Updated: Apr 24, 2018
There is no question that the business environment of late faces the unavoidable truth that change is constant and organizations will experience changes at an increasingly rapid pace. Constant change is occurring in market trends, consumer demands, the global economy and just about all aspect of the business cycle. The greatest asset a company may obtain is the ability to remain agile and ready to meet the demands of an ever-changing world. The economy itself has created the need for organizations to find creative ways to do more with less. As an answer, organizations and business owners will likely spend millions of dollars to understand the art of creating change, motivating their employee base and creating a sustainable momentum toward success.
Understanding motivational theory can go a long way toward creating effective organizational change. For example, many times individuals will understand the need for change yet they have no clear understanding of what will come next. This may cause stress and lower motivational morale of the organization. Unfortunately, there is often a tendency for organizations and individuals within them to find a comfort within their present situation. This comfort often creates both a conscious and unconscious resistance to any change and in some cases a great deal of anxiety with employees. The worst-case scenarios are those organizations that may not even be able to recognize the need to change. This myopic view of the business environment will create inefficiencies, which can be detrimental to the long-term health of the organization. Leaders must not only develop the ability to communicate the needs for change but a clear vision for how the change process will unfold. This vision or blueprint will help employees understand where they are going and what it may look like in the end. This may require leaders to dismantle old ways of doing business and creating new business structures, affiliations, and ideas that will create effective organizational change.
One attribute of change that leaders must learn to understand is what motivates their subordinates to meet the demands of the ever-changing business environment in which they operate. It is understood that leadership is defined as an ability to have an influence over others to achieve a given objective. Part of this influence requires leaders to understand those things, which will motivate their subordinates to act on a given goal or required directive. The basic definition of motivation typically relies on internal and external influences to activate an earnest desire to reach a given goal or objective. Some may be motivated by basic needs such as income and the necessities for living a certain lifestyle while others may be motivated by affiliations with others they associate themselves with or even the power and influence over others. Understanding these motivational needs is helpful to organizational leaders in determining the rewards systems used to increase performance and profitability within the organization. While employee salaries, bonuses and celebrating employee wins go a long way toward motivating the workforce, leaders should further look to the types of jobs employees are doing as well as the atmosphere in which they operate. Organizations have begun to discover that when employees like their jobs, feel safe and treated fairly within them, they are likely to be more motivated to reach organizational objectives.
Successful change will not happen overnight. It will take time and great effort, which begins with the employee’s willingness to devote their attention to it. Leaders must learn to swiftly construct a vision for change and then be able to communicate the need for the change to their subordinates. Employees must understand the need for change and it must be consistent with what motivates them. Leaders must understand the motivational needs of their workforce long before the need for change arises. Finding a blend of effective communication, mixed with motivational attributes such as money and work environment will likely limit employee stress and aid the organization with their expressed need to make the required changes to remain competitive in the fast-paced global market place we now operate.