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Introduction

Success in business depends on the input of an effective workforce. Effective and productive organization of human resource management requires motivation, either internal or external, a fact that highlights the differences in success of various businesses compared to others. Additionally, company’s personnel is subjected to workplace stress which accumulates over time and can be detrimental to company operations due to its harmful effects on company employees. Essentially, communication is also important as it enables an organization to run effectively, whereby all employees are well informed and directed to accomplish company’s objectives.

Therefore, effective human resource management is required to facilitate business success. Considering an organization’s human resources is an important factor in achieving that success. Generally, human resource management involves definition of roles and responsibilities of all company’s personnel, human resource planning, staffing as well as employee training and development. Additionally, it incorporates evaluation of employee performance, guidelines in employee recruitment and selection, rewards and compensation as well as management in terms of employee relations (Mathis & Jackson, 2011). Effective human resource management practice is based on various concepts in organizational behavior such as motivation, communication, culture and workplace stress among others (Griffin & Moorhead, 2011).

Job Design and Motivation

Generally, job design refers to the function of specifying and organizing tasks, duties and responsibilities of employees and other elements, such as company resources, into a productive unit of work in an organization. Therefore, identification of the elements forming particular jobs in order to come up with a comprehensive job description to attract appropriate potential candidates for the jobs is of vital importance. Job design enables management to develop job structures that meet the firm’s requirements as well as the job holder’s personal requirements in terms of job performance and satisfaction. Job design considers the physical attributes as well as behavioral aspects of a particular job (“Job Design and Work Measurement,” 2003).

Theories of motivation view it as a set of forces that make people engage in a specific behavior. Many studies in human resource management acknowledge the importance of motivation which has been touted as the key to improve employee’s job performance. Motivating employees can be focused towards changing the job and its elements through rewards as well as good working conditions. Principally, motivation is external, relying on external rewards such as pay, or internal factors when the driving force for achievement is originating from internal factors such as the desire to be the best in one’s line of work. Internally, goal setting can motivate one towards achievement of company objectives. The various aspects of job design and motivation applies to many jobs including sports and recreational manager’s job.

Sports and Recreation Manager: Job Description

Primarily, as the manager, I will be responsible for the management, administration and supervision of all sports and recreation facilities in order to provide clean and safe opportunities for sport and recreation as well as promote a healthy lifestyle for all customers. The specific responsibilities will include ensuring preparation of sport, recreation and leisure programs, budgets and schedules, including preventive maintenance programs as well as various sports and recreational events. Additionally, I will monitor the utilization, care and maintenance of all recreational and sports equipment and facilities, as well as enforce and ensure that facility policies, rules and regulations are adhered to.

Essentially, I will be responsible for all administrative duties such as fundraising, networking, creating links with other sports organizations and associations in addition to dissemination of information to employees and consumers among others. Inevitably, I will also assess overall effectiveness of operations and programs, training of various sports personnel such as volunteers, control the budget in addition to managing promotion programs. Knowledge, skills and abilities required for the job include: management, administration, operation and evaluation of sports and recreation programs, facilities and equipment.

Knowledge in coaching, events planning and implementation, sports personnel training and development as well as policies, procedures and rules of various sports and recreational games and activities will be required. Skills in various emergency procedures, First Aid and CPR as well as team, supervisory, financial, strategic planning, decision making, effective verbal and written communication, stress and time management, negotiation and problem solving in addition to computer skills are a must. Personal attributes required include: demonstration of sound work ethics, respect, consumer awareness and sensitivity, consistency and fairness, flexibility and dedication to assigned responsibilities. As is evident, the job requires a lot of qualifications which implies that I will be under a lot of stress while accomplishing the company’s objectives.

Goal Setting and Employee Motivation

Considering the bulk or responsibilities that will befall me as the sports manager, it implies that goal setting will be a major motivating factor in accomplishing personal and the organization’s goals. Locke’s (1968) goal setting theory basically states that an individual’s conscious intentions regulate his/her actions, hence implying that performance is dependent on setting clear goals. Generally, the theory with support from other research studies indicate that setting clear goals motivates people to actually meet the specified goals which in turn leads to improved performance. Goal setting is based on various principles which include clarity, challenge, commitment and feedback as well as task complexity.    

By setting goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) I will be in a position to accomplish set organizational goals. Imprecise and ambiguous goals lead to lack of clarity on what is expected to be accomplished. Specific, clear and measurable goals will enable me to accomplish goals faster by directing me to accomplish my specific responsibilities. Setting attainable and relevant goals will also enable me to effectively influence achievement of company goals by assigning specific duties to other employees in small attainable chunks. This in addition to specifying time spans for the individual jobs will ensure effectiveness in company operations is upheld, thus leading to improved performance.

Additionally, setting the goals myself will motivate me to accomplish set goals as I will be in charge of company decisions. Therefore, there will be more independence and accountability, personal commitment and input. Sticking to the SMART principle will ultimately motivate me to fulfill the company obligations. As Schnake, Bushardt & Spottswood (1984) argue, goal clarity, difficulty, participation in goal setting and feedback on task performance positively affects task delivery. Therefore, setting the goals will enable me to effectively accomplish the numerous sports and recreation responsibilities inherent in the job.

Employee Stress Management

Managing sports and recreational enterprises come with a lot of responsibilities, which if left unchecked, can lead to a lot of stress and tension. Specifically, the job has lots of physical and mental demands in addition to stressful workplace conditions inherent in the job. Dewe & ODriscoll (2002) agree that many studies indicate that work stress leads to negative individual and organizational effects such as decreased employee output, whereby strategies have been developed to control, prevent and manage workplace stress and the associated negative effects. In this case, manager’s perceptions and beliefs about job stress and the need for stress management interventions have been identified as crucial in reducing workplace stress. Job stress in my position will lead me to react in various ways including heated and frequent disagreements with co-workers and becoming too authoritative towards employees.

Additionally, I tend to drink and eat more, generally distressed as well as experiencing a distinctive feeling of mental stress and physical exhaustion. In turn, I will use various stress intervention strategies and steps to rectify the stressful situations. Primarily, strategies involved will incorporate problem-focused coping as well as emotion-focused coping. In problem-focused coping, the specific actions that I will use to reduce job stress will include trying to deal with the specific problematic situations objectively by assessing the problem and brainstorming for solutions among employees.

Additionally, I will plan my time well in carrying out set tasks. This will help to effectively schedule activities while addressing any rising problematic situations that precipitate conflicts with co-workers and employees in addition to planning ahead and concentrating on tackling specific problems. Besides, I will also set priorities in dealing with the most stressful situations.

On emotion-focused coping, I will turn to the company’s psychologist and close co-workers for advising me how to deal with stressful situations. This will help to address and reduce bottled-up feelings of inadequacy and incompetency and a chance to get help from others possessing different points of views. I will also take time for relaxation exercises such as a brief walk to get some air among other deep breathing exercises. A wholesome strategy will involve engaging in hobbies and pastimes as well as adopting new interests and activities outside work, talk to understanding friends in a bid to gain as much social support as possible which Luo (1999) avers is a great job stress reliever.

Organizational Effectiveness and Communication

Basically, communication involves a sender, someone who sends a message, a receiver, the one receiving the message, the message itself and the feedback. In an organizational setting, there should be a flow of information from senior management to subordinate staff and across the organization. Flow of information ensures goals and other important company information is timely and effectively disseminated to all employees in accomplishing company objectives. Communication in organizations is subject to distortions and problems presented by non-verbal and cultural aspects in communication. Spaho (2010) affirms that ineffective as well as a breakdown in communication can result to unsolvable problems that will significantly affect an organization negatively.

Communication is carried out verbally or non-verbally, where gestures and body language among other ways enable creation of meaning between individuals and groups. Culture primarily shapes human thought and behavior and defines a person’s values and identity leading to acquisition of specific norms of behavior and perception in different situations (James Poon, 1998). As a sports manager, one is open to various non-verbal and cultural barriers in communicating effectively with one’s employees. Some employees may erroneously interpret non verbal cues from the manager while some may respond in inappropriate ways due to the influence of their culture on their jobs.

To address the various non-verbal and cultural barriers in communication, I will consider the self reflection strategy. In this case, I will be a participant as well as an observer at the same time where I will watch, evaluate and alter my communication strategies while communicating with others. Self reflection involves assessment of how others and the self engage in communication, thereby enabling one to learn and be sensitive to other cultures while communicating with others. As Vuckovic (2008) avers that self reflection enables one to successfully communicate with others by being cognizant of one’s and others roles and identities and their influence on behavior.

Additionally, other strategies will include communicating clear and precise messages to employees and co-workers while being vigilant on instances of stereotyping others. Written communication will also be used to ensure employees follow up on their set tasks and responsibilities while using the appropriate channels of communication to minimize chances of messages being misunderstood. There will be more emphasis in giving appropriate and timely feedback to employees and I will demand the same from the employees. Furthermore, English will be utilized as the main language of communication to reduce chances of misunderstandings while I will ensure to enhance my listening skills.

Conclusion

In organizations, motivation is a key factor in improving employee performance which translates to enhanced company productivity and business success. Additionally, considering the involvement and determination required in achieving organizational objectives are especially important for a sports manager, addressing the inherent workplace stress prone to occur is very important. In this case, effective communication, which also presents another whole set of problems if mismanaged, should be utilized in addressing the various organizational problems. Essentially, management of workplace stress, incorporating and facilitating both intrinsic and extrinsic motivating factors, as well as ensuring effective communication if upheld ensures business success. 

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