Sunday, March 30, 2014

Managers Model Motivation for Employees

Art Work: Dr. Murad Abel

Motivation is an important tool for achieving goals. Motivation is not an all or nothing thing and different people show motivation in varying ways. Some employees will be motivated in a few tasks and others may not show any motivation whatsoever. A paper by Coget (2011) reviews managerial motivation in the fostering of employee motivation to adopt new technology and skills that service their customers better. 

It should be understood that adopting new technology and learning new skills can be difficult for employees. To master a new system or serve customers better requires employees who want to learn these new skills and are willing to move through initial frustration to gain mastery. When managers help employees by modeling motivated behavior they can raise motivation levels in their employees. 

In the case of technology adaptation, those managers who modeled the adaptation and use of technology found that their employees were motivated to do the same at a higher rate. This same concept applies to positive workplace behaviors as well as motivation in handling customers. The manager sets the pace and tone of the behaviors that should be emulated in his or her department. 

Charismatic managers found that their employees adopted their motivation more than those with managers who were not charismatic. When managers have charisma they promoted devotion to certain beliefs and causes. Their charm carried higher levels of influence with employees and this led to higher levels of modeling behavior. 

Managers who can connect with employees through multiple similarities with them also found greater motivation for adaptation. A manager who seemed to have similarities with the group they lead attracted more interest than those who were perceived as too different. People want to understand, connect, and see similarities with those above them in position. 

Motivation can be internally or externally driven but there are behaviors managers can emulate that create higher levels of motivation in their employees. When the manager shows motivation, charisma of personality, and appears to have similarities with employees they are likely to create greater motivation of change. This adaptation and change can help organizations learn new skills as well as learn new technology and weather the effects of immediate frustration. 

Coget, J. (2011). Does managerial motivation spill over to subordinates? Academy of Management Perspective, 25 (4). 

Wieseke, J. et. al. (2011). How leaders’ motivation transfers to customer service representatives. Journal of Service Research, 14(2).

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