Motivation Theory: Increase Productivity by Improving Workers

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In response to riddle of how to enhance employee performance, managers, usually, seek assistance from motivation theories (Barreled et al. , 2004), because these theories aim to increase productivity by improving workers’ well-being and satisfaction (Wilson, 2010). Motivation can be regarded as psychological processes which arouse, direct and maintain human behavior towards attaining goals (Greenberg and Baron, 1997, cited in Antonym and Mackinac, 2011). In short, motivation explains why people do things (Petting, 2010).

Motivation theory can be classified as content and process theory (Husking and Buchanan, 2013). The former refers to the specific motivators while the latter concerns how people get motivated. This essay will analyses how Inhuman Juan Group (Juan) applies Mascots theory, Richer Sounds applies Herrings and Dame’s models and Bolts’ store (Bolt) applies Dame’s and Broom’s theories. Mascots need theory is deemed as a classical model regarding organizational behavior (Matheson and Evangelic, 1989, cited in Wilson, 2010).

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Moscow (1 943, cited in Wilson, 2010) proposed five categories of needs individuals possess, namely physiological, safety, love, esteem and self-actualization needs from the stews to highest level in his pyramid. These needs are innate, universal and hierarchical (ibid). Physiological needs, for example, are the most essential needs – food and drink. Overall, Mascots ideas carry direct implication – motivating individuals by fulfilling needs – for management (Husking and Buchanan, 2013).

Juan could be considered as a specimen of applying Mascots theory to motivate workers successfully (CIA-sheen and Zen, 2013). Its chairman introduced various reforms, to build interdependence relations with employees. According to Moscow (Husking and Buchanan, 2013), the higher-level needs emerge hen the lower needs are more or less met. Juan, firstly, ensured employees receive their full salaries on time and provided permanent employment by lifetime contracts (CIA-sheen and Zen, 2013). Simultaneously, other schemes labor insurance, housing fund and zero dismissal – were adopted.

Afterwards, to keep staff motivated, other motivators are sought as the satisfied needs are not motivators (Moscow, 1943, cited in Husking and Buchanan, 2013). Juan is committed to create happiness for staff and harmonious labor relationships (CIA- sheen and Zen, 2013). Employees’ love needs for affiliation and belongingness re satisfied by managers’ active smile, more attention to employees’ mood and cultural activities. Accordingly, the first three groups of needs are satisfied and employees are safe and happy so that they work more actively.

Furthermore, Juan fulfills employees’ higher-level needs by providing intrinsic rewards. For instance, superiorly incentive systems were introduced: the most excellent 5% of salesperson and of workers are rewarded overseas travels; those with innovations or those who make extraordinary contributions will gain tangible rewards and be recognized by management. Thus, staff would exert effort and improve performance to satisfy esteem needs. Finally, Juan tries to meet self- actualization needs by detailed training, reeducation and promotion schemes. Going out and bringing in’ provides opportunities for employees to study at universities (ibid:8), which reflects that employees’ full potential and occupational planning could be actualities. Moscow contributed to the simple and transparent explanation of human behavior (Antonym and Mackinac, 201 1) and encouragement to personal growth (Wilson, 2010). He argued that individuals work, earn and improve themselves, companies by meeting their esteem and self-actualization needs (1965, cited n Wilson, 2010). However, the limitations cannot be ignored.

Initially, not all of the needs are related to work: employees need to meet their needs, especially higher-level needs, within other domains. Thus, managers cannot motivate staff by fulfilling such needs. Importantly, the hierarchy is regarded as rigid: individuals, sometimes, tend to concurrently pursue fulfillment of more than one category of needs (Husking and Buchanan, 2013). In Juan, schemes with respect to different levels of needs were established simultaneously and satisfied one employee’s different needs.

In other words, a salary raise could meet the fatty and esteem needs, and concurrently, self-actualization needs might be met by training. To improve this, Alder (1 969, cited in Antonym and Mackinac, 2011) reworked it and developed a more flexible theory. Furthermore, individuals could value same need differently, yet Moscow assumes his theory is universalistic and applicable to all people regardless of their different backgrounds (Barreled et al. , 2004). Thus, management needs to consider more and use other theories as supplements to Mascots model.

Herbert (1 959, cited in Antonym and Mackinac, 2011) proposed two-factor theory, here he presented motivators and hygiene factors. Specifically, motivators recognition and responsibility – are primarily concerned with intrinsic aspects of work and enable employees to change from no satisfaction to satisfaction so that their performance could be improved. Conversely, hygiene factors – salary and job security – are predominantly concerned with extrinsic aspects of work and not motivational, but their absence will contribute to employees’ dissatisfaction.

Herbert emphasizes dissatisfaction is not opposite to satisfaction and the midway of the dissatisfaction-satisfaction continuum is a zero point, where individuals are in non-dissatisfactory and non-satisfactory situation (ibid). As an electrical retail, Richer Sounds implements a system of monetary incentives for good performance as employers attempt to avoid employees’ dissatisfaction due to salary deficiency (OCCUR, 2014). Furthermore, another system called Richer Sounds Dashboard was introduced, where managers could know what happens in time: unusual sale slumps can be found within days instead of quarterly reports.

Also, managers reduced the number of performance indicators, enabling them to be understood easily and accepted willingly. The reasonable payment ND appropriate supervision reflect the acquisition of hygiene factors and employees’ no-dissatisfactory situation. Considering motivators, employees with excellent performance can gain due recognition immediately from others and management. Specifically, Richer Sounds Dashboard enables employees to know how well they perform in contrast to others (ibid).

Also, management examines the data frequently and awards bonus for good performers, so that such staff would fell satisfaction and improve performance further. Moreover, Richer Sounds assigns more important tasks to outstanding staff and provides regular fortnightly training regarding customer service, to meet their satisfier of responsibility and personal growth respectively. Therefore, based on Herbage’s model, Richer Sounds benefits from motivated and more-knowledgeable employees, who provide good service to clients and increase sales.

Adams (1965, cited in Barreled and Thompson, 2014) presented a process theory named equity theory which focuses on individuals’ perceptions of the fairness of outcome they gain relative to input they contribute. Those who consider their outcome-input ratio to be equal to referents perceive equity, otherwise they perceive inequity. The proposition that those who perceive inequity will be motivated to redress inequity underlies his theory (ibid). For example, those who experience underpayment inequity might reduce input such as taking longer breaks or increase outcome such as ask for salary raises, to achieve equity.

Richer Sounds creates a fair competition among employees and carefully designs fair reward mechanisms, because managers think it is imperative that performance management systems are seen as fair by employees, particularly where it is used for financial incentives (OCCUR, 2014). The chairman, specifically, says ‘our reward system is structured so that the more successful colleagues are, he more they earn’ (ibid:3). Also, employees with bad performance would face reasonable penalty. This fair system motivates employees to perform better.

Conversely, an unfair system cannot motivate staff and indeed has negative and denominated effect on them, because inequity creates tension inside employees and enables them to make changes, thereby changes the motivation level, and usually, that level will be reduced. In short, inequity would cause denomination (Martin, 2005). Thus, managers should pay close attention to comparison process, to promote perceived equity and to keep staff motivated. Bolt failed in motivating employees because of unfair competition (Bath and Entrant, 2012).

Its manager introduced performance management systems, where all employees were assessed and rated as five levels, such as excellent performers for top 10% and poor performers for the last 10%. The appraisal results were displayed monthly and used for management actions such as dismissal. Initially, this mechanism was fair and effective. However, with the expansion of company, new recruits complained this system was inequitable, because they had not got any training provided by company and always levered poor performance, even though they continually increased input, whereas those excellent and good performers had received free training.

Security problems, such as pilferage’s, were occurred due to their unhappiness. In brief, this system was perceived unfair by recruits and denominated them, thereby led to productivity reduction. Thus, management should constantly adjust it to volatile situations. Bolt, for example, could introduce new measures to create equitable competition for different groups. Another process theory – expectancy theory – was proposed by Broom (1964, cited in Robbins et al. 2013) who argued that employees can be highly motivated to exert effort when effort can cause good performance and then they can obtain valued rewards.

Thus, three key relationships are emphasizes and labeled as valance (rewards-personal perception relationship), expectancy (effort-performance relationship) and instrumentality (performance-rewards relationship). Firstly, the rewards and punishments in Bolt were highly valued by employees as they liked to see their names displayed and gain bonus, or they were unwilling to be punished and dismissed. Secondly, Bolt kept promises: excellent employees were recognized and rewarded while poor ones were punished.

Thirdly, problems arose from expectancy: new recruits’ effort cannot contribute to good performance because of their poor skill. Based on expectancy theory, their motivation level was fairly low because of low expectancy value despite high valence and instrumentality values. Thus, preoccupations such as clear link between effort and performance cannot be ignored when applying it. Bolt could train the new recruits adequately, to enhance their self-efficacy. This essay has analyses different applications of motivation theories in originations. Each has definite advantages.

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Motivation Theory: Increase Productivity by Improving Workers. (2018, May 12). Retrieved from

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