Motivation in the Work Place
The key in getting any company’s employees ready and willing is motivation. Employee motivation is a worker’s enthusiastic behaviour and core power to execute work related activities with the best of his or her abilities. Motivation is considered to be an internal drive that causes an individual to decide to take action. This is influenced by factors such as biological, intellectual, social, emotional and in some cases external factors as according to Susan M. Heathfield. Creating space for motivation within the working environment may not only end with productive work days but also strong and positive works ethics.
Motivating employees also builds and/or develops individual characteristics. Employee motivation enables a company’s continuous success to the extent of its effectiveness. Each and every employee has his or her basic necessities with the work place. These are all part the fundamental rights of that employment from the employer. The head of department is to satisfy those needs of its individual employees. Progression depending on how long an employee is working proves to determine whether they find the job good or bad.
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However, it can be evidential that if an employee does not gain the required sense of having been satisfied, he or she becomes edgy. Employees idealize the importance of experiencing positive feelings towards their tasks and duties. Otherwise, dissatisfaction, frustration, and unhappiness accumulate over their period of employment. Here, these negative feelings may not only affect the family or social life but also the physical and emotional health of an individual (Schultz and Schultz, 1998) as cited in Maren Bassy.
Therefore, if motivating an employee not only to proves to quench a portion of the thirst of needs, it can also stabilize his/her activities outside of work. Likewise, family and casual relationships can or may additionally survive due to the simple fact that an employee has managed to experience motivation. What are the factors that motivate employees? According to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, there are basically five requirements necessary to man. These are physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem and self – actualization. His infamous pyramid is still used today in many fields.
Each of these necessities has to substantially be satisfied. Managers are those who are to establish rewards, recognition and retention (Susan M. Heathfield). It is from that point forward the employees move to the next level. Steers and Porter (1983), as cited in Maren Bassy (2002), pointed out that “individuals enter organizations with certain needs, desires, skills, and so forth and expect to find a work environment where they can utilize their abilities and satisfy many of their basic needs. Where the organization provides such opportunities (e. g. where it makes effective use of its employees, is dependable, etc. ), the likelihood of increasing commitment is apparently enhanced. However, where the organization is not dependable, or where it fails to provide employees with challenging and meaningful tasks, commitment levels tend to diminish. ” (p. 444). Dickerson Employee Benefits refers to such ethics as set performance goal, mentioned by Jenkins and Alleyne (2005) who published All Together Now. (Molander 1996 as cited in Maren Bassy 2002) in order for a company to be successful, it needs employees who act toward the goals of the organisation.
The availability of such goals as previously stated creates multiple chances for employees to strive with reassurance that with motivation he or she can perform better and more effectively. This then leads to an increase in employees’ efforts and commitment of working harder where their need is satisfied. The achievement of these goals in some cases are not easily attained but may be considered quite challenging. This is another strategic factor for management for the motivation of employees. Challenges are either accepted as unfair to some but for those who are committed to make progress and grow within a company, a motivator.
Sure it is seen as a smart tactic for companies to witness an increase in productivity. On the other hand, those unwilling to face-off, see it as nothing more than a threat. They risk the chance of losing their job by co-workers stepping up to the plate. This is due to the choice of not grasping such opportunities. Thus, employee motivation will always have a negative impact as well. The first level of needs of Maslow’s theory (1943, 1954) is said to be the basic of all as it pertains to a worker’s need for food, air and shelter in order to be focused and perform.
In this instance an employee seeks monetary compensation known extrinsic factor. Food, clothing and a place to live can be obtained with the wage or salary a person earns, Sadri and Bowen (2011). An employer or the place of employment, for example, James Brodies Company Limited, can provide and/offer discount on products. On a weekly or monthly basis, if any company that specializes in sales product is to promote such endeavours, its employees are sure to look forward into these discounted prices.
Other free and/or subsidized perks that companies provide include car washes, laundry and dry cleaning facilities, on-site gyms, free food, exercise classes and massages according to Sadri and Bowen (2011). They believe that these balance out both employees work and life. A balanced life at home goes hand in hand with a balanced work environment. A clean surrounding to work eliminates distractions and therefore results with accomplishing production. Money, praise and food are things that an employee cherishes as being recognized by the company because of his or her work accomplishment/s.
Whereas the intrinsic factor deals with internal motivators, mainly being an incentive such as the work itself. Some people take pride in a job well done. A feel of accomplishment and results builds an employee motivational drive to press on. Moreover, he or she wishes to experience more success. There are three conditions to internal motivation, which are knowledge of results, experienced responsibility and experienced meaningfulness, Maren Bassy (2002). Firstly the employee must have knowledge of the results of his/her work performance. Then have the feeling of responsibility and accountability for the results of his/her work.
This translates that when an employee thinks that his/her own efforts contribute only to a minor extent to the quality to the outcome of the work, the individual will not produce any feelings such as pride or sadness towards the quality of work done. The last condition is that the employee must experience work as meaningful. In other words, if the employee does not perceive his/her work as generally important, valuable and worthwhile, he/she will not develop any internal motivation. All these motivators are necessary to develop and sustain a strong internal work motivation.
Moreover, the stronger these factors are present, the higher the internal motivation according to Bassy (2002). Managers can then use this to harness critical employee motivators. A few questions that they can use according to Bassy (2002) are: 1. What are the most critical factors for motivation and job satisfaction? 2. To what extent are these factors present in a selected company? and 3. How important are these factors for the employees? These may lead to either a substantial increase in the employees’ motivation and satisfaction within the workplace or a complete opposite.
Another need on Maslow’s hierarchy is safety. No matter the situation or environment an employee seeks a place of security where he or she is free from harm. Provision of protection by an organization to its employees creates motivation. Here, a calm mind can therefore work without distraction. Safety, in most cases also involves the families of each individual employee, knowing that they are free from danger. The physical, psychological, emotional and mental well-beings are those areas that employees regard as safety needs, Sadri and Bowen (2011).
This includes wages and salaries that help to provide safe places to live and an employees’ health. In the longer years to come, determining the number of years employed, another element under safety that factors out an employee’s motivation is retirement plans. The employee seeks out what his or her pension plan will be like, where will he/she be living and under what conditions. This all becomes tied up with the effectiveness of the company’s motivational factors. A person working can therefore be given feedback on the result of the tasks he/she has executed.
A basic knowledge of what he or she has done aids employees’ in figuring out whether or not they should remain within the designated working field. Co-workers and superiors are amongst each others for a great deal of hours each day. It is their responsibility to provide a comfortable feeling/environment to each other. Providing employee assistance programs and counselling services, where employees call in to speak with trained counsellors to help them coop with problems ranging from conflict and stress at the workplace to personality disorders and recovery from addiction Sadri and Bowen (2011).
Hawthorne studies mentioned in Bassy (2002) emphasised the environment, in particular the social relations, as very important for the motivation of employees. Love/belonging is the third need on the hierarchy. It is built in to want and have love. Individuals who are looking to satisfy their love/belonging needs are likely to join or continue working at a company based on the relationships and social support mechanisms that they have established or potentially expect to establish there, Sadri and Bowen (2011). A person will strive for good relations with people and a place in his/her group.
Thereby special attention is given to friends, sweetheart, wife, and children. A company can become more efficient and develop new and creative ideas by allowing employees to collaborate and work in teams for it also helps to satisfy the belonging needs of its employees, Sadri and Bowen (2011). Healthy relationships within the working environment surely renders as a plus in motivating employees. The ability to co-operate with co-workers and bosses creates and enhances characters in establishing these types of relationships. Moreover, it increases the level of production a company offers due to the strong team work existing.
A comfortable environment as it has to do with co-workers and relationships gives employees a sense of belonging, especially if positive feedback is shared. This is where employees receive the knowledge of results directly from the work activities themselves. Feedback is the extent to which the job itself provides an individual with information about the effectiveness of his/her work performance, Bassy (2002). On the other hand, love at home and the love of family, balances off with work. An employee’s life away from work has a lot to do with his or her job performance.
In this case, a healthy relationship with a spouse or someone with whom a form of affection is shared satisfies an employee’s need for love and belonging. If this is the other way around, it can certainly affect the relationships he/she may have at work and level of performance. However, these situations can be eliminated not only by the programs the company has to offer such as mentoring, clubs and conflict resolution meetings but also the strength of good peers. These co-workers/peers strive to help in regaining a fellow colleague’s confidence and drive to perform at work.
Therefore, ruling out the problems as it pertains to home and work. The needs for responsibility, reputation, prestige, recognition and respect from others fall under the esteem need. According to Sadri and Bowen (2011) these in turn lead to self-confidence and strengthen an employee’s motivation and productivity. Each employee favours recognition from his/her superior/s. In many organizations the bosses tend to ignore the appraisal of employees’ job well done. The lack of recognition from their direct supervisor is one of the main reasons employees leave their jobs.
A superior overlooking an employee, who has done an amazing task, especially in remarkable time, lowers his/her esteem. Receiving recognition and praise are fundamental motivators across all levels of employees, they both help an individual know that people appreciate what that person has accomplished, Sadri and Bowen (2011). A study conducted by G. Graham at the Barton School of Business at Wichita State University found that 63 percent of workers ranked recognition as a meaningful incentive as mentioned by (Sadri and Bowen 2011).
Employees take up challenges in order to achieve company goals. It is then the superiors’ responsibility to acknowledge them for such activities. The more accomplishments an employee gains, the more recognition he or she builds. The then popularity or familiarity that arose from recognition will therefore construct an employee’s reputation. A good reputation within the company of employment will satisfy the employee’s need of esteem. A sense of connection will then exist as long as the employee’s accomplishments are praise by the managers and or boss.
In other words, the task is the root or source employee motivation. Earning a promotion is one example of a superior paying respect to an employee’s work according to Sadri and Bowen (2011). This then leads to career possibilities and opportunities to advance in the company. Other strategies to satisfy esteem needs and motivate employees are reserved parking spaces, valuable prizes such as an all expense-paid luxury retreat for winning competitions like being the highest salesperson for the year and reward programs within the company like employee of the month or year (Sadri and Bowen 2011).
However, this can appear as breaking point for some companies, specifically those that are small. Simply because they lack gates ways to development which in then returns causes low esteem. If an employee lacks the chance to feel good about themselves and the goals that they achieve, their motivational drive decreases. A company that has great employees with each character having self-confidence strengthens motivation and productivity. Respect also plays an important role in having esteem for an employee to work and be motivated.
Basic behavioral patterns that are considered to be norms such as biding co-workers the time of day, displays respect for one’s presence. Discussions about the tasks that are put in place are other ways to interact and show interest with employees and co-workers. Demonstrating the appreciation for a colleague’s accomplishments can help in the building-block of his/her esteem. Therefore, the force to motivate can be effective. Finally, self- actualization is the highest need. Self-actualization represents the desire for personal development and ccomplishment (Maslow’s hierarchy 1943, 1954 as cited in Maren Bassy 2002). According to Sadri and Bowen (2011) is the need for self-fulfilment and to become the best one is capable of becoming. Many people fail to reach this level of need and return to the previous step with the endeavor to re-attempt. Employees who find themselves within this tier often are looking for humanitarian or philanthropic experiences. These are great opportunities to get out of the office and partner with co-workers to do charity work, which also helps meet employee needs for love and belonging (Sadri and Bowen 2011).
One way in which companies can motivate employees toward self-actualization mentioned by Sadri and Bowen (2011) is to offer tuition-reimbursement programs and encourage enrollment in classes and courses related to their job responsibilities. In doing this, the employee will bring new skills back into the workplace that will add value to the company. It is well known that an education is the key to success. It assists personal and professional growth and development. Another is to allow paid sabbatical in which the employee can participate in a humanitarian cause or work towards a lifelong goal.
The sabbatical can typically range from a few weeks to a few months. The result of a sabbatical is mental and physical renewal, which brings with it a renewed energy for the employee’s work resulting in greater productivity upon a return to the workplace. In a number of cases companies can donate significant amounts of money to charities that are often selected by employees and encourage their employees to spend one paid workday during the year helping with the work of the charity. Another way to help satisfy the need for self-actualization and motivate employees is to match dollar for dollar or a percentage of employees’ contributions.
This also helps build company loyalty. In concluding, an employee who has climbed to the top of the needs has truly being motivated and has truly accomplished many of his/her company goals. He or she is therefore proud of his or her achievements. Thus, the highest priority for virtually every employee who starts a new job is compensation. This is the physiological need. Once that need is substantially satisfied, the employee requires a level of safety, the second need. The third level of need then focuses on developing a sense of belonging and connection; love and belonging.
Followed by employees need to feel recognized and valued to satisfy their esteem needs. Organizations then need to add incentives that lead to the highest satisfaction of need on Maslow’s hierarchy, which is the need for self-actualization after the first four needs are met. Furthermore, a need that is satisfied is no longer perceived as a need by a person. The individual is dominated and his/her behaviour is influenced only by needs that are not satisfied (Maren Bassy 2002). Employee motivation is as effective as it is to satisfy needs.