Apply: perceptions, motivation, and performance management practices

 Apply: Perceptions, Motivation, and Performance Management Practices

1. Arrow Furniture is a family-owned and operated manufacturer of high-end furniture located in North Carolina. The furniture industry has suffered from foreign competition over recent years. Nationwide, there have been massive layoffs and several large companies have closed. Arrow’s workers are feeling these pressures and have begun displaying counterproductive behaviors. The HR manager recently told Mary Baker, the family member serving as CEO, that employees are threatening to unionize if they don’t get higher pay and more job security. Mary is upset by this comment because the family has supported employees with decent salaries and health benefits. Higher wages are the last thing the company needs if they are to remain competitive.

The Baker family wants to turn things around. They know they will have to be more competitive price-wise. This might be achieved by finding cheaper suppliers, lowering employee labor costs, or increasing productivity. That said, the Baker’s strongly believe that it is important to “take care of their people,” many of whom are lifelong employees.

A global car manufacturer is going to open a new facility in the community. It is likely the company will offer higher salaries and better benefits than offered by Arrow Furniture. The firm is known to offer such benefits in an attempt to reduce the need for a union. Jobs at this plant will be more technically advanced than those at Arrow and the company is offering job training to those who are interested.

The Bakers are aware that the nature of work at Arrow results in moderate levels of hygiene factors and low motivators.

Using the 3-Step Problem-Solving Approach and the Organizing Framework, what should the Bakers do to motivate their employees and get support for the company’s future plans?

2. Review the following conversation:

Marcy: Dana, can I talk to you for a couple of minutes? We’ve been roommates for two years and I think I have a time management problem. I just don’t get enough done in a day. What do you think?

Dana: Tell me more. How did you decide that you have a problem?

Marcy: I never get everything done on my to-do list. The more I get done, the more I end up adding to the list.

Dana: What would solving the problem look like to you?

Marcy: Well, I’d get everything done on my list.

Dana: Is that realistic?

Marcy: It’s not, but what else am I going to do?

Dana: What else can you do that will help? Can you work with an advisor? Use a scheduling program?

This is an example of coaching. Describe the process of coaching and explain why is it important for managers to be effective coaches.

3. Evaluate your personality self-assessments, as well as the things that motivate you the most. Discuss the results of your Week 2 and Week 3 self-assessments and whether you agree or disagree with your results

 

WK3:

self-Assessment 6.2: What Rewards Do I Value Most?
People want different things from work. Some people are focused on gaining tangible, extrinsic rewards such as pay and vacation time, and others are focused on less tangible, intrinsic rewards such as interesting work and the feeling they are appreciated.

Overall feedback: Interpreting the Result

The score comes from comparing your rankings with the average rankings obtained from a sample of 1000 current employees. These average rankings are as follows:

  • 2 – full appreciation of work done
  • 4 – job security
  • 7 – good working conditions
  • 3 – feeling of being in on things
  • 5 – good wages
  • 9 – tactful discipline
  • 8 – personal loyalty to employees
  • 1 – interesting work
  • 10 – sympathetic help with personal problems
  • 6 – promotion and growth in the organization

Remember, you should not view these average rankings as “correct.” There are no right and wrong answers.

Action Steps

The three highest ranked outcomes by the survey participants are interesting work, full appreciation of work done, and feeling of being in on things. Compare these to your top three. In what ways are they similar or dissimilar?

If you can, find a classmate or group of classmates and compare your results. Are they the same or different? If they are different from each other, take comfort. This is typical and it illustrates an important truth. Employees often want very different things from work, and the employees may change their rankings as their life circumstances change. For example, job security and good wages may rise in importance as family support obligations grow. Or, tactful discipline may rise in importance if you have had a bad experience with an unfair supervisor.

As you prepare to become a manager, it is important to realize employees will differ in the outcomes they most highly value from work. Good managers strive to get to know the people whom they lead on an individual basis and, where possible, arrange their work in ways consistent with the employees’ values. In addition, you should be prepared to tell your current or future boss what types of rewards are a priority for you. This communication needs to be done tactfully and when the time is right, but you supervisor can’t help you in this area if you are silent about your desires. As your career progresses, and as you do better and better work, you will find more opportunity to influence the types of rewards you would like to receive from work.

Survey Caveat

Remember your score on this self-assessment, while useful for self-understanding, should not be over-interpreted. First, every person is complex and it is impossible to fully capture your uniqueness in a short self-assessment. Second, you may well find your orientation to work outcomes may change over time, or you may come to understand what your perspective actually is only later in life. Use this as a learning exercise that helps you to understand yourself as well as to understand that other people will give quite different responses.

Self-Assessment 5.2: Measuring Perceived Interpersonal Treatment
Research shows that perceptions of fair treatment are important in understanding the satisfaction, morale, and performance of employees. These perceptions can be about your own personal situation (“My boss did not rate my performance high enough”) or they might be about the organization more generally (“The way my organization determines who gets bonuses favors the marketing department”). This self-assessment is about the organization in general, although if you think you have been treated unfairly it is more likely you will think that the organization treats others employees unfairly as well.
Feedback:Feedback is calculated by sumFeedback score:Score : 32 pts.
Range-based feedback:23 – 37 pts.Feedback: You might have a neutral view of the fairness of your organization.

Interpreting the Result

If your score is in the low range, you do not think your organization treats employees fairly as a general rule.
If your score is in the moderate range, you are generally neutral about whether the organization treats employees fairly or not.
If your score is in the high range, you think the organization treats employees fairly as a rule.
Equity theory states that persons who think they have been, or are being, treated unfairly will adjust their behavior as a result. Research shows that employees who think their organization is fair have higher levels of job satisfaction. In contrast, employees who think their organization is unfair tend to be more likely to leave the organization and to reduce the level of their commitment to their work. Employees who rate their organization as unfair are also more likely to report that they have experienced sexual harassment.

Action Steps

If you think you are being treated unfairly, there are several steps you might take. First, you might talk to your supervisor and make it clear that you do not agree with a decision that has been made. Your supervisor cannot take any action to correct an injustice if she doesn’t know you are unhappy. Second, you can take advantage of dispute resolution processes that are available in your organization. Typically, these processes are overseen by the human resources department. Third, you can seek alternative employment. For example, if you don’t think you are being paid fairly, the best way to demonstrate this is to find a similar job in a different organization that pays better. Fourth, you can think about re-framing your perceptions. If you focus on different aspects of your work, you may find that things that you see as inequities are balanced out by other things that you really like and value.

There is one thing you should not do in reaction to perceptions of unfairness. You should not let bitterness and other negative feelings control you. Plenty of research shows that negative attitudes such as these can do both physical and psychological damage to you. You should control what you can while avoiding the tendency to dwell on things outside your control. Negative emotions and thinking won’t change the situation for the better.

Finally, a particular word about sexual harassment or other forms of illegal discrimination. If you think you are the victim of this type of treatment, then you should take your concern to the human resource department. You are protected by law from anyone in the organization taking action against you because you have made a harassment or discrimination complaint. Organizations are required to take such complaints seriously and to have a thorough investigation. In addition, you may decide to seek the advice of a lawyer who is familiar with Equal Opportunity Law, particularly if you do not think the organization is treating you fairly.

Survey Caveat

Remember that your score on this assessment, while it is helpful for understanding, should not be over-interpreted. You are not necessarily in the best position to respond to these items. Certainly, your perspective is legitimate and valuable, but you should also recognize that other people, some of who have more experience and knowledge of the organization, may have different views. Surveys such as this are almost always best when they represent the compilation of the assessment of many people, all of whom have their own views of the organization. You might want to check your perceptions of the organization with other people. The discussions that result may be very helpful to you in understanding how your organization works.

2 days ago

WK2:

Self-Assessment 4.2: Assessing an Organization’s Diversity Climate
The diversity climate of an organization is comprised of three conceptually distinct factors:
Organizational fairness
Organizational inclusion
Diversity promises
The following survey was designed to assess the diversity climate within your current organization.

Feedback:

Feedback is calculated by sum

Feedback score:

Score : 43 pts.

Range-based feedback:

28 – 44 pts.

Feedback: Your organization has a moderate diversity climate.

Interpreting the Result

The three conceptually distinct factors of an organization’s diversity climate comprise the following:

  • Organizational Fairness – This measures the extent to which employees perceive there is equal treatment in policies and practices for persons regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion and age.
  • Organizational Inclusion – This measures the extent to which the organization supports activities such as diversity networks, mentoring, and diversity training programs.
  • Diversity Promises – This measures the extent to which the organization is perceived to have followed through on commitments with respect to the elimination of bias and being receptive to hearing concerns raised by employees who are members of minority groups.

If your score is in the low or moderate range, this indicates you do not perceive the organization is committed to having a good diversity climate. If your score is in the high range, it is likely you think your organization is strong in this respect. Research suggests that you are more likely to be unhappy, dissatisfied, and less likely to give the organization your best effort if you work in a low diversity climate. Sometimes, you may need to look for other job opportunities if the climate is inconsistent with your values and needs.

Action Steps

Since this assessment measures your perception of an important part of organizational life, there are limits to what you as an individual can do to alter the organization. However, there are several things you can do to improve the diversity climate of your individual workgroup.

In particular, if you are a minority, you should take advantage of programs that many organizations offer to help improve the standing of underrepresented groups. If the organization offers a mentoring program, you should enroll and participate. Some organizations sponsor networks to enable members of underrepresented groups to more easily connect with each other. And, of course, if you think you are being treated unfairly, you should speak with someone in the human resources department about steps you can take to address the problem.

All employees should be concerned about fit. Generally speaking, you should try to find an organization whose values and perspectives match your own. If you find yourself severely out of step with your colleagues and leadership, perhaps you should look for another organization. On the other hand, there are certainly times when the right thing to do is to take a stand if you see or experience injustice. Wisdom is required to know when to stay and when to move on. There are no firm guidelines or rules.

In addition to these specific actions, the textbook contains a number of ideas all employees can consider. In particular, employees who are not minorities should be sensitive to diversity issues and work to create psychologically safe environments for persons to raise concerns and to have honest discussions.

Survey Caveat

Remember your score on this assessment, while helpful for understanding, should not be over-interpreted. You are not necessarily in the best position to respond to these items. Certainly, your perspective is legitimate and valuable, but you should also recognize that other people, some of whom have more experience and knowledge of the organization, may have different views. Surveys such as this are almost always best when they represent the compilation of the assessment of many people, all of whom have their own views of the organization. You might want to check your perceptions of the organization with other people. The discussions that result may be very helpful to you in understanding how your organization works.

Source: Adapted from E. H. Buttner, K. B. Lowe, and L. Billings-Harris, “An Empirical Test of Diversity Climate Dimensionality and Relative Effects on Employee of Color Outcomes,” Journal of Business Ethics, October, 2012, pp. 247–258.

Self-Assessment 3.1: What Is My Big Five Personality Profile?
Personality measurement can be fun and informative—but it can also be challenging if the results are not as you might expect. There has been a great deal of research and thought given to how best to categorize persons in personality terms. Much of this research and writing has coalesced around the view that the most helpful categorization scheme involves five dimensions of personality. These have come to be known as “The Big Five.”

Extraversion

Score : 8 pts.

8 – 10 pts.

Feedback: You are high in extraversion.

Agreeableness

Score : 8 pts.

8 – 10 pts.

Feedback: You are high in agreeableness.

Conscientiousness

Score : 7 pts.

5 – 7 pts.

Feedback: You are moderate in conscientiousness.

Emotional stability

Score : 9 pts.

8 – 10 pts.

Feedback: You are high in emotional stability.

Openness to experience

Score : 8 pts.

8 – 10 pts.

Feedback: You are high in openness to experience.

Interpreting the Result

Personality measurement can be fun and informative—but it can also be challenging if the results are not as you might expect. There has been a great deal of research and thought given to how best to categorize persons in personality terms. Much of this research and writing has coalesced around the view that the most helpful categorization scheme involves five dimensions of personality. These have come to be known as “The Big Five.”

  • Extraversion – Persons who score high on this dimension tend to be outgoing, talkative, sociable, and assertive. Research has shown that people in sales (think of a coach who recruits college athletes or a car sales person) tend to be more successful if they are on the high end of the extraversion scale. Likewise, managers tend to be more successful if they behave in extroverted ways. In contrast, persons who score low on extraversion (introverts) tend to like more solitary activities such as doing office support, research and development work, working with data, and so on.
  • Agreeableness – Persons who score high on this dimension tend to be trusting, good-natured, cooperative, and soft-hearted. Surprisingly, while all of us would like to have work colleagues who are agreeable, research shows agreeableness is less connected to general work success than are extroversion and conscientiousness. Of course, this does not mean you should not work at being as agreeable as you can be!
  • Conscientiousness – Persons who score high on this dimension tend to be dependable, responsible, achievement-oriented, and persistent. Research shows people who score high in conscientiousness tend to be more successful in all types of employment settings than their less conscientious co-workers. It is easy to see why. What employer would want to hire someone who sees themselves not always prepared (item 5) or someone who does not pay attention to details (item 6)? If your score on this dimension is not as high as you would like, you can expect a high payoff from working on becoming stronger in this area.
  • Emotional stability – Persons who score high on emotional stability tend to be relaxed, secure, and unworried. In contrast, persons who score low tend to experience more highs and lows in terms of their emotional life. Research shows this dimension has less to do with success at work than extraversion and emotional stability.
  • Openness to experience – Persons who score high on this dimension tend to be intellectual, imaginative, curious, and broadminded. Research shows there is not a strong relationship between scores on this dimension and success at work. However, certain types of jobs are certainly better fits for people who are strong in this area. For example, people who have to work across cultures are likely to be more successful if they are more open to experience because it is easier for them to imagine that people are different from them without having to draw conclusions about whether these differences are good or bad.

Action Steps

There are many, many resources you can use to follow up on these results. Informally, you can talk with your friends and family members to see if your self-assessment is consistent with their assessment of you. There are many on-line resources including longer versions of the Big Five assessment as well as a great deal of information on other types of personality assessments (such as the popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). More formally, your campus probably has a career development office. Typically, professionals in those offices are familiar with the connections between personality and the kinds of jobs you might find to be most suitable. Finally, if you find you are struggling to cope with either short-term or long-term emotional issues, we strongly encourage you to seek support from a campus counseling office, a religious professional, or a close confidant who can help you work through the issues you face.

Remember, the personality dimension which has the strongest relationship with job performance is conscientiousness. Employers like employees who are dependable, responsible, achievement-oriented, and persistent. This is something you can work on improving in yourself. For example, if you notice you have a tendency to procrastinate in completion of certain kinds of tasks, you can work on fighting that tendency by working on those tasks first so they are no longer hanging over you. Then, you are in a position to derive greater enjoyment from doing tasks you more naturally want to do. Setting goals and action plans to achieve those goals are proven ways to improve your chances of success in any endeavor. College is a great setting in which to begin to develop strong and positive lifetime habits. Don’t miss the opportunity!

If you introverted (that is, low is extroversion) you have a particular challenge when it comes to management and leadership. Successful managers and leaders are often seen to be outgoing and talkative. This is not a natural tendency for introverts. However, there are plenty of introverts who are quite successful in management and leadership positions. Typically, these folks learn to act energetically even when they may not feel that way, particularly in important business and work meetings. So, if you are introverted, do not write off the possibility of being in management and leadership. You will just need to work at some aspects of the work more than others. However, you may well have analytic and vision casting abilities that will more than compensate for this particular characteristic.

Survey Caveat

Remember your score on this self-assessment, while useful for self-understanding, should not be over-interpreted. First, every person is complex and it is impossible to fully capture your uniqueness in a short self-assessment. Second, you may well find your personality may change over time, or you may come to understand what your personality actually is only later in life. Third, this self-assessment is useful to the extent it helps you to understand both your own personality as well as the fact that other people will get different patterns of results. Good managers understand people are different, unique and complex, and therefore try to get to know their employees as well as possible.

Source: L R Goldberg, J A Johnson, H W Eber, R Hogan,M C Ashton, C R Cloninger, & H C Gough “The International Personality Item Pool and the Future of Public-domain Personality Measures,” Journal of Research in Personality 40 (2006), pp. 84–96.

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