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    Managing Individual Behavior - Quicken Loans

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    Background Material:
    Module 1 focuses on the principles of individual behavior so that you can learn to manage people effectively. We are concerned here not only with managing subordinates, but also managing relationships with peers and developing effective relationships with superiors. It is best if you approach this module in three distinct sections. Start with values, attitudes, and perception. The second section will cover motivation and the third section will cover goal setting and job design as tools to maintain motivation.

    Values, Attitudes, and Perceptions
    Often we assume that the way we perceive and experience the world is the same way other people do. This assumption is false and can lead to ineffective leader and manager behaviors. Understanding how attitudes and perceptions influence individual behavior and performance at work is important to organizational study. Read the following chapter for a thorough treatment of how personality, values, perceptions, and attitudes affect work behaviors.

    Carpenter, M., Bauer, T., & Erdogan, B. (2012). Personality, attitudes and work behaviors. In Management Principles. Retrieved from http://2012books.lardbucket.org/books/management-principles-v1.1/s06-personality-attitudes-and-work.html
    Many people believe that a happy worker is a productive worker, but research tells us that people can be highly satisfied with their jobs and still not get much done! Nevertheless, organizations have reasons to care about employees' satisfaction with their jobs. The following reading is an excellent explanation of the job satisfaction model and why it is important to maintaining a highly productive workforce.

    Employee Satisfaction Model (attached)

    Motivation and Job Design
    With a variety of values, perceptions, and attitudes, people are not motivated by the same things. The following reading summarizes key theories to help you understand what motivates you and those around you. Be sure to watch the 4-minute video at the start of the article.
    Motivation and motivation theory (2015). In Reference for Business: Encyclopedia of Business (2nd ed.) Retrieved from http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/Mar-No/Motivation-and-Motivation-Theory.html
    Learn about the importance of job design in creating and maintaining a work environment that employees will find motivating. See the following tutorial,

    Louis, D.J. (2015) Notes on the job characteristics model. (attached)

    Goal Setting
    Since the 1960s, management scholars have touted the effectiveness of setting high, but achievable, goals in attaining high levels of performance from employees. The following article reviews goal-setting theory and how to put it into practice.

    Locke's goal-setting theory: Setting meaningful, challenging goals. (2015). MindTools: Essential Skills for an Excellent Career. Retrieved from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_87.htm
    Once we understand the power and potential of goal-setting, it is easy to overdo it. Here is a cautionary tale from the Harvard Business Review:

    High goals often improve performance, but they also exacerbate unethical behavior: In one research exercise, the participants given the hardest math problems were 84% likelier to cheat than other participants, on average. The researchers—David T. Welsh, of the University of Washington, and Lisa D. Ordóñez, of the University of Arizona—say that demanding tasks deplete people's self-regulatory resources over time, and that managers should be aware of the negative organizational consequences of consecutive rigorous goals.
    Source: Stat Watch (2014). Harvard Business Review, 92(6), 28

    Case Assignment
    Clear organizational goals can drive employee efforts throughout the organization. So can the organization's values. Quicken Loans was named number 12 in Fortune Magazine's 2015 rankings for 100 Best Companies to Work For in America (the 12th year they have been on the list). Why? In part because it is a values-driven firm with strong corporate goals that translate into how work gets done on a daily basis.
    Read about Quicken Loans in the following research report:
    Quicken Loans. (2015) In Great Places to Work. Retrieved from http://us.greatrated.com/quicken-loans
    Now, check out the Quicken Loans website to get a look at the company from an "official" point of view. Scroll down to "Why you should use Quicken Loans." Be sure to click on the link to "Our Values."

    Quicken Loans: About us. (2015) Retrieved from http://www.quickenloans.com/about
    You may also want to review the following OPN website:

    Organizational Goals Can Be Powerful Energizers. (n.d.). U.S. Office of Personnel Management.http://www.opm.gov/perform/articles/2000/apr00-7.asp

    • Define the problem: Discuss Quicken Loans' key goals and values. Conduct research about working at Quicken Loans to get more than just the company's view from its website. For example, the site "Glass Door" contains pro-and-con reviews of a number of companies by current and former employees. (Note: Do not use Wikipedia as a source. It is acceptable to use Wikipedia as a starting point to get background information, but always verify the information from a more reliable source.)
    • Analyze the cause: How do Quicken Loans' corporate values and goals concerning employees, customers, and the business affect the job satisfaction and motivation of the people who work there? To answer this question, analyze the effect Quicken Loans' goals and values have on job satisfaction and motivation by using the Job Characteristics Model (from the Background materials). Bring in what the Job Characteristics Model teaches us by using examples from the Quicken Loans' approach. Emphasize skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback (job characteristics). Then make the argument (providing evidence from employee comments or surveys) that this affects experienced meaningfulness, responsibility, and knowledge of results (critical psychological states) and what the model says the results are.
    • Propose a solution: Is this approach something every business should adopt? Why or why not? Defend your answer in terms of the Job Characteristics Model. Be sure to explain why you recommend the solution(s) that you do. Your recommendations must be based on evidence (what you learned from the Job Characteristics Model and other sources).
    Please cite references

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    Solution Preview

    Quicken Loans focuses on being a stable and reliable company that clients can trust to finance their homes. According to the National Mortgage News, the company is the biggest online lender in the United States. The company has been known for providing client services in the loans industry for over 30 years. In 2013 and 2014, Quicken Loans closed over $140 bil in mortgage loans (1).
    The company has created a list of ISMs, or principles that have been used to build its reputation:
    • Always raising our level of awareness.
    • The inches we need are everywhere around us.
    • Responding with a sense of urgency is the ante to play.
    • Every Client. Every Time. No Exceptions. No Excuses.
    • Obsessed with finding a better way.
    • Ignore the noise.
    • It's not about WHO is right; it's about WHAT is right.
    • We are the "they"
    • You have to take the roast out of the oven
    • You'll see it when you believe it.
    • We'll figure it out.
    • A penny saved is a penny.
    • Numbers and money follow; they do not lead.
    • We eat our own dog food.
    • Simplicity is genius.
    • Innovation is rewarded. Execution is worshipped.
    • Do the right thing.
    • Every second counts.
    • Yes before no (2).

    From the list of ISMs, it can be seen that the company values innovativeness as opposed to sclerotic activities, and has empowered its employees to do right by its clients. The company is not focused on saving pennies, but instead of creating real value for all of its clients by figuring out the best processes for each job presented. The company encourages a positive attitude, and employees are allowed second chances if they make honest mistakes. ...

    Solution Summary

    The expert examines managing individual behaviors for Quicken Loans. The solution is answered in 949 words with seven references cited.