In Typology “Personality types” (Sharp, 1987) he writes that

In
this essay, I will be considering the behaviour of the workforce at BFGym to
analyse the reasons behind why they lack motivation, the implication of certain
leadership styles employed and how individuals differ in their sources of
power. To effectively analyse individuals, it is important to grasp how their personality
influences the way they act as an individual. We use the term personality to
represent the combination of characteristics that capture the unique nature of
a person as that person reacts to and interacts with others. Personality
combines a set of physical and mental characteristics that reflect how a person
looks, thinks, acts and feels. (French, 2011, p. 96)

 

Individual
differences are the many ways in which individuals can differ from each other.
They are not restricted to personality but include physical qualities,
demographic differences, abilities and skills. (Greenberg, 2010) The
five-factor model of personality is a hierarchical organisation of personality
traits in terms of five basic dimensions: Extraversion, Agreeableness,
Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness to Experience. (McCrae and John,
1992) Out of the Big 5, Conscientiousness, Extroversion and Openness to
Experience impact an individual’s performance the most.

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Introversion
is the tendency to focus and gain energy more from within rather than
externally whereas extraversion is the tendency to focus and gain energy
externally rather than from within. (King, 2016) In Carl Chung’s Model of
Typology “Personality types” (Sharp, 1987) he writes that introverted
individuals are capable of, and thrives on working alone. From this, we can
assume that introverts refrain from working in large groups and thrives on
undertaking more personal consideration or contemplation based work whereas an
extrovert is comfortable in social situations but feels restless when alone, impacting
performance.

Jo, a
fitness instructor at the gym, is considered an introvert with Chung’s Model in
mind and therefore gets her energy from within. The increase in social
interactions through newly assigned group classes has left her drained which
will impact performance at work. Jo’s colleague Philip enjoys teaching and
interacting with others and unhappy with changes made e.g. removing the
breakout room. He felt this affected the amount of social interaction he gets,
making him drained and lacking energy during the day. This can have a large
impact on Philip’s performance as he thrives on being engaged with people.

 

In
addition, openness to experience entails the degree to which people are open to
new ideas, questioning and imaginative, or prefer existing ways of doing
things. Openness to experience is a characteristic which I found most
prominently in Jane who joined BFGym under the impression she will have the
leverage to make changes and implement personal training sessions. When
expressing her desire to change some exercises, management disapproved under
the pretence that customers have not complained and therefore change is unneeded.
Her personality trait of openness to change was not fulfilled in her current
job role due to her inability to integrate new ideas with management. When
management denied her change, this impacted her performance as she felt
‘stagnated’ due to the repetitive routine of the classes she was given.

 

The
meeting Philip organised was a large factor in analysing the trainers’
behaviour. Due to Philip being extroverted, he thrives on social interaction
and therefore organised a group meeting to suggest solutions before the
management meeting. Jo was unwilling to contribute to the meeting and appeared
agitated which can be explained by her introversion impacting her energy during
group work.

 

The
dark triad of personality focuses on Narcissism, Psychopathy and
Machiavellianism. A study conducted found that Males scored higher on all three
of the Dark Triad and both narcissism and psychopathy were associated with
extraversion and openness. To varying degrees, all three entail a socially
malevolent character with behaviour tendencies toward self-promotion, emotional
coldness, duplicity, and aggressiveness. (Paulhus and Williams, 2002) From this
study, I believe that Philip’s personality traits during the meeting correlate
with elements of the dark triad shown by his extraversion, interest and openness
to experience which was highlighted by his effective leadership and is found to
correlate to narcissism and psychopathy. Philip also remained cold towards Nick
who contributed to the discussion and was ignored. This coldness can,
therefore, impact other’s performance to work hard if they feel undervalued.

 

Motivation
is the will and desire that a person must engage in a particular behaviour or
perform a particular task. (King, 2016) There are various ways of understanding
motivation with contribution from behaviourist, content and process theories.
In this section, I will be focusing on process theories which suggest that
motivation is a result of individual processes of perception, comparison, and
calculation. (King, 2016) Examples of process theories include Adams Equity
Theory, Vroom’s Expectancy Theory and Locke’s Goal-Setting Theory.

 

In
relation to the case study, I will first be using Equity Theory to explain the
lack of motivation present at BFGym. Equity theory explains why new behaviours
can influence employee motivation and performance. Evidence suggests that
equity is not a matter of getting “a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work,” nor
is inequity a matter of being underpaid. (Adams, 1963) Since the release of
Equity Theory, it has been split into three ‘axioms’ which capture the basis of
the theory. The first equity axiom states that people evaluate their
relationships with organisations by comparing what they give to the
organisation and what they receive in return. The second axiom states that when
what people give doesn’t equal what they get, they feel distressed. In the case
study, Nick was a new employee who felt undervalued due to being given all the
undesired classes. This caused resentment due to the under-reward he was
receiving for the work completed. The third axiom explains that people like
Nick who feel distressed due to feeling under-rewarded will try to restore
equity. This was evident at the group meeting where Nick attempted
contribution, but his efforts were discarded, leading him to refrain from
future contribution. Studies show that people who have tried but failed to
restore equity may quit their jobs. (Huseman and Hatfield, 1990)

 

Adam
suggests that effort (inputs) and reward (outputs) are perceived in relative
terms. If the inputs such as time, loyalty, commitment and personal sacrifice
equal the outputs they get in return such as bonuses, pay, recognition,
responsibility etc. then job motivation will increase. However, people’s
opinion on what they deem as equitable varies and thus is hard to measure.
Regarding this, if Nick was given all the ‘good’ training sessions as a new
employee, other employees who have worked there longer can become demotivated
as their job loyalty may be viewed as unvalued.

 

Secondly,
Locke’s Goal-Setting theory (Locke, 1968) is an approach that argues motivation
is influenced by the difficulty, specificity and feedback of reaching your
goals. Goals are often captured in the acronym SMART (specific, measurable,
achievable, realistic and time related). Considering the person has no
conflicting goals, is committed, and obtains the skills required to achieve the
goals, then this approach positively impacts performance. (Latham and Locke,
1979) In relation to the case study, the main goal of the gym is to make
changes to cater for subscriptions doubling. However, no ‘SMART’ goals were
given to the employees which result in inefficiency. For example, Jo’s class
decreased by 15 minutes to fit in more classes for subscribers and the breakout
room was removed and converted to a training space. These goals were
implemented without informing staff which in turn decreased their motivation as
changes to their job were happening without being consulted. According to Goal-Setting
Theory (Latham and Locke, 1979), goals need to be accepted as legitimate for
the individual and should be specific. However, in this case, no specific goals
for individuals were set and employees had to adapt to changes which had no
focus on their outcome. Goal-Setting Theory also suggests that feedback on
performance is important, and the inability of employees to make feedback can
demotivate them if they must accept goals they dislike.

 

To
motivate employees, there must be a sense of effective leadership. Leadership
is the ability to enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and
success of organisations of which they are members. (Gerstner and Day, 1997)
Behavioural theories developed have found that leaders are either employee-or
task focused. For example, McGregor’s Theory X places exclusive reliance upon
external control of human behaviour as leaders focus towards satisfying
emotional and social needs of employees. Moreover, Theory Y relies heavily on
self-control and self-direction and tailor’s operations towards goals. (McGregor,
2000) Kate comes across as a Theory X leader as she views employees as
important to the functioning of the gym, whereas Philip follows the Theory Y
approach during the meeting as he was more focused on completing the task than
concentrating on the needs of his unengaged co-workers. The more task-oriented
(directive/autocratic) leadership of Philip aims towards higher production
which can lead to increased turnover whereas Kate’s people orientated approach
aims to increase satisfaction but can lead to lower production. John Gardner
suggests key traits for a successful leader include an eagerness to accept
responsibility, understanding of followers, skill and dealing with people,
assertiveness and adaptability/flexibility. (Gardner, 1993) Both Philip and Kate
show signs of elements of this in their leadership. For example, Philip’s
eagerness to resume a leadership role and Kate’s interest in understanding her
employee’s needs. They both hold the openness to experience characteristic from
the big five personality dimensions, as both Kate and Philip are interested in
the ideas of other employees. To be better leaders, Kate should implement a
more Transformational leadership approach as this type of leader sets clear
goals (which lacked at the gym), encourages others, provides support and
recognition which can increase employee motivation and inspires people to work
harder. (Bass, 1985) In my opinion, this would have prevented many problems
mentioned previously regarding employee motivation and performance as Kate
taking on the role as head of the gym was not engaged enough with employees to
realise their needs sooner. Regarding Philip, I don’t believe he has a need to
change his leadership approach apart from that he should be more encouraging to
people rather than focusing purely on the task. However, in relation to trait
theory, leadership traits are enduring characteristics that people are ‘born
with whereas others simply manage’. (Rogelberg, 2016) Thus it appears that
Philip is a born leader who adopted the position naturally although he’s a
trainer like the rest his co-workers whereas Kate is a leader which manages and
slowly adapts as time goes on.

Lastly,
in an organisation, having an image of ‘power’ can gain respect and authority
over another person. Power is the ability of one person or group to cause
another person or group to do something they otherwise might not have done.
(Bronwynne, 2007) According to ‘The basis of social power’ (French & Raven
1959), the individual power a person owns can be split into formal and personal
power. Philip obtains personal power due to his expertise, referent power from
being respected and information power which he has gained throughout his 4
years at the gym. However, Philip does not have the formal power as he is not able
to reward or coerce employees, but instead, his personal power enables him to
organise a team meeting after work hours. Expert and referent power are
positively related to performance and commitment which shows as his colleagues
were not being paid for their extra time, but his personal power enabled him to
take charge of this situation. On the other hand, Jane does not hold formal
power over her co-workers but holds elements of personal power. During the
meeting, Jane was respected for her ideas and initiative which suggests she has
expertise and referent power.

 

Additionally,
French and Raven formed nine influence tactics: Rational Persuasion,
Inspirational Appeals, Consultation, Ingratiation, Personal Appeals, Exchange,
Coalition and Pressure Tactics (French & Raven, 1959). Some of these
tactics were employed by both Jane and Philip such as coalition where they both
made suggestions to get the support of others to have a stronger case for the
management meeting. Jane also had a sense of inspirational appeal when she came
up with creative solutions that appealed to other trainer’s values. Philip
employed a consultation tactic by seeking participation in the meeting to
increase support. In addition, he relied on his legitimacy tactic as he took a
role of authority to get others to work as a team. Research shows, some tactics
are more effective than others such as rational persuasion, inspirational
appeals and consultation as the audience will be more engaged and interested in
the outcome of the decision process. (Robbins and Judge, 2012) I believe that
Philip should use integration tactics such as friendly behaviour with
legitimacy to lessen negative reactions from co-workers as seen with Robin and
Jo. Jane, on the other hand, should integrate more rational persuasion to
demonstrate her creative solutions are achievable which will also strengthen
her inspirational appeal.

 

In
conclusion, I have outlined the issues and resolutions BFGym need to change to
increase motivation/performance of employees and further reduce the possibility
of staff turnover increasing. These changes can be done through power influence
tactics and change leadership styles as highlighted above.