The Role of Leadership in Employee Motivation
Can leaders really motivate employees? Yes, and they should do. Extensive research has been carried out over the years to evaluate the impact of charismatic, transformational and inspiring leaders on employee motivation. Such research has established that a charismatic and transformational leadership approach addresses the emotional needs and responses of employees in a more effective way. On the contrary, a plainly transactional approach tends to have little or no motivational impact towards the employees. One of the positive impacts on employees resulting from charismatic leadership is the healthy relationship that arises between the employees and their leaders. Some of the indicators of a positive relationship are high levels of trust, commitment to the organization, job satisfaction and job performance both at the individual level and organization levels (Bono & Judge, 2003).
According to Jeroen and Deanne (2007), most of the studies on behavioral leadership focus on the performance outcomes. However, some studies indicate that transformational leadership also encourages employee creativity and innovativeness which is an excellent form of motivation. Such leaders achieve this innovative employee motivation by encouraging the employees to view challenges in new and diverse ways. This helps them enhance their creativity and tend to realize their full potential. Leaders make this kind of impact by adopting a participative form of leadership. Participative leadership is the kind of leadership in which the employees can influence the leader’s decisions by virtue of the procedures employed in the decision-making process. These procedures used by participative leaders include consulting, delegation and making joint decisions together with the followers. Studies show that this form of leadership encourages employees to be innovative since they get to participate in decision making as opposed to waiting for decisions to trickle down from the leaders or management.
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