Risks to Staff Motivation and Morale

In every organization culture determines the ways of performance and interaction between employees, communication and climate, morale and satisfaction. Following Foster-Fishman and Keys (1997): “Organizational culture refers to the shared system of meaning that guides organizational members’ believing, thinking, perceiving, and feeling, ultimately directing their behavior”. New proposals and changes proposed for Brampton will change its culture and will be influenced by this culture. Shared values and visions, relationships and climate will influence implementation and perceptions of the proposed actions. The opposed change will require new understanding of work relations and new vision of the corporate goals and aims.

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The organizational culture of Brampton will influence implementation and acceptance of the proposals. Following Bloisi et al (2007) the shared values determine the bonding of organizational principles to the goal-setting process. Strategies that consider organizational values in their development will become an extension of organizational values. The values that give an organization credibility also will give credibility to the individual. They will be a source of self-fulfillment and personal integrity. While organizational values relate to employees, profit, customers, stakeholders, community, and the like, individual goals will relate to fairness, honesty, trust, respect, quality, and cooperation. These are precisely the values that are inherent in the organizational values statement. Alone, however, these values are far too general and open to interpretation. It is easy to forget the particular and complicated nature of human moral experience. Thinking about and discussing the ethical implications of a goal is more practical and valuable than using a list of values or ethical models. Acting on the ethical implications is even more valuable. Ethical action is the relentless effort to make values a part of the goal-setting equation. Where the managers go wrong, however, is in expecting more from these values than they can deliver (Mullins, 2008).

Each application must deal with the realities of a particular goal and how to accomplish it. The proposal states that: “To sustain and accelerate further improvement, the council must apply its energies as efficiently as possible, ensuring that the quality and capacity of support functions match the needs of direct services” (Case study). It is possible to say that new changes will be influenced by old principles of work and will need a new set of principles for further change. In this case, individual integrity is the real foundation on which organizational ethics is built. Integrity includes values, goals, and actions of all people in an organization, but its demonstration is particularly important for an organization’s managers (Mullins, 2008). A manager’s actions are the pivotal link between his or her personal beliefs and organizational aims. Managerial integrity stands at the center of shared values and the goal-setting process. Managers become known for their ability to bring out the best in people by challenging them with high performance goals. They are also known for their trustworthiness. People can depend upon them to be fair and honest in setting goals at a level that will challenge them but not at such a high level that the goals are unattainable. Trustworthiness is an important component of integrity. Otherwise, there will be no followers. Trust conveys that managers mean what they say. It is a belief in an old- fashioned concept called integrity.

The proposals will change structure of work and interpersonal relationships. The demand for high quality and service excellence will influence morale and satisfaction of employees. It can lead to resistance to change and opposition movement. A common mistake is to conceive employees and their relations as fixed entities. To the contrary, they should be constantly forming around a specific task or goal, fixing things, celebrating their accomplishments, disbanding, and then forming again with different people appropriate to take on another problem with new goals. What is the purpose of continual improvement other than to keep the organization alive and well? Organizations exist for purposes outside themselves. The overriding purpose is to be responsive to customer needs–but who is the customer? The answer to that question is problematic (Mullins 2008). In the process of fixing the small things, teams tend to become insular and can forget why they exist. In focusing on their particular goal, they forget not only the ultimate customer, but also those teams around them. Worse yet, teams can become competitive, combative, and even destructive to the organization. Goal displacement occurs when activities that were originally intended to help improve organizational goals become ends in themselves (Foster-Fishman and Keys, 1997).

Focusing on the small things is one way to build teams in organizations, but teams can also be built around big problems. Those problems can be addressed by task forces that work on organization wide issues. The task force investigates major issues, develops alternatives, looks at the advantages and disadvantages of each, and provides an action plan. Issues may include the organizational vision or the strategic plan itself. According to Hughes (2006), task forces may also address reorganization, rewards and recognition, communications, training, and education, to name a few. In organizations with effective teamwork, management retains authority for defining the vision. However, work teams plan, set priorities, organize, coordinate with others, and take corrective action. They solve problems, schedule and assign work, and even handle personnel issues such as absenteeism and discipline. All these duties were previously prerogatives of management. Consequently, the team must now hold the responsibility and authority to implement solutions if it is to be effective. An inspiring vision is needed at all levels of the organization from the executive suite to the mailroom. A correctly delivered vision serves that purpose and conveys the need for change. That need is usually larger than the organization itself, and is something that the individual can accept. Every organization has a purpose outside itself that the individual person can commit to and goes to the very survival of the organization. If people are not dedicated to the organization’s purpose, the organization will become unresponsive to those it serves and will perish (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2007).

Following Maslow’s theory of needs, human motives develop in sequence according to five levels of needs. These needs are: psychological (hunger, thirst), safety (protection), social (be accepted, belong to a certain group), esteem (self-confidence, achievements, respect, status, recognition), and self-actualization (realizing one’s potential for continued self-development). The proposals will threaten the need of achievement and esteem needs (Mullins, 2008). Herzberg theory suggests that the freedom to exercise initiative and ingenuity, to experiment, and to handle the problems of their jobs in their own way are crucial aspects of work. The proposals enveloped for Brampton will allow freedom of choice but will limit personal involvement in work. So, managerial integrity will be influenced by developing and consistently applying a well-honed set of organizational and individual moral values. Values such as honesty, fairness, and respect for the individual are prerequisites for achieving both integrity and effectiveness. The consistency between behavior and belief, in tune with organizational goals and values, permits the manager to deal with the realities of a particular goal and the means to accomplish it (Mullins, 2008).

The analysis of proposals developed for Brampton allows to say that real dilemmas will occur in practical problems where values clash with pressures for tangible and immediate performance. Tangible performance represents values that are readily quantifiable and measurable. They include such objectives as setting goals for growth, productivity, profit, career development, or promotion, all of which may involve career aspirations. Following Crowther & Green (2007) the temptation is to pressure people to cut comers and to shade the truth to accomplish these tangible and measurable objectives. Managerial integrity can be easily compromised at the expense of the more intangible ethical standards. The more tangible measures also carry with them the potential to destroy the shared values on which managerial integrity is based. The pressure to perform naturally leads to a conflict between means and ends. Managers face the critical responsibility of choosing the right goal to ensure that what people are striving for is the ethical choice. Moreover, because of the propensity of people to do what they are told (and their natural inclination to accept goals as legitimate because they come from an authority figure or from the organization itself), it is crucial that managers do not ask people to employ unethical means to accomplish an otherwise noble goal. Both the means and the ends are valid subjects for ethical questioning (Bratton et al, 2007).

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The nature of the individual’s thoughts will also relevant after goals have been formulated. Individuals choose to take action in accordance with each chosen goal. They should focus on what is to be achieved, the means needed to achieve it, and the reasons for, or benefits of, such action. Intrinsic motivation is not inherent in the task but rather exists inside the person. However, the working environment tends to be governed just as strongly by imposed standards and external rewards (such as pay, recognition, and promotion) as it is by things that are done because they are personally rewarding. This is not to deny that one should enjoy work and achieve personal reward, but in real work settings, such motivation rarely operates in isolation from other types of external motivators. The new proposals will affect task performance in at least three ways. First, they energize performance by motivating people to exert effort in line with the difficulty or demands of the goals or task. It is not simple physiological arousal that produces high performance Crowther & Green, 2007). Generally, one expects more effort to be expended when goals are difficult than when they are easy. Greater effort should produce in greater performance, and more effort is needed to attain hard goals than easy goals. More effort typically gets better results than less effort, given that ability is adequate. Second, goals motivate individuals to persist in their activities through time. Hard goals will keep people working for longer periods of time than vague or easy goals. Hard or challenging goals inspire the individual to be tenacious, to refuse to settle for less than could be achieved. Individuals who set easy goals stop working sooner than those with hard goals. While this result may seem trivial, it does illustrate the fact that challenging goals keep people motivated longer than less challenging goals, even when all individuals are working at the same pace (Crowther and Green, 2007).

The lack of coordination and communication will influence organizational culture. ”Structural change without a good management plan and a strong narrative approach to its communication can affect morale” (Case study). Lack of ability limits an individual’s capacity to respond to a challenge–some people are not capable of performing in accordance with their goals. If they do not have the ability, they cannot reach them. Performance levels off after the limits of ability have been reached. Goal setting has a stronger effect on high-ability than on individuals (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2007). Furthermore, ability has stronger effects among high-goal individuals than among low-goal individuals. When goals are low and people are committed to them, output is limited to levels below what is possible. Challenging goals lead to high performance only if the individual is committed to them. Commitment refers to one’s attachment to or determination to reach a goal, regardless of where the goal originated. It is inclusive of the term acceptance. Expectancy is a significant predictor of goal commitment–that is, the individual’s belief that exerting effort will produce a certain level of performance and that performance will lead to valued outcomes (Mullins, 2008).

Thus, it is important to note that given a goal commitment, Brampton’s employees will continue working at the task until the goal is reached. Employees will work longer and more tenaciously for a harder goal then for an easier one, but there can be a trade-off. Employees with low demands and a long time limit or no time limit may work more slowly then those with high demands in order to fill the time available (Mullins 2008). The excess time in such a case, however, is the result of a slower pace rather than of greater persistence. The most straightforward prediction about the relationship of goal performance to satisfaction is this: the greater the success experienced, the greater the degree of satisfaction experienced as well. When people perform well, they not only feel satisfied with their performance but also generalize this positive effect to the task; they like the task more than they did previously. In conclusion, job satisfaction is not a result of either the person or the job alone but rather of the person in relation to the job (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2007). Organizational learning will be an important part of transformations at Brampton. Organizational cultures may be distinguished by the degree to which learning and problem solving occur (Mullins, 2008). The model is represented by governing variables (or values) and untested assumptions that render problematic the detection and correction of error. Some of the governing values of behavior include unilateral protection of self and others, win-lose attitudes, owning and controlling of tasks, rationality, and suppression of negative feelings. Organizations are theories-in-use that maximize interpersonal defenses and minimize learning (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2007).

In sum, the proposals will influence Brampton in two ways they will be influenced by the organizational culture and will change this culture. There is a need to create effective strategies for change implementation. As a result of the complexity of large organizations, which include multiple layers of authority, responsibility, and tasks, groups emerge as subcultures with relatively distinct identities In addition to a leader’s characteristic response to stress and anxiety, organizational cultures and subcultures are driven by underlying basic assumptions. These groups may or may not be compatible at any given time and, frequently, the unconsciously driven basic assumption group sabotages the more consciously driven task group. Multiple and diverse basic assumption groups, or subcultures, may exist in large organizations. The motivation will change if employees’ communication and interaction actions are ignored. Greater autonomy and independence of each group from the central authority structure contribute to a subculture’s differentiation from the larger organizational culture. In most organizations, however, central authority patterns determine group subcultures.

Bibliography

  1. Bloisi W, Cook C.W. & Hunsaker P.L. 2007, Management and Organizational Behavior, 2nd ed. Maidenhead: McGraw Hill
  2. Bratton J, Callinan M, Forshaw C & Sawchuk P. 2007. Work and Organizational Behavior Basingstoke Palgrave Macmillan.
  3. Crowther D & Green M. 2004. Organizational Theory London: CIPD
  4. Hughes M. 2006. Change Management – A Critical Perspective London; CIPD
  5. Huczynski A & Buchanan D. 2007. Organizational Behavior, 6th ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall
  6. Foster-Fishman, P.G., Keys, Ch. B. 1997. The Person/environment Dynamics of Employee Empowerment: An Organizational Culture Analysis. American Journal of Community Psychology 25 (3), 345.
  7. Mullins L. 2008. Essentials of Organizational Behavior, 2nd ed. London, FT Prentice Hall
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