Managing Individual Performance
It’s crucial for the manager to make right decisions about the members of his team. The organization can be very successful only in the case of well-balanced personnel, and it’s the manager’s responsibility to employ the right people for the positions. Even when all the technical resources in the company are at the highest level, the skills of employees appear to be the most important key to the organization’s success.
It’s a well-known fact that “…everyone wants to feel that they are on a winning team, that the company is moving ahead, and that they are an integral part of the group.” (3)
Therefore, it’s necessary for the manager to take employment of personnel very seriously. First of all, the manager needs to make sure he knows all the major objectives which the company sets in front of itself. Without the deep understanding of the organization’s goals, it’s impossible to employ people to achieve those goals. As soon as the goals are determined, it’s necessary for the manager to do his best to find people whose education, general background, and personality will fit the best into the positions available. There is no general criterion for choosing the members of the team because the decision of the manager depends on the goals which he sets for his team.
The manager has to analyze the profiles of the potential employees very carefully in order to get a full idea about them. The major criterion is ensuring that every employee in the team will have a position which answers both his expectations and expectations of the company. The goals of the organization will be achieved only in the case when the manager makes right decisions about the choice of employees and the responsibilities which each of them can fulfill the best. However, the task gets more complicated because “building the winning team requires more than just hiring a bunch of talented people.
It means hiring people who will work well together. It means developing a shared vision and commitment. It means physically bringing people together in formal group meetings for open discussion of broad-based issues. It means encouraging positive, informal interactions between group members. It means instilling a “winning” attitude throughout the organization. It means watching for and quickly trying to reverse team-building problems such as jealousy, cynicism, and defensive behavior.” (3)
In the simulation I chose the following employees into the team: Tony Wu for the position of building case files; Lisa Stafford to moderate self-help groups, Nicola Minelli for performing follow-ups, and finally Daniel Nichols to supervise confrontation sessions. Out of all the employees whom I selected Daniel Nichols has the most experience, he also has an MBA which puts him one step ahead of everybody else who only have bachelor’s degrees.
That is why he gets a very complicated task of supervising confrontation sessions. In order to keep Daniel Nichols motivated, he needs to have an important position, so I chose one for him with the most responsibility. Tony Wu is a good professional, and he cannot fulfill the functions on a very important position just yet because he has never worked as a manager. He is not very ambitious as the profile shows, so he is much better on the position when he has to exercise duties like building case files. Tony Wu has a very important feature of character- accuracy, and this feature is very useful in the position which I have offered to him. For Tony Wu, it’s better to work with documents and build case files because when he has to make important decisions, he might fail them due to his mild character.
Lisa Stafford necessarily has to be on my team due to her success-orientation. She is not the type of employee who will sit in the shadow of somebody else during her whole life. She wants to fight for success, and she is very ambitious. Her future is pre-destined by her character, and she will be in the manager’s chair shortly. For the moment, she doesn’t have enough experience to be a manager or supervisor, so the best suitable position for her is moderating self-help groups.
However, I as a manager realize that it’s very important to motivate Liza in every possible way because she expects to have the most important chores, and wants to show herself from the best possible side. Out of the last 3 potential employees I have chosen Nichola Minelli. She had almost equal chances with other 2 candidates but I preferred her to them for a couple of reasons. The position which remains vacant is performing follow-ups. I had 3 alternatives for the position: Nicola Minelli, John Connor, and Michelle Levy.
The negative side of Michelle Levy is that she is a pessimist. This quality is absolutely inapplicable for the team which we are forming, considering the goals of our organization. John Connor is a very experienced worker but I prefer to include younger members in the team who have a high potential. They have a much better performance due to their expectations of future promotion. Nicola Minelli possesses a very important quality which makes her a perfect candidate for the position is that she has good analytical skills.
In order to manage the created team effectively, I had to consider many factors. First of all, the ways to motivate every one in the team. Every employee has his own interests and needs, and in order to choose the right strategy of motivation, I needed to study their profiles carefully. Whenever I felt that one member of the team was growing uninterested towards the functions which he was fulfilling, I had to apply different forms of motivation for him. I also needed to check all the time what new responsibilities I can give to the members of the team if I saw they were ready for that.
I as well had to consider the way the members of the team interact with each other because a team works successfully only in case when the communication among members is on the highest level. An individual’s personality plays a crucial role in the success of my team as I have discovered. Every person in the team is a part of it. The system can work efficiently only in the case when every part of it works efficiently. If I employ a person for some position whose personality doesn’t answer the responsibilities which he will have to bear, he will not be able to fulfill his duties at the required level.
If one of the members stops performing at his required level, it immediately has a deep effect on the work of the whole system because every member is dependent on each other. Another influence on the member’s personality is communication with other members of the team. Individuals employed in one team need to be as compatible as possible by their characters in order to bring success to the organization.
“The 126 item Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Form G, provides data on four sets of preferences. These preferences result in 16 learning styles, or types. A type is the combination of the four preferences.” (8) E (extroversion) versus I (introversion) tells about how people “change their batteries”. Extroverts find all of the support in the outside world, as well as see the outside world as the reason of their failures, if they occur. Such employees are better on important positions because they are very action-oriented.
Introverts are more concerned about their inner world of ideas, so they are better at exercising tasks given to them by other people. N (intuition) versus S (sensing) tells about a person’s preference in relying on and making decisions. Some people prefer to rely on their intuition, others on sensing. For my team, I chose 2 members who have intuition preference (men) and 2 members who have sensing preference (women). This creates a good balance. T (thinking) versus F (feeling) tells whether a person trusts to his mind more, or to his feelings. People who prefer feeling make decisions according to what their heart says to them.
Others are guided by their rational mind. I have also used the same proportion of team members with this preference because this proportion can help employees have right decisions. P (perception) versus J (judgement) describes the way people act in their lives. Perceptive people make spontaneous decisions, and can do things at once when they think of them. Judging people weight their actions first, and provide the analysis of the situation. Perceptive people are more preferable for positions in teams because they make decisions very quickly.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can be described as the following:
1) Physiological: hunger, thirst, bodily comforts, etc.;
2) Safety/security: out of danger;
3) Belonginess and Love: affiliate with others, be accepted; and
4) Esteem: to achieve, be competent, gain approval and recognition. (7)
The hierarchy of needs effects motivation in such a way that every employee has his needs. One employee only needs his 2 basic needs to be satisfied (psychological and safety). Others will not be satisfied unless they are accepted by others and gain recognition. In order to motivate every employee, you need to know about his needs.
You as a manger need to focus on his need satisfaction as the key to motivating him. It’s important to select such team members whose needs are relatively high because they will perform at a very high level in order to achieve the goals which they set for themselves. In the team which I selected, Lisa Stafford and Daniel Nichols are the most competitive, and their needs are definitely on the highest level- of esteem.
In order to motivate them, I have to give them the most challenging tasks which will let them show how smart they are and be recognized by everybody. Tony Wu and Nicola Minelli don’t have such high ambitions, and their needs stop at the level of belonginess and love. In order to motivate them, I don’t need to give them high responsibilities for them to be recognized by management. They need to have tasks which from their point of view will bring use to the society and the company.
My team selections worked perfectly, exactly like I expected. At the end, I got 100% of performance which is the highest result. I chose all the members of the team in the most efficient way, and placed them on the right positions, and motivated their activity during years in such a way that they performed at their maximum of abilities. The factors which I selected for motivating my team include:
- reminding them about the importance of the mission for which they are working. Whenever employees felt pessimistic about their work (for example Tony Wu and Nicola Minelli), I made sure he realized how important his work was for the society.
- giving them an opportunity to show their skills. It was important for Daniel Nichols and Lisa Stafford to show their intellect through difficult assignments they had.
- giving high responsibilities to the team members who are very ambitious. I needed to motivate Daniel Nichols and Lisa Stafford to keep high interest in the work they were doing.
- giving recognition to the members who are performing the best. Every member of the team needed recognition for the important work he was doing.
- promising possibilities of promotion to members who work the hardest. Lisa Stafford and Daniel Nichols need to be promoted soon in order to keep the level of their performance equally high, so I needed to talk about future opportunities with them.
Since I chose the best possible team during the first run of the simulation and got 100% performance at the end, all of my later runs of the program didn’t make the result better because my first choice was completely accurate. This lesson learned in the workplace is very useful because it helps us to develop our skills as future managers. When managing real teams at companies, we’ll be able to apply everything learned in practice and achieve equally high results which will lead to the success in the organization.
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Managing People: Motivation Building the Winning Team // www.businesstown.com
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Maslow, A. (1954). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper
Nohria, N., Lawrence, P., & Wilson, E. (2001). Driven: How human nature shapes our choices. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
William G. Huitt. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. February 2004.