Using a creative approach to solving management problems is the indicator of effective and competent leadership. In the context of monitoring the activities of subordinates, the application of successful control strategies and the orientation of work activity allows achieving high production indicators and increasing personal authority in the eyes of employees. As the target organization for analysis, Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism will be considered. This company takes the preservation of the cultural heritage of the UAE and develops projects aimed at enhancing citizens’ spiritual competence.
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One of the issues that the management of this Department may encounter is the lack of subordinates’ motivation regarding the performance of their immediate duties and the absence of a creative approach to solving current problems. Although the organization has a sufficient financial base and a large staff, indifference to working objectives may harm the realization of the goals. Therefore, the purpose of this report is to find appropriate guiding strategies and solutions aimed at increasing the motivation of the Department’s employees and, as a consequence, achieve high-performance results with the help of modern creative approaches.
Analysis of the Problem
Today, solving the problem of reducing employees’ motivation is one of the most urgent tasks in the system of organizational personnel management. According to Myszkowski, Storme, Davila, and Lubart (2015), this process is a complex multi-stage work, and its successful implementation directly influences the company’s achievement of the set goals. At the same time, the final result of this process depends on many factors, one of which is the system of motivation that functions in the company.
This course of work includes everything that the employee can evaluate and wish, and the employer, in turn, has an opportunity and desire to offer for the contribution to the successful implementation of the company’s core business. However, this system that is usually aimed at increasing the productivity of the staff can also lead to negative impacts, reducing the effectiveness of employees. The reduction of performance, first of all, may manifest itself in lowering initiative and responsibility, employees’ understanding of the presence in the workplace as a boring and useless time. All these signs demonstrate such a factor as personnel demotivation.
Employees’ aforementioned perception of their work duties, according to many experts, can mostly be attributed to the lack of psychological competence of managers themselves who assess the importance of successful motivation of their subordinates ambiguously and do not stimulate the personnel. At the same time, as Williams (2013) notes, the presence of demotivation in the company leads to negative consequences for the emotional state of the staff.
Ultimately, if the management does not take effective and expeditious measures to stimulate active work in the collective of the organization, an increase in the outflow of workers becomes inevitable. As a result, the most valuable and qualified employees who are in demand in the labor market begin to leave such a company first. Consequently, managers’ inactivity further worsens the situation, harming the remaining employees and the reputation of the organization itself, which falls into the category of those that do not value their prospective staff.
Demotivation is ambiguous concerning the moment of its origin and the reasons that cause it. In particular, the basis for the lack of desire to show initiative and strive to achieve high goals may be laid in a new employee’s long period of adaptation to unfamiliar job duties. Nevertheless, along with this factor, the signs of demotivational behavior may arise even after a long enough time of working in the company. Therefore, a competent manager must be able to identify the case of insufficient initiative in work time and take measures to eliminate this problem.
The reasons for the lack of motivation in the workplace can be different. For instance, the material dissatisfaction of subordinates is the evidence of an inadequate policy regarding salaries. Another factor that needs to be taken into account is psychological discomfort. As Giannopoulou, Gryszkiewicz, and Barlatier (2014) argue, “highly stimulating environment encourages personal creativity” (p. 31). However, in some cases, the atmosphere in the team may be unfriendly, and constant conflicts are the factor of the low-skilled performance of assigned duties.
In the case of Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, a weak initiative is unacceptable since this organization exists largely due to the personal interest of its founders in preserving the country’s cultural fund. If its employees do not realize the significance of the work that is entrusted to them, no considerable achievements will be accomplished. Moreover, the company will suffer losses due to unproductive work, which may lead to bankruptcy. Therefore, the stimulation of the staff’s work and constant control over the level of subordinates’ motivation is the direct responsibility of those managers who are interested in preserving their business and promoting the company’s interests in a certain market.
Creative Ideas for Problem Solving
To solve the problem of the lack of motivation among the staff in the team, different solutions may be found depending on what are the reasons for employees’ insufficient incentive. The creative methods of thinking, in this case, will be particularly relevant since the standard principles of engaging personnel can be ineffective. As possible ways to solve this problem, the provision of non-material bonuses to the employees of the company may be offered, flexible schedule and an opportunity to adjust it, and individual work with team members to maintain the corporate spirit.
Intangible Bonuses for the Organization’s Employees
The possibilities of using creative thinking open up broad prospects for managers. Concerning the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, the organization’s leadership can implement the principle of non-standard employee incentives, thereby achieving an increase in its initiative regarding work responsibilities. According to Proctor (2013), the retention of personnel through non-material bonuses may be an effective method of establishing interaction among team members.
As bonuses, various interest clubs and training can be offered. For instance, if the employees of the organization have permanent access to spending time in gyms or competing with one another in sports, it will allow rallying the team and achieving high productivity. In case there are no such bonuses, specialists can leave the current place of work and choose the company where corporate bonuses are available. Therefore, this method of encouraging the activity of employees is the real and accessible means of achieving a sufficient level of motivation for reaching the goals set.
An opportunity to receive additional knowledge at the expense of the company is the successful and modern method of encouraging the initiative of specialists. As Capel (2014) remarks, “formal and informal means such as training and education” allow employees to improve their professionalism (p. 68). If workers see that the company is ready to provide them with a possibility to receive new knowledge, they will be able to work in good faith and realize their potential comprehensively. Otherwise, if no attempts to retain personnel are taken by the leadership, there is a risk of poor compliance and, as a consequence, the leakage of personnel.
In the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, specialists are forced to spend much time energy in research work. If they can have a rest physically and mentally, they will have more strength, which, as a consequence, will have a positive effect on the final results of work. Therefore, the management of the organization can pay attention to the principle of such corporate practice as the provision of intangible bonuses that stimulate the activities of employees.
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Flexible Schedule and an Opportunity to Adjust It
Leadership theories within large organizations involve using different creative approaches. In particular, according to Waddock, Meszoely, Waddell, and Dentoni (2015), “flexibility and agility have become a cornerstone of management theory in the 21st century” (p. 994). However, it can manifest not only in loyalty to subordinates but also in ensuring their relative freedom. One of the means of expressing the management’s trust in employees is a possibility to compile work schedule flexibly and engage subordinates in the drafting of a personal timetable.
This way of increasing motivation may be of considerable benefit since team members can adjust their regime in such a way that it is convenient for them to combine immediate duties and personal life. At the same time, scheduling initiatives can come from all the members of the staff without exception so that, on the one hand, the management could not be biased concerning colleagues, and on the other hand, could take into account the opinions of subordinates without exception to have a comprehensive picture.
The purpose of this innovation is to stimulate the individual work of employees and to encourage their skills in distributing the workload correctly. In the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, where much attention is paid to direct contact with clients, relaxation is crucial since a constant nervous strain can adversely affect performance results. A competent manager can prove himself or herself as a creative and responsible specialist giving subordinates the freedom to choose the schedule and perform the assigned tasks.
Certainly, control over this activity should be carried out because not all employees have the ability to calculate the workload rationally and make up an appropriate regime. Nevertheless, the activities of management can allow the participation of subordinates in the selection of an optimal schedule. As Vora (2013) argues, “leadership is central in initiating the change for the benefit of the enterprise” (p. 625). Therefore, if the aforementioned changes are useful for the organization in question, it can be a successful method to increase the motivation of employees and their confidence in the competence of their senior colleagues.
Individual Work with Team Members
One of the effective methods of creative work with employees is an individual approach to each of them. Activities proceed more successfully if subordinates understand that their leader is sympathetic to certain actions, encourages interaction with one another, and takes into account cultural diversity in the workplace. According to Guesalaga, Pierce, and Scaraboto (2016), “examining cultural differences at the individual level generates a better understanding of how cultural factors impact consumer expectations” (p. 88).
Having an opportunity to achieve positive changes in the team, one can pay attention not to a global change in the mode of work but to smaller and personal attempts to achieve the set goals. As Čančer and Mulej (2013) note, “problem solvers can strengthen their ability to solve problems individually” (p. 78). Therefore, the possibility to contact subordinates directly helps an experienced manager to establish an effective course of activities.
The leader must understand the characteristics of all the styles of leadership and control to stimulate changes in favor of the company reasonably. As Johansson, E., Witell, L., & Rönnbäck (2013) remark, quality improvements “may require the redesign of work, the redefinition of managerial roles” (p. 33).
In this case, this context may imply a partial shift in the role of team leaders, which is aimed at establishing trust with their colleagues and maintaining a favorable microclimate in the collective. It, in turn, can bring additional bonuses in the form of effective conflict management and the establishment of productive interaction among the Department’s employees. Therefore, this method of work is the reflection of creative and thought-out leadership, which corresponds to the modern principles of corporate cooperation and organizational changes.
The search for methods and guidelines to increase the motivation of the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism employees may be based on the use of three potential solutions – the provision of intangible bonuses, the possibility of creating a flexible schedule, and an individual approach to team members. All the aforementioned creative ways to stimulate the activity of subordinates have certain merits and can be implemented in the company in question. The role of leaders in the process of introducing organizational changes is significant since it is the leadership tasks that imply the distribution of executive duties and control over performance indicators.
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