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Motivating People

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Motivating People

1. Introduction

Identification of the needs and desires of the workforce and the action plan to make those attainable can be one of the prime success keys of any organization i.e. motivated workforce mean better corporate performance (Nohria, N., et al. ,2008).

This report is based on my personal 03 years of working experience with Emirates Telecommunication Corporation (ETISALT) based in United Arab Emirates. The report deals with the motivational issues I experienced at my workplace being the subordinate, supervisor, as well as a team member and will try to analyze them in the light of motivational theory.

I worked at ETISALAT in the capacity where I was leading a team of qualified professionals from various countries of Asian dissent and I was reporting to my Arabic speaking boss. Though we were not a big team and executed a number of small and medium projects together and during our course we encountered both the successes and failures (Bad quality output and delays). However, we thought the lack of workplace motivation would have been one of the challenges we were facing and fighting against. In this reflective account I would like to critically analyze the factors that resulted in dissatisfaction and frustration time to time due to a number of reasons that I am going to explore in the subsequent part of the report. On the other hand I would justify the motives that kept me pursuing my job and my goals, despite the fact I realized that I was struggling to keep myself and my team motivated. Though it was a failure at last where I could not retain some of my team members, some left, few were made redundant and later I myself resigned from the position I held for 3 years and decided to start my MBA Program in UK.

2. Issues at the Workplace

The company has been one of the favorite employers amongst the professionals coming from South Asia and South East Asia mainly because of the reasonably good tax free salaries, better working conditions, offering permanent employments (which later however were largely curtailed to hire the workforce on contractual basis after 2007 onward) along with fringe benefits. However, a number of organizational problems were prevailing at the work place that could have been the major determinants of job satisfaction amongst the employees. A few other problems popped up as result of global financial crisis of 2008 adding worries to the woe of the workforce. The list of issues noted which could be the key factors of job dissatisfaction are summarized below:-

a) Job-Security: - The company changed the policy to recruit aboriginals (local) as permanent staff (Indefinite contract) whereby expatriates mostly were offered to work as temporary (Limited contracts) employees specially after 2007, may be curtail the liabilities and cut down the long term responsibilities.

b) Pay: - Very good salaries compared to what employees could have earned while working in their own countries but less than what the company used to offer.

c) Inequity (Salary): - Significant difference between the salaries of the permanent and contractual employees (permanent staff is paid more) hired in same batches, holding the same job titles and duties and even the work experience.

d) Reward System: - Biannual bonuses to the permanent employees only with exact criterion largely unknown to the employees in lower tiers. Main purpose seems to give the financial benefits to locals in the wake of recession and Arab spring in the region.

e) Performance Evaluation System: - Vague and not transparent, largely dependent on good relationship with the boss.

f) Job Prospect: - Mostly upper middle and higher management positions occupied by aboriginals and policies of the company leaving narrow gap of opportunities to work at higher management positions hence, gloomy future prospect with no chances of promotion especially for the temporary employees.

g) Supervisory Style: - Autocratic behavior though was not common but visible in situations of conflict probably cultural differences might have been the cause of behavior.

h) Performance feedback:- Temporary employees have not been appraised or if they were, the feedback had never been provided.

i) Recognition: - of work was as such largely dependent on relationships with superiors and peers.

j) Power and Politics: - Negative use of power and politics to undermine the peers in the eyes of supervisors instead of resolving the work related problem situations. Frequently common behavior among the expatriates.

k) Duopolistic Telecom Market: - Market comprises only of the two operators and Emirates Telecommunication Corporation being the significant market power having approximately 70 % of the market share, means if you are declared redundant chances are bleak that you get the job in the UAE market easily.

l) Global Financial Crisis of 2008:- A number of employees were laid off gradually inducing greater job insecurity, loss of concentration and focus in the work. On the other hand company focused on Emiratization in line with the policy of the Government.

m) Language Barrier (Communication): - Though international work environment but still the local language prevail at the work place and considered vital to build the interpersonal relationship with peers, supervisors and subordinates.

n) Autonomy: - Almost scarce, 'Do what is directed' approach in practice.

This report will explore the answers of 'Whys' once I will contrast and compare the afore-mentioned issues in the light of Motivational Theories.

3. Choosing Motivation Theories

Understanding the human behavior is a complex business as it is a set of multifunction variables interacting with each other differently at different circumstances. "There are a number of theories that contribute to our understanding of motivation and suggest ways to improve individual motivation. It is important to recognize that the different theories offer different insights to behavior and that far more benefit is derived from using theories collectively than from using in isolation" (Harrison 2011, p. 88). But, in order to narrow down the broad spectrum of debate about motivation the scope of the analysis here is limited by choosing the Two Factor Theory of Frederick Herzberg (1923-2000) and the Emotional needs' theory of motivation by Nitin Nohra and colleagues that may extend some understanding of the issues.

4. Analysis

For present case, if all the afore-said factors are segregated into the



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