task or behavior will lead to the achievement of a certain outcome and behave accordingly. This theory of expectancy
The components of this theory are;
- Expectancy or EP –The employee expects that his behavior or doings will bring about a certain Desirable performance
- Instrumentality or P- R –The EO will lead to reward or an outcome that is desired
- R or valence – Means that the instrumentality is valued by the employee
According to Locke employees can be motivated and their performance can be high if they are given particular objectives to attain.
It is important to provide feedback to their employees so that they are motivated with positive feedbacks and understand where they lack. (Oliver, 1974)
Assumptions of McGregor’s theory;
Theory X –Humans always dislike their work and they try to avoid it.
Theory Y – Management has the assumption that employees are motivated and control over themselves (Sahin, 2012)
- Situational and Contingency Theory –This theory suggests that leaders emerge as an outcome of certain situation which act as an impulse. Example the 911 attack on US made the then Mayor of New York city emerge as a strong leader.(Sparks & Gentry, 2008)
- Path-goal theory of leadership –Proposed by Robert House this theory states that an effective leaders are one that enforces high performance in the employees by making them understand that individual needs and expectations can be fulfilled by high level of performances.
- Situational Leadership Model –This states that if the subordinates are ready to be led by others this leads to the emergence of leader who analyses the effective style adopted to lead the followers. (Selesho & Naile, 2014)
- Substitute and Neutralizers -This is an effective contemporary approach that states that situational variables have the power to substitute leaders. Being a part of self managed teams make people empowered and skilled to lead and motivate them. Each team member being involved in the goal setting, decision making process, performance measurement etc. will not require any leader to lead them. This helps managing people even with low skill sets as routine procedure, training and goal setting enables them to know what needs to be done. (Clegg, Kornberger, & Pistis, 2011)
In order to understand the way organizations manage and develops people, it is essential to look at how external factors and business criteria influence strategic decisions. It is essential to access before qualifying an individual as manager or leader that does he have the core competency, commitment and the character required to lead? Focusing on the competency of the leader and not on the character is not advisable for organizations as character determines how the leader engages others in the organization. (Crossan, Gandz, & Seiits, 2012)
Issues related to structure, motivation, performance management, and leadership & organization culture
The leaders must be effective motivators for this they must understand the motivational factors for the employees. Employees can be motivated by;
- Decreasing the time employees spend at work
- Giving them performance based incentives and benefits
- Giving them fringe benefits acts as motivating factors
- Encourage employees to take part in decision making and consulting
- Leaders should counsel the employees periodically(Herzberg, 1987)
Working in teams is now a prevalent culture but the leaders being the motivator need to constantly check the effectiveness of team work. They need to be wary that individual performances should not fall short due to team work. It has been observed experimentally that in many cases such as brain storming individual performances is lowered in groups. Many a times team work leads to lower level of motivation as there is a notion that personal input is not that necessary because the team will attain the goal. The leaders should keep use techniques to dissolve group at times and delegating individual tasks too. Using techniques by the leaders that enable the team to work on their own in groups is also advisable. The leaders require selecting members in the team that have equivalent group loyalty. Comparing performances with other teams also help the team to strive to perform better and the leader should devise tasks in a manner that members have significance level of interdependence leading to equal participation. (Dick, Tissington, & Hertel, 2009)
Researches show that performance management can be enhanced by having empowered leaders that leads to great knowledge sharing and efficiency of teams. (Srivastava, Bartol, & Locke, 2006)
A good leader is one that motivates the team members and individual employees to perform consistently and continuously to achieve the goals and objective of the organization. A performance management system enables the optimum use of talent and capabilities recognize high performers and motivate them, make individuals understand the role and importance of their work for the team. This can be achieved by having annual appraisals. (Cardiff University, (n.d))
Ethical And strategic policy options available to managers
An ethical organization is one which shows consistent good results and follows industrial norms and regulations benefiting the society at large. Ethical organization shows “A living code of ethics”. A leader is instrumental in bringing ethical practices at the organization who foresees that the organization follows ethical decision making and has a culture that demonstrate ethics. Ethical and strategic policies should be available to managers so that they preach the ethical code of conduct in the entire workplace. (Verbos, Gerard, Forshey, Harding, & Miller, 2007)
Organisation culture also is greatly influenced by the leadership style. Leaders being the prime source of values and beleifs of a firm act as the important factore in dealing with problems related to cultural change. Culture study can be done by analysing how the members of the group spend and consume the time.Leaders can motivate the employees to be frank and honest to maintain a good culture avoiding barriers to communication. Leaders must train the employees of the expected culture and himself set an example. (Schein, 2010)
Leaders act as key motivators in the organization for the employees. It is very essential for the leaders to understand that their actions and behavior might affect the employee both positively and negatively. It is essential for the leader to understand that what factors motivate their employees. Monetary compensation should not be regarded as sole factor for motivation. Leader should involve the employees in decision making process and take their views and opinions as it makes them feel valued in the organization and keeps their morale boosted. (Heathfield, (n.d))
Efficient leaders are one which keeps the employees informed so that they understand the importance of their work and its contribution towards achieving goals of the organization. Leader needs to be diligent and watchful and understand what excites the employees? A word of appreciation and applause costs nothing but is a great gain to the company as it results in highly motivated staff. (Alexander, 2013)
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