The newly installed team management system at the Marshall’s plant was targeted at improving employee motivation and their productivity at work. This proposition was in direct agreement with human resources theories of motivation, such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Theory X and Y, as suggested by Douglas McGregor. Although each theory was designed to adapt to a certain scenario, they all reveal the importance of employee morale and how it resonates with performance. Abraham Maslow, for instance, would classify the employees into different groups based on the estimated positioning in the hierarchy of needs. Maslow believed that at every phase, humans want to rise to the next stage once they have satisfied their current needs (Badubi, 2017).
Theory X would assume that some employees needed more direct supervision, strict rules, and more extrinsic rewards for them to perform (Badubi, 2017). Theory Y would consider the use of a more reluctant approach that creates employees’ job satisfaction. The original goals of the system were, therefore, in agreement with particular aspects of each theory.
The theory suggested by Likert outlined four types of leadership that entailed the use of punishment threats, exploitation, consultation, and participation as key pillars in each category. The last two leadership styles are more linked to the idea of motivating employees to improve their productivity. The first two do not seem to agree with the original goals of the system and would be disregarded in the implementation process. The Blake Mouton theory suggested that a great business should be concerned about the needs of the employees and this would make it easier to achieve organizational success (Rao, 2017). All these theorists would have different approaches but the bottom line would be to achieve success in the company and to make all employees enjoy what they do.
Reasons Employees Stopped Participating in the Program
One reason why some employees stopped attending the meetings organized by the company was their emphasis on doing their work. Attending all those meetings would mean lost working time for some staff whose interest was to spend more time doing their job (Miller, 2015).
This is a group of serious employees with a higher rank in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. They seek to satisfy their intrinsic desire for excellence and not just get paid for the work they do. As proposed by theory Y, these employees are highly motivated and well-aligned with the objectives of the organization. Theory X would not agree with this suggestion since it is a belief that workers require to be followed up and supervised so that they can deliver. Unlike the Blake Mouton theory, it does not concern itself with the needs of the employees. To deal with staff in this category, the program should have been organized in a flexible manner that allows them to remotely share their opinions.
The second group viewed the management as weak and unable to make decisions on their own. This category believed they were already doing a great job and that leadership was asking for too much from them. They perceived the administration to be exploiting them for ideas while their interest was just working and getting paid (Miller, 2015). This team was in a different hierarchy of needs at the workplace. They were motivated by external factors, and not intrinsic forces. Appropriate communication of the importance of the system would enable them to change their minds and become more supportive. The goal of the management was to consult with the employees before making decisions but some employees were misinformed.
Lastly, there was a group of employees who had initially supported the implementation process but stopped after some time. They had realized that their opinions were not considered in the decision-making process by the management team (Miller, 2015). They had lost the morale to participate in the process since to them, it would have no impact. Blake Mouton’s theory would have advised the management to deliberate on the importance of effective communication to cater to the psychological needs of employees in this category. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory would agree that these staff had a unique need – the urge to be recognized. Adhering to this need would make them feel valued, and they would regain their confidence in the decisions made by the management.
It would be prudent to recommend two changes to enhance participation rates by all employees in the company. The participation process should be made flexible for people to physically attend meetings or send their opinions virtually through internet-based platforms. Improvement of the organizational communication process at all the stages of decision-making would also be essential. Keeping employees informed even when their ideas were disregarded could positively impact their perception of the management team. They would feel more motivated to participate in such sessions since their goals and those of the company would be in tandem.
From the foregoing, the company experiences a complex challenge of dealing with employee categories with distinct interests. Motivational theories suggest different ways of handling such scenarios. No particular theory has all the answers but a combination of all the suggestions can grant the management team useful insights to lead through the difficulties. The management needs to recognize the difference in interests among the employee groups and use flexible communication processes to address all the challenges.
Badubi, R. M. (2017). Theories of motivation and their application in organizations: A risk analysis. International Journal of Innovation and Economic Development, 3(3), 44-51. Web.
Miller, K. I. (2015). Organizational communication: Approaches and processes (7th ed.). Cengage Learning.
Rao, M. S. (2017). Soft Leadership: An innovative leadership perspective. The Journal of Values-Based Leadership, 10(1), 9. Web.