Personality and motivation

Subject: Psychology
Type: Evaluation Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 845
Topics: Personality, Human Resources, Identity, Motivation


Managing employees is an important skill for managers in organizations. However, the success of this skill calls for a perfect understanding of the skills, traits, and behavior of employees. In this regard, understanding people’s personality plays a critical role in developing effective empowerment initiatives and strategies. For some employees, Teoh (2004) explains that neither the stick nor the carrot is an effective motivational tool for their productivity. This means that leader has to go out of their way to establish mechanisms that can help them improve their success and productivity (Robbins, DeCenzo & Coulter, 2011).

According to Robbins, DeCenzo & Coulter (2011), if the personality of a worker is not fitting in the particular job given, it becomes hard for them to perform despite the presence of externally motivating factors. This is irrespective of whether the carrot being dangled is the sweetest or the stick is painful on them (Robbins, DeCenzo & Coulter, 2011). This understanding is important in shifting the traditional perspective that the motivation of employees is a result of external situational elements. Teoh (2004) explains that the motivation of individuals is largely a result of high-order goals that stem from their respective personality traits. In this paper, I will use this analysis to examine the relationship between personality and motivation as manifested in individuals, focusing on one of my work colleagues that heads a department in the organization we work.

Manager’s personality

James heads the marketing department at Crescendo Group, where we work. This company produces and markets different kinds of stationery for office and school use. James has been in this company for about five years, shifting departments according to the prevailing work conditions as directed by the owners of the company. In all the departments he has been in, James has always been liked by the people he leads, who claim that he has impeccable people skills. While this is true, it largely emanates from his personality. I have known James as a very planful employee that puts order first before executing any strategies to achieve certain goals. From the Big Five Personality model, James can be described as being the conscientious type.

People with conscientious personality traits tend to be dependable and highly organized in their activities. According to Robbins, DeCenzo & Coulter (2011), these people are highly dutiful and always aim for high levels of achievement. James is the kind of person that prefers to have planned as opposed to spontaneous behavior. This could be one of the reasons why every department he has ever led has always had higher productivity in the company. In his management, he always encourages his team members to follow his example and be organized in the work that they do at all times to be successful (Teoh, 2004).

Motivating this employee

In motivating the employee, Hertzberg’s Two-factor model would be the best choice of model. This theory posits that there are two important elements that must be present to encourage the productivity of employees like James. According to Robbins, DeCenzo & Coulter (2011), the happiest and most productive employees can be motivated by having both the motivator and hygiene factors at the workplace. The manager needs to ensure employees like James feel supported and appreciated in the efforts that they undertake. In this case, they should be given a lot of feedback and made to understand ways by which they can ascend the leadership hierarchy (Teoh, 2004). Such knowledge makes them have a sense of ownership of the company and can work on developing and implementing strategies that make the organization successful at all times.

In preventing job dissatisfaction, employees in the organization have to be treated with dignity and get the best working conditions (Robbins, DeCenzo & Coulter, 2011). Additionally, they should always be given remuneration that is commensurate to their efforts with good motivation for the extra productivity they put in the company for its success. The manager should ensure to develop effective working relationships and support structures for the employees in the organization (Teoh, 2004). It is important to realize that different employees have different preferences for their motivation. What may motivate an individual may not be applicable to another employee. Therefore, understanding the personality traits of employees is critical towards their effective empowerment and motivation (Teoh, 2004).

Choosing the motivation approach for employees

In motivating employees, Robbins, DeCenzo & Coulter (2011) agree that knowing their personality plays a significant role. Employees have different motivations for working in certain places and positions (Teoh, 2004). It is hard for a manager to motivate employees that have their motivation of status by not giving them opportunities for advancement on the job. Therefore, engaging employees in activities such as personality testing enables the manager to understand the best approaches towards their motivation. Managers should develop such systems as team building and teamwork for purpose of understanding their particular employees in the best way possible (Teoh, 2004). Motivating employees ensures that the managers can be successful in achieving their goals in the organization as expected.

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  1. Robbins, S. P., DeCenzo, D. A., & Coulter, M. K. (2011). Fundamentals of management: Essential concepts and applications. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  2. Teoh, H. (2004). Understanding personality. Petaling Jaya: Oak Publications.
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