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The purpose of this report is to identify the cause of poor motivation in view of motivation or expectancy theory and in the context of Combat Training case. Understanding the theory of motivation plays a central role in ensuring proper and appropriate analysis of the case study given in Combat Training. At the end of this report, the writer seeks to achieve the following stated objectives;

  • Identify causes of poor motivation with reference to the case study provided
  • Define all primary and secondary sources
  • Provide recommendations
  • Give a SWOT analysis for the organization under study.

Outline of the Report

The key objective of this report is to analyze and identify the major issue that affects the InsureCo. in terms motivation for its staff and how the resultant effect can be rectified by application of the  motivation theory. The root cause of the problem that might have led to staff low morale and eventual downfall of the company is of great significance in determining what businesses need to know about their employees.

It appears from the analysis of the situation at InsureCo that worker valuation and contribution gets inappropriate attention. This led to some workers, in this case Kate, being valued more than the other experienced colleagues are. The result of this jealousy, sense of rejection, and little chances of career development is the result experienced in the company. This is the case of Emma, who resorted to a two weeks leave due to stress and frustrations within the company.

When employees takes unexpected leaves, when there is a lot of frictions within the organization, and when there is blame games within the company, the management ought to rush to the rescue of the situation before it gets worse. That begins by identifying and examining the root cause of the problems at hand and seeking long-term solutions to the problems identifying. Employees who do not enjoy work life balance, face frustrations and harassment by their colleagues, is hardly promoted easily give up and reduce their commitment towards making the business productive.  Changes in policies that govern the company require democratic involvement of each employee, as they are the first stakeholders of the company they are working for.

There are many theories developed and defined by many scholars that influenced the observations they made from various companies and researches they conducted during their time. Miner, John (2007, 4) identifies among the theories; Hertzberg’s two factor theory that include motivator and hygiene factors, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and Expectancy theory. Moreover, there is the Hawthorne effect and the Three - Dimension theory among others. Understanding these theories and their applications in the workplace is important in understanding the case study of the InsureCo since the theories help the analyzers know the problems associated with lack of proper motivation in a company.

The report may have limitations associated with such issues as context and practicality of the case study. The context is not realistic since the writer analyses the recordings through imagination. Another limitation is associated with whether the information about the motivation factors that led to downfall of the InsureCo used as a general reference or not. It is a secondary source of information. The case study writers are not present to confirm the truth of the information provided.

The case of the InsureCo has no reliable sources per se. There is no reference either that can make the analyzer confirm that this is true. However, the writer refers to a number of books that will guide any reader interested to understand the relation between the theory of motivation and the importance it lays in the workplace.

Main Body of the Report

By definition, to motivate is to inspire a person in order to obtain the best from them. Bailey, Adrian (2014, 67-98) reiterates that the theory of motivation is divided into several parts/forms that generally speak on the tactics a manager or the management can use to attract, keep, and maintain individuals with the best skills and commitment for a business’ growth.. There are numerous ways helpful even in the situation of InsureCo where the manager, Mr. Steve did not seem to understand the needs of the employees. Miner, John (2007, 57-78) states that Maslow’s theory of motivation; touches on the aspects of psychological, love, esteem, self-actualization and esteem needs. Brooks, Ian (2018, 78-89) explains that expectancy theory suggests that workers choose to behave in a particular when expecting particular outcome. For example, Emma of the InsureCo worked hard and was expecting a promotion, but only got disappointment from by the management.

Motivation, defined as something or a factor that makes an employee emotionally attached to their places of work. They have a great like for the work they do. The emotional attachment depends on the how the employer designs and describes the tasks for the employee. In the case of the InsureCo, the management-designed jobs in a manner that enabled Emma get recognition as the employee of the quarter. This is the evidence that when tasks are well structured and described, the outcome is fruitful and leads to a boosted workplace environment. Chandler, Alfred (1997, 36) states that every employee joins a company with expectations and when the system is rigid, the employee can barely attain any progress while serving in such a company. This again, is true for the case of Emma, in paragraph four of the analysis provided in InsureCo when the management changed certain policies that in the end adversely affected the company’s performance

While InsureCo was a large finance and insurance company with a long, profitable local history, the new leadership at the firm wanted to make an impression and promptly initiated successive waves of change over several years…”

Yet the problems did not go away and there was continuing friction and several resignations in the team…”

With reference to the Vroom’s Expectancy theory, the motive behind the theory is to minimize dissatisfaction while maximizing satisfaction. In essence, Wolper, Lawrence (2012, 161) explains this to mean that the employee’s skills and determination defines or determines the level of performance. By maximizing satisfaction, the employer needs to put in place strategies that will ensure a 360-degree feedback in order to know areas of improvement within the workplace ; Romano, Denise (2010, 189). This is what was lacking in InsureCo and unfortunately, the new leadership did not consider this when they established a new wave of changes that drove the workers into immense pressure. “…the new leadership at the firm wanted to make an impression and promptly initiated successive waves of change over several years.  With most jobs now changed or changing in the firm, the training function was under immense pressure to meet these demands and to somehow provide a training compliance audit as a result of the government’s proposed new Financial Services Reform Bill…” Employees need to be listened to and any chances of frustrations or friction need eliminated to create flexibility while minimizing pressure for task completion.

Maslow’s theory of motivation majorly touches on five factors including physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization needs . Of interest in this report is the social, esteem, and self-actualization needs which entails association with others, acknowledgement from others and desire to attain higher limits in one’s lifeline respectively. The analysis of InsureCo provides a clear evidence of lack of the three needs by the company to motivate the workers. The friction, frustrations and group break ups experienced in the company resulted to poor performance as evidenced in the case of Emma and Kate. “… Yet the problems did not go away and there was continuing friction and several resignations in the team.  The team became fractured into two distinct factions; one made up largely of more recent appointments with Kate as the dominant force, the other with Emma. “

The group company needed to create programs that could bring its members together and help them build solid teams. By introducing new Bills and policies, there ought to be strategies put in place to ensure there is unity, freedom of association and opportunities for growth and progress Gross, James and Compa Lance (2009, 123-45). This is necessary to avoid such problems as resignations. “…Yet the problems did not go away and there was continuing friction and several resignations in the team…”, frequent leaves/offs by the employees… “Distraught, Emma ended up taking stress leave for two weeks as a result of what she contends was “workplace hostility.”  , and groupings by the workers to destroy one another. “…continued friction and several resignations by the team members.  The team became fractured into two distinct factions; one made up largely of more recent appointments with Kate as the dominant force, the other with Emma..” It is by such initiatives that the theory of motivation comes to play and to the rescue of the company’s well-being.

Hertzberg’s two-factor theory comes into play in the analysis of the InsureCo. Richard, Alikira (2012, 7) explains that the “….theory suggests that achievement, the tasks, duties and responsibilities; recognition, progression, and advancement are needed factors to attain satisfaction by the employees.” In assigning duties and responsibilities, the management needs to look at the skills and the capabilities of the individual worker and match the skills with respective task to achieve maximum commitment and results. The manager, Mr. Steve made a good move (“…I have had to find other mechanisms to get higher performance such as using development opportunities, project work and so forth.  My staff knows I work hard promoting their good work which is why many of my employees have won Employee of the Quarter and/or Year…”.) to assign Kate responsibilities that matched her skill, the same case with Danielle and Emma. However, he made an inappropriate move by trusting Kate with more leadership responsibilities, which in effect brought problems for the company.

In addition is the Hawthorne theory that suggests that employees work harder under close supervision. Stoya Stoyanov (2017, 67) however, advices that employees prefer autonomy, where they are allowed to perform by their own and can solve work problem without close supervision.    Hertzberg’s two-factor theory suggests that employee’s needs opportunity to progress their career ladder, enjoy their work and feel safe while working. Failure to provide such conditions for them may lead to serious consequences as in the case of InsureCo where Mr. Steve the manager did not promote Emma by recognizing her hard work and that led to the company’s reduced productivity.

SWOT analysis implies studying both the internal and external environment of an organization or business with an intention to identify strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities (O), and threats (T) and find a reliable solution to each finding- Sarsby, Alan (2016, 3). In the case of InsureCo, the analysis clearly indicates no moment that the new management did a SWOT analysis before coming up with new policies and changes for the insurance company. InsureCo’s new management upon realizing it Strengths that enabled it realizes maximum profits, decided to put into place more strategies that will enable expansion. This is proven by the statement…InsureCo was a large finance and insurance company with a long, profitable local history, the new leadership at the firm wanted to make an impression and promptly initiated successive waves of change over several years ….”  This was a good move as it was going to help the company maximize its strengths on any available opportunities. In addition, the management did a… massive increase in training loads created by InsureCo’s restructuring and other initiatives designed to fend off growing competition from larger global competitors…

The policies so introduced by the management ignored the internal Threats and Weaknesses like inter-personal conflicts (for the case of Emma and Kate), mismatch between employee skills and the job descriptions and productivity ratio of the company. The weakness of the insurance company was the failures to do a thorough internal audit to enable management realize such big threats as conflicts between employees and this later ended up failing the company in terms of productivity. “…. problems did not go away and there was continuing friction and several resignations in the team … The team became fractured into two distinct factions …” Besides, no benchmarking took place to know what opportunities the company had at hand and the strengths the company had to take advantage of any productive opportunity.  Drucker, Peter (2017, 57) explains that lack of objective benchmarking may prove costly in the end.

Generally, for a company or business to grow, there needs to be good strategies that will inform the company of its performance both internally and externally. Bhm, Anja (2009, 6) notes that one of the strategies employed by successful companies is the SWOT analysis. Floyd, David (2006, 94) further elaborates that focusing on being competitive while ignoring the internal problems facing the company and the employees may prove costly. This was the case with of InsureCo.

This report proposes three recommendations related to the case study. Having found out that the major problems experienced in the InsureCo revolved around motivation, the recommendations will draw from motivational theories. The report recommends that the company adopt policies that will ensure proper work-life balance strategies are put in place in order to earn employee commitment while eradicating the problem of frequent leaves. The second recommendation proposes that the company put in place a 360-degree feedback program that will enable management to put in place strategies to eliminate friction, jealousy and resignations by the skilled staff. Lastly, the report recommends proper matching job descriptions with worker skill and having programs like rotations, job enlargement as well as enrichments. Including this will ensure commitment and improved productivity of the InsureCo.

Conclusion

For a company or organization to grow and develop, there is need to create opportunity for development and progress for the employees. One way of doing this is to ensure that the employees are well motivated and enjoy their work place. Understanding the theories of motivation will make the management, to not only like their work but also feel a sense of belonging to the organization. Fogli, Lawrence (2009, 273) agrees to the fact that there is a sense of commitment from the side of the employees when they are given flexible work time, are protected by the management, and are given opportunity for progress. The resultant effect is growth of the company and the business as well.

Proper analysis of the strengths and weaknesses, that is SWOT Analysis, informs the business about opportunities and threats that may surround its well-being (see appendix 2). The company is as a result cultured to approach any situation with courage and commitment towards meeting the set goals and targets without any fear. The number one stakeholder that the company will always learn to value is the employee.

References

Adrian, Bailey, The Retail Sector. (London: Stationery Office Ltd, 2014), 67-98.

Bhm, Anja. Swot Analysis. (Norderstedt: GRIN Verlag, 2009), 6.

Brooks, Ian, Organizational Behavior: Individuals, Groups and Organizations. (London: Pearson, 2018), 78-89.

Chandler, Alfred. The Visible Handle; The Managerial Revolution in American Business (Massachusetts: The Belknap Press).

Drucker, Peter. The Theory of Business (Harvard Business Review Classics). (New York, N.Y: Harvard Business Review Press, 2017), 57-63

Floyd, David. Business Studies: Revision Guide. (London : Letts and Lonsdale, 2006) 94.

Fogli, Lawrence, The Professional Practice; Customer Service Delivery. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009), 273.

Gross, James and Lance, Compa, Human Rights in Labor and Employment Relations. (Nadu Tamil: LERA Publishers, 2009), 123-45.

Miner, John, Organizational Behavior 4: From theory to Practice. (London: M.E Sharpe, 2007), 4.

Richard, Alikira, Job Satisfaction from Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory Perspective. (London: GRIN Verlag, 2012), 7.

Romano, Denise, The HR Toolkit. 2nd Ed. (Madrid: MHID Publisher, 2010), 189.

Sarsby, Alan. SWOT Analysis; A Guide to SWOT for Business Students. (London, U.K: Lulu, 2016), 3.

Stoya Stoyanov, A Theory of Human Motivation. (London: Macat International Ltd, 2017), 46.

Wolper, Lawrence, Physician Practice Management; Essential Operational and Financial Knowledge. (Burlington: MGMA, 2012), 161.

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