Ford motor is a global company dealing with the manufacture of vehicles. It has several offices/manufacturing plants in most parts of the world. For the company to run smoothly and efficiently, its operations are divided into several department headed by several departmental managers. One of the departments am in charge is the Supply Chain Systems Sales department a position I filled as the head of department.
A Supply Chain System Sales Operations Manager is in charge of two broad roles. One of roles concerns supplies while the other deals with sales of their locomotives. These two roles are interlinked in a way that the person in charge must ensures that their sales offices are supplied by their products (vehicles) for sales and shipping of new vehicles to other customers or to their sales offices in countries ford motors has no factory. Sales are an interactive kind of work where a Ford motors representative from the sales team interact with a customer on a one on one basis so as to convince the person to acquire a vehicle of their choice.
Sales section is the backbone of the company because, without sales, the company would easily collapse, hence to make it the leading vehicle manufacturing company; it is supposed to have a strong sales team. As the Supply Chain System Sales Operations Manager, I normally have targets which come with immense pressure from my bosses. Failure to meet the set target opens a set of consequences on the person in charge of the sales team. Therefore, I also have to device ways to motivate my team towards achieving the expected results. I also learn to deal with stresses which originate from both customers and my bosses so as to avoid interfering with my quality of work and service to the company.
Some of my other roles include; coordinating and supervision of operations in the sales department. I also ensure that there is coordination between the sales and other departments to facilitate smooth flow of operations within the company. Prepare a financial record for all the sales done within our department before handing over to the finance department.
Motivational theories and job design considerations
Work motivation is an extremely fundamental aspect when it comes to achieving the desired results. Motivation is defined by various scholars as a psychological process that direct, energizes and maintains action towards a job, task, role or project (Kanfer, 1990). As part of my duty as the head of department, I have to ensure that the goals set both overall for the whole company and those set locally within my team go hand in hand. Through this, I have to initiate all the motivational theories among within the team that I head. But first, having an insight of the motivation theories and their applicability to our office is indispensable.
There are two different work motivation theories, which include; the exogenous cause theories and the endogenous process theories. The Exogenous cause theories tries to explain the contextual influences on work motivation that can be changed to suit the needs of the company while Endogenous process theories deals with the psychological mechanisms that explain how motivation takes place inside an employees' head (Katzell & Thompson, 1990).
In my position as a Supply Chain System Sales Operations Manager, I would use some of the motivational theories existing to help me and my team to achieve excellent results, which entails meeting, the set goals. Some of the motivational theories I would use include Goal setting theory, equity theory and expectance theory. Goal setting theory focuses on motivational effect of goals in a way that when a department has a difficult, specific goal set, it is likely to have a high motivation impact on performance because all attention is focused on that goal, all effort and persistence are channeled towards making sales also it encourages the development of refreshing task strategies. These difficult, specific goals are most likely to produce excellent result only when employees are committed, when feedback is given to them and when the task is somehow easy than complex. All these are vital elements in goal setting theory because, without the necessary commitment employees will not be able to give their best effort, without feedback, the employees will not be able to know how they are progressing and when the task is easier, only effort becomes the key determinant, but when the task is hard both the workers' ability and task strategies are needed hence it might affect the goal set for a given task (Locke & Latham, 2002).
As much as this theory is highly used it has its limitations, for instance, when a goal is given to worker(s) with high efficacy, he/she is likely to set higher goals, experience greater goal commitment, choose better task strategies and maintain a pursuit in the face of negative feedback. Scholars have also found that the effect of participation in goal setting depends on goal commitment, in that when the purpose of the goal is clear, participation of an employee gives minimal benefit but, when the purpose of the goal is unknown it gives the employees the opportunity to increase their goal commitment, hence, higher performance (Locke & Latham, 2002). Goal setting theory may also be raise ethical issues especially if the employee's goals are not aligned with that of the company, they may opt to choose shortcuts or illegal ways, which violate the, moral and legal standard of a company.
Equity theory is a form of motivational tactic I would employ in my department. It places motivation in a social context whereby employees are motivated based on their inputs such as skills; knowledge, loyalty and effort etc. are compared by the outcomes such as pay, benefits, bonuses, recognition etc. which therefore creates a sense of equity (Oldham & Hackman, 2010). In other words, when the outcome is not in line with the inputs then the employee might be distressed hence leading to him/her lowering the performance. In the sales department, the sales team might be given bonuses for every vehicle that thy sell to match the effort they have put while persuading the customer to make the purchase. The bonus helps to motivate the employees hence reducing the chances of them slaking off at work or even attempting to reduce the other team member's input or outcomes (Champoux, 2010). But at the same time, when the employees have a perception that they are over rewarded, they may want to restore equity by either working harder to match their reward or reducing their outcomes in their effort to request the management for redistribution of their salaries to the other workers or a pay cut. Therefore, as a sales manager, I would ensure that employees are motivated in appropriately to avoid any consequences on performance that may arise.
The structure of employees' job has an impact on their motivation (Oldham & Hackman, 2010). Therefore, job design should be structured to suit the characteristic of employees' tasks to increase their motivating potential. A research conducted indicate that motivation, performance quality, satisfaction and withdrawal behavior such as turnover and absenteeism are a function of the three critical psychological states; responsibility of outcomes, experienced meaningfulness and knowledge of results.
Redesigning of jobs within the department will help to motivate employees to work extra hard to achieve a higher performance. When redesigning of jobs is done, the employees become connected to their customers and other persons affected by their results. Even though, managers are the ones known to design jobs, with poor management and lack of proper supervision, some employees also proactively modify the characteristic of their own jobs (Oldham & Hackman, 2010). Some of these re-design is done either single-handedly or in collaboration with others team members and this may lead to reduced performance or doing poor quality work. Therefore, the job design within the office should be tailor made to boost sales and efficient service delivery, every employee in the department should be allocated his/her duties to avoid confusion and inabilities to meet the set goals (Champoux, 2010).
Stressful situation especially in a sales department is inevitable. Stress may arise from workers, customers or even our bosses. My reaction to a stressful situation may vary with the type of event which has caused the stress, but one crucial way to tackle the stress is by not letting the stress interfere with your performance. Whenever a stressful event has presented itself, I will deal with it individually to avoid interruption of the normal function of the office. For instance, when a customer has not been served well and he/she has some urgent issues which need my attention as the manager, I will call him/her to my office and address the issue without causing any alarm in the office hence reducing the effect it would have on the other team members' performance.
Some other stressful situation include, mean employees who might want to give you hard time at work, technology, job…