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Employee motivation

Employee motivation Abstract The subject of employee motivation is quite common in the modern-day working environment. People must work at some point in their lives, which begs the question as to what motivates people to work. Certainly, motivation is one of the main factors that determine the work performance of employees. Nevertheless, what does motivation actually represent? We may say that a person, man or woman, is motivated when he or she wants to do something. The reason does not represent the same thing as the stimulus.

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Introduction Management of any business organization entirely relies upon the initiative of its workforce. This leaves no doubt of the need to motivate employees in all levels of the easiness. Several theories in history have been advanced to explain employee motivation. The theories, scientific or ordinary observations commonly concur that effective productivity from the workforce is the direct translation of their motivation. Under motivated employees contribute negatively towards the overall achievement of the organization’s objectives. The basic definition of management is getting work done by others.

Comprehensively, management can be described as a set of functions that are directed at the efficient and effective utilization of resources for he achievement of set organizational goals (Decide, Ryan & Richard, 2005). Employee motivation is a thorny issue and several views have been put forward to explain situations and things that motivate employees. Scholars and researchers have come up with several theories with different conclusions on the subject of motivation. This study will utilize Frederick Winslow Taylor, Elton Mayo, Frederick Herbert, and Abraham Mascots theories to explain the concept of employee motivation in the work place.

Motivation of employees includes the management of the business organization responsible for two things. Firstly, it is the work of management to motivate its employees to meet organizational goals and secondly, management’s motivation of employees helps them meet their personal goals. Motivation is a catalyst for employees to be eager to work devoid of pressure. It is aimed at providing employees with outstanding reasons to work or perform some precise task. However, motivation is provocative and can lead to positive or negative reactions.

The single thought that there lacks people who can motivate employees at work leaves serious questions about the leadership of the organization (Bandmaster, & Voss, 2004). In other words, effective management in any organization tries to motivate ordinary people working in any field to achieve over and above expected results at all times. 1 . 1. Problem statement The issues of employee motivation are quite common in modern-day workstations. Every organization has found ways to motivate their employees to attain maximum results and achieve organizational goals.

Depending on the culture and business orientation of the organization, the nature of motivation takes different shapes (Adair, 2006). This paper attempts to look at the different types of motivation theories on employee motivation, explain the importance of motivation, link the theories to De-motivated employees. 1. 2. Definition of key terms I. Motivation- according to Webster New Collegiate Dictionary, motivation is the act or process of providing motives, something that causes a person to act or take an action. It comes from some need that leads to behavior that results in an action.

Alternatively, motivation can be defined as the external and internal forces that arouse strength and creativity in different people to have continued interest and commitment to a specific task. Motivation is both intrinsic and extrinsic in nature. . Intrinsic motivation is motivation that originates from within a person. It is derived from personal attributes such as passion and educational level of an individual. B. Extrinsic motivation is the motivation that arises from factors beyond the control of the individual (Decide, Ryan & Richard, 2005). T. Employee- an employee is someone who works for another in return for financial or other forms of compensation according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Iii. Satisfaction- this is a feeling that an individual has in the completion of a task over and above expectations. The feeling is usually a pleasant one. Iv. Needs- these can be said to constitute all the necessary things both physical and emotional that humans have or desire to have in order to be comfortable. 2. 0. Literature Review 2. 1 .

Motivation theories Several theorists in the study of social sciences have presented their own suppositions and theoretical views that provide insight on the behavior of humans in different scenarios. The theoretical views discussed (the motivational theories) are of considerable concern in this paper. There are two main broad categories of motivational theories based on time. The two are traditional and modern motivational theories 2. 1. 1 . Traditional motivation theories The first traditional theory is referred to as the reward theory was put forward by Frederick Taylor.

The theory explains the greatest motivation of employees is financial reward. In the theory, employees are motivated to work under close supervision if the money reward is sufficient. This theory is discounted by the fact that individuals motivation does not necessarily arise from the acquisition of money in further studies. The second traditional theory on motivation is the “Carrot and Stick Theory’. In this theory, it was believed that workers motivation came from the size of the reward. The reward is like a dangling carrot and the bigger it is, the higher the motivation by workers to perform assigned tasks with diligence.

This theory in the present day is exhibited in some of the traditional sectors, where employees undergo many hurdles to get the promised reward. One of the early theories of motivation is based on Hedonism. Hedonism refers to a situation in which people try to achieve comfort and pleasure in their lives to avoid any negative aspect that could arise in their lives. This need for pleasure in their lives makes employees be motivated to work under strenuous working conditions in line with the clicheГ© that the end Justifies the means’.

The end in this case is the comfort and satisfaction enjoyed in their lives. This theory on motivation in the traditional theories is one of the most widely accepted theories to date (Parkas & Parkas, 2010). However, even though it encompasses the reason as to why people are motivated to work, it does not fully elucidate all the behaviors of employees in the working environment. The theory has not entirely reliable. The last theory among the traditional theories deals with the how human relations influence employee motivation.

The theory was put forward to address issues related to employee motivation apart from money. This theory showed that employee’s social environment contributed largely to their performance and commitment at work. Satisfaction of the working environment was determined to be particularly crucial to the delivery of an employee’s satisfaction. 2. 1. 2. Modern motivation theories 2. 1. 2. 1 . Need theories on motivation Modern theories of motivation have been centrally pegged on need as the basis for titivation. The theories stipulate that motivation of humans to work stem from lack of some essential need.

In their efforts to satisfy their needs, humans end up working harder than normal to achieve their goals. One of the most advanced theories on need with high influence on business organization was that put forward by Abraham Moscow, commonly known as ‘Mascots Hierarchy of Needs’. 2. 1. 2. 2. Mascots hierarchy of needs theory Abraham Moscow, a great philosopher of his time in the sass, developed a theory that would come to be one of the most internationally accepted theories on motivation. His theory that based on the nature of human beings placed their need in a hierarchy of five steps.

The five-step categorization is based on their level of importance to any individual (Moscow, 2007). The theory shows all the complexities associated with human requirements. The first requirement in Mascots hierarchy has to be satisfied and so on progressively to the fifth requirement. However, not all the needs in the hierarchy have to be satisfied for human beings to achieve maximum satisfaction (Moscow, 2007). Once one levels needs have been met, the theory suggests that the individual will be motivated to progress to the next level that as higher satisfaction.

The five levels of need are: Physiological needs: they include food, sexual drive, water, and other basic needs. Physiological needs refer to the human desire to fulfill their physical desires that have to be primarily satisfied. The needs in this category are basic, and without them, the existence of an individual is at risk. This first category of needs is the greatest motivation by any employee to work (Moscow, 2007). Working decisions are influenced by the need to satisfy this category of needs that primarily determine the life led by individuals.

The satisfaction of physiological needs raises the desire to satisfy other needs and does not mean the individual is fully satisfied. Safety needs: Abraham Moscow advanced that all human beings need some sense of security in their activities. The needs encompass health, shelter, employment, and safe working environment. Security is involved in their future, and they will be motivated to work according to the security their employment offers. An employee is motivated to work in an organization where their employment is secured and not casual.

Casual employment, without the hope for permanency inconsiderably lowers the motivation of any employee in the delivery of their services within the organization (Moscow, 2007). The working conditions of employees are taken into consideration according to the safety of the working environment. Just like in the satisfaction of physiological needs, security needs once met lead to the need to satisfy higher needs. Belonging needs: they include the desire to have social contact, in a particular environment highly motivates employees in their daily operations in any given organization.

Employees desire to be accommodated in every step and process in the affairs of the organization. Their participation in the projects makes them more productive (Moscow, 2007). This is one of the most influential motivator in any business organization and cannot be left to chance. Employers cannot take the gamble to exclude their employees from important activities of the company, as this will threaten the success of the entire project. Belonging needs have an overall effect on the behavior of humans. Esteem needs: they include recognition, positive regard, and status.

Individuals need to be highly placed and valued in the society. This comes from the respect they are accorded in the society. Business organizations are expected to help their employees to meet their esteem needs, and no effort should be taken to belittle or undermine them (Moscow, 2007). The employees in any organization need to be respected and treated humanely as this will bolster their motivation to work for the organization in meeting its objectives. The satisfaction of these needs as is the norm with Mascots hierarchy leads to the desire to move to a higher need.

Self-actualization needs: this is the highest in the hierarchy of needs where individuals attempt to satisfy their desire for achievement, autonomy, and personal growth and development. The actions of individuals in this level of needs tend to be distinct from those of other people. Any business organization has the mandate to differentiate and recognize individual attributes of its employees. Individuality in any organization motivates employees who feel they are recognized and thus will worker harder for the general good of the company (Moscow, 2007).

Mascots hierarchy of need poses a challenge to an organization’s operations, as they are too costly to implement. It is advisable that organizations dedicate a considerable portion of their effort to ensuring that individuals attain most if not all levels in Mascots hierarchy. This is achievable through a fully dedicated managerial wing that deals with issues emanating from its employees to yield better results. Fig 1. 1 Mascots hierarchy of needs 2. 1. 2. 3. Alders ERG Theory Clayton Alder, a psychologist at Yale, developed the ERG theory in the advancement of Mascots hierarchy of needs.

As much as it has many similarities to Mascots theory, it still has some significant differences (Robbins, 2001). It is a reduction of the five levels in Mascots hierarchy of needs to three. Existence- the need for existence relates to the first two needs put forward by Moscow. Under this, revision of basic needs is essential hence motivating employees within an organization to work. Relatedness- it addresses all the belonging needs for any individual. Growth- it is a combination of the last two needs stipulated under Mascots hierarchy. In this respect, it combines esteem needs and self-actualization needs.

The ERG theory emphasizes that unlike in Mascots hierarchy where a need is satisfied at a time, different needs can be satisfied at the same time (Robbins, 2001). He furthered Mascots theory by adding the frustration-regression principle. The principle postulates that individuals move in and out of the various levels of TTS forward that for one to move up the different levels, it is not a requirement for all the previous needs to be met. The regression part of ERG suggests individuals tend to become frustrated when they fail to meet their needs at a higher level; therefore, falling back to the previously satisfied level.

All these in general determine how employees perform their duties (Robbins, 2001). Fig. 1. 2 ERG theory 2. 2. Other needs The needs discussed above arise from the two main theories, but other studies have shown more needs associated to employees and human beings in general that motivate them to work. This section brings into perspective three clear needs that human beings desire in order to be motivated enough to work. The three are: 2. 2. 1 . Need for power Human beings have the desire for power to control the environment in which they operate.

This one need is elusive to many and not all people desire power and may do all they can to avoid it under all circumstances. Power is a useful tool in daily activities, but can be used negatively (Robbins, 2001). Power is an element found in the management of organizations, and can be used to motivate employees if the holders do not misuse it. Holders of power should set their personal interests aside and be objective in their operations for the prosperity of their organization (Parkas & Parkas, 2010). Holders of power should maintain their affiliation with every member of the organization and desist from superiority complex.

Thirdly, desire for power should be put under control as it may affect the relationship between those seeking power and the rest of the employees. 2. 2. 2. Achievement need Achievement is one of the key needs of human beings who desire to see their goals accomplished. People with the need to achieve always motivate themselves and work o the good of the organization as they achieve their own targets. Persons with the need to achieve always work to surpass challenges posed for them and managerial targets as they aim to be the best in all that they do (Robbins, 2001).

This need is more common in the present day, and more prevalent in traditional organizations. 2. 2. 3. Affiliation needs Affiliation needs imply that human beings desire to enjoy the companionship of others in the societies and environments in which they operate. This need motivates people to do activities they believe are expected of them by their peers. Research has shown that those who tend to exhibit the need that motivates them to work usually do better in sales and the teaching career where they interact with others more (Alabamian & Weinstein, 1998). 2. 3.

Other modern theories of motivation 2. 3. 1 . McGregor theory X and Y McGregor developed the two theories on motivation based on human behaviors’ in the working environment. The two theories make certain assumptions about human nature as discussed below. I. Theory X In this theory, McGregor suggests that people do not like to work, and do as much as they can to avoid it. This is an extremely dangerous approach by any management as it takes the guiding role and high handedness in handling its employees. Managers their employees as they lack any motivation (Alabamian & Weinstein, 1998). T. Theory Y The theory as postulated by McGregor describes work as a voluntary choice by individuals and equates it to play. The people in this model have no issue with work, and they do enjoy working (Parkas & Parkas, 2010). The working conditions are not much of a hindrance as working is an in-born quality and rather than a push around by the management. It is expected to create a decent working environment. The irking conditions or environment draws the thin line between two views on work as either a form of satisfaction or punishment.

The management is tasked in finding ways to tap the creativity of these individuals under minimum supervision and with suited rewards and recognition to motivate the staff (Alabamian & Weinstein, 1998). 2. 3. 2. Herrings Two-Factor Theory The theory was arrived at Frederick Herbert after a study of the working environment for different employees. Herbert carried out a survey in sass through to the sass with his team in an attempt to establish their motivation to work. The study involved two hundred accountants.

In his research, he managed to unravel the inconsistencies of traditional models as not all workers placed emphasis on pay to generate motivation (House & Wisdom, 2001). He argued that motivational factors change over an individual’s lifetime, but the need for respecting individualism exists throughout. The theory has been one of the most researched theories up to date drawing many interests from scientists across the globe. His theory introduces the second dimension of hygiene factors as motivators, in addition to other factors of motivation, such as recognition and responsibility.

Hygiene identifies the environment in which workers operate, and its conduciveness in promoting workers expectations (House & Wisdom, 2001). The two-factor model is split in two distinctive groups. The first group consists of factors that lead to Job dissatisfaction while the other contains factors that lead to motivation as shown in the table below. Factors that lead to Job dissatisfaction Factors that lead to motivation Work condition How to business is run The nature of the work Achievement Pay Supervision Responsibility Recognition 2. 3. 3.

Valence X Expectancy Theory Victor Broom advanced the theory widely referred to as the expectancy theory. The hero is the most accepted explanation on motivation of people to work. The depends on the expectation that the act results in a given outcome (Levees, 2007). The expected outcome ought to be attractive enough for the individual undertaking the act so that they can devote their energy. Employees are motivated to perform better they believe that their performance will lead to positive appraisal resulting in personal goal realization and some form of reward.

The theory advances that motivation of employees is only possible when the relationship work performance and results exist and the results thereby are a means of satisfying a need. Managers in this scenario are tasked with the sole responsibility of cultivating situations that lead to favorable expectations followed by favorable results for their workers (Levees, 2007). People’s expectations of personal value rewards motivate them to work harder in order to complete the assigned tasks. Good and effective managers listen to their employees in efforts to establish the rewards valued by employees in certain tasks.

Managers who listen to their employees in this model motivate their employees and help them raise their expectations and directly affect their work positively. 2. 3. . Goal setting theory Lethal and Locke state that the level of motivation and performance comes about when individuals have specific objectives while carrying out their transactions (Locke, 2008). The objectives at times may be too difficult in their level, but are accepted and performance feedback offered. The human resource department is tasked with the establishment of the organization’s goals and objectives.

In the process of setting objectives, it is of utmost importance to include the organizations employees. The targets thus set with the inclusion of the employees are owned by everyone in the organization and experience concerted effort in their implementation (Levees, 2007). Feedback in this process is highly emphasized as a motivation to the employees in the quest to achieving higher targets. 2. 3. 5. Equity theory John Stacey Adams developed the equity theory in 1962. The theory tries to explain people’s perception on the way they are related in comparison to the treatment accorded to others in the same environment or organization.

Fairness in treating employees across all levels leads to increased motivation while biased treatment of employees has the negative effect of De-motivation. The feature of motivation from this theory might be one sided, but one with a lot of impact in the working environment (Levees, 2007). It draws on the ethical perspective of an organization and evaluates the effectiveness of interpersonal relationships of the managers. Managers are expected to exhibit equity at all times, and no favoritism should be shown to any employee regardless of their relations.

Organizations that base their management on the equity principle have a highly productive workforce. 2. 3. 6. Theory of group personality and group needs It is one of the most recently advanced theories based on teamwork and project eased work. In this theory, the motivators of an entire group are studied as opposed to looking at what motivates individuals (Adair 2006). Working groups are deemed to resemble individuals that are unique in developing a group personality, yet as individuals, they do share certain specific common needs. The theory establishes three notable areas addressing needs present in various groups.

The first one is the need to accomplish common tasks assigned to the group, and the second one is the The third aspect of needs associated with a group is made up of all the individual needs of the members of the team. They include spiritual, physical, social, and intellectual needs. The above needs are accomplished by the participation of individuals in teamwork activities. 3. 0. Types of Employee Motivation/ Managerial Solutions to Employment In the above section, issues arising from motivation theories have been thoroughly addressed begging the question as to what motivates employees to work.

The following section gives an insight to managers as to what specifically motivates employees in their considerations as they seek to keep their employees motivated (Levees, 2007). After evaluating all the postulated theories, he urge to motivate employees comes into perspective, as this is expressed as fundamental to the growth of any organization. 3. 1 . Job design The first motivation factor for people to work in any organization is the Job design. Majority of people spend a lot of their lifetime working especially throughout their adult life.

The nature of the Job influences the level of motivation by the workers to engage in their lines of work. Job design specifically relates to the approaches and styles adopted by managers in their interaction with employees on a more personal level, as opposed to the financial aspect. The design of the Job has to be captivating and keep workers fully engaged (Robbins, 2001). The management is tasked with designing Jobs to be as captivating as possible, and to capture the full attention of their employees, as opposed to monotonous Job situations.

The Job design in its considerations’ takes into account the mental and physical health of its employees. There are different approaches that a manager can take with respect to Job design in motivating employees: 3. 1. 1 . Approach one: Matching people to available Jobs The first task of managers in this approach is to match their workers to the right kind f Job suited to their skills and abilities. This can be achieved in three ways. I. Job previews In the profiling of Jobs, managers should be realistic and not pile too much pressure on their recruits.

The management in any organization is tasked with having clear structures that define all available Jobs. The structures must contain the true and detailed information pertaining to the Job (Parkas & Parkas, 2010). The structure gives the Job description in terms of expectations. In this regard, current and future employees know exactly what is expected of them. False previews tend to be accompanied by high rates of resignation once employees find out that the Job does not meet the set expectations. False premises lead to De motivation of a company’s employees. It.

Limited exposure too particular Job Managers in their efforts to motivate their employees should place emphasis on limiting the exposure of an employee to a specifically identified tedious work. The management in such a case should set some standard, which if achieved by employees, can be let off to go home (Leper, Greene & Anisette, 2003). This highly motivates the employees to meet the set standards, and at the same time, the organizations goals are met as set out. Iii. Job rotation of employees Managers can use the strategy of Job rotation in their quest to make Jobs enjoyable and motivate their employees.

Job rotation entails the movement of staff from one Job to another in their same level of ability. This is aimed at reducing the boredom period. The management in its effort to implement Job rotation should be guided by the principle of equity Leper, Greene & Anisette, 2003). Job rotation frequency must be limited to an acceptable range that is neither too high nor too low, and at the same time yield the expected results. . 1. 2. Approach two: matching Jobs to employees Managers can use the second approach in motivating the employees by changing the job description instead of moving the people involved.

If effectively executed, this approach can motivate employees to work above expectations. It can be achieved in two ways as discussed below. A. Enrichment of particular Jobs Job enrichment entails the management of any organization redesigning Jobs to offer higher motivation than they previously had. The enrichment of Jobs is aimed at increasing certain challenges related to a Job and are done at extremely high levels. The achievement of Job enrichment is pegged on five main work dimensions that have to be upgraded over time (Robbins, 2001).

The first dimension relates to the variety of skills possessed by people and their diversification in the use of a person’s talent. The second dimension addresses the clarity of the task from the onset to the endpoint where the outcomes are clearly visible. Thirdly, the significance and impact of a given Job is assessed to include a broader impact. Similarly, feedback from the job and the manner in which the feedback is communicated are equally indispensable. Lastly, the autonomy of the Job is of high consideration as it sets out the independence of workers in implementing the assigned task.

Job enrichment is aimed at personal motivation to attain higher levels of skills and competencies Leper, Greene & Anisette, 2003). B. Enlargement of Jobs It entails the combination of two or more Jobs into one to make Jobs more attractive. Job enlargement needs careful planning as it can work to either motivate or De- motivate employees. In combining two or more tasks, managers should take into consideration the effects of such a move to avoid overburdening its employees in the process (Levees, 2007). Efficiency should be considered to avoid combining two relatively mundane tasks or Jobs and achieve negative results. 3. 2.

Motivation through money The common notion is that there is no person who will work free of payment except for cases relating to volunteers. People work to satisfy their personal and family needs and the only way they can achieve this is by receiving money as payment for their services. The wages and salaries that employees earn have determined the level of motivation in many cases (Robbins, 2001). Over time, both employers and employees have largely used the money to yield satisfactory work performance. With his in mind, managers ought to do the following in monetary terms to boost the motivation of employees to work effectively.

Managers should offer financial incentives backed with decent working conditions. Monetary rewards for any Job should match the level of service delivery by the employees and be in accordance to their skills. Monetary payment should be equitable across the whole organization devoid of discrepancies. The management should further establish incentives for individuals and groups. This motivates individual employees to work harder as the monetary reward offered is attractive enough (Locke, 2008). The reward offered to

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