The main purpose of essay is to describe the different motivational tools and techniques and the organisational structure used by my organisation. The opening session of essay explains the relevant aspects of my organisation related to the industry, location and size.
The first part of the essay introduces the concept of motivation and the different theories needed to support employee performance and then analysing my organisation with the help of these theories. The second part deals with the analysing the organisational structure using the Matrix structure and the support of this in achieving the organisational goals.
A JOURNEY THROUGH MY ORGANISATION
Al-Tayer Stocks is a limited Liability Company established in 1998 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (U. A. E) as a partnership venture with a 51% shareholding by the Al-Tayer Group of Dubai and 49% by South African construction company Stefannuti Stocks.
The company has focused on interior contracting works, and has established a reputation with its Clients as a reliable partner who can deliver work on time and to a high standard quality. The company employs approximately 600 employees. We at Al-Tayer Stocks are committed to working in partnership with the Clients to develop optimum solutions. The vast knowledge, experience and resources enable us to operate on a comprehensive range of projects, whether it is a simple office or shop fit-out, or an entire package including civil works and MEP services.
There is an experienced team who are actively involved in every aspect of the project from design to handover. They identify and solve problems along with the Client or Consultant, produce AutoCAD shop drawings, source and obtain samples of materials, co-ordinate MEP services, and manages the entire range of activities including planning, scheduling, budgeting and all the other aspects concerned with execution from the start to the final end of the project.
We have a core team of experienced orkforce, and carry out our own concrete works, blockwork, screeding and plastering, wall and floor tiling, carpentry and ironmongery. We work with a selected range of sub-contractors for specialized work such as Ceilings and partitions, glazing, flooring, specialized joinery and painting. We started implementing our Quality Management System (QMS) in 2008 and proudly attained the ISO 9001 certificate in October 2009. The Company has Trade Licenses to operate anywhere in the U. A. E. for interior fit-out, and building construction for Ground + 1.
Motivation is one of the important tools used by organisation to achieve its goals. An organisation is dependent on human activities and motivation acts as a driving force for each individual which influences their behaviour and performance at work. This in turn is dependent on many variables such as needs and expectations at work.
Motivation can be defined as a state that arises in a process which can be internal and external to the individual perceiving to pursue an appropriate set of action to achieve specified results and pursuing those outcomes with a greater degree of determination and energy (Rollinson, 2008: 196) The needs and expectations at work can be categorised in a number of ways which is dependent on rewards namely, Extrinsic, Intrinsic and Social rewards (Rollinson, 2008: 199). Extrinsic rewards are related to tangible benefits determined at the organisational level such as salary, security, the work environment, promotion and conditions at work.
Intrinsic Rewards are related to psychological needs usually determined by the behaviour of individual mangers such as opportunity to use one’s ability, a sense of challenge and appreciation and being treated in a considerate and caring manner. Social rewards are related to group working desire of affiliation, status and dependency which also has a substantial psychological content. Therefore a person’s job satisfaction, motivation and performance depend to the extent to which their needs and expectations are fulfilled.
MOTIVATIONAL TOOLS USED BY MY ORGANISATION
Work-life balance- 5 days in a week from Sunday to Thursday and 10 hours from the position of project manager to the labour so that all employees have enough leisure time. Appraisal and rewards: Appraisal is being done to all employees by their immediate supervisors or managers which act a source of motivation and suggestion for improvement. Rewards are provided in the form of promotion, appreciation and salary increment which acts as a driving force for motivation as it brings in a sense of achievement.
Work environment – The main office and the site offices are provided with all facilities of an office environment such as separate cabins for project managers and project engineer’s computers, Printers, airconditioners, Meeting Rooms, pantry, Microwave, refrigerator and all the employees are served with refreshments such as bottled water and cookies. Job Security- benefits such as health insurance coverage and other measures such as safety shoes and helmets are provided for site employees.
Training programs and social interactions- training programs are conducted for employees to understand drawings and also for mangers, engineers and foreman’s to get acquainted with new software’s developed in civil engineering field such as cad, cas and primavera. The HR team ensures good employee interactions through social forums, parties and their employee relations program. Benefits of childcare- Employees are provided with benefits such as insurance for health, maternity leave, paternity leave and other facilities like day care and kindergarten are made available to the children of employees.
THEORIES OF MOTIVATION
There are many theories that explain the theory of motivation. As the behaviour, needs and expectations of people differ from each other and are always dynamic; these theories may be at least only partially true or can be used only for explaining the behaviour of certain people at certain times. These theories provide a framework within which direct attention to motivate staff to work effectively and willingly. The usual approaches to the study regarding motivation are based on the cognitive processes. This is broadly divided into two stream namely, Content Theories and Process Theories of motivation.
Content theories specify what motivates the employees at work and identifies their needs and relative strengths. These theories also finds out the goals that should followed in order to satisfy the needs, emphasizing on types of need and sources of motivation (Mullins, 2007:256) Major content theories of motivation include:
- Maslow’s Needs theory
- Alderneys modified need hierarchy model
- Herzberg’s two factor theory
- McClelland’s achievement motivation theory.
HERTZBERG’s TWO FACTOR THEORY
Hertzberg’s theory is a content theory that explains how needs can motivate employees at work. It avoided the use of need and divided the work environment into two namely, Hygiene factors and Motivators.
Hygiene factors are related to the job content of the work itself namely working conditions, status, company procedures, quality of supervision, interpersonal relations, salary, company policy and administration. These factors if present do not motivate but if absent produce dissatisfaction. Motivators are intrinsic in nature like sense of achievement, recognition, responsibility, nature of work, prospects of growth and achievement. These factors do produce no dissatisfaction if absent as long as hygiene factors are adequate but if present provides satisfaction.
Both the hygiene factors and motivators are important to motivate employees and to achieve organisational goals. ” One group revolves around the need to develop in one’s occupation as it is a source of personal growth. The second group operates as an essential base to the first and is associated with the fait treatment in compensation, supervision, working conditions and administrative practices” (Herzberg 1959: 115)
Hertzberg’s study led to understand motivation in work environment. It recommends action for managers to improve motivation in the work environment. He also contributed to an alternative approach of otivation by job enrichment. According to the theory only a challenging job which has high prospects of growth, opportunities of advancement, responsibility and recognition will motivate personnel and also hygiene factors are necessary to maintain human resources of an organisation. Even though this theory is widely accepted by practitioners, there are many criticisms to this theory which will be dealt in the next session for analysing my organisation.
ANALYSIS USING HERZBERG’s THEORY
There are a number of motivational tools that were used by my organisation to achieve its goals. It included both motivators and hygiene factors. Organisation used various tools for satisfying the needs of the employees Good working conditions, salary, company policy, administration, fringe benefits, supervision acts as satisfiers but it have very little relevance to provide motivation.
The theory is limited to answer whether satisfaction leads to motivation. Satisfaction is related to the fulfilment of needs, but motivation is intrinsic or a psychological emotion which depends on the values of job, recognition, responsibility and advancement which is not being distinguished. As per Hertzberg salary is a hygiene factor that does not provide motivation but if not present appropriately leads to dissatisfaction. But it may not be true in all cases.
For example, for high ranked employees such as managers salary may not be an attraction but what matters is status and brand image whereas for lower wage employees, salary as well as job security is considered to be very important and hence acts as motivator. Social interaction between employees has a strong impact on motivation because it results in new innovation and new ideas. The new ideas motivate the employees when they see that it is implemented and successful.
However the success is being supported by a well defined HR policy which makes them work in teams, good appraisal and training system, redundancy policy and promotion which leads to motivation. The most important factors to measure motivation are feedback, information, responsibility and training.
The theory investigated the motivations for engineers and accountants so it has limitation to be applied to the labours in an organisation because the motivational factors are liable to change as per the hierarchy like Mangers seek for recognition or prestige whereas for labours is job security or wages. Therefore the theory has limits to explain otivation, It can be used by the managers to identify needs and satisfaction and decide upon the strategy to decide on the factors leading to motivation.
EQUITY THEORY BY ADAMS
The theory proposes that in work environment motivation is being perceived by how equally he or she is treated in comparison to others. This is also known as social comparison or inequity theory. This theory starts with comparison in which our inputs and outputs while performing a task are compared with someone in close proximity. Inputs refer to the education, skills, experience and efforts which a person brings to the job.
Outputs are rewards received for the job such a promotion, pay and praise. Inputs can be seen as costs and outputs as benefits for the purpose of comparison. If the comparative results are the same, then continue with matters as are. But if it is not, tensions or feelings of psychological discomfort arise and a state of inequity occurs which either can take the state of underreward or overreward. This in turn results in action in order to suppress tension by modifying inputs, seeking to modify outputs, modification of self- perception or change the person with which the comparison is made or leave the situation.
This theory is simple and straight forward having good predictive powers, particularly in conditions where under-reward could exist. It can also be used for job designing and reward systems. Perhaps more than any other model, Equity Theory, explains work motivation of the employees on their perception of fair treatment.
ANALYSIS USING EQUITY THEORY
In Equity Theory motivation is not only dependent on individual rewards but also on an individual’s perspective. This relates to on which aspects of the ratio of outcomes and inputs are compared with their referent.
But inputs such as ideas and creativity and outputs such as reward and other benefits depends on the previous experience and other benefits. This theory has also resulted in the development of a simple model of motivation alignment which suggests that once the employee needs are identified and the organisational objectives are defined, it is important to decide on the rewards that satisfies both the organisation and the individual. High motivation is a result of well aligned model.
The theory can be used up to a stage when the ndividual acquires a certain position in the organisation after which the inputs they put to the job reduces and consequently their nature of comparison reduces. The Equity Theory holds good for team working in which each team member’s attitudes and behaviour is important. The Equity Theory is concerned with the equal treatment of employees in an organisation which will help in avoiding the conflicts between employees. As a result employees will work together as a team to achieve the common goal of the organisation.
This theory holds true in my experience wherein I had a lower pay than my colleague in my team who had the same position, for which I approached my HR manager asking for an increase of pay to restore equity.
The above theories and its analysis gives a clear dimension that the motivated employees is an essential feature of any successful organisation. In order to attain high levels of performance the management team should clearly understand what motivates the employees and should also create a context within which the employee feels motivated and works towards achieving the goals of the organisation.
Therefore to get motivated employees, management needs to create platforms for feedback through which intrinsic value is likely to improve and they will be able to develop themselves in their occupational role also giving importance to provide employees with information, knowledge and training. “Motivational theories are useful when studying the range of human motives to explain how the motives affect human behaviour. However the theories do not provide an insight of what motivates a particular individual or group.
Therefore when searching for the specific work motivators of a particular individual or group of individuals there is no other way than finding out what actually motivates that particular individual or group”. (Lundberg, 2009:891)
Organisational structure is important to any organisation as it divides the work within the organisation and decides a strategy for work division, coordination and direction of activities between employees’ in order to achieve the goals and objectives of organisation.
Therefore, organisational structure can be defined as the officially sanctioned fundamental and relatively unchanging feature of an organisation sanctioned officially by controllers consisting of activities and the component parts to achieve specific aims and objectives. Moreover, it provides a clear division of tasks and responsibilities, work roles, relationships and channels of communication. (Rollinson, 2008: 502) Structure concerns more with the mechanisms and processes of achievement of goals and objectives rather than objectives itself.
Therefore, structure can be looked upon as two aspects on having what called as basic structure and how as operating mechanisms. Basic structure is the general form that represents the expectations from organisational members like organisational charts, job description, membership of boards, committees, working parties. Operating mechanisms expresses a detailed description of expectation from members in the structure such as control procedures (e. g. -Budgets and budgetary control), operating procedures, staff appraisal, training and development, planning procedures”. (Rollinson, 2008: 503)
There are a number of other factors that influences the management systems and structure such as litheness and challenges in multi-tasking, work pattern changes, situational factors, managerial processes such as allocation and empowerment. Moreover, the structure provides with a skeleton for different organisational activities that complements with its goals and objectives (Mullins, 2007:569).
THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD STRUCTURE
A good organisational structures should ensure that the tasks such as, controlling, monitoring and coordinating different activities within different areas of the organisation occur in the correct sequence and in the most economic and efficient way. A structure should also be flexible so as to respond to the future demands and adapt to the changing environment also considering the social satisfaction of members working in the organisation.
It should also ensure the effective utilisation of resources. The importance of good structure as emphasized by Child (cited in Mullins, 2007:569), “A basic structure distributes responsibilities among the members of a company. Its purpose is to contribute to the successful implementation of objectives by allocating people and resources to necessary tasks and designing responsibility and authority for their control and coordination”.
The structure of an organisation affects not only the productivity and economic fficiency but also the morale and job satisfaction of the workforce. Getting the structure right is the first step in organisational change. Structure should be designed, therefore, so as to encourage the willing participation of members of the organisation and effective organisational performance. To describe organisational structure it is useful to be able to highlight important features in a way which allows the similarities or differences of the organisation to be compared.
A compromise scheme that allows the five most prominent dimensions namely Configuration (Basic arrangements for integration in the structure) and formalisation (Amount of rules, procedures and written documentation), standardisation (extent to which similar activities are performed in a uniform manner), specialisation (degree to which tasks are subdivided into separate jobs), complexity(number of subsystems within the organisation), centralisation(the hierarchical level that has the decision making authority), professionalism(level of formal education and training of employees), hierarchy of authority .
Goal can be defined as given by Etzoini (1964) as, “A desired state of affairs which an organisation attempts to realise” (Rollinson, 2008:471). Goals should be clear for the proper functioning of the organisation, which in turn determines the nature of inputs and outputs. They also coordinate the activities internally in compliance with the external environment in order to achieve the desired outputs.
The extent of achievement of goals helps in assessing the overall organisational performance and effectiveness. A clear understanding of goals forms a basis for division of tasks and duties into subunits. The objectives of these subunits is to be related to the goals of the organisation, so that a suitable structure can be developed in order to achieve the goals as it provides a framework for the structure design. Structure defines the nature of organisation and provides an approach for defining different official relationship between the different functions and activities.
A clear objective provides a picture on communication between different functional units of organisation and the scope of decentralisation and allocation. The formal structure should be in alignment with the goals of the organisation which should provide guidelines for the essential activities and functions that it undertakes (Mullins, 2007: 571). The goals set forward by my organisation are output, product and derived goals. The output goals consider the client in relation to the organisation should feel accomplished with the service and the project handed over. Secondly, the product goal which relates to the quality of the work.
Lastly, the derived goals which concerns with the employee development. My organisation follows the top-down goal setting in which the goals are set for a particular level by the level above it which ensures that the goals set at the level supports that of the level above. It also results in ambitious but achievable goals.
Goals are important for an organisation as it provides information to the employees about the future results required and the place to focus their efforts. A clear goal will provide an idea of not only what has to be achieved but also gives an indication on other factors to be considered while achieving the goal such s structure, technology and human resources required. (Rollison,2008: 477). The goal of my organisation is, “Constructing Quality buildings and building quality relationships with clients”
A bad organisational structure not only interferes with the goal achievement but also can negatively affect the employee motivation and the morale (Rollinson,2008: 504). As Child (cited in Mullins, 2007: 587) points out that problems arises in struggling companies from time to time.
All the problems have to be dealt with in the start up of problems even if the organisation is at its glory, which will otherwise lead to organisational problems such as low motivation in employees, delayed decisions, conflict, ignorance of new opportunities and rising costs
THE MATRIX STRUCTURE
The Matrix organisation is a comprised of different functional departments providing a steady base for specific activities and an enduring location for staff members. the different functional unit activities of different sectors such as project team, product, programme, geographical and system basis are assimilated into units. Mullins, 2007: 584)
A matrix grouping gains the advantages of the functional department and the product or project grouping with a minimal effect of the potential drawbacks of each. It is used when the organisation wants to gain the benefits of team and maintain the technical expertise of functional departments. The aim of the structure is to avoid duplication by assigning projects to different departments according to the expertise (Rollinson, 2008: 509). “Matrix structure offers the advantages of flexibility, greater security, control of project information and opportunities for staff development” (Mullins, 2007; 585)
Thus in a way firm can ensure that the different projects gets the same range of expertise as in conventional functional grouping and each person acts as a subordinate of the functional heads and also the project manager of different projects Within the functional grouping authority and responsibility flows vertically and for individual project mangers it flows horizontally as indicated in the figure. Therefore a representative from each functional group acts as a team under the individual project managers.
The matrix structure may result in role conflicts between individuals reporting to two different managers which bring forth the importance of effective team work. This sort of dual reporting creates conflicts and confusion, increased channel communications, creates log-jams and loss of accountability due to overlapping responsibilities. Therefore, this type of structure requires the organisation to provide a co-operative culture which should be supported by staff training to develop their team working and conflict resolving skills. (Mullins, 2007: 585,586)
ANALYSIS OF THE MATRIX STRUCTURE
The matrix structure used in my organisation ensures that the project meets the requirements of the client. Firstly the requirements of the client are clearly understood by the CEO, Estimation manager, planning manager and project manager. The estimation manager together with the estimation team prepares the Bill of Quantities (BOQ) and submits it together with the tender documents which have all the specification of the products and the outlines of the projects. After getting the approval from the client the planning manager prepares the time line for different works to be carried out in the project.
The project manager then informs the team including the project engineer, quality control engineer, site supervisor regarding the project and allocates the task to each member of the team. The matrix structure helps in division of task according to the expertise. From the start of project, the project manager co-ordinates the activities with the estimator, planner and the site team including the project engineer and the quality control engineer. The estimator is held responsible to inform if the project cost is deviating from the budget. The planner oversees that all activities take place in the correct sequence and time.
The project engineer co-ordinates the site team and sub-contractors. The quality control engineer inspects all the ongoing works and documentation of the projects adheres to the ISO specification. The matrix structure has also helped in avoiding the duplication of resources and effective utilisation of machineries and other items needed to carry out work. Even though the communication sometimes create conflict between different team members and also affects the work in some way it will be quickly sorted out through effective team working.
This in turn helps to hand over the project to the client within the specified time and with good quality. As the work is assigned according to the expertise, it results in achieving quality work as per the ISO standards which in turn helped in achieving the goal of organisation to build quality infrastructure and achieve client satisfaction. Therefore the structure of the company helps in achieving the goal and developing good relationships with the client as the structure gives importance to needs for the client delivering the project on time with the best quality which in turn builds good relationships with the client.
The above discussion makes it clear that for the proper functioning of the organisation, a structure is necessary for organisations which define the organisational processes, role perceptions and work attitudes. The structure should be designed so that it complies to achieve the goals and objectives of the organisation. The structure should be designed in such a way that the communication channel and the position of each member in the team is defined in order to avoid conflicts which helps in the effective implementation of the structure complying with the goals.
The matrix structure has helped my organisation in providing expertise in each field of work which helped in awarding clients with quality work as per their requirements. This ultimately helped in achieving organisational goals which is maintaining good customer relationships by providing quality works. My organisation is doing well in its field of expertise with more projects . Thus it can be concluded that the structure has helped my organisation in achieving its goals.
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