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Motivating employees for working with their maximum productivity is one of the main tasks of company management. However, this job may be at times extremely difficult due to the fact that all workers are individuals with their own outlooks, career goals and personal life. The situation is even more challenging for a team leader, when a collective is characterized by a national, gender, and social diversity. Then, a wide range of factors should be taken into account, in order to reach the highest possible level of team productivity.
The process of organizing the workforce is usually quite complicated. Company leaders have to gain a deep insight into the psychological aspects of workers’ behaviors. A detailed study of the corresponding literature is always a good idea for a company’s leader. Actually, there is a big amount of information about patterns of employees’ behavior, and it can help managers to better understand their teams.
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Tucker (2014) in her article has described four main groups of behavioral patterns at the workplace. These are the following - productivity, compassion, bullying, and rescuing. The first group includes all types of the positive working habits typical for the individual adult employees. The sense of the productive patterns is in providing the high quality of the tasks fulfillment, and, at the same time, in receiving certain bonuses. The reward can be in any form, starting from the financial compensation, and finishing with the emotional satisfaction. Workers that are characterized by productive behavior patterns may have different motives, such as personal ethic and upbringing, career goals, and different bonuses. Another group of positive working behaviors is based on friendship and compassion. It is mentioned by the author that “a kind and compassionate workplace is generally more effective at encouraging long-term profitability” (Tucker, 2014). In contrast to the first group, these work patterns rest on team playing.
The other two groups mentioned by Kristine Tucker deal with the negative patterns of employee behavior. Bullying is described as a set of aggressive actions that re used by workers regarding their colleagues, in order to emphasize on their superiority in terms of corporal competition. Another group of negative behavior patterns is ‘rescuing’. The main danger of excusing the ill-performance is in creating the atmosphere of laziness and irresponsibility among team members.
Actually, the destructive patterns of employees’ behavior should be given a more detailed consideration. A researcher Murphy (2007) has developed a wide classification of human behaviors that may negatively influence the work results. A few of the most widespread types are the following: ‘procrastinator’, ‘predator’, ‘narcissist’, ‘backstabber’, ‘gossip’ and others (Murphy, 2007). In this classification, a procrastinator is a person who tends to be reluctant and to postpone the tasks’ fulfillment. A predator is an aggressive worker with the habit of humiliating his or her colleagues. A narcissist is a very harmful employee type in terms of teamwork, as long as this worker is totally self-centered. Probably, the most offensive behavior types in the given classification are the backstabber and the gossip. People belonging to these two groups tend to spoil the work of the whole team in the most cunning way. Bigelow (2014) gives a more general classification of the destructive patterns of human behavior at work. According to the writer, all negative patterns may be divided into three groups: anger, apathy, and cluelessness (Bigelow, 2014).
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Knowing the peculiarities of employee patterns of human behavior, it is important for the management to develop the program of avoiding the negative patterns, and stimulating the productive ones. In other words, an effective leader must seriously work on the team motivation. In order to gain the maximum results in terms of any project, a manager needs to take into account all possible factors of personal and group encouragement.
According to Martin (2007), there are three different patterns of motivating the workforce. The first encouragement type includes individual rewards for workers. This can be not only financial payment, but allso a new position or role in the project. As the author rightly claims, “the employee remains most motivated when he or she is in the type of role that fits him or her best” (Martin, 2007). Another important factor of team motivation is the appeal to societal benefits. An employee tends to work harder and achieve better results, when he or she believes that the activity of a company is really advantageous for the society. Every worker is responsible for the success of the whole collective. This makes employees more responsible and purposeful. However, professional managers usually combine all of the motivation factors in order to gain the best results.
It is especially important to pay attention to the team motivation when a company is dealing with the diverse workforce. Having different cultural and social backgrounds, people often have different attitudes to work and career. According to Hitt (2012), “specific incentives – such as pay raises, time off, or opportunities for career advancement – will not have the same motivational effect on all people in all situations”. In such a way, an individual approach is vital. A project leaders need to establish a warm and friendly communication with all employees in order to know their needs and goals. For example, it would be a good idea to have the regular individual meetings with employees. Another important point is emphasizing the tolerant and friendly atmosphere inside a team. Different outdoor activities, involving all workers of a certain project or branch, will definitely foster the friendly relationships in a team. Anyway, it is important to remember that different people have different abilities and skills. Thus, with the help of such a combination, any project may be approached diversely and creatively.
Therefore, various studies in the field of workforce motivation show that motivation is important in all enterprises. The optimal patterns of employees’ motivation will not only improve the project results, but will also preserve a happy and productive atmosphere within the company. This means that the workers will enjoy their jobs, and consequently, they will be satisfied with their lives in general.
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