Employee motivation is important in organizational management as it determine the efficiency, commitment and effectiveness of workers. Workers are motivated differently when they feel that they have reached their desired level of achievement, when recognized for their performance, when given proper and clear responsibilities, when they grow in their talents among other forms of motivation. It is the duty of the management to ensure that workers are supported to be highly productive individuals who are always motivated to create solutions for a given firm (Chitrao, 2014). The behavior of both the management and the workers however influence the path towards a highly motivated workforce. Even further, the forms of communication influence employee motivation (Jeong et al, 2013). Informal communication for instance has both positive effects on employee motivation. This discussion highlights ways in which informal communication influences employee motivation. It also highlights the different behaviors by both managers and employees that influence motivation and transgression of workers.
Critical Evaluation of the Influence of Informal Communication at the Workplace on Employees’ Motivation
Informal Communication refers to the casual way of information sharing. It is usually used in casual personal conversations and typically among friends and family. Informal communication in essence is not official and therefore may only be used in a number of contexts especially when answering personal calls, writing some messages and emails among others (Baltaci et al, 2016). In an organization setting, an informal mail can be done by a boss inviting the staff members for an expo sale which will happen in a particular venue. In this context, the manager may not prefer a formal message to the staff and therefore seems more appropriate for informal communication. Even so, reports on projects must always be done in formal language so as to since it is required to be used later by different officials in decision-making regarding the organization. Informal communication impact both positively and negatively on the motivation levels of employees in an organization. According to Baltaci et al (2016), there is increased evidence that employees prefer informal communication than formal. Sometimes leaders need to use and encourage informal communication although in limited contexts, to enable such a group of workers interact with them freely and comfortably. The following are positive and negative effects of informal communication on employee motivation in different organizations.
Positive Influence of Informal Communication on Employee Motivation
The first positive influence of informal communication is that it helps in breaking down formal communication from the top managers into easily explainable form. Informal communication used by supervisors to the workers especially at the lower level enable the availability of clarified directions on roles to be taken by the workers (Schmitt & Michelson, 2014). One of the demotivating factors in an organization is when a number of workers do not have a clear definition of what they should do in order to complete their work. Jobs that involve artisans for instance who are not well-educated may require that their supervisors address their issues through informal communication (Raish &Fennewald, 2016). In this regard, they can remain on the track in terms of working on the objectives of the organization. This simplification of formal messages through conversion into informal messages can occur in different types of communication including vertical, horizontal and diagonal. This ensures that employees are motivated to work on clearly defined objectives.
Secondly, informal communication is appropriate for most workers to openly express their experiences according to Chitrao (2014). Individual workers are able to express their sentiments freely to fellow workers and supervisors with little hesitation when left to use informal communication. When employees are able to freely express themselves it is more likely for the management to create ways of solving their problems in the best way possible (Schmitt & Michelson, 2014). Formal communications sometimes put a barrier between the workers and the management as it involves long procedures to make a simple communication. Informal calls and messages sent between a manager and an employee on field work can be replied to faster and any problems addressed. The informal communication approaches provide an alternative mode of communication to breach the gap in communication left by strict formal communication workplace contexts.
Thirdly, informal communication improves the relationship of individuals within a workplace. It also increases efficiency in communication of policies and instructions that need to be urgently considered. In improving workplace relations, informal communication helps in informal solving of a number of problems among workers. This is because it is deemed to bring people closer in understanding each other than the official interactions (Chitrao, 2014). For workers who interact with each other using informal communication, they often bond and are able to carry out duties harmoniously with cooperation. Using informal communication enhances the efficiency of workers as it mainly focuses on passing information anyhow as long as the message is received correctly. Ground workers who interact so closely and use informal communication are usually efficient and understand each other well (Panic et al, 2015). They use informal communication to instruct each other, collaborate in solving common problems within their departments among other activities. They have a sense of belonging within the particular management level. Managers can use informal communication to appreciate the efforts by workers and this can be inspiring as they will feel recognized to a personal level.
Informational communication also allows for rapid and free flow of information within an organization. It allows for immediate feedback and therefore very reliable for quick decision making among the management and the employees within a given institution (Panic et al, 2015). There is a reduced mental distance between managers and the workers. This means that workers are able to interact positively closer with their managers and this expels fear while instilling job satisfaction. This also enhances mutual trust among the employees. The managers are likely to be trusted to deliver their promises to the workers and the workers will do the same with an intention to meet the set goals of the organization.
Negative effects of Informal Communication on Employee Motivation
The first negative influence of informal communication on employee motivation is that it results to rapid spread of rumors, some of which affect a section of the workforce (Panic et al, 2015). Informal communication among managers often spread down to the rest of the workers and mostly influences their behavior in response to the information acquired. Rumors on employee demotion or promotion passed through informal communication can negatively affect the workforce as they become more anxious to know which individuals have been considered for particular positions within the organization (Chitrao, 2014). This can further be caused by rumors that consist of distorted information. Rumors on changes in the organizational structure make workers eager to know their new supervisors. In any organizational setting, there are supervisors who may not be preferred by a number of subordinates. Therefore, rumors of departmental heads internal reshuffles makes workers to remain in suspense and fear as a result of the possibility to be put under a less preferred supervisor. This affects their concentration and commitment to the tasks in the organization.
Secondly, misunderstanding among workers is more likely to occur when there is communication of crucial information informally. The overuse of informal communication makes employees to assume a casual view to issues and they are likely to interpret urgent messages inappropriately (Chitrao, 2014). It is also likely that employees who are used informal communication may be resistant to respect any given formal authorization. They could be so used to a manager who uses informal communication in that any change in the management that leads to the need for formal communication becomes a barrier to their communication practice (Jeong et al, 2013). Misunderstanding messages in the organizational setting can be very disastrous especially in the manufacturing industries, where there is always need for high precision on the use of materials and procedures.
Thirdly, allowing informal communication as a practice makes it difficult to maintain secrecy within an organization. Informal communication involves open discussion, which is a characteristic of this particular form of communication. It is likely for information that is not well understood to spread to the rest of the staff in an organization, when informal communication approaches are used (Chitrao, 2014). As indicated before, the practice is characterized with faster of rumors. Even so, sometimes managers use this platform to test the reaction of workers in case a particular change could be implemented. This is because they are sure of receiving feedback in the short run. Informal communication is also difficult to control and perhaps the reason as to why it is impossible to keep everything confidential when using it (Jeong et al, 2013). There are no rules that are established rules in the control of information flow and therefore workers might come across information that may either encourage their commitment to duty and or negatively challenge their efforts. The worst may happen when the workers realize that their welfare is likely to be breached through policies that are about to be introduced. The resulting change in attitude and morale lowers the productivity of the whole firm.
Further, informal communication creates an adversary culture within employees, making them to be uncooperative. Continued use of informal communication makes important instructions to be perceived casually and without urgency (Jeong et al, 2013). Where employees need to cooperate with each other, they instead become adversaries especially when they are not in good terms with their supervisors. It may nurture an individual to always hold a negative attitude towards their supervisors especially those who try to be formal with them. This uncooperative behavior negatively influences the performance of other workers as it lowers efficiency in productivity of a firm. Further, it is not a reliable mode of communication as there is usually no documented evidence for future reference.
Ways in Which employees’ and management’s behavior affects employee motivation and leads to employee transgression at the workplace
Employee transgression is a common trend in different workplaces, especially where motivational approaches have not been well-crafted by the organizational management. According to Ingram (2013), while both the employees and the management are responsible in checking their behavior in regard to a motivated workplace experience, it is clear that the behavior of one party may determine that of the other party. Usually, the strategies that managers put in place to run their organizations, determine the performance of their employees. Managers who choose to be abrasive on their employees lead to a lack of motivation and possible transgression among employees (Sidle 2011). On the other hand, managers who choose to be motivational and transformational leaders to their staff members do not only create a motivated and effective workforce that increases productivity but also reduces the possibility of employee transgression within the organizations. The following discussion presents the various employee and management behaviors that may influence the employee motivation and possible employee transgression. The behaviors have been categorized under four elements; morale, performance, communication and attitude.
The behavior of managers in any given organization influences the morale of workers either positively or negatively. The morale of employees in any given workplace depends mainly on the behavior and thus the perception of the workers on their manager in the different management levels (Bandura & Lyons, 2012). In regard to conversation for instance, managers and/or supervisors who keep friendly to their employees boost their morale. Those managers who also ensure that they scaffold workers to reach their goals in terms of personal satisfaction help in reducing the possibilities of transgression among workers (Sidle, 2011). Making workers feel appreciated daily through rewards and recognition of their performance enables them to get even more committed to work for the company, under the existing management structures. On the other hand, managers who are careless in regard to employee welfare and motivation often find a hard time making the workforce to achieve little milestones (Ingram, 2013). This type of managers shrug employees off and treat them as simple subordinates, forcing them to achieve impossible goals, bring about helplessness among employees. Employees lose their self-worth due to lack of motivation to commit to duty. Transgression sets in if these employees are not ready to cope with such managers.
Still under morale, there are different employee behaviors that may also lead to a lack of motivation on their part and lead to transgression. Different factors may influence workers to behave in ways that can be barriers to motivation. These factors may result from one’s own individual matters that are not related to the workplace (Khuong et al, 2016). For instance, addicted drunkards who are workers in given institutions can really impact their own motivation, as provided for by managers. They are likely to be late for their shifts, loud and even abrasive in the way they respond their managers and this brings about lower morale to the workers themselves when they realize their problems (Kim, 2015. This also reduces the morale of coworkers, especially where one continuously arrives late to work for their shifts. Workers motivate each other through support on duty. However, any behavior that is negative among some of the works, may lead to transgression among some of them in the long run.
Usually in any given organization, most workers imitate the commitment to the organizational goals that the manager presents with. For mangers, exhibiting high performance traits every day and ensuring that your tasks are completed daily, makes the rest of the subordinates to assume a similar mindset. Having a common mindset in any given organization results from and also leads to harmonized performance of different departments. Since majority of people usually pay attention to the behavior of superiors in regard to performance, it is crucial for managers to ensure that they keep to hard work and high performance so as to motivate their subordinates effectively (Fernandez, & Pitts, 2011). Managers who present with ideal work ethics also subconsciously infuse the same trait among their subordinates and this decreases the likelihood of transgression among the subordinates. There are managers who can scaffold the rest of the staff members to attaining high performance through step by step approaches. Usually, manager who finds time to address the performance issues of individual workers and trying to find out any barriers preventing them from their success are very motivational (Khuong & Hoang, 2015). Some managers may choose to take part in some activities together with the subordinate staff in-charge, to understand their problems and/or motivational factors. Such informal engagement brings about a positive perception of the management by the workers. At this level, their needs could be addressed to further their performance through motivation and incentives. Recommendation for promotion and increase in pay for workers by managers can be a huge motivation factor (Fernandez, & Pitts, 2011). However, there are times when managers become biased and promote undeserving workers over others. This interferes with the performance of affected individuals and brings about transgression. On the other hand, manager can choose to be corrupt in rewarding performance of workers. A lack of recognition lowers the morale of workers and translates into transgression due to the feeling of little self-worth.
Employee performance can also affect the motivation of the rest of the workers within a given organization. This performance may result from internal organizational factors and/or individual factors (Fernandez, & Pitts, 2011). Employees who work extra hard within their departments bring about positive changes within the organization and may be considered for promotion by the management. A motivating employee to their peers through performance can be identified and rewarded as a role model within the institution. As a result, the employee is likely to be highly motivated to commit to the organizational goals. However, any individual factors that influence the performance negatively raises the attention of the management and may lead to unfavorable decisions against the worker (Sankar et al, 2014). Embracing work ethics in the treatment of fellow workers and the customers as a performance requirement also motivates not only boosts self-worth but also motivates the rest of the workforce. Therefore, motivation must be approached from the point of workers and that of the managers.
Effective communication of policies, procedures and general instructions is very crucial in any given workplace. The behavior of both the management and the workers in regard to communication, impacts on employee motivation and contemplation of transgressions (Shiri, 2011). There are different types of communication in an organizational setting which may be used to determine the motivation effect within the workforce. These include vertical, horizontal and diagonal communication. There are organizational managers who make little contact with their employees. Research in organizational formal and informal communication according to Khuong & Hoang (2015) indicates that a manager that ensures consistency in contacting the workers cultivates the same behavior among them. Workers will be able to open up to any new information and also share their experience with the management through effective communication. However, any barriers created by the management to maintain this contact, negatively affects the worker’s performance (Sidle, 2011). This is because there is no communication on for instance, incentives to work, rewards and/or recognition for any work well done. Poor communication approaches by the manager translates into the feeling of being ignored. It can more often lead to incomplete wrong tasks, missed deadlines, and little of scanty knowledge regarding new organizational policies and procedures.
Attitude towards work and among staff in any given organization determines the efficiency and effectiveness of duties carried out. Further, every company has employees who hold either a positive or negative attitude towards the management and/or fellow workers (Shiri, 2011). Usually, the attitude of employees is determined by that of their superiors. In cases where the managers are always taking a negative outlook in regard to the work of the employees, there are high chances that employees will hold a negative view of this particular manager (Sidle, 2011). Once employees develop a negative attitude, they grow cynical on their duties and become careless. This transgression results from little or no recognition from duties handled, little indications of appreciation and a continued feeling of job insecurity. In cases where workers are working on contract basis, a negative attitude from the manager may make an individual worker to contemplate on job insecurity (Sankar et al, 2014). This means that if they do not check their interaction with their managers, they are likely not to be reconsidered for contract extension in a given workplace. Positive attitude on the other hand cultivates a better relationship between the employees and the management. It works independently as a motivational factor and also reduces the possibility of transgression among workers (Shiri, 2011). Managers who talk positively of their achievements and that of their workers while opening up to workers enable workplace atmosphere of goodwill and job satisfaction. Positive managers help in enhancing employee growth and improvement, as their styles of management promotes positive thinking. In most cases, managers who assume a negative attitude and seem to embrace it usually never realize the adverse effects it brings to the workplace.
In conclusion, this discussion presents the different ways in which informal communication influences employee motivation in a workplace. It highlights the positive and the negative effects that informal communication brings about in regard to employee motivation. Secondly, the discussion highlights the need for the management to ensure that workers are supported to be highly productive individuals who are always motivated and committed to the objectives of the firm. This has been done through discussing the behavior of both the management and the workers in influencing employee motivation and transgression. The behavior has been analyzed based on elements such as attitude, communication, performance and morale. The results of the discussion can help in decision-making for any given manager in a workplace.
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