Organizational leadership from companies far and wide has spent millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars trying to develop the perfect method for the enhancement of performance within his/her organization. Human resource (HR) managers have been directed to come up with incentive packages that might include trips, concert and sporting event tickets, spot bonuses, and at-a-boys that company leaders feel should and will encourage employees to increase performance only to find many of these efforts are temporary.
Kjerulf (2014) reported extrinsic motivation, such as those stated above are a facade that is effective in the short-term; however, cannot sustain long-term results, produces diminishing returns, and is actually detrimental to intrinsic motivation.
It is the intention of this paper to illustrate how enhanced performance within ABC Landscape and Irrigation supply can be substantiated and sustained through intrinsic motivation, such as the implementation of a transformational leadership style throughout the organization, reorganizing the culture of the organization to become a culture of inclusion, creativity, and innovation for all employees, and the implementation of a change management model such as that provided by Kurt Lewin known as Unfreeze, Change, Refreeze.
Understanding The Issue ABC Landscape and Irrigation Supply is the largest family owned supplier of landscape and irrigation supplies in the United States. Founded in 1922 in California, ABC has blossomed into an organization of more than 200 locations that employ more than 1000 employees. Currently, ABC conducts its business under the guide of an 8-step mission statement that has, over the past 95 years, become more of a “Sacred Cow” than a living document.
While much of what is written in the mission statement was written with the best of intentions, the meaning behind the statement has not truly become part of the culture of the organization. Production Follows Leadership As the new human resource manager, it has been observed that current leadership at ABC Landscape and Irrigation Supply have become too dependent on “gimmicks” when it comes to motivating and encouraging greater production. Monetary incentives tied to sale programs designed to save customers money have become stale, and many long-time employees have lost interest in pushing the same old programs.
Presslee, Vance, and Web (2013) reported while evidence indicates that employees will in fact work hard to achieve incentive style motivational tactics, once the goal is achieved previous levels of production fall off until the next promotion is presented. Through extensive experience, a leadership style such as Transformational Leadership, where organizational leadership and branch management demonstrate an environment of inclusion, promotes a more lasting desire from employees to produce at a high level. Transformational Leadership
True motivation is not found in gimmicks and incentives; the leaders that lead them motivate people. ABC Landscape and Irrigation Supply have experienced exceptional growth, and with that growth the focus on the training of regional and branch level management has suffered. Many times individuals are put into management roles simply to fill a void and not based on merit, training, or evidence of managerial prowess. Pongpearchan (2016) stated Transformational Leadership is comprised of four performance-enhancing characteristics that will be the basis of ABC managerial structure from this point forward.
Those four characteristics are: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. Idealized Influence If one were to research the most successful battles in human history, or the most successful sports teams, or the most successful organizations known to man, the first thing that one would find is the reason behind all of them is leadership leads from the front and not the back. Transformational leadership is no exception.
Pongpearchan (2016) explained idealized influence as gaining the faith and trust of ones subordinates through leading by example. It is imperative that those in leadership positions at ABC roll up his/her sleeves, willing work as hard, if not harder than their subordinates. This dedication to the success of the organization will filter through the organization and motivation to perform will be positively affected. Inspirational Motivation No man or woman can lead an individual or an organization if he/she has no inclination as to the vision, mission, or direction the organization is headed.
Pongpearchan (2016) again explained inspirational motivation as leadership’s innate understanding of how and where the organization is headed, and his/her ability to accurately and inspirationally convey that message throughout the organization. This motivation must become embedded in the very fiber of every manager so as to become part of the core beliefs of every member of the leadership team. Intellectual Stimulation On of the most effective ways to inspire production is to ensure your employees feel as though he/she is a valuable asset to the organization.
Everyone has a natural desire to feel like the effort put forth is a key part of overall success. Pongpearchan (2016) encouraged leadership to seek out the assistance of those with whom they manage and honestly solicit participation when solving problems. All individuals will perform over and above what is expected when they feel like the effort they are putting out is appreciated and valued. This will be a core value when hiring or promoting managers and leaders within ABC Landscape and Irrigation Supply as the organization grows to desired levels of production.
Individualized Consideration The only true way to invite innovation and creativity is to encourage employees to take on tasks and situations that stretch the boundaries of his/her conceived abilities. Finally, Pongpearchan (2016) again reported by leadership empowering subordinates to take a lead role when projects and situations arise; giving full autonomy to whoever decides to accept the responsibility and teaching and coaching the individual throughout the process.
By ensuring that transformational leadership is taught and hired, this empowering style of leadership will become standard as the organization moves forward. Culture and Change Management The above described leadership style will not happen overnight. This process could take months, if not years to develop and incorporate if it is to become a key value in the culture of the organization. Currently ABC Landscape and Irrigation Supply has an 8-component mission statement that must be addressed and reconsidered if production levels are to increase.
The 8 components are: Conduct our business with a high commitment to the values of honesty, courage, loyalty, integrity, tolerance, responsibility, quality work, perseverance, self-discipline and faith, Sell landscape, landscape irrigation, industrial and golf products, Sell to contractors, Strive for service excellence, Develop services for contractors and commercial end users, Build a mutually profitable relationship with each customer, Be the safest, most efficient provider of goods and services in our industry, and Have fun doing it (ewingirrigation. om).
While this mission has been sufficient for many years, it lacks the much-needed sustenance to fuel the organization to the next level. Levasseur (2001) reported Kurt Lewin’s three step change management model of Unfreeze, Change, Refreeze starts with unfreezing the organization’s current view of how things are by announcing change is coming. Providing encouragement that exciting things are on the horizon will put people in the frame of mind to facilitate the change.
Next, Levasseur (2001) continued stating, do not change just for the sake of change; keep those process that work well and will fit with the new mission, then change (for the better) those that are outdated or simply do not work. Finally, Levasseur (2001) stated refreeze or start working the new process as soon as possible so that they begin to become engrained into the fiber of the organization and quickly become the expected culture. Conclusion
No one likes change; however, to continue doing the same things and expecting the results to come out differently is insanity. ABC Landscape and Irrigation Supply is an organization, after decades of successful results, has come to a point in its existence that production has stagnated. By developing and hiring leaders and managers into a transformational leadership style, employees will begin to see themselves as key components in the overall success of the organization and production will begin to increase.
No longer will the organization “bribe” employees to produce through old incentive driven sales programs, rather, ABC will treat each employee as a key member of the organization. As the transformational leadership style begins to permeate the organization, a change in the overall culture will emerge as Kurt Lewin’s change management model is utilized to provide ABC with a much clearer and more productive future.