Organization and Behaviour Essay
1.1. How leadership style can motivate or demotivate employees
Motivation is crucial to any organization. Organizations can achieve motivation through recognition, pay rise, trainings, and promotion. Leadership style can either motivate or demotivate employees in an organization. With the increase in globalization and changes in organizational behavior, companies are doing their best to maintain motivation of workers. Leaders are working hard to create a team of workers with the appropriate skills and competence required for delivery of quality products. Organizations are even changing their leadership styles to those that suit employees' motivation. Employees are motivated by leadership styles that encourage their participation in the decision-making process (Tracy, 2013, p 139)
Participative leadership style is which that allows employees to share their ideas in the decision-making process. Such leadership style motivates employees by making them feel important to the organization. They believe that their organization values them, and their duties are essential for organizational growth. Participatory type of leadership encourage teamwork, and employees work together with the aim of achieving a common goal. Employees become more committed because they feel accountable for any failures that may occur as a result of their decisions. Change management is a very tasking activity in the management.
Employees are always reluctant to take up new ideas. Participatory leadership allows employees participation in implementing change. Leaders should be able to determine the level of participation to allow in their organization to prevent so much freedom that can lower productivity.
By giving an example of buffalo grid, the leaders of this company encourage full participation of employees in innovation and encourages all its staff to be innovative in all aspects of their work. The management provides a free environment where the employees can present their innovation. This form of leadership has motivated employees in the invention of solar powered devices, which are mainly used in the developing countries where electricity is not available. The leadership style extends motivation through staff recognition and rewards for the inventions and innovations they bring on board. This has contributed positively to the success of Buffalo Grid (Buffalo Grid, n.d., n.p).
Other types of leadership discourage motivation. Authoritative type of leadership deprives employees the freedom of participating in the decision-making process. Organizations that use authoritative type of leadership demotivates employees. Such type of leadership results in high employees’ turnover and reduced overall performance of the organization.
1.2. Comparison of two motivational theories as used by Buffalo Grid
The two main motivational theories used by Buffalo Grid is expectancy theory and goal setting theory. Expectancy theory states that the high motivation is created by expecting employee to have high performance with regards to their levels of skills. An employer should not expect a worker to perform more that his/her skills can enable him. The employer must ensure that there is a required ability and equipment for an employee to achieve a particular goal. The expectancy theory focus both on individual and team expectations. A team expectation should enhance individual success. There should be a difference between what organizations expects from different types of employees from different cultures. For examples, Asian teams are more focused on achieving their objectives as a team rather than concentrating on individual input in the team. It is not the case for Western organizations that consider individual input in a team as a vital element for a team success.
Buffalo Grid utilizes the theory of expectancy while choosing motivational strategies for their employees that are located in different parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Organization must understand cultural difference in African from that of Western countries while formulating organizational strategies. Buffalo Grid motivates their employees with regard to their level of skills and abilities. The organization measure employees’ performance with regards to environmental hardship and the resources available to complete a particular task. Most parts Africa have poor infrastructures and hampers growth and performance. Buffalo Grid have different reward packages for employees in Africa from those in the Western region. The organization must cater for hardships encountered by employees in Africa and measure their performance with regard to the available resources.
Goal-setting theory of motivation requires the management to set goals for both individual and the team. The goals must be clear to the team; they are also considered as a challenge to the team, and effort and commitment is vital for success. In goal theory, complex tasks are broken down to smaller tasks. The manager gives a time limit within which the goal must be achieved. Buffalo Grid also uses the goal setting theory especially in works where individual tasks and teamwork are separate. Goals make employees more focused on their tasks. The organization sets parameters that show whether the employee has achieved the required goal or not.
The two types of theory are useful for the organization. However, goal-setting theory motivates employees more than expectancy theory. Goal-setting theory does not consider the capability of an employee. Employees who do not have enough skills and capacities for a given task are disadvantaged in this case. Expectancy theory considers the ability of individuals before evaluating their performance (Tracy, 2013, p 142)
1.3. Importance of Motivational Ideas in the Modern Work Place
The modern society has advanced in terms of technology and skill, and that creates a great advantage to organizations. However, organizations must motivate its employees to optimize their performance. Choosing the right motivational strategy is challenging to every personnel. An employer must understand various items that motivate their employees. Motivation has been the driving force for organizations to achieve the best from their employees (Scheuer, 2000, p 34).
Human resource personnel use empowerment as a source of motivation to employees. Empowerment is whereby employees are given more responsibilities at a higher level of management. Once an employee is promoted to a new level, he becomes accountable for various issues under his control. The employee can then access all the resources required to perform a particular task and he/she does not have the feeling of taking responsibility for failures that are out of his/her control. The employee get exposed to more challenges that lead to personal growth and development of skills. Promotion or empowerment helps to divert employees’ interests from self-preservation to success in accomplishing a given task.
Motivation is useful in encouraging creativity and innovation. Organization motivate employees through trainings and team building activities. In a workplace where employees are motivated, workers share their ideas freely without the fear of being jeopardized. In most cases, the employee is full of useful ideas but they fear sharing them with management.
Motivation drives away the fear and the employees can express themselves freely without any fear. Motivation and openness give room for change, and it becomes easy for an organization to implement change.
Training programs offered to employees as a form of motivation help to add knowledge and skills to employees. Skills gained from such programs are then used for the growth of the organization. The program contributes in improving employees' confidence and performance in their tasks. Some organizations motivate employees by allowing them to make flexible arrangements in term of time and commitment to the organization. The numbers working hours in many organizations have increased. Many workers barely get enough time to be with their family and do personal things. Organizations that have allowed employees to plan their working schedules has increased employees' motivation and productivity. Motivation breaks down insecurities and communication barriers.
2.1. Characteristics commonly found among workgroups
There are mainly two types of groups in an organization. There are formal and informal groups. Formal groups are formed by the management to achieve goals and objectives of the organization. Individual forms informal groups within the organization; the individuals must have a common interest. For instance, members of an informal group may form a welfare group to be helping each other in times of particular events. All types of groups must consist two or more individuals.
Informal groups emerge just within the organization, but the organization has little to do about them. The group discusses matters pertaining to individuals in the group rather than organizational issues. On the other hand, formal groups in an organization form an efficient team of workers with a common objective. Formal groups perform organizational related activities. The group comes together to make plans that lead to growth and development of the organization. The groups have a common goal and interdependent activities. An activity in one group depends on the activity of the other group. Success of the group is defendant on each member. Groups are characterized by discussions and brainstorming activities. Every member of the group must participate in decision making and idea generation. Members of the group must evaluate a decision before deciding to implement it.
Workgroups an important motivation for workers since they give every employee a chance to give their opinions. A group work is important when it comes to sharing of information. A group consists of people with different skills. When these people come together, they exchange information in solving a problem that could not have been solved by an individual. Workgroups help to break barriers existing in an organization. For instance, a group of employees in the sales department can interact with employees in the accounting department. Group activities encourage activities outside the normal daily routine. Meeting other members that have different skills provides a challenging opportunity that encourages the growth.
An inefficient group can lead to disagreements between employees thus cause poor working relationships. Also, groups consume a lot of time while making decisions. It happens when every member in the group want to give his/her idea and does not wish to accept an idea from another person. The other harmful effect of working as a group in an organization is the lack of equal participation. Some people may decide to sit back and watch others. This can lead to overworking of some individuals.
2.2. Factors that May Affect Team Work in Technology Implementation
There are many challenges faced in the rural areas in Kenya. There are poor roads, lack of proper network necessary for communication and cultural diversity. With such challenges, it is important to create a strong team to enhance implementation. For an organization like Buffalo Grid to implement its technology in the rural areas in Kenya it has to partner with various bodies. For instance, it has to seek permit from both the local and national government. It should also partner with village elders who understands the rural areas better. The organization should also work as a team with the security department to ensure that security prevails in the fields of implementation. The organization should also work in good relations with identified information technology companies to assist in the implementation processes. The team required for implementation may include members of Buffalo Grid from London, the members of information technology companies from Kenya, village elders and members of the community.
Certain factors such as poor communication or barrier in communication may inhibit implementation of the project. The community might not understand a foreign language which is a barrier to the team success. Poor organization of the team may also hamper team effectiveness. Efficient organization of the team is necessary to facilitate effective planning and management of the technological project. An effective teamwork can enhance implementation of a technological project through sharing of ideas. Team members with technological skills share ideas with those that does not have. Community leaders enhance success of the team by explaining the importance of technology and make it easy for people to adopt the technology.
2.3. Impacts of Modern Technology on Team Performance
Modern technology has helped to enhance performance and at the same time it has hampered team commitment (Denton, 2013, p 13). Technology has helped teams to work across organizations and regions. For instance organizations like Walmart, Starbucks and Buffalo Grid operate across various regions. Technology has made it possible of teams to hold meetings through Skype. Technology has also made communication easier through emails and other channels of communication. As according to Denton (2013, p 5-12) by making management of the group easier, a team leader can make a decision on time due to timely feedbacks from team members made possible by technology. Groupware technology helps teams in planning and delegating tasks by making information accessible to all members of the team. Computers have played a big role in enhancing teamwork. Individuals can perform tasks even from home. Before technological advancement people could only access work from the office.
However, if technology is abused it can lead to poor performance of a team. For instance, a team member can misuse an email to share information that is abusive to other team members or share information that does not benefit the team. Many people spend a lot of time on the internet chatting with friends or doing other activities that are not part of the project. Technology also causes distraction from the central activity. People frequently walk out of boardrooms to receive a phone call. Emails alerts can also distract members in the team and lead to poor concentration.