The Power of Motivation in the Workplace

Table of Content

In short, to be effective in today’s dynamic business environment, managers must have the ability to influence and motivate their workforce. Motivation is arguably the topic that organizational researchers and practicing managers look to in order to understand behavior inside organizations. Motivation has received considerable and sustain attention because most perspective on this topic have assumed that it involved principal behavioral factors that are especially critical to the functioning of contemporary organizations.

Managers and researchers cannot avoid consent with the behavioral requirement of an organization. In addition to deploying financial and physical resources, every organization must utilize its human resources effectively. Katz and Kahn (1978) have posited that organizations and its managers must address the motivational problems n order to stimulate decisions to participate, choices to produce, and effort to be innovative and solve problems. Motivation, as a concept, represents a highly complex phenomenon that affects and is affected by a multitude of factors in the work milieu.

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A comprehensive understanding of the ways in which organization function requires that at least some attentions be directed toward the question of why people behave as they do in the job, that is the determinants of employee work behavior and the ramifications of such behavior for an organization. It is argued that motivated workers will work o achieve towards better performance and this depends on the satisfaction of needs for responsibility, achievement, recognition and growth (Davidson, 1998).

Needs are felt and their intensity varies from one person to another and from time to time and so does the extent to which they are motivating in today’s work organization management are concern with high level performance of each human resource. In the public sector, the performance of employees determines to a large extent that services offered to the citizens are worth value for money. Motivation is one of the most important factors determining organizational efficiency. All organizational facilities will go to waste in absence of motivated people to utilize these facilities effectively.

Every superior in the organization must motivate its subordinates for the right types of behavior. The performance of human beings in the organization is dependent on the ability in the motivation. Rinses Liker called motivation as” the cost of the management”. Motivation is an effective instrument in the hands of management in inspiring the workforce. Motivation increases the willingness of the workers to work, thus increasing efficiency and effectiveness of the organization.

Motivation plays a critical role in achieving goals and business objectives. It affects performance both for companies operating a team-based environment and those whose employees work independently. Making sure each employee’s workplace goals and values align with the organization’s mission and vision is important for creating and maintaining a high level of motivation. This can lead to higher productivity, improved work quality and financial gain across all departments.

Motivation has become increasingly important for organizations and companies of all sizes that want to reach their organizational objectives in a competitive marketplace. Top performers consistently provide high-quality work; maintain a high level of productivity and overcome obstacles or challenges. Helping all employees maintain a high level of motivation can help keep employees committed to working hard and contributing as much value as possible to the organization. You can use a variety of strategies to improve motivation.

Managers who serve as leaders within the organization can help convey the right messages to engage employees and help them grow within their positions. Motivation can be increased with incentives, feedback, rewards orgasm and ensuring that the workplace meets basic needs and requirements for each employee. Common types of motivational tactics include events that raise employee morale, training and education to help employees learn new skills and grow within their positions, recognition programs to highlight hard work, and reinforcing positive messages during company or team meetings.

Any company or organization that notices a significant decline in productivity, high employee turnover or that cannot reach its goals successfully may need to consider the role of motivation among its employees. Low motivation can trigger variety of detrimental events that affect the organization in the short term and in the long term. Unmotivated staff members are at risk of resigning, delivering poor-quality work and even making it difficult for other employees to do their jobs efficiently.

Reducing the risk of low motivation among employees typically requires a strategic plan and a combination of different activities and tactics that help improve employee morale. Companies that invest time and resources toward improving their employees’ well-being and workplace experience can look forward to a high return on their investment as employees become more reductive, maintain a positive attitude, commit to their roles and duties and maintain a strong work ethic. 2. 0 Literature Review 2. 1 Introduction This chapter reviews related empirical literature on the subject matter.

The literature review was structured in the following form: introduction, concepts and nature of motivation, the early theorists of motivation, contemporary theorists of motivation, and importance of motivation the impact of motivation on employee’s performance and the factors to encourage motivation. 2. 1. 1 The Concept of Motivation The basic concept of motivation is some driving force within individuals by which hey attempt to achieve some goals in order to fulfill some needs or expectation. People’s behavior is determined by what motivates them.

Their performance is a product of both ability level and motivation. Thus Performance = Function (Ability + Motivation) Swarthier et al suggest that although motivation is a necessary contributor for job performance, it is not the only one. Along with ability, motivation is also a combination of level of skills, knowledge about how to complete the task, feelings and emotions, facilitating and inhibiting conditions. Motivation According to Webster new collegiate dictionary, a motive is “something a need r desire that causes a person to act”. Motivate, in turn, means ‘to provide with a motive,” and motivation is defined as “the act or process of motivating”. Consequently, motivation is the performance or procedure of presenting an intention that origin a person to capture some accomplishment (Shanks. N. Moreover the objective nature of motivation is also suggested by grittier and Kinetic (2001 ) put forward that motivation represents “those psychological processes that cause the stimulation, persistence of voluntary actions that are goal directed”.

Public Service motivation is described as ‘the motivational force hat induces individuals to perform meaningful public service stated by Brewer and Sealed (1998) in addition public service motivation is considered to be a multidimensional concept. Perry (1996) consisting of four dimensions: “politics and policy-making”, “public interest”, ‘compassion and self-sacrifice’. 2. 1. Motivations in Public Sectors The public sector presents particular challenges with respect to management, motivation and employee performance.

Perry and Wise (1990) defined public service motivation as ‘an individual’s tendency to respond to motives grounded armorial or uniquely in public institutions and organizations’. People are motivated by many different considerations to work for and in government. As noted by Perry and Handsome (2008), the public sector has traditionally offered some strong extrinsic motivators that might attract people, such as security of tenure, career and development opportunities and the pension system.

The problem is that motivating public employees is easier said than done. Public workers have a reputation for being lazy and lethargic (Wilson, 1989; Wright, 2001) and mangers’ room for maneuver is ostensibly very little, due to rigid service laws. Moreover, the public sector suffers from aging and plateau employees, who are especially hard to motivate. It is not surprising, then, that the question how public managers can motivate their employees are considered to be one of the three “big questions of public management” (Been, 1995).

Importance of Motivation Individuals motivates themselves to satisfy their personal goals, therefore they invest and direct their efforts for the achievements of organizational objectives to meet with their personal goals also. It means that organizational goals are directly proportion to the personal goals of individuals. Robert (2005) reported that the managers’ job is to ensure the work done through employees are satisfied and the employees are self-motivated towards their work rather than just being directed.

Employee motivation is also a major issue for the public sector, it is a today challenge for the management in this competitive world to motivate employees to offer efficient and good services that customers expect so for. The employees motivation, their enthusiastic and energetic behavior towards task fulfillment play key role in successes of an organization to benefit (Change, 1995) Employee Performance The meaning of employee performance is the functioning and presentation of the employee. The more good the performance would be the more good ranking the employee would get in the company.

Employee performance includes activities to ensure that goals are consistently being met in an effective and efficient manner. Employee performance can focus on performance of the organization, a department, and processes to build a product or service. Performance in organizations “Performance in organizations can be separated in organizational performance and job performance” (Total, 1999). According to Total, the performance f organizations is dependent upon the performance of employees (job performance) and other factors such as the environment of the organization.

How employee motivation affects employee performance Tort (2005) in his article on Motivation mentioned that motivation is an ingredient of productivity opines that the heart of motivation is to give employees what they really want from their work. The more employers are able to provide what employees want, the more they should expect what they really want in terms of productivity, quality and service. He continues that positive motivation and practice improve productivity, quality and service. Showing an appreciation to employees at workplace can be a strong mechanism that enhances productivity. . 1. 3 Theories of Motivation Moscow hierarchy of needs The basis of Mason’s motivation theory is that human beings are motivated by unsatisfied needs, and that certain lower factors need to be satisfied. A hierarchy of five needs exist: psychological, safety, social, esteem, self- actualization. Hence needs at a higher level only emerge when a lower need is satisfied? According to Moscow, as long as we are motivated to satisfy these cravings, we are moving towards growth, towards self-actualization.

As a result, or adequate workplace motivation, it is important that leadership understands the needs active for individual employee motivation as per the following hierarchical diagram, known as “Mason’s needs pyramid”, after a need is satisfied, it stops acting as a motivator and the next one rank higher starts to motivate as it attain psychological precedence. The implications of Mason’s hierarchy of needs theory focuses attention on the various needs that motivate people and the notion that a satisfied need is no longer a motivator.

Self -actualization Self-actualization need relate to the opportunity to realize and develop one’s full attention. Moscow sees this as:’ what humans can be, they must be or becoming everything that one is capable of becoming. ‘Self-actualities people tend to have motivators such as: truth, justice, wisdom, meaning etc. Self-actualities persons have frequent occurrences of peak experiences, which are energize moment of profound happiness and harmony. According to Moscow, only a small percentage of the populations reach the level of self-actualization. Esteem needs Esteem needs consist of having self-respect and the esteem of others.

Self- respect involves a desire for confidence, strength, independence, freedom ND achievements. Esteem for others involves reputation or prestige, status, recognition, attention and appreciation. Moscow later improved his model to add a layer in between self-actualization and esteem needs: the need for aesthetics and knowledge. Social needs Social needs, from this category individual would look to draw on social support necessary to life, friendship, a sense of belonging, affection, giving and receiving love. Safety needs Safety needs that provide security of individuals in their normal environment.

These include safety and security, freedom from pain or threat of physical attack, retention from danger, the need for predictability and orderliness. According to Moscow hierarchy, if a person feel threatened, need further up the pyramid will not receive attention until that need has been resolved. Physiological needs Physiological needs include the wide range of basic needs that every human body required in order to stay alive and function normally. Examples that would include the need of the physiological needs to sustain life are: air, water, food, sleep.

Applying Mason’s needs hierarchy Business management implications If Mason’s theory is true, there are some very important leadership implications o enhance workplace motivation, and you don’t need a master in applied psychology, for it to be evident. There are employee motivation opportunities by motivating each employee through their style of management, compensation plans, role definition, and company activities. Physiological motivation: provide ample breaks for lunch and recuperation and pay salaries that allow workers to buy life’s essentials.

Safety needs: provide a working environment which is safe, relative job security, and freedom from threats. Social needs: generate a feeling of acceptance, belonging, and community by reinforcing team dynamics. Esteem motivators: recognize achievements, assign important projects, and provide status to make employees feel valued and appreciated. Self- actualization: offer challenging and meaningful work assignments which enable innovation, creativity, and progress according to long-term goals. Mason’s theory – limitations and criticism Though Mason’s hierarchy makes sense intuitively, little evidence supports its strict hierarchy.

Actually, recent research challenges the order that the needs are imposed by Mason’s pyramid. As an example, in some cultures, social needs are placed more fundamentally than any others. Herbert Two Factor theory Herbage’s two-factor theory divides motivation and job satisfaction into two groups of factors known as the motivation factor and hygiene factors. According to Frederick Herbert, “the motivating factors are the six ‘job content’ factors that include achievement, recognition, work itself, responsibility, advancement, and possibility of growth.

Hygiene factors are the ‘job context’ factors, which include company policy supervision, relationship with subordinates, status and job security’ (Retraction 2003). Basically the theory differentiates the factors between intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Below, a table is presented with Herbage’s motivators and hygiene’s. As seen in the figure, motivators are intrinsic conditions to the work itself and hygiene extrinsic conditions to the work. The theory offers some insight into the relationship between motivation and job satisfaction. The hygiene factors were those that, if absent caused dissatisfaction.

These factors are related to job context with job environment and extrinsic to the job itself. The other set of factors are those that if present serve to motivate the individual to the superior effort and performance. These factors are related to job content of the work itself. They are the motivators. The strength of these factors will affect feelings of satisfaction or no satisfaction, but not dissatisfaction. The presence of these factors will not motivate individuals as such, but their absence will serve to create dissatisfaction with the job and organization. How do managers eliminate job dissatisfaction?

According to Herbert (1987) managers need to eliminate the dissatisfaction by doing the following: Fix poor and obstructive company policies; Provide effective, supportive and non-intrusive supervision; Create and support the culture of respect and dignity for all team members; Ensure that wages and larges are competitive; Provide job security; Build job status by providing meaningful work for all positions. How then do managers create conditions for job satisfaction? Herbert (1987) advanced that there is the need to address the motivating factors associated with work, this he called job enrichment.

His premise was that every job should be examined to determine how it COUld be made better and more satisfying to the person doing it. Hence, managers need to consider and include: Providing opportunities for achievement; Recognizing workers contributions; Creating work that is rewarding and that matches the skills and abilities of the employee; Giving as much responsibility to each team member as possible; Providing opportunities to advance in the company through internal promotions; Offering training and development opportunities so that people can pursue the positions they want within the company.

Herbert theory is largely responsible for the practice of allowing people greater responsibility for planning and controlling their work, as a means of increasing motivation and satisfaction. The relationship between motivation and job satisfaction is not overly complex. The problem is many employers and managers kook at the hygiene factors as a way to motivate when in fact, beyond the very short term, they do very little to motivate.

Criticisms of Herbage’s Two Factor Theory Herrings theory applies least to people with largely unskilled jobs or those whose work are uninteresting, repetitive, and monotonous and limited in scope. He was also accused of assuming a correlation between satisfaction and productivity though his research stressed satisfaction and ignored productivity.

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The Power of Motivation in the Workplace. (2018, May 12). Retrieved from

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