What is motivational leadership and why is it important?

What is motivational leadership and why is it important?

“Motivational leadership is the ability to uplift and inspire people to perform at their best.”

(Tracy 2012)

The practice of motivational leadership can greatly influence staff performance in the workplace, which in turn can significantly impact organisational performance. The more motivated employees are the more engaged they are likely to be. Often significant improvements in business performance can be seen when an organisation’s employees are highly engaged and performing at their best. Improved sales, revenue, profitability, customer experience and retention are just some examples of what can be achieved with highly engaged staff. Employee engagement is also a key element to promoting Organisational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) in the workplace. The psychological mechanism of engagement among employees builds the OCB by which an organization achieves improved performance and effectiveness. (Wei et al., 2010).

What is Organisational Citizenship Behavior?

Organisational Citizenship Behavior (OCB)is intrinsically motivated behavior by employees that goes beyond the routine activities prescribed by job descriptions and is not formally rewarded by an organisation. OCBs include behavior such as volunteering for extra work duties, collaborating and helping others in the workplace, conserving organisational resources, using time efficiently, better teamwork, sharing new ideas, improved customer focus and commitment to business objectives. OCB has also been observed to include behaviors that improve the psychological fabric of an organisation. The positive impact of OCB on organisational performance and effectiveness is why, OCB is broadly considered both critical and beneficial to businesses (Wei et al., 2010).

How does OCB contribute to business performance?

OCB is suggested to result in the creation of an organisational climate that is more conducive to the implementation of organisational strategy. Positive OCB actions serve to facilitate the management methodologies and initiatives that have a direct impact on a firm’s performance, and it is ultimately for this reason that OCB has been the focus of a great deal of interest over recent years.

The competitive markets of the global economy require that businesses are more nimble, able to implement new strategies and be more dynamic. The absence of this type of behavior from employees will likely serve to inhibit efforts by businesses in these areas.

Organizational Citizenship Behaviors (OCBs) are a special type of work behaviors that are defined as individual behavior that promotes the goals of the organization by contributing to its social and psychological environment.

Source: Organ (1997)

the emerging evidence provides support for the assumption that OCBs are correlated with organizational (unit) success.

Source: Bachrach (2001)

Converting OCB into improved business performance

In order for OCB to directly influence business performance however, leaders must direct OCBs toward promoting organisational effectiveness. Some point out that individual contributions must be aggregated throughout an organisation and focused on specific organisational objectives for them to directly impact the performance of an organisation. For example, the individual act of OCB to help a new employee settle into a new role may not necessarily contribute to business performance and efficiency, whereas team members helping one another to implement a new company initiative will impact business performance in a positive way.

An organisation’s leaders can have a significant influence on staff motivation, employee engagement and OCB.If leaders are not able to motivate their staff and build employee engagement, it is unlikely that staff will want to go the extra mile, be more productive and contribute more. It is for these reasons that a leader’s ability to inspire their staff can be so critical and why motivational leadership can be a powerful leadership tool.

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