Monday, August 23, 2010

Actions for Managers to take

In the last three series on management for success, we looked at:

  • Attitudes & Perceptions,
  • Hetrzberg and Expectancy motivational theories, and
  • Group Behaviour

The following provide some recommendations of actions to take by managers to successfully manage these factors in an organisation.


1.0 Actions to manage attitudes & perceptions



1.1 Attitude Survey

Knowledge of employee attitudes can be helpful to managers in attempting to predict employee behaviour. Management can get information about employee attitudes through the use of attitude surveys. The typical attitude survey presents the employee with a set of statements or questions with a rating scale indicating the degree of agreement. The items should be tailored to obtain specific information that management desires. Using attitude surveys on a regular basis provides managers with valuable feedback on how employees perceive their working conditions.


1.2 Shaping Behaviour

People will most likely engage in desired behaviours if they are positively reinforced for doing so; that rewards are most effective if they immediately follow the desired response; and that behaviour that is not rewarded, or is punished, is less likely to be repeated6. Punishment by causing an unpleasant condition in an attempt to eliminate undesirable behaviour5.


2.0 Actions to manage and motivate



2.1 Staff planning

Implement a plan to determine staffing strategy, training needs, and distribution of rewards. Identify those who may benefit best from training and job enrichments; and the high achievers who should be rewarded most generously with either compensation, opportunities for advancement, or both. When thinking about alternatives, be creative and think of each employee individually to meet their unique career goals. Discuss the plan with upper manager and the HR manager. After upper manager and HR provide input, conduct one-on-one meetings with each of the employees to discuss their aspirations and ask for suggestions on how best to accommodate their requests while still meeting the department’s goals4.


2.2 Job Enrichment

The manager should look into job redesign to meet the five core characteristics as depicted in Hackman and Oldham,s JCM3. The manager should immediately embark on the three core characteristics that will enrich the teams’ job., that is, task significance; autonomy; and job feedback. The job must have an important significance and involves a meaningful contribution to the team or organization. The job should give the employee substantial freedom, independence and discretion in scheduling the work and determining the procedures used in carrying it out. The employee should obtain direct feedback and clear information on how well the job has been done7.


3.0 Actions to manage group dynamics/functioning



3.1 Group goals and rewards

To allow a cohesive team to exist, the organization should have appropriate goals and well designed reward system to establish and maintained the ‘motivation’ for group members to work hard together in support of group-level accomplishments7.


3.2 Management by Objectives (MBO)

Each manager needs clearly spelled-out objectives. Those objectives should lay out what performance the man’s own managerial unit is supposed to produce. They should lay out what contribution he and his unit are expected to make to help other units obtain their objectives.

Finally, they should spell out what contribution the manager can expect from other units the attainment of his own objectives. Right from the start, emphasis should be on teamwork and team results2.



1. Covey, SR 2006, ‘Leading in the knowledge worker age’, Leader to Leader, Vol. 2006 Issue 41, pp. 11-15

2. Drucker, PF 2007, The Essential Drucker, Elsevier, USA.

3. Hackman, JR, Oldham, GR 1980, Work Redesign, Addison-Wesley, USA.

4. Maxwell, M 2004, ‘Putting Success into Succession Planning’, Nursing Economics, Vol.22 No. 5, pp. 285-286

5. Robbins, SP & Judge, TA 2007, Organizational Behaviour: Twelfth Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, USA.

6. Skinner, BF 1971, Contingencies of Reinforcement, Appleton-Century-Crofts, USA.

7. Wood, J, Zeffane, R, Fromholtz, M, Fitzgerakd, J 2006, Organizational Behaviour: Core Concepts and Applications First Australasian edition, Wiley, Australia.

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