Teamwork and Motivation
Teamwork and motivation is considered to be at the core of any organization’s success (Berman, 1999, p. 5). While teamwork is essential in ensuring the organization’s efforts are geared towards accomplishing its mission and vision, motivation plays an important role in inspiring and energizing the organization’s members to ensure it achieves its set goals and objectives. However, establishing effective teamwork and motivation is challenging because of organizational diversity and complexity in the organizational structure. Managers can effectively address these challenges through strengthening teamwork abilities and improving their employees’ motivation to facilitate the realization of overall organizational success. Effective teamwork and employee motivation is essential in achieving overall organizational success.
Motivated employees are often satisfied with their job, thus would concentrate more on producing high quality products that lack any defects. Furthermore, they would ensure such products not only reach the market on time, but also collect relevant information from the customers on how the product can be improved to enhance their satisfaction. The management team can effectively motivate employees through understanding their needs, empowering them, providing effective rewards, redesigning their jobs, and creating a flexible workplace.
In order to motivate employees, the management team should begin with understanding its employees’ needs and opinions. Having a good understanding of the employees’ needs and perspectives about the organization and its working environment would enable the management team adopt motivation strategies that would achieve the greatest positive impact on the employees. Such an understanding provides a strong foundation upon which other motivation strategies can be implemented.
Motivation through empowerment is often achieved through granting the individual employees the autonomy, authority, trust, and encouragement that is needed in accomplishing a particular task (Sypniewska, 2014, p. 58). This would effectively make the job or task the employee’s responsibility. In the case of the widget, the individual employee would have had the responsibility of ensuring it is of high quality and reaches the market on time.
The management team should reward its employees to reinforce their positive behaviors that contribute to organizational success. These rewards can either be extrinsic or intrinsic, with the extrinsic rewards being those administered externally by the management team, for example pay bonuses, awards, or recognition, among others (Burroughs et al., 2011, p. 57-58). In the case of the widgets, awarding the designers and those in the assembly department for enhancing the widget’s quality would significantly reduce or eliminate the defects and delivery delays. Intrinsic rewards are those originating from within the employee, and are not influenced by other people’s actions. For example, the feelings of competency, autonomy, and responsibility in widget production can inspire production of high quality widgets that are not defective.
Redesigning jobs can make tasks interesting and enjoyable to accomplish, thereby improving productivity and quality of work (Foss et al., 2009, p. 873). It improves the conditions of the working environment, thus improving their levels of job satisfaction. Therefore, increasing coordination and job rotation between the technology and assembly departments would ensure mutual support in improving the widget’s quality. In the widget’s case problem, the defects and delays in delivery can be minimized or avoided through strengthening teamwork between employees in the sales, assembly, technology, and the administration departments, as their functioning uniquely influences the quality of the product and the organization’s overall success.
Flexibility is critical in ensuring the employees maintain a balance between work and their social life. For example, having enough rest can rejuvenate an employee’s creativity and productivity. Employees enjoying flexible schedules would be motivated to increase their commitment in realizing the company’s goals and objectives, such as producing high quality widgets, and further facilitate their retention in the company.
Applicable Motivation Theory
Vroom’s expectancy theory is the most appropriate motivation theory that can be used to support the motivation plan. It proposes that an employee is usually motivated to put forward his/her best efforts towards accomplishing a particular task when he/she is convinced that such efforts would result in a good performance appraisal (Oleson, 2004, p. 84-85). The individual believes that the good appraisal would attract organizational rewards, which would eventually satisfy their personal goals. An employee’s motivation is usually high when they have a high level of expectancy and the reward for completing a particular task successfully is attractive.
Motivating Minimum Wage Worker
Minimum wage employees can be motivated through creating a positive work environment, for instance, by recognizing their contributions and assuring them job security, safe working environment, and social support. Secondly, maintaining an open communication with these employees would make them motivated as they would see themselves taking part in the organization’s decision-making activities. Finally, they can be motivated through offering them career advancement opportunities. Such opportunities would motivate them as they increase their chances of achieving self-actualization needs, which are at the core of an individual’s purpose and goals in life. These strategies for motivating minimum wage workers are supported by Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, which proposes that people are motivated by multiple needs that exist in a hierarchical order, starting from the most basic ones to those promoting self-actualization needs. In this case, these employees’ safety needs, such as safe working environment and job security have to be met before offering them opportunities for self-actualization, such as promotion, authority, and recognition.
Factors Affecting Team Performance
The major factors that can affect team performance include communication, attitudes, behaviors, and cultures. Communication ensures team activities are well coordinated in order to accomplish common tasks successfully. Attitudes influence one’s level of contribution towards teamwork activities. While positive attitudes strengthen an individual’s motivation to participate in team activities, negative attitudes often reduces one’s desire to take part in them. Behaviors determine how individuals interact with others while undertaking teamwork activities. Ant-social behaviors and laziness negatively affects team performance. Finally, culture determines whether one is eligible to participate in particular teamwork activities. A culture encouraging mutual support or collectivism can significantly improve team performance.
Leading a Work Team
Considering that the company comprises several departments, namely, sales, assembly, technology, and the administration, establishing a cross-functional team would effectively address the defect and delivery delays problems in the production and supply of widgets (Ainamo, 2007, p. 841-842). This leadership approach would ensure the special expertise of employees from these departments is utilized in improving the quality of the widgets and fasten their delivery. At the departmental level, the teams should be self-managing to ensure the goals are set for their respective departments, such as increasing efficiency in the assembly department. Virtual teams would conveniently work for sales employees who are usually in the field, and other individuals that are geographically dispersed.
Reflection on Teamwork
The team leader was selected to facilitate the coordination of the group’s activity and provide direction towards achieving a common goal. The individual who volunteered to be the team leader had more free time than other members. Her team leadership role was also accepted because she exhibited various competencies, such as good communication skills, interpersonal skills, and experience in the area of interest. The team met twice a week through the online platform for two weeks. The challenges included the inability to ensure everyone keeps time and participates accordingly. In the future, the challenge can be addressed through providing everyone equal and timely opportunity to participate. The most important lesson from the experience is that the success of team depends on how effectively it coordinates the activities of its members.
It is evident that effective teamwork and employee motivation is critical in the realization of overall organizational success. While teamwork directs the people’s efforts towards a particular task, motivation ensures they are energized to complete the tasks successfully. Therefore, managers should strengthen teamwork and ensure their employees are well motivated in order to achieve overall organizational success.
Ainamo, A. (2007). Coordination mechanisms in cross-functional teams: a product design perspective. Journal of Marketing Management, 23(9/10), 841-860.
Berman, E. L. (1999). Motivation through Teamwork. Industrial Management, 41(5), 5.
Burroughs, J., Dahl, D., Moreau, C., Chattopadhyay, A., & Gorn, G. (2011). Facilitating and Rewarding Creativity during New Product Development. Journal of Marketing, 75(4), 53-67. doi:10.1509/jmkg.75.4.53
Foss, N. J., Minbaeva, D. B., Pedersen, T., & Reinholt, M. (2009). Encouraging knowledge sharing among employees: How job design matters. Human Resource Management, 48(6), 871-893.
Oleson, M. (2004). Exploring the relationship between money attitudes and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 28(1), 83-92.
Sypniewska, B. A. (2014). Evaluation of Factors Influencing Job Satisfaction. Contemporary Economics, 8(1), 57-71.
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