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Motivating Staff:


Empowering Staff & Clients. Latting identifies 8 myths related to motivating social workers ... Petter (2002) identifies seven processes for empowering employees ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Motivating Staff:

Motivating Staff
  • Empowering Staff Clients

Latting identifies 8 myths related to motivating
social workers
  • Myth 1 Social workers derive most of their
    satisfaction from helping others. True or False?

False social workers need rewards such as money
and other incentives.
  • However, rewards can be less tangible such as job
    redesign and participation in management decisions

Myth 2
  • The happy worker is a productive worker.
  • True or False?

  • Workers are motivated to greater effort if they
    believe that the effort will be rewarded.

Myth 3
  • Workers usually know how well they are performing
    on the job.
  • True or False

  • Workers need feedback from supervisors to know
    how well they are doing.

Myth 4
  • The less explanation given to workers about the
    basis for pay raises or promotions the better.
  • True or False?

  • Workers tend to compare themselves to others and
    adjust their performance levels accordingly

Myth 5
  • Some workers just dont have it. Consequently,
    they need to be penalized for their behavior

Latting argues that this is False
  • She argues that behavioral (reinforcement theory)
    suggests that the effective manager will identify
    those conditions which stimulate inappropriate
    behavior on the part of the worker. Consequently,
    managers may be able to modify their own behavior
    or the workplace environment in order to change
    that workers behavior.

Myth 6
  • Most merit rewards systems serve as incentives
    toward better performance.
  • True or False?

  • People are naturally motivated to do work in a
    manner that will make them feel competent
    (self-efficacy). Giving rewards for good
    performance, can in some circumstances reduce the
    individuals feelings of self-control and

Myth 7
  • Specific goals setting in social services is
    meaningless. Agencies use management by
    objectives because funders demand it. Managers
    only need to have general goals describing what
    they want to accomplish and to encourage workers
    to do their best. True or False?

  • There is research evidence that people work
    harder if they have difficult, specific goals.
    MBO is effective in situations where workers
    participate in setting their own goals.

Myth 8
  • The most important information about what is
    expected or prohibited on the job are managers
    verbal and written instructions and the agencys
    written policies and procedures.

  • Workers actually take their cues about how to
    think, feel, and behave from other workers.

Latting argues that workers develop their own
frameworks about how to behave in the workplace
or how to practice based on
  • Theory
  • Research
  • Practice wisdom
  • Personal experience. Personal experience in the
    workplace may guide what workers do and how they
    interact with others. Consequently, if we change
    their experience and what they expect to happen,
    we can change the workplace, and consequently
    change worker behavior.

Petter (2002) identifies seven processes for
empowering employees
  • Power Grant power and authority to those doing
    the work while building in accountability.
  • Decision-making Allow more opportunities for
    staff to participate in decision-making to create
    more of an organizational democracy.
  • Information Increase information, especially
    information related to organizational mission and
    goals, so that workers have the necessary
    information to make decisions.
  • Autonomy Integrate choice and discretion into
    work performance with appropriate boundaries.
  • Initiative and creativity Allow worker to
    initiate tasks and explore creativity consistent
    with organization goals.
  • Knowledge and skills Encourage adequate
    knowledge and training not only in job skills,
    but philosophy, principles and benefits of
  • Responsibility Allow employees to track and
    evaluate their own performances in consultation
    with the supervisor rather than the supervisory
    oversight of the job task.

Techniques for Motivation
  • Finding what motivates individuals providing
    them individualized supervisor or job
  • Finding a good strategy based on theory to
    motivate individuals and groups in organizations
    rewards, goal orientation, need for power, need
    for affiliation with organization/others.
  • Inspirational Leadership/Lead by Example
  • Establishing Trust
  • Creating a supportive workplace encouraging
    teams or team spirit mentorship group cohesion,
    or peer counseling
  • Job Redesign

Tools for Job Analysis and Design may include
  • Desk audits or logs
  • Surveys and interviews with staff
  • Observation
  • Established performance standards and program
  • Management by objectives

Job Restructuring May Involve
  • Job enlargement
  • Job enrichment
  • Job rotation
  • Creating teams
  • Changing work conditions
  • Using technology and training staff in its use.
  • Using flex-time and job sharing approaches
  • Flattening the organizational hierarchy by
    assigning more workers to supervisors/reducing
    number of supervisors.
  • Giving individual workers more autonomy and
    decision making authority.

Work Teams A group of people who work together
toward common goals and objectives.
Organizations use teams to
  • Make work more productive.
  • Allow work to be undertaken by interdisciplinary
    groups of people.
  • Meet the needs of clients in a holistic rather
    than a fragmented way.
  • To eliminate harmful effects of organization
    hierarchies and empower staff.

Stages of Team Development (Perlmutter, Bailey,
Netting, p. 132)
  • Stage 1. Dependency on the leader Concerns about
    who is included on the team and the rules for
    team governance.
  • Stage 2. Counter dependency and fight. Group
    seeks to free itself from dependency on the
  • Stage 3. Trust and Structure. Focus on resolving
    conflicts and tasks accomplishment. Cooperation,
    negotiation, and open communication.
  • Stage 4. Work and Productivity. Goals are
  • Stage 5. Termination. Assessment of the Work

Critical tasks for building effective teams
  • Selecting and Orienting Team Members.
  • Ensuring Open Communication
  • Building Mutual Trust and Support
  • Managing Differences

Researchers have identified the following
attributes of effective teams
  • Cohesive and cooperative work units that can
    engage in problem-solving
  • High levels of coordination
  • The ability to make decisions in a timely manner
  • High levels of personal self-efficacy among staff
  • Ability to work across professional differences

Research also confirms that team approaches can
be effective for empowering staff and increasing
feels of autonomy and self-efficacy
  • Kirkman and Rosen (1999) found that with
    sufficient management support, the provision of
    performance-related awards, and access to
    information, team members as a group will feel
    empowered. They also found that feelings of team
    empowerment increased the level of productivity
    for the team as a whole, stimulated employee
    initiative, and improved customer service.
  • Team membership contributes to the ability of
    organization staff to adopt service innovations
    and practice principles (Allen, Foster-Fishman,
    Salem, 2002).
  • A high degree of task and goal interdependence
    among team members increases job satisfaction,
    reduces conflict, and increases cooperation among
    staff members (Van der Verg, Emans, Van de
    Vliert, 2001).

Interdisciplinary teams
  • Teams inside the organization or within
    collaborative arrangements among several
    organizations include professionals across a
    number of different disciplines.
  • These teams help decrease service fragmentation
    and address the whole needs of clients.
  • In organizations, they also help bring workers of
    different status together and consequently can
    increase productivity and commitment to the

Problems with interdisciplinary teams
  • Professional turf battles among workers.
  • Lack of communication due to differences in
    professional philosophy, status, and values.
  • A team that focuses on conflict rather than work.

Brownsteins model of effective interdisciplinary
  • Interdependence among team members
  • Team ownership of goals
  • Flexibility or the capacity to alter member roles
    in response to situational demands
  • The ability to reflect on group processes
  • The development of new professional activities by
    the team that build on the existing strengths and
    expertise of each member

Additional Problems with Team Functioning
  • Team members may have incompatible goals or
    levels of commitment
  • Team members may have hidden agendas that
    interfere with the process.
  • Someone may not be a team player
  • Team may lack a clear direction or a sense of
  • The leader may not be focused on the task or not
    be concerned about outcomes or group functioning.
  • Inexperience with teams may hinder the process.
  • The organization may not give full support to the
  • Unappreciated and unsupported teams may

Training Team Members
  • Provide information on group processes including
    goal setting, and the provision and use of
    feedback on group performance.
  • Inform members about the professional skills and
    values of each discipline represented on the team
    in order to prevent turf battles among members.
  • Provide information about how to conduct
    effective meetings, interpersonal communication
    skills, collaboration, and diversity.

Other types of team structures
  • Virtual teams.
  • Converting organization structure from a
    hierarchy to a total team approach.