Cliques Or Clubs? The Importance Of Groups And Social Engagement In The Workplace Critical Thinking Sample
Our natural tendency to form groups. It is a social construct that we truly, psychologically need. According to Handy (1993) the natural tendency to form groups comes from the innate desire to have an affiliation, or to build an identity. But, he also points out that grouping can be good, because it allows members of the group to share a common purpose. However, if groups function in the wrong way, can they be detrimental to achieving a common goal? Is allowing natural groups to form always the best way to organize in the workplace?
A group is defined as “any number of people who interact with one another; are psychologically aware of one another, and perceive themselves to be a group (Schein, 1988). Groups are different than teams, though many of their goals may be the same. The primary difference is that a team operates as a single unit in order to accomplish goals, while a group acts as a structured or organized mass of individuals (Adair 1986).
The benefits of groups in the workplace include: improved self-esteem, a sense of affiliation, a sense of security, and increased ability to problem solve (Schein 1980). This is especially true when collaboration is encouraged between professional groups (Lohan 2005). Conversely, the down side of having groups include the risk of exclusion, and loafing to socialize resulting in loss of productivity (Straus 1996) and of conflicts arising between groups (ACAS 2014). The resulting stigma of group identity, or lack thereof, can ultimately stifle the positive expression of diversity in the workplace (Beatty & Kirby 2006).
Ultimately, groups are going to form regardless of company policy, or team design, because they fill a natural, psychological and sociological need in people. They form naturally, and without any real guidance. However, for an employer to capitalize on their benefits in the workplace, they must take control of exclusion, or a sense of “clique” that may happen within the group so that all employees are engaged, involved, and having their needs for group interaction and acceptance met.
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Was it Good for You?: The significance of Motivation and Satisfaction in the Workplace
Recently, I had a day at work when I just could not roust myself to do the things I knew needed done. There I was, fingers on the home keys across the keyboard, typing nothing. It was not that I do not generally enjoy my job, but that I suffered a serious lack of motivation. This lead me to wonder how satisfied am I really, if I am not motivated to do the things at work that I know need done, and if I am not motivated is it my fault? Motivation and satisfaction are both key to performance, but what can be done to ensure that potential is maximized leveraging these factors.
According to Carver and Sheier (1998) “motivation is what makes a behaviour happen.” It is the driving force behind what we get done, or what we refuse to complete. The reality is that if we are not motivated, we are not going to be able to say “mission accomplished” at the end of every work day.
There are a variety of theories behind what intrinsically motivates us: our needs (Maslow 1970), expectations that are placed on us (Vroom 1964), and even the desire to reach goals that are set for us, or which we set for ourselves (Loccke & Latham 1990). Unfortunately, the real explanation of motivation is extremely complicated, and any of these theories, when expected to stand alone, are too simplistic to define what motivates an individual (Hunt & Hill 2008).
Whatever the case it has been indicate that those who have a higher level of job satisfaction are more likely to be motivated to complete the task at hand (Steel and Koing 2006). This has a lot to do with the ethics of the work environment, and the behaviour exhibited through leadership (Basu 2004). So perhaps the real question is, how satisfied am I at work, and if I am not satisfied, what do I, or my employer need to do to increase my satisfaction and ultimately improve my motivation while on the clock. So, you weigh in, is it my fault when I am unmotivated?
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