The relationship between individual personality and values, and managing motivation: an exploratory study
(2015) The relationship between individual personality and values, and managing motivation: an exploratory study, no. 124.
In many modern businesses the key to success lies with attaining and retaining the right people. Therefore an organisation should aim to continuously improve the working and service conditions which, resulting in a more dedicated and motivated workforce. Motivation has become an essential part of an organisation, and many writers feel it is the main function of a leader to motivate and bring out the best in their staff. An ability to discover the motivational needs of individuals is also likely to improve the relationship between leaders and followers. Given the wide diversity of modern workforces, the need to treat each employee as a unique individual could prove essential to the effectiveness of the workforce. The unique individuals that make up an organisation will likely portray different behaviours and personalities towards achieving organisational goals. Although there is a considerable amount of literature surrounding factors and methods of motivation and differing personalities and values, very little has been done to link the two together. The difference in motivational factors could be due to individual differences in personalities and needs. To fill the gap in knowledge, this research study has explored and established a relationship between individual personality traits and values, and the ability to manage motivation. A qualitative approach was implemented in the form of six indepth interviews (three from management, three from store assistants) to gain an insight into the effect differing values and personalities have on staff motivation. The findings suggest that there is a strong link between personality traits and motivation. Research found that each respondent had varied factors of motivation needs, factors of demotivation and reasons why they work. This included a contradiction of the theories and ideas proposed by both Maslow and Herzberg, strengthening that factors of motivation do differ depending on the individual. Findings also limited the validity of generational values, as each respondent's identified values contradicted those which the literature suggested they should hold important. Finally, although literature suggests that a manager will not motivate, but only a leader, this is not always the case. Research compared the personality traits and values of each management member and determined that only one out of the three managers held - what the literature identified as - the traits of an effective leader. However, each respondent believed all of their management team do motivate the staff, contradicting the suggestion that only leaders will motivate staff. Overall, the general conclusion from this study is that individual personality traits and values play a vital role in determining ways people can be motivated. As the complexity on the issue of motivation increases, more effort is required on the part of the leader to understand, maximise the effectiveness of staff using these varying characteristics.