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IJPM 7-2 Sep 2012 - Intrinsic Motivation - Barbara Hankins

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IJPM 7-2 Sep 2012 - Intrinsic Motivation - Barbara Hankins

  1. 1. © International Journal of Professional Management Volume 7, Issue 2 – September 2012 ISSN 20422341 http://www.ipmajournal.com/ 1 Intrinsic Motivation: The key driver to an enterprising culture Barbara Hankins Barbara Hankins MSc HCS is Director, Consultant and Executive Coach at Catalyst Management Decisions Ltd, and author of ‘The Motivating the Individual to Achieve™’ Strategic Gap Analysis Tool. She can be contacted at catalystmanagementdecisions.co.uk (http://www.catalystmanagementdecisions.co.uk/) Keywords: Motivation, Potential, Talent, Culture, Risk, Human Capital, Enterprise, Innovation, Coaching How organisations are perceived The way people perceive they are treated, be they employees or customers, is a fundamental measure of an organisation’s success. Research with the employees of one of the UK’s leading defence systems manufacturers helped provide insight into the critical success factors required to release potential, of the organisation and its employees. It also highlights from a ‘bottom up’ viewpoint, the necessity to close the gap between perception and reality. My research in the UK, undertaken in 1994 for an MSc HRM thesis, focused on the view that the best form of motivation is for people to identify that the company’s objectives and their own as the same. The aims of the research were to: Look at the organisation through the eyes of its employees Evaluate whether there had been any increase in motivation since Investors in People status was awarded in 1992 Understand how environmental factors and perceptions and feelings influence and motivate people Understand why people’s motivation is impacted by the way they are treated by leadership and management. A perceived benefit of becoming an Investor in People was claimed to be ‘helping people identify their potential and working with them to achieve that potential … the best form of motivation is for people to identify that the company’s objectives and their own are the same’ IIP (1990). The literature on motivation theory is immense, so the focus on the individual in the IIP initiative was a useful starting point for an extensive literature review which began with the definition of ‘motivate’ – ‘to stimulate the interest of’ continuing with:
  2. 2. © International Journal of Professional Management Volume 7, Issue 2 – September 2012 ISSN 20422341 http://www.ipmajournal.com/ 2 ‘An individual’s identification with the major purposes of the organisation can come about not from a view of the organisation as a secure and safe haven, but with the major purposes of the organisation’ Katz (1964) ‘One cannot choose wisely for a life unless he dares to listen to himself, his own self, at each moment in life’ Maslow (1970) ‘Our concern is with the intersection between the study of human motivation and the practice of management’ Vroom & Deci (1989) ‘An individual’s reaction to any situation is always a function of his perception of it. It is how he sees things that count, not objective reality’ Likert (1961) These and other definitions culminated in the development and empirical testing of a 5 factor model. Policies & practices Organisation structure Working environment Leadership Talent management Individual perception Figure 1 Motivating the individual to achieve™ A conceptual framework © Barbara Hankins 1994-2012
  3. 3. © International Journal of Professional Management Volume 7, Issue 2 – September 2012 ISSN 20422341 http://www.ipmajournal.com/ 3 This research is as relevant today in 2012 as it was in 1994. The current economic crisis has crumbled the foundations of the capitalist system and thrown the world into chaos with the realisation that things will never be the same again. Many business reports in the past three years highlight major issues in organisations such as risk, disengagement, trust and culture not only concerning their employees but also their customers. The Lloyds Global Risk Index 2012 shows the top three risks are loss of customers, talent and skills shortages, and reputational risk. Ravin Jesuthasan, Towers Watson,’ Talent in the Cloud’ article says ‘The evolution of risk is a turning point for how companies think about people’. The PwC, Trends in Human Capital 2012 Report states ‘Survivors are disengaged – The most significant and worrying legacy of the turmoil of the past few years has been the impact on employee engagement. Employees in the West who survived the cost cutting cull have been left disillusioned and disengaged.’ Deloitte’s Review article - Tailored to the Bottom Line, points out that ‘People are billed as companies’ most important asset. High performing companies align people management practices to the corporate culture (“cultural fit”) and to business strategy and long-term objectives of the organisation (“strategic fit”). Motivation is not a new concept. Indeed, bonuses and pay for performance are high on the agenda of organisations this century, and many shocking articles have hit the headlines since the credit crunch began in 2008 with an emphasis on a greed culture and the loss of a moral compass. It is now more important than ever to get to grips with this issue. The top three risks highlight the need for new strategies, but if organisations continue with their focus purely on financial aspects of the company and fail to take account of people, their needs and motivations, they will not even recognise the gap between perception and reality let alone develop strategies to close it. ‘Motivating the Individual to Achieve™’ Model The key driver to an enterprising culture is supportive leadership that fosters an open, collaborative and participative environment. This kind of intrinsically motivated organisational capability has at its heart a talent strategy that recognises that an organisation IS its people. It is they who turn strategy into reality given the right vision, direction and leadership; and focuses on the drivers that influence the organisation’s ability to meet its business objectives such as employee productivity or retention. Motivation sits at the same table as finance, IT, marketing and sales, and is fundamental to sustaining competitive advantage in this knowledge intensive 21st Century. Organisations therefore need to measure whether they are succeeding in achieving their objectives, whether they have effective leaders in the right positions and decide whether they are prepared to take a hard inward look at ‘how we do things around here’. This theoretical model (see Fig.1 above) is based on the individual’s ‘bottom up’ perception of how the leadership and management they receive - the ‘soft’ factors which comprise intrinsic motivators – impact or affect their view of the working environment. The organisation structure, policies and practices provide the ‘hard’ factors or extrinsic motivators. It provides an appropriate tool for strategic gap analysis and forms a conceptual framework demonstrating a holistic understanding of people, their intrinsic motivation, perceptions and development needs.
  4. 4. © International Journal of Professional Management Volume 7, Issue 2 – September 2012 ISSN 20422341 http://www.ipmajournal.com/ 4 The research provided the opportunity to identify the complementary combination of critical success factors to enable the release of energy from within, called ‘potential.’ Whilst this is not a direct part of the research studies, the author likens it to the basic ingredients of an organisational recipe for motivational success. Results from testing of the model are presented in a radar graph and dashboard type format providing snapshots in time. Because the model looks at the organisation from the bottom up and through the eyes of its employees, it provides a ‘perception of reality’ that many top down initiatives fail to connect with. Questionnaire To test the model, a 12 statement, negative/positive Likert scale questionnaire was produced and faxed to the Plain English Society to ensure it was written in appropriate language for all employees, and submitted to the author’s supervisor and gatekeeper. This resulted in slight modifications and clarification of wording. A 20% sample comprising 51 employees participated in the pilot study, selected by random sampling method, slicing through the organisation with a greater representation of bottom rung people. All layers of the organisation were represented including Engineers, Tech Engineers, Supervisory/Admin/Commercial and Operators. Group workshop sessions of one hour duration enabled questionnaire completion and five additional questions confirmed their knowledge and perception of the company’s purpose and strengths and weaknesses. Individual senior management team interviews were based on the 5 question group format. Age profile varied from 26-50+ with the greatest number in the 50+ age group. The majority had been employed for 10+ years. The results of the ‘Motivating the Individual to Achieve™’ Survey demonstrated from a strategic viewpoint that the company had produced a mostly positive radar graph indicating a positive working environment (see Fig 2 below). However, a very low score for Warmth & Support belied the company’s belief and philosophy that they had developed a supportive/coaching culture. Deeper analysis highlighted that this was a huge issue with two groups as 80% of operators and 67% of engineers scored lowest on this measure. Employees’ Current View of the Company to the Past showed that 49% considered that the company was either much better or better than it was when they first joined. However deeper analysis showed that 75% of operators considered that the company was not so good now compared to when they first joined. The announcement of 40 redundancies two days after the IIP flag was raised could have had a negative impact on these results. The sector and this business were operating either in global markets or markets that were trending towards globalisation. The external environment in the early 90’s highlighted problems in the industry and in Europe, including the emergence of Eastern Europe, not only with recession but also serious structural problems, which were creating a whole new market reality. Development trends in microelectronics were reducing the value added by hardware production, often making software the crucial competitive factor.
  5. 5. © International Journal of Professional Management Volume 7, Issue 2 – September 2012 ISSN 20422341 http://www.ipmajournal.com/ 5 The organisation was a traditional innovator and placed great store on technical achievement and product quality. The company’s philosophy was centred on devolving responsibility down to the lowest levels and based on a supportive/coaching approach in order to get closer to the customer, and decentralising management decision making to smaller operating groups. ‘Supportive is the key word in the principle of supportive relationships – experiences, relationships etc. are considered to be supportive when the individual involved sees the experience, in terms of his values, goals, expectations and aspirations, as contributing to or maintaining his sense of personal worth and importance.’ Likert R. (1961) Over a period of six years the company had undergone a restructuring exercise bringing together two companies onto a new site with a new manufacturing director, a senior management development programme project for the IIP initiative, and a number of other important initiatives. The organisation’s objectives were to: reduce manufacturing depth shorten innovation cycles by half identify training and development needs against strategic objectives. So do the results show that the organisation achieves its objectives? Strategic objectives Reducing manufacturing depth This is impacted by mobility and flexibility yet 43% of senior managers had held four or more jobs, whilst 42% of operators had held only one job. The current view of the company now compared to the past highlighted that 57% of senior managers believe the company is now much better than before but 75% of operators believe it is not so good. At times of strategic change good internal communications is essential to avoid uncertainty, but engineers and operators appear disillusioned as they only believe communications from the company half the time, although all groups scored 4 on the level of communication. Announcement of 40 redundancies two days after the IIP flag was raised could account for this. Perhaps it was achieved in practice but the consequences of the actions are negative. Shorten innovation cycles by half Deeper analysis reveals that 50% of engineers scored 2 on creativity, demonstrating that they are not encouraged to put forward their ideas, one of the cornerstones of innovation. Tech engineers scored 3 so were undecided as to whether or not creativity is encouraged. In addition, 83% of engineers and 71% of tech engineers scored 3 on learning, so were not convinced that the company encouraged them to extend themselves and their knowledge. 50% of engineers also scored 3 on co-operation, indicating that the working environment inhibits rather than supports the innovation process. These results indicate the potential for the company to fail on its innovation objectives.
  6. 6. © International Journal of Professional Management Volume 7, Issue 2 – September 2012 ISSN 20422341 http://www.ipmajournal.com/ 6 Identify training and development needs against strategic objectives The majority of Employees believe that their jobs are either very or fairly important to the company, yet the main reason they come to work is for Money. This indicates that the organisation is not engaging with their heads and hearts. Deeper analysis showed that senior managers also gave enjoyment, challenge and belonging as reasons whilst Engineers and supervisory/admin/clerical group gave a broad range of reasons including promotion, challenge and knowledge amongst others. The age profile highlighted that 71% of senior managers were 50+, whilst 42% of operators were between 26/35, indicating potential generational issues that could contribute to poor co-operation and knowledge sharing and should have been identified as T&D needs. So what can organisations do to close these gaps? Some questions might motivate the CEO and HR Director to take a bottom up viewpoint. Figure 2 Strategic overview of survey (Motivating the individual to achieve TM ) © Barbara Hankins 1994-2012
  7. 7. © International Journal of Professional Management Volume 7, Issue 2 – September 2012 ISSN 20422341 http://www.ipmajournal.com/ 7 1. Is your business strategy informed by your talent strategy? YES/NO 2. Do you know you have an inclusive, bottom-up culture? YES/NO 3. Are people told what to do? YES/NO 4. Is HR proactively involved in the strategic process? YES/NO 5. Does the company reserve coaching for upper echelons only? YES/NO 6. Does anyone check when people have been on a training course whether their skills have improved? YES/NO 7. Do you have talent pipelines to ensure that critical roles are never out? YES/NO 8. Do your leaders believe that success depends on the talented individuals in the company? YES/NO 9. Do you follow the 70/20/10 principle? (Of what we need to know on the job, 70% comes from learning on the job, 20% comes from connecting with others, and only 10% from self-study and training courses) YES/NO 10. Do you know what skills you will need in the next five years that you don’t currently have? YES/NO 11. Do you know how you will get those skills? YES/NO 12. Is yours a forward-thinking, long-term, innovative company – hand on heart? YES/NO Conclusion Why companies fail to motivate their employees Traditionally, senior management will say what they are doing but perhaps have no way or intention of proving that it does happen or measuring the impact of those actions. Employees who are customer-facing or actually building the product for the customer can occupy critical roles that impact on innovation and competitive advantage. If these people are not fully engaged, recognised for achieving their part of the organisation’s objectives and encouraged, supported and coached to achieve their potential, then the overall performance of the organisation is affected. The ‘Motivating the Individual to Achieve™’ model not only provides a strategic analysis tool for organisation development and change, it also identifies the gaps between different groups where there are obvious development needs, not only for the organisation but also for individuals themselves. This company’s sound philosophy of using a supportive/coaching approach should have helped them to achieve their objectives. Instead, if it was done at all, it appeared only to be done at senior management level and there was no demonstrable referred learning through the various layers to employees at the bottom rung, let alone to customers. They had been successful however in devolving responsibility down to all levels as deeper analysis revealed that 50% of engineers, 43% of tech engineers, 53% of supervisor/administrative/commercial and 40% of operators recognised that they were given personal responsibility to achieve their part of the organisation’s goals.
  8. 8. © International Journal of Professional Management Volume 7, Issue 2 – September 2012 ISSN 20422341 http://www.ipmajournal.com/ 8 What good was that however, when in 1997 the organisation was subject to a takeover within the defence industry and the site closed down with the subsequent loss of valuable knowledge and skills? It really is all about people and how they perceive they are treated, developed and led. End notes 1. My research indicates that the best form of motivation is for people to see the company’s objectives and their own as the same. Their motivation is impacted by the way they are treated by leadership and management. 2. My MSc Human Resource Management was preceded and informed by a successful 3½ year culture change programme for a manufacturing SME in East London, thereby building theory on top of practice. 3. The company that came together from two separate companies in 1988 was disbanded in 1997, with one part retained by the parent company but in another division and the other sold to the Aerospace sector. 4. In the years since 1994 I have built on the original model, identified where and how it fits into the business cycle, linked it with Leadership competencies and now wish to link it with Metrics and Analytics so that I can make a credible business case to CEOs and CFOs that applying a people lens should be second nature. 5. I am actively seeking corporate partners, preferably with a supply chain, that will help me to develop the model further. Only those interested in proving that investing in people and the links between Quality, Innovation, Profitability and Competitive Advantage really do have a positive impact on the bottom line need apply.
  9. 9. © International Journal of Professional Management Volume 7, Issue 2 – September 2012 ISSN 20422341 http://www.ipmajournal.com/ 9 References: 1. Kleinert, R, Stover DeRocco, E, Chaudhuri, A, & Maciejewski, R, (2009)Deloitte Review – Richard Kleinert > Emily Stover DeRocco > Atanu Chaudhuri and Robert Maciejewski – Tailored to the Bottom Line: People Management Practices and Profitability in manufacturing - https://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/Insights/Browse-by-Content- Type/deloitte-review/2472dacb2bea9210VgnVCM100000ba42f00aRCRD.htm 2. Katz D. (1964) The Motivational Basis of Organisational Behaviour – Behavioural Science Vol 9, Issue 2 p131-146 3. Likert R. (1961) New Patterns of Management, New York, McGraw Hill Inc 4. Lloyds Global Risk Index 2012 – http://www.lloyds.com/News-and-Insight/Risk- Insight/Lloyds-Risk-Index/Then-and-Now 5. Maslow A.H.(1970) Motivation and Personality, New York, Harper & Row Publishers Inc, Third Edition 6. PwC – Trends in Human Capital 2012 Report – http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/hr- management-services/key-trends-in-human-capital-2012-a-global-perspective.jhtml 7. Ravin Jesuthasan, Global Head of Talent Management, Towers Watson - http://www.hreonline.com/HRE/story.jsp?storyId=533344746 8. Vroom E.H. and Deci E.L. (1989) Management and Motivation, Harmondsworth Penguin Book Ltd, New Edition Bibliography: 1. Argyris C. 1990 - Integrating the Individual and the Organisation, New Brunswick Transaction Publishers 2. Herzberg F. Mausner B. - The Motivation to Work, John Wiley & Son Inc, Second Edition and Snyderman B. 1959 3. McGregor D.1987 - The Human Side of Enterprise, Harmondsworth, Penguin Books Ltd 4. Mullin B. 1994 – unpublished Master of Science Dissertation 5. Tannenbaum R. and Schmidt W.H. 1973 - How to choose a Leadership Pattern, Harvard Business Review, May/June 1973, Vol 51. No.3. Pages 3-11 Acknowledgments Thanks to the employees who participated in the survey itself and to the project sponsor Mr Tony Collins (deceased), Alison Fairlie of the Industrial Society and Kate Harris of Essex TEC.

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