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Motivating Others

I. Increasing motivation and performance.

Employee motivation and performance are increasingly viewed as key resources in helping organizations improve the productivity, quality, customer relations, etc. Few subjects receive more ongoing attention in organizations. Regardless of the organizational setting, managers face a common challenge of fostering a motivating work environment. The focus of this chapter is on creating work environments where employees are highly productive and highly motivated. The core of this chapter outlines a six-step process for creating a motivating work environment. II. Diagnosing work performance problems. Generally, supervisors attribute the cause of poor performance to low motivation or lack of effort. This attribution bias of making assumptions about why things happen without the benefit of scrutiny lends to simplistic, ill-informed diagnoses of work performance problems by supervisors. The book proposes the model that Performance is a product of ability multiplied by motivation. Ability is the product of aptitude multiplied by training and resources. Motivation is the product of desire (effort) and commitment. The multiplication sign in these models signifies that all components are essential. • Aptitude refers to the native skills and abilities including personality characteristics a person brings to a job. • Most inherent abilities can be enhanced by education and training. • Resources in the ability equation above focuses on providing adequate resources (technical, personnel, political) to perform the job. • Desire and commitment is manifested in job-related effort. Effective managers can tell whether poor performance stems from low motivation or a lack of ability by considering four factors. 1. How difficult are the tasks being assigned to the individual? 2. How capable is the individual? 3. How hard is the individual trying to succeed at the job? 4. How much improvement is the individual making? Answering these questions determines whether the poor performance is due to the lack of ability or motivation. Managers must be aware that different strategies exist to improve performance based upon the cause for poor performance; ability or motivation. Choosing the wrong strategy creates more problems for the supervisor-subordinate relationship. III. Enhancing individuals’ abilities. Ability problems result from poor employment screening, changes in responsibilities, advances in technology or the Peter Principle, where people are promoted to one level above their level of competence. Managers should be alert for individuals that show signs of ability deterioration. The following are three danger signs for management positions:

• Imposing-a strong emphasis on performance to the exclusion of satisfaction. As Figure 6. Managers should use motivation techniques that “integrate” concerns for both employee satisfaction and performance. • Indulging-a high emphasis on satisfaction and a low emphasis on performance. and political clout. • Ignoring-neither satisfaction nor performance is emphasized. 4. Reassign. material offered over the Internet 3. no direction and ultimately failure. Theory X is a management style characterized by coercion. Refit--the subordinate remains on the job but the components of the job are changed to better fit the individual. Very little trust between management and employees. Managers retreat to their technical specialty as opposed to managing. Training can take a variety of forms: • Interactive • Simulation • Subsidized university courses • In-house seminars • Distance learning. Theory Y is a management style characterized by assisting workers to reach their potential where workers want to do a good job and assume more responsibility. Employees feel exploited. Retrain—providing additional education or job-related training. Exaggerating certain aspects of the leadership role .1 indicates. The final option. Managers feel insecure about their command of job responsibilities and avoid certain aspects of their role or use their office to intimidate others. No real leadership. Related to motivation are the assumptions tied to Theory X and Theory Y. 5. there are four ways to address satisfaction and performance. Release. Focusing on past performance. Taking refuge in a specialty. Resupply—focuses on the support needs of the job. Managers dwell on previous “days of glory. including personnel. The five remedies for overcoming poor performance due to a lack of ability should be implemented in this order. The result usually is a changed job description. budget. 2. This is the least threatening action and signals to the employee a willingness by the manager to help. The second component of employee performance is more drastic because it involves a transfer. . or termination. IV. should be considered only after all other options have been explored. The culture is one of entitlement over accountability. 3.1. intimidation. Fostering a motivating work environment. 1.” instead of confronting current challenges. but it indicates to the employee that the company is committed to helping him or her succeed in that organization. 2. and close supervision where the basic assumption is that employees really do not want to work hard or assume responsibility.

and appropriately challenging. synergistic motivational program grounded in the belief that employees can simultaneously be high performers and personally satisfied. Effective managers adjust their involvement in subordinate task performance based on three factors (see Figure 6. and behavioral. o Three distinct characteristics that influence expectations are (1) desire for autonomy. The foundation of an effective motivation program is goal setting. Employees are still held accountable. The key assumptions underlying the authors’ framework are found in Table 6. The current “four-factor” model is: motivation à performance à outcomes (rewards) à satisfaction. Remove Obstacles to Performance Facilitate employee performance by removing obstacles to goal accomplishment to ensure a supportive work environment. unambiguous.1. and (3) ability. This section is heavily influenced by the path-goal model. There are six components in an integrating motivation program that are discussed in more detail below (see Table 6. b.emphasizes both satisfaction and performance. (2) experience. V. a.2 and Table 6. consistent. Elements of an effective motivation program This section outlines a step-by-step program for creating an integrative. Task that is highly structured and easy to perform does not require directive leadership. c. Unstructured and difficult task requires direction. How much help is needed to complete the task. How much direction the subordinates expect. o Key task characteristics are structure and difficulty. In the long run both satisfaction and performance are given equal consideration. Within the “four-factor” model are the six elements. The first relationship Motivation à performance covers the first two elements: establish clear performance expectations and remove obstacles to performance.• Integrating. • Goals should be consistent meaning goals should be compatible where all goals can be accomplished simultaneously. b. Feedback provides opportunities for clarifying expectations.2 for summary). Feedback on goal accomplishment. adjusting goal difficulty. • Goals should be specific meaning they are measurable. • Goals should be appropriately challenging where high expectations generally foster high performance. Goal-setting process that encourages subordinates to “buy into” the goals.3). Goal characteristics are specific. motivation and performance has changed a great deal during the past two decades. Individuals who . Scholars’ understanding of the relationship between satisfaction. Effective goal setting has three critical components: a. and gaining recognition. Establish Clear Performance Expectations Establish moderately difficult goals that are understood and accepted. Benchmarking plays a crical role in feedback.

Some creative links between performance and rewards includes • sales commissions that include follow-up customer satisfaction ratings. Management involvement should complement not duplicate organizational sources of support.2. the next step is to encourage goal accomplishment by contingently linking performance to extrinsic outcomes (rewards and discipline) and fostering intrinsic outcomes (Performance à outcomes).desire autonomy desire participative leadership style and capable and experienced subordinates need less assistance from the manager. • pay increases linked to acquisition of new knowledge. Therefore. skills. or demonstrated competencies. How much support is available from other organizational sources. The do’s and don’ts for encouraging subordinates to assume more initiative (see Table 6. • compensating managers based upon their ability to mentor new group members and resolve difficult intergroup relationships • linking pay of key employees to the accomplishment of new organizational goals or strategic initiatives Technological constraints can prevent the link between individual performance and rewards (for example. the third element from Table 6. they reinforce that behavior. The authors note that this section is based upon two related principles: (1) managers should link rewards to performance not seniority and membership and (2) managers should use discipline to extinguish counterproductive behaviors and use rewards to reinforce productive behaviors. c. The greatest motivational impact from awards programs is possible when: • the awards are given publicly • awards are infrequent • there is a credible reward process • the award presentation is used to acknowledge past recipients • the award is meaningful within the organization’s culture The Role of Managers’ Action as Reinforcers Managers should be cognizant of how their day-to-day interactions with employees can be interpreted as rewards or punishments by the employees. Use Rewards as Reinforcers When rewards are linked to desired behaviors. Since high performers are the key to organizational success. an assembly line).4) demonstrate the . use rewards and discipline appropriately to extinguish unacceptable behavior and encourage exceptional performance is the focus of this section. it is important to keep this group satisfied. High performers expect a strong link between performance and rewards. Reinforce Performance-Enhancing Behavior Once clear goals have been established and the paths to goal completion have been cleared. When neither individual nor group performance can be measured an organization-wide performance bonus is appropriate. Nonfinancial rewards (awards) should be included as well in the performance-reinforcing program.

the manager must begin to use rewards in connection with the new behavior to reinforce the desirable behavior. • When issuing a reprimand the discipline should immediately follow the offensive behavior and focus exclusively on the specific problems (don’t bring up old concerns).3 is crucial for this discussion. The consequences of misapplying rewards and discipline generally lead to two undesirable outcomes: the work unit’s morale is threatened and poor performers’ behaviors are not improved. and reward (see Table 6. redirect. exceptional managers are able to foster exceptional behavior in their subordinates by utilizing the 9-step behavior-shaping process outlined in Table 6.5. Subordinates expect managers to reprimand poor performers (not ignore it or make excuses) and reward exceptional performance (not nitpicking the performance). Use Rewards and Discipline Appropriately There are three types of management responses to employee behavior. The quote “The best way to change an individual’s behavior in a work setting is to change his or her manager’s behavior” fits this section. Rewards are effective for improving acceptable behaviors but inappropriate for correcting poor performance. • After reprimand. Therefore. the authors take the stance that no response ultimately results into either a negative or positive response. it is being reinforced. • Once the manager has redirected the focus to the acceptable behavior. Strategies for Shaping Behaviors The nine step process is organized into three broad initiatives: reprimand. This 9-step guideline can be used either to make unacceptable behavior acceptable or to transform acceptable behaviors into exceptional ones. By definition. • no response (ignoring) • negative response (disciplining) • positive response (rewarding) Managers should not assume that their lack of response to an action or event has neutral meaning to subordinates. Therefore. Steps 4 through 9 (redirect and reinforce) are used to transform acceptable behavior into exceptional behaviors. Figure 6.power of managers’ actions in shaping behavior. if a behavior persists. Focus should be on eliminating behavior not making the person feel bad. it is important to redirect inappropriate behaviors into appropriate channels.5). It is important that those being reprimanded understand how they can receive rewards in the future. Steps 1 through 6 (reprimand and redirect) are used to extinguish unacceptable behaviors and replace them with acceptable ones. Discipline is appropriate for extinguishing unacceptable behaviors but ineffective in improving acceptable performance. .

• Feedback: information on performance by the individual that is made available on a timely basis helps the individual understand the importance and value of the task or work. Provide Salient Rewards Having established a link between performance and outcomes (rewards and discipline) as part of an integrative motivational program. Intrinsic outcomes are experienced directly by the individual as a result of successful task performance. Form Identifiable Work Units. 4. and task identity increase. the final link in the four-factor model (Outcomes à Satisfaction) is discussed as well as the final three remaining elements of the six element . • Autonomy: more freedom to choose how and when to do the task increases responsibility leading to increased commitment. and the development of new skills. 3. These five are: 1.the establishment of this relationship can increase autonomy. Increase Authority. task significance. Open Feedback Channels. promotion and praise are extrinsic outcomes. and feedback are positively related to job satisfaction.allows task identity and task significance to be increased. and the resulting personal and work outcomes. task supervisors delegate more authority and responsibility the subordinates’ perceived autonomy. 2. 5.requires workers to use a wider variety of skills leading to work being more challenging and meaningful. These experiences include feelings of accomplishment. Combine Tasks. The five core job dimensions. Figure 6. rather than a piece of a whole task increases the meaningfulness of the task. self-esteem. • Task identity: performing a task from beginning to end. the critical psychological states they produce. In summary.6 identifies the five managerial strategies for increasing intrinsic outcomes related to the five core job dimensions. • Task Significance: work or tasks that have a positive impact on the lives of others increases the meaningfulness of the task also. task significance. managers should recognize that both extrinsic and intrinsic outcomes are necessary ingredients of effective motivational programs.Foster Intrinsic Outcomes Pay. Motivating Workers by Redesigning Work Work design is the process of matching job characteristics and workers’ skills and interests. Establish Client Relationships. task identity. autonomy. How the work is designed could enhance the potential intrinsic outcomes.Timely and consistent feedback is needed so subordinates can make adjustments in their behavior to receive the desired reward. • Skill variety: more variety in the skills needed for the task the more the person perceives the task as meaningful. Table 6. skill variety. and feedback.4 shows the relationship between core job dimensions.

Equity is the fifth element of the integrative motivation program (see Table 6. • Need of Achievement.motivational program (see Table characterized by o a sincere interest in the feelings of others o a tendency to conform to the expectations of others o a strong desire for reassurance and approval from others • Need of characterized by a desire to influence others and to control one’s characterized by o a tendency to set moderately difficult goals o a strong desire to assume personal responsibility for work activities o single-minded focus on accomplishing a task o strong desire for detailed feedback on task performance • Need of Affiliation. Any positive benefits of the reward will be negated if the individual feel they are not receiving their fair share.7) provide useful information about personal needs. The fourth element of the integrative motivation program is to provide salient internal and external incentives. An alternative perspective to the hierarchical models is the Manifest Needs Model. Moreover. A flexible reward system helps managers avoid a common motivational mistake of projecting their own preferences onto subordinates. Be Fair and Equitable Once appropriate rewards have been determined.2). including needs for achievement. This model proposes that people have divergent and often conflicting needs and those individuals could be classified according to the strength of their various needs. The issue the manager faces here is equity. within the workplace. One approach is to match employees’ preferences with organizational rewards through a “cafeteria style” compensation system. Finally. and power. There are two manifestations of the need of power: o Personal power. not inherited and that needs are activated by cues from the environment. only three needs were identified as relevant: power to advance the goals of a group or organization Using Need Theory to overcome Common Attribution Errors The tendency for managers to miscalculate subordinates’ reward preferences is reflected in the following attribution errors (1) assuming all subordinates value the same rewards and (2) assuming that the manager’s reward preferences are shared by all subordinates. Personal Needs and Personal Motivation The various hierarchical needs models (see Table 6. is the reward offered worth the effort? Managers should seek information about subordinates’ needs and values and not assume they know what employees want. However. .seek power for personal gain o Institutional power. hierarchical needs models are not useful for understanding day-to-day motivation levels of working adults. this model assumes that needs are learned.2). affiliation. managers must consider how to distribute those rewards. affiliation. and power. In other words.

Feelings of inequity will cause the individual to alter either his/her inputs or outputs until the individual’s perceives equity has been restored. . for example). the content of feedback significantly affects its reinforcement potential. Equity is based on the perceived balance between what individuals feel they are putting into a job and what they believe they are getting in return. the sixth element is related to how the reward is administrated. Provide Timely Rewards and Accurate Feedback Once the appropriate awards have been determined to be fair and equitable. The longer the delay in the administration of rewards. how often the reward is administrated is very critical. Reward programs that are highly routinized (formal performance appraisal systems) lose their immediacy. In addition to the timing of feedback. then when the reward will be given plays an important role. The implication for effective management is clear: effective rewards are immediate and spontaneous rewards. It is especially important to provide accurate and honest feedback when the individual’s performance is marginal or substandard. Inequities are based on a person’s perceived input/output ratio compared with what s/he believes about the ratios of similar others. Besides timing. the less reinforcement value the rewards have. The outcome of this comparison with others is the basis of the individual’s belief about fairness. skills. Effectively use of both continuous and intermittent reinforcement is required by the effective manager. Using one’s supportive communication skills in this situation can be beneficial to both the supervisor and subordinate. Administrating rewards every once in a way is called intermittent reinforcement. The key for the manager is to ensure that differences in ratios are based upon job-related items (performance. The main purpose for feedback is to reinforce productive behaviors and extinguish counterproductive behaviors. Therefore. Two aspects should be considered: (1) the length of time between the occurrence of the desirable behavior and receipt of the reward and (2) the specificity of the explanation for the reward. To increase the motivational potential of performance feedback. be very specific—including examples whenever possible.Equity refers to the worker’s perception of fairness of the rewards. Administrating a reward every time a behavior occurs is called continuous reinforcement. and experience. Neither approach is superior.