Leadership Techniques for Enhancing Employee Commitment - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1745 Words
Date:  2023-02-04


Effective leadership is a rare quality. The complexities associated with occupying higher positions in organizations call for leaders to implement various techniques in handling their subordinates and running day-to-day activities. These techniques include coaching and motivating staff members to enhance their commitment to work for the organization (DuBrin, 2013). Employee commitment is depicted in their willingness to continue working with the organization and contribute more physically and mentally towards increasing productivity. With that in mind, this essay evaluates the effectiveness of a leader based on a created scenario and highlights how the leader uses motivational techniques, power and influence to achieve organizational objectives.

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The Description of a Scenario From my Past Experience as a Follower

In the past, I had the opportunity to work with Wayne, a sales manager in a cosmetics company within my city. I worked under him as a sales agent. The company tasked Wayne with coordinating recruitments, setting employee goals, coaching and monitoring the performance of sales agents. Moreover, Wayne also designed and executed sales roadmaps to achieve certain sales targets, expand the company's market and maintain its brand. Motivating and coaching were among the key practices that Wayne saw important in fostering employees' engagement in the sales department. To this end, he constantly conversed with each sales agent where he inquired about their individual experiences working in the department, the challenges they were facing professionally and their suggestions to resolve those challenges. He would then devise a plan for professional growth in line with the suggestions.

An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Leader

The equity theory has been chosen for evaluating the effectiveness of the sales manager. This theory holds that employees' motivation and job satisfaction are determined by their perceptions of how the employer treats them compared to other employees in a similar work setting (DuBrin, 2013). For instance, there are other cosmetics companies in the city. The level of satisfaction of sales agent in our company will depend on job outcomes such as how the company remunerates us, the bonuses or benefits on offer, whether the company recognizes outstanding agents, workplace conditions and core job factors relative to other cosmetics businesses.

Essentially, employees equate their input, such as effort, supportive behavior, academic achievements, skills and techniques, with the outcomes they receive relative to their peers. With that in mind, DuBrin (2013) argues that employees will be more motivated and contented if they consider their outcomes to be equal to their inputs. According to the equity theory, there are three probable scenarios in any organization with regards to employee motivation. On one hand is the equity scenario where employees' outcome-to-input ratio matches those of their peers or referents, which results in the perception of fair treatment. The second scenario is the negative inequity where the employees' outcome-to-input ration is less than that of their referents resulting in frustration, disappointment and demotivation. The third scenario is the positive inequity where employees' outcome-to-input ratio exceeds that of their referents thereby feeling overcompensated (Kukreja, 2019). In light of these scenarios, an effective leader should always aim to achieve at least the equity scenario.

The sales manager adopted the equity theory through holding conversations with sales agents after every 4months to assess their job experiences. He asked the agents several questions and used their responses to gauge whether his department and the entire company was rewarding sales agent based on their input. These questions include: "How many hour-shifts do you work per week?", "Is your work schedule much exhausting, fairly exhausting or not exhausting?", "Are you paid on time?", "Do you feel that the amount of pay matches the effort or skills you put in?", "Have you received any bonuses for extra work done?", "Has the company recognized and rewarded you for any exemplary work?" and "How is your remuneration compared to those of your colleagues?"

This strategy was welcomed by about 80% of the sales agents. The feedback from these questions revealed the areas that sales agents felt they were being treated unfairly. Therefore, the manager would then devise and implement remedies, which, depending on the stated issues, would mostly include better remuneration packages, flexible work schedules, improved safety conditions, skills and professional development. He promised to actualize these remedies but set practical goals for the sales agents to achieve in return. Most of the questions were asked during each conversation to verify whether the company had improved with regards to balancing the sales agents' input and outcomes. The manager's objective was to ensure that there was no instance where employees were underpaid or underappreciated after conducting their respective tasks in line with the company's vision and strategic goals.

One of Wayne's targets after becoming the sales manager was to achieve an 85% employee satisfaction level. This satisfaction level depended on various criteria such as working hours, wage, work environment and safety, work organization, contract terms, benefits, vacations, skills and proficiencies. Before his tenure, the sales department was constantly plagued by go-slows and boycotts by employees due to poor remuneration and engagement in their work. By the time Wayne left the sales manager role, he had improved employee satisfaction from 43% to around 74%. This was a remarkable achievement despite falling short of the 85% target.

An Example of How the Leader Might Have Improved His Performance

With most of the issues raised by sales agents at the beginning of his tenure being mostly on poor remuneration, Wayne employed a common pay increment strategy for all employees in the sales department. He did not consider their varying skills and experience levels, effort and work schedule. For instance, after holding his first conversation with the employees, he proposed a 15% pay increase in their salaries. Despite this increase in remuneration coming as a welcome relief, some employees felt that their inputs were yet to be matched and were, thus, reluctant to put more effort in undertaking their duties. Due to this shortcoming, Wayne should have used an increment strategy based on each employee's input. For example, an employee who has worked for the company for 10years, highly skillful and is entrusted with numerous responsibilities should not have received the same percentage increment to an employee with 5years experience, less hardworking and conducts fewer duties. As such, Wayne should have implemented a pay increase mechanism based on individual input to guarantee motivation and employee satisfaction.

An Explanation of Three Motivational Techniques Used by the Leader and their Effects on the Followers

Employee motivation is an internal force that steers them towards achieving company as well as individual objectives. This force depends on the core outlooks, feelings and objectives that get the employees to act on particular situations. Burton (2012) classifies motivation into three categories, namely external, introjected and identified. Identified and introjected motivations are sustained by internal factors. Conversely, external motivation, which is emphasized in this discussion, is sustained by external factors such as rewards, praise and recognition. DuBrin (2013) purports that effective leaders use rewards, recognition or even punishments as techniques to motivate their subordinates.

In the sales department scenario, one of the motivational techniques that the manager used was a financial reward system. This technique is underpinned by the reinforcement theory, which maintains that rewarding employees for desired outputs will increase the chances of them delivering such or better output in future. Besides, employees expect rewards in the form of increased salaries or bonuses for accomplishing set tasks (Eshun, 2011). When devising a reward system, the sales manager first delineated what would qualify them to receive an increased pay by setting reasonable goals for them. These goals guided employees in understanding and working towards achieving the performance standards that the manager expected. He then set this reward system in such a way that the higher the performance standards attained by employees, the higher their salary increment. Ultimately, the employees felt that the company appreciated their inputs and, thus, the rewards spurred to them to deliver desired outcomes.

In addition to financial rewards, the manager also used goal setting as another motivational technique. The effectiveness of rewards in motivating employees is enhanced by defining specific objectives that they must attain to receive the desired bonuses. As such, Goerg (2015) acknowledges the underlying principle that leaders should design SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound), which inform employees of the organization's expectations from them. The sales manager used this goal-setting principle. He first explicitly defined the desired goals such as the number of sales and amount of revenue that each agent should realize. Such goals were certainly measurable where each agent could constantly track their progress in reaching the stated targets. Besides, he engaged sales agents in goal setting to ensure that each goal stated is attainable based on the agents' input and capabilities. In addition to being attainable, the goals were realistic so that each agent could view them as being worthy of their input and have a practical chance of achieving them. To sum it up, the manager imposed a time frame for the agents to reach their defined goals. For instance, generate $50000 in sales within 8weeks. With this technique focusing on each sales agent, it led to individual motivation. The agents were aware that their performance would be gauged individually based on whether they achieved their goals or not and, thus, prompted them to put in more effort in their assigned tasks.

On another note, the manager also motivated his employees by recognizing their efforts and achievements. LaLiberte, Hewitt and Larson (2005) assert that employees need to feel appreciated and important to the organization through the recognition of their contribution and performance. Noticing and acknowledging their work not only motivate employees but also builds a connection between them and the company. To that end, the sales manager always appended an appreciation note to the outstanding sales agents, where he commended them for their exemplary work, expressed his gratitude and urged them to even deliver superior results in future. In commending their work, the manager specified each employee's behavior that warranted recognition through statements such as "Well done for guiding new agents through the field marketing exercise. You helped them familiarize with our key marketing procedures." In the end, some of the recognized and commended employees put in extra effort to work beyond what the manager expected. Additionally, they considered themselves to be part of the company's culture by becoming more engaged in its business activities.

Recommended Feedback or Executive Technique that could have Improved the Leader's Performance

Perhaps, the manager's greatest shortcoming in designing employee motivational strategies was the use of a "one-s...

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Leadership Techniques for Enhancing Employee Commitment - Essay Sample. (2023, Feb 04). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/leadership-techniques-for-enhancing-employee-commitment-essay-sample

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