Within the unit that Sergeant Lou Maynard, there are two officers a year away from retirement eligibility, and other members of the unit feel they’re lacking in work ethic . Their reports seem marginal in quality and lack content, but aren’t so problematic to warrant sanctions . This pair of officers have worked together for many years and have become antisocial towards other team members and seem to just clock in to pass the time until retirement. There are clearly motivational issues.
Human behavior follows a pattern showing that a“need will activate the energy to attain an acceptable goal”; as this“need increases in intensity, goal attainment is emphasized by the individual”, and “as the need increases, behavior follows, hopefully resulting in the attainment of goals and resulting satisfaction” . One of the issues is that the two officers close to retirement see their goal as finally leaving the police force after years of working in law enforcement. They are essentially burnt out on police work and it can show in their work.
“Motivation is a mental process that produces an attitude resulting in an action leading to a result” (More & Miller, 2015, p. 111). Abraham H. Maslow suggested a needs- based theory to help those become self- actualized, in that the key for supervisors to help employees become self- actualize is to let them be all they can be (More & Miller, 2015). The theory identified five need categories: physiological, security, social, esteem, and self-actualization (More & Miller, 2015).
When it comes to physiological needs, supervisory and management concentrate on “wants” to motivate employees with wage increases, better working conditions, longer breaks, and enhanced fringe benefits as means of motivating officers (More & Miller, 2015). When it comes to security needs can be met by stressing rules and regulations for employees to follow and by addressing union demands such as pay and fringe benefits (More & Miller, 2015).
When it comes to social needs, this is done by promoting social interaction between employees and supporting those that are working to achieve departmental objectives (More & Miller, 2015).
To meet esteem needs, it’s done by addressing both self- esteem and respecting others through recognition, prestige, acceptance, status, and reputation (More & Miller, 2015). Finally, supervisors who manage self- actualized officers should do everything possible to make work meaningful, emphasizing participation so that the officers can use their unique skills (More & Miller, 2015). Also, special assignments should be made when possible in order to capitalize on an officer’s talents, and when taskforces are organized to deal with unique police problems, the self-actualized officer should be assigned, because the self-actualized individual has a need to demonstrate the ability to assume responsibility and involvement at the highest possible level (More & Miller, 2015).
With this theory, the two officers seem to lack motivation in multiple categories: social, physiological, security, esteem, and possibly self- actualization, due to the fact it’s so close to retirement and maybe due to the job burn-out. As seen in the case study, these officers went from being sociable to being distant, from pulling their weight to doing marginal work, and act as if they are just coasting along until the eligibility for retirement. Another theory may also explain what’s happening with these officers.
Theory X is a motivational theory, developed by Douglas McGregor, “based on the belief that managers conduct themselves according to the assumptions, generalizations, and hypotheses they have about human behavior”, with “views of employees’ attitudes and behavior as being in response to management’s perspective of their own job and their basic mindset about human behavior” . With Theory X, the employee has an aversion to work and may strive to steer clear from it . Individuals may have to be coerced, forced, directed, or told that sanctions may occur if organization needs aren’t met . The main issues with these employees could be job security and survival, as seen with the case study.
My education level may come to play, and maybe even education and training for the officers, because as the decades advance, technology advances and many officers are old school and prefer the older ways of policing. Having a young officer come in and become the supervisor when you’ve had years of experience may have a toll on self-esteem and the officers may feel disrespected and over-looked. The older officers may feel under-appreciated and just want the job to end.
With the officers so close to retirement, job security is questioned because in a small amount of time, they’ll be out of the police force, and are doing work to just barely survive to that point. I personally believe in an open-door policy. I’d sit the officers down and talk to them. I understand job burn-out so possibly making the last year more enjoyable and showing them more appreciation for the years of service might entice them to “go out with a bang” on their final year of service, or possibly not expect as much from them since they’re close to retirement.
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