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Personality, Motivation and Leadership in Economic Slowdown

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Because of global economic crisis since early years of this decade, every industry includes hospitality industry suffered by economic slowdown. While financial experts were trying to control and monitor the situation, dismiss and restructure across Industries was happening at the same time. The action of reducing number of employees or even anticipation of them can have a dramatic impact on employees’ behaviours and motivation. As a result. ffect the productivity.

Nevertheless, In order to survive In a business war, dismiss employee Is actually the irst but not a smart choice for a company to cut down fixed costs and it is also hard to avoid. Therefore, how to motivate the current staff to at least stablllze the productivity in this particular situation become an important issue that faced by management group. Dfferent employee will have different reactions towards economic slowdown.

Some of them get nervous by standing in a danger of losing job, some of them do not care, some may lose motivations and enthusiastic and some may even work harder in order to mlnlmlse the chance of becoming layoffs. Hence, depends on different ersonalities, the way of motivating individual employee will be different as well. In order to Identify the best fit motivation for each employee, a clear understanding of the importance of personality in an organization is required.

Personality is defined as the way in which an Individual reacts and interacts with others. (Robbins, S. P. 2005) Personality shapes a persons behaviour. In other word, to better understand the behaviour of someone in an organization, recognize and Identify the person’s personality Is essential for the reason that certain personality types perform better on specific jobs or tasks and can be motivated differently.

According to Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, there are four major characteristics (social interaction, preference for gathering data, preference for decision making and style of decision making) that can classify people into 1 to 16 personality types. (Myers & Briggs, 2009) During Industry placement, it Is not hard to find that whether a person is extroverted with Judging style of decision making or introverted but think before making a decision will not have a deep Influence on the organization as soon as he or she can provide a certain quality of services.

However, managers are looking for someone who tends to be more extroverted with their work, have intuitive that can interpret and add meaning to information and also look at the people and special circumstances with a Judging style of decision making In this economic slow down Wellington Hotel was getting quieter and quieter from the beginning of January, 2009 because of economic crisis. Therefore, only one supervisor worked in the morning everyday.

If something unexpected happen, the supervisor is required to handle the problem without further information and time to think more. Therefore, in order to nsure the productivity and service quality, managers need this particular type of personality. During economic slowdown, the particular period of time, based on different personality types, identify variety methods of motivation can help to ensure the productivity which means the level of motivation varies between individuals and within individuals at different time.

What methods are available to motivate employee? As many managers concerned, all forms of motivation revolves around money, and some people do agree that money is the greatest motivator for the reason that everyone works for money to satisfy the eed of existence, such as food, clothes and shelter. (Articlesbase. , 2008) Conversely, imagine a big hotel with 3000 employees like Sky City Auckland; it is not always possible to provide promotion, so money becomes the easiest way to reward good staff. Consequently, it is undeniable that money can be an effective motivator.

However, are cash awards or bonuses always the best way to motivate employee? The answer is: not always. According to Abraham MasloWs Hierarchy of Needs Theory, there are five needs known as physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem and self-actualization. As each need is substantially satisfied, the next eed becomes dominant. ‘ (Robbins, S. P. , 2005) If an employee is highly paid, money will not be what he or she desired. The expectation of some higher-order needs like good working environment and recognition become dominant.

Secondly, the amount of money may not bear relation to what the employee does. What is more, some highly responsible staff expects more on the opportunity to learn for the development of their own career rather than Just money. For example, during the six month of working in the restaurant of Mercure Accor Wellington, one of the restaurant supervisors was rewarded as ‘Employee of the Year’ and 600 dollars cash as given as award. Since the supervisor has been worked in the hotel for a long time, a chance to learn more and a growth in her career seems more necessary for her.

Thus at this particular stage that economic slowdown, recognition is actually a better way to motivate staff rather than Just money as having a Job is better than no Job. (Koonar, K. , 2006) Some employees only hear from managers or supervisors when something goes wrong. But a good leader should also praise or express appreciation to his or her staff as it gives a positive reinforcement to employees and when mployees feel being recognized, they will perform better and in order to get more recognition, they will work even harder.

Some leaders chose to give a greeting card to say thank you to an employee when he or she did a great Job, and some leaders manager of Mercure Accor Wellington gave boxes of chocolate to some of his employees during Christmas and this action made employees feel being recognized and happy to work for him. Empower employees is also an effective way to motivate staff during economic disaster. Staffs may feel that they are in danger of losing Job, and at the stage, if a eader gives authority to his or her staff to decision making or problem solving, it actually informs that dismissal will not happen to the employee.

In addition, set specific and difficult goals with feedbacks can lead to a higher performance as well. It relates to self-efficacy and individual will have the enthusiastic and the ambition to prove that he or she is capable to perform the task and as a result, stabilize or improve productivity. (Robbins, S. P. , 2005) Proper communication can also be a tool to motivate staff. An effective manager spends most of the time on communication in order to identify employees’ problems nd also build a relationship with them. (Robbins, S. P. 005) Employee evaluation and appraisal are the common ways of communication.

Though, during the difficult economic time, a more openly communication is needed as employees want to know more about the current situation of their work and workplace. If the manager or the leader withholding some information, an employee may feel nervous, anxiety or even angry, and then lost motivation and develop resistance to management. Hence, a good leadership style is actually as important and necessary as an efficient motivator to lead employee and the company go through the difficult time.

But what leadership is? And how managers’ leadership style can change under this particular situation with different personalities? Leadership is defined as the ability to influence a group towards the achievement of goals. (Robbins, S. P. , 2005) Basically, leaders can be categorized into two major styles. One is production-oriented leaders who emphasize more on technical or task aspects of the Job; another is employee-oriented leaders who concern about the relationships with employees and cares more about his or her employees’ feelings.

But the foundation of leadership is trust, especially during this difficult time. (Robbins, S. P. 2005) If a leader does not trust employees, he or she will not empower and spend time on motivating or communicating with staff. Trust actually indicate leaders that emphasis relationships. Since the economic factors changed, leaders with employee-oriented style can perform better in leading staff overcome difficulties.

Therefore, Charisma becomes outstanding among many leadership traits such as intelligent, persuasive, ethically responsible, empathetic and etc. Leaders with Charisma effect followers by sharing vision, setting high performance goals and making personal sacrifices. (Robbins, S. P. , 2005) This can effectively motivate and heir talent and sustainability. They will use their confidence and skills to remain at the ready, anticipate and harness the power of change, and stay ahead of the shifting business environment.

Just like Barack Obama, before he became a president, his speech showed his confidence, faith and knowledge and made people believe that he has the ability to lead the country. On the other hand, leadership can change based on maturity level of the followers. For example, if the staff has neither the skill nor motivation, leaders should implement the directing leadership style and direct the follower through orders and nstructions in details. If a follower has both skill and enthusiastic, the leader can just allocate tasks, known as Delegating leadership style.

For followers who have skill but no motivation, leaders should implement the supporting leadership style and for those who do not have skill or knowledge but motivation, coaching leadership style will be needed. This is known as situational leadership theory by Hersey and Blanchard. (Waddell, D. , Cummings, T. & Worley, C. ,2004) If leaders consider followers as the situation, it will not only build a relationship with employee, but also nsure the productivity in this special situation as the leader knows exactly how to lead the employee to finish the task.

In conclusion, working in a background of global economic crisis, motivate employees based on types of personalities plays an important part in ensuring productivity. In addition, choose a suitable motivation and indentify the advantages and disadvantages of the selected motivation is also a tasks for leaders. Except using variety of effective methods of motivation, people should not under-estimate the power of a changeable leadership style.

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