Applying Psychology in the Workplace
Over the years, managers and administrators have been tasked with ensuring growth of companies or institutions that they run. However, due to problems in the workplaces, it has become a big challenge to increase productivity. Psychologists, through extensive research, have developed psychological solutions that can be applied at workplaces to solve these problems. In the context of productivity approach, the current essay gives three examples of scenarios in workplaces and provides psychological solutions to the problems.
Work Place Scenario 1
Victor is the manager in a Cement manufacturing company. He has been the manager for more than 20 years, and has not changed his staff for the last 15 years. The company has been performing very well. However, despite his experience and that of the staff, the companys profit has been decreasing for the last years. The pressure from his employers is making Victor sack all employees.
Sacking the whole staff is not the solution. Victor can benefit from the understanding of how motivation works to boost the productivity of a company or an institution. According to Clark (2003), a highly motivated staff does not only do quality work, but also the quantity of the work done increases (p. 5). This leads to improved profitability in the company. Having been employees of this company for a long time, they are resisting change. Everything to them and to Victor has become so familiar; they have become irresponsible and overconfident, and are thus not creative. Victor needs to exploit any available means to motivate his staff.
A well motivated workforce does its work willingly and is very creative (Valencia 1998). Victor should avoid being hypocritical, dishonest or appearing to be unfair. He should be open to his staff and keep his promises. He should set goals, which are consistent, realistic and achievable within the given of time. These goals should be guided by the companys vision. There is a need to do away with unnecessary and oppressive rules and policies. These are barriers, which control the behavior of employees yet they do not add value to the company. Research has shown that performance dwindles when feedback emphasizes on negative qualities (Clark 2003, p. 5). Victor should motivate his staff by giving them feedback, which compares their achievement with the goal they wanted to reach. If he does this, the productivity of the company will improve.
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Clark, RE 2003, Fostering the work motivation of individuals and teams. Performance Improvement, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 1-13, viewed 3 March, 2014. <http://cogtech.usc.edu/publications/clark_fostering.pdf>.
Valencia, C 1998, Motivation and productivity in the workplace, viewed 3 March, 2014. <https://www.westminstercollege.edu/myriad/index.cfm?parent=2514&detail=4475&content=4798>.
Work Place Scenario 2
Miss Morgan is a teacher in an elementary school where she has worked for a long time. However, despite her experience, she has challenges controlling the behavior of Maurine, a pupil in her class. During lessons, Maurine concentrates for a very short time after what she becomes unruly, but ones the teacher gives an exam in class, and the girl scores a very high grade.
To be able to control Maureen in class, Miss Morgan can benefit from an understanding that human beings have different levels of intelligence. Psychologists Wechsler and Binet developed intelligence tests, which help to measure the intelligence level of an individual (Santrock 2007, p. 4). An Intelligence Quotient (IQ) with results of 70-84 shows that an individual is below average while an IQ of 130-144 shows that one is gifted (Santrock 2007, p. 5).
She needs to understand that the pupils in her class could be a mixture of low achievers, high achievers and the gifted ones. Maurine could be a gifted pupil who understands the new information very fast. Once she has understood, she switches off from the topic as the teacher teaches the other pupils. The teacher needs to tailor a teaching program that will keep Maurine occupied the whole lesson and, therefore, tame her behavior inside and outside the classroom. For example, as the teacher gives class assignments to the others, she should give Maurine a more challenging one. In addition, the syllabus can be compacted in such a way that Maurine covers a greater scope within a short time (Parke 1992). Instead of Miss Morgan investigating concepts and delivering them to Maurine, she can allow Maurine to do it herself (Parke 1992). Maurine can possibly skip the grade (acceleration) to ensure that she utilizes her time well.
Parke, BN 1992, Challenging gifted students in the regular classroom, viewed 4 March, 2014, <http://www.casenex.com/casenex/ericReadings/ChallengingGiftedStudents.pdf>.
Santrock, WJ 2007, A topical approach to life-span development: Intelligence, McGraw-Hill, Sydney, viewed 4 March, 2014,
Work Place Scenario 3
Veronica is the private owner of a chain of hotels whose employees get very low wages. To motivate the best employee of the month, she gave them an option to choose between earning an extra $10 that month and having his/ her name advertised on the national television for recognition. She was shocked and could not understand why they chose the cheaper option of earning an extra $10.
Veronica needs to understand the Maslows motivational theory, which will help her know the needs of her employees. In the theory of hierarchy of needs, which Maslow introduced in the 1940s, he argues that human needs must be fulfilled in a given order. The hierarchy of needs, starting from the most basic to the advanced needs is as follows: physiological, security, social, and esteem and self-actualization needs (Griffin 2008, p. 127). One cannot meet a higher need before a lower one is fulfilled (Griffin 2008, p. 129).
Since the employees are in the service industry where they are earning very low wages, they are struggling to meet the lower needs. The low earnings can neither feed them nor afford them a decent housing. Being advertised on the national television as the best employee of the month is an esteem need. It will only give them recognition nationally, but they will remain hungry and continue living an indecent life. The employees preferred what they needed as at that time: money, and not the fame. They could not satisfy esteem needs, which are at a higher level before satisfying physiological needs.