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Denis Shafran

Work Theories

By: Denis Shafran
College Now Course - BA 10

The four major functions of a manager are: planning, organizing, motivating/leading and control. In order to be a successful manager all four steps should be accomplished. If for some reason there is a problem, the manager should follow certain procedures.

As a manager in a Macy's department in which workers are not motivated, I would do the following. First I would identify the problem. What is the reason that workers are not motivated? Does it have to do with the salary or working hours? Maybe workers don't feel recognized and thus lost their enthusiasm? Abraham Maslow came up with the 5 levels of basic needs that should be satisfied in order for a worker to be motivated. The first level is known as physiological needs that include things like food, clothing and shelter. Then there is safety and security needs which consist of insurance, medical coverage and pensions. Interaction with other employees and being a part of a team, create third level of Maslow's needs which is called social needs. Esteem needs require recognition while the last level known as self-actualization is achieved by a worker when there is a desire for improvement. Dissatisfaction with the job could come from a failure to fulfill one of these levels.

If that is true then I would generate alternative solutions and then evaluate each and choose the one that would solve the problem in a most convenient and efficient manner. One possible alternative for motivating a worker in Macy's could be increasing their salary. Another could be increasing their medical insurance. The logical answer to these problem would be either increase in the salary or improvement of the benefits system. Yet the best solution is not always the most efficient one. There could be financial reasons that would stand in the way of accepting such solutions. One of the options that I can see as a solution is some what based on the reinforcement theory. The positive reinforcement is the answer that would reward the desired behavior and thus motivate workers. As a manager I would simply adopt a policy of granting full medical coverage or salary increases to only the workers who perform best at his or her task whether it is some kind of paperwork or stock handling. This way the equity theory also goes into work, making workers feel equal in recognition. With this policy workers would feel motivated to do their best in order to be rewarded and the financial aspect is out of the question because only few workers would get the reward.

And there are also times when workers are simply lazy. They could be satisfied with the salary and benefit system, they could have a flexible time schedule yet there are people who become lazy as they get too comfortable with the job. As a manager in Macy's where workers sometimes really don't care about the job, I would suggest a piece-work system where employees would work on commission. In such case workers will be more interested in making a sale. The more profit the department makes, higher salary would be paid to both manager and the sales associates. This way the manager is encouraged to lead and motivate his or her subordinates so they make more sales and thus increasing their own and managers salaries. In the other words make employees dependent on each other so they work as a team and make their salary directly connected to profit so you yourself end up with a greater sales rate and thus greater revenues.

Application of scientific methods and theories to the business world really improves and helps to guide many "fresh" entrepreneurs and managers. But don't forget that human beings are very complicated creatures that have needs and desires. People require compensation for their dedicated work and hundreds of hours spent away from their families in order to bring your business a profit. The workers at Macy's could be simply tired of constant work and just need a break. Maybe a vacation would give them that push, that piece of encouragement and enthusiasm that will keep them going on at work. In any case before making a decision I think I would definitely discuss the matter with the workers themselves and try to work it out together.

Communication is a key in solving such problems as discouraged workers!