Motivation is the desire and willingness to do something to achieve a positive outcome for an individual or a group of people. ( Lai, R. (2011). . Motivation: A Literature Review . p1) There are various different skills managers use to motivate employees a couple of examples are, the skills used when communicating with employees and rewards and benefits the manager awards the employees with. The skills used may need to be differentiated when motivating a full team and when motivating on an individual basis. In the further text I will be discussing the different skills managers may need to use when motivating teams and motivating individuals. To begin with, managers can motivate their employees (as a team or as individuals) using certain communication skills. A way a manager may use communication to motivate an entire workforce as a team is by having team meetings and discussing any problems the employees have and any future plans.
This makes the employees feel as if their voices are heard within the business as they can have their say on what they like and dislike about the company. This will lead to an increase in motivation with in the workforce because any problems the employees will be resolved by discussing in the team meetings. Also, managers may use their communication skills to motivate individuals but they will have to slightly differentiate the skills used. For example, if an employee was turning up to work late and missing shifts on several different occasions a manager could sit with the employee one to one and speak to them on a personal level and try and resolve the issue. This ensures that the employee feels valued as an individual in the workplace, which leads to increased motivation. A similarity when motivating a team and an individual using a manager’s communication skills is the employees will start to feel like valued members of the workforce. This falls under the social stage of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; according to Maslow, every human needs to feel a sense of belongingness within their workforce and social groups to ensure they can move on to the higher stages of his hierarchy(Luthans & Doh, 2009, p.396 – p398).
A difference between motivating a team and motivating individuals using communication skills is when using communication skills to motivate an individual the skills have to be used in a personal manner to gain the employees trust so they can confide in you and tell you their problems, which they may have not been able to do in a group situation. This takes the manager and employees relationship to a personal level, which can increase the motivation of an employee because it shows the manager cares and values them as an individual not as a member of their team. This again falls under the social stage of Maslow’s theory. Secondly, managers can motivate a team of employees using rewards and bonuses for reaching targets and achieving certain goals set by managers. For example, if a team or department get set a goal by their manager and they achieve the manager can reward the employees by taking them out for a meal or by giving them a financial incentive such as a slight pay rise. This motivates employees because they will feel as if they have something to work for. It is basic human behaviour to work hard when you know you will be rewarded.( Daft, R.L., 2003, p113-p115)
Also, managers can use rewards and bonuses to motivate employees on an individual basis. For example, if a manager notices some potential for an employee to be promoted within the business they may discuss this with that individual. The manager could use to fact they want to promote the individual as a reward for reaching a specific aim that has been set. This will motivate the employee as they are being given a chance to move up in the company and it also gives the employee the impression they are not stuck in a dead end job and can advance into a new role within the business. A similarity of a manager using rewards as a way to motivate a team and an individual is it gives both teams and individuals an incentive to achieve what target or goal the manager has set them. A difference of a manager using rewards as a way to motivate an individual and a team is when motivating an individual you are giving them a specific goal to work for, which means that the manager will have to keep reviewing the individual’s progress.
Whereas if when using rewards and bonuses to motivate a team the manager would set one goal or target for the whole team to succeed. This should promote teamwork within the workplace and overall team motivation. It will also create a less competitive environment at work and make the whole team feel equal. Using rewards as a practise of motivation falls under the theory of Goal Setting, which focuses on how managers set goals and the overall impact of this process on motivation. (Luthans & Doh, 2009, p.411) In conclusion, I believe the most effective skill when motivating a team or an individual is communication. This is because it lets the employees have a say in the business, which ensures all of their problems are resolved and makes the workplace an enjoyable place to work. Also, I believe motivating employees on an individual basis is a lot more effective than motivating them as team. This is because the employee will feel more valued and respected by managers as they will have that personal relationship with the manager.
Daft, R.L., 2003. Management, 6th ed. London: Thomson Learning/South-Western Luthans, F., and Doh, J.P. 2009. International management: Culture, Strategy and Behaviour, 7th ed. New York: McGraw Hill/Irwin. Lai, R. (2011). Motivation: A Literature Review. p1.