Motivational Problem in the Mortgage Business
The mortgage business is highly complex, with multiple tasks and responsibilities requiring in dept knowledge and skills in interpersonal communication, risk identification, financial advising and such. The expectations of the business to succeed are not overly dependent on tangible factors that contribute to the organization. In contrast, success in the mortgage business relies on the knowledge, skills and capabilities of mortgage brokers to implement marketing and advertising strategies or techniques. Therefore, the major source of accomplishment in the mortgage business is from the human capital (O’Connor, 2002).
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The ultimate purpose of mortgage brokers is to arrange a mortgage deal between the provider of the loan and the client. This particular mission or objective requires the capability of mortgage brokers to understand what the client wants and needs in terms of knowledge or information of available financial or investment loans for clients, as well as financial position or stand for mortgage loans. Moreover, mortgage brokers need to align client wants and needs to the terms presented by loan providers, such as banks and other finance organizations. (Reed, 2007) This process highly requires interpersonal communication skills, expertise in negotiation, and finalizing deals for closure. Since most of these skills are innate, meaning they are mostly inherent characteristics, the mortgage business might experience failure if the human capital it is relying on fails to deliver expectations from it. One such problem is related to motivation.
Lack of self-motivation is a major problem that concerns a mortgage business’ human capital (The Mortgage Professional, 2005). The implication of the inability of mortgage brokers to motivate their selves is that they become ineffective in their field of industry in general. Lacking in self-motivation means that mortgage brokers are losing their interest in the business and the will to excel in the job. Mortgage brokers with lack of self-motivation do not take their jobs seriously, thus, causing them to neglect knowledge acquisition, skill training, and such that are great contributors to the jobs at hand. In contrast, highly motivated mortgage brokers are dynamic and confident individuals who are always looking for ways to be efficient by always seeking new knowledge and information and continually enhancing their skills through prolonged excellence and experience. Apparently, being highly motivated is one of the most desirable qualities that the mortgage industry is searching for in potential brokers.
Lack of self-motivation is a problem under the psychological context of motivation theories. Frederick Herzberg explains motivation within the work environment through his Motivation-Hygiene Theory. This theory seeks to understand employee actions and behavior and explain why these particular actions or behaviors are displayed by employees. The problem is mortgage brokers lacking self-motivation. This means losing the interest and will. However, although this might be initially seen as an intrinsic motivational problem, it is in fact mainly influenced by the external working environment. Herzberg mentioned that inner motivation is highly influenced by what employees experience in their work environment. Thus, Herzberg based the Motivation-Hygiene theory on factors that are satisfying or dissatisfying to employees that cause them to become highly motivated or otherwise respectively. (Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory, 2007)
The “satisfiers” and “dissatisfiers” in the workplace are categorized by Herzberg under two factors existing within the work environment – hygiene factors and motivator factors. Hygiene factors and motivator factors in any form are the determinants of employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction. If employees are satisfied with hygiene and motivator factors that they experience within their work spaces, they will be highly motivated to work, excel, and succeed in their line of industry. On the other hand, if employees are dissatisfied with experienced hygiene and motivator factors, they are likely to not be motivated in working to meet their respective tasks and responsibilities efficiently. Between these two cases lie possibilities of satisfied employees who are not motivated to work, and dissatisfied employees but still are motivated to accomplish their task and responsibilities within their work environments. (Motivation in Theory – Herzberg Two Factor Theory, 2008)
To provide a clearer picture of the interrelationship between motivation, hygiene, and employee self-motivation, the types of hygiene factors and motivator factors will be discussed. Hygiene factors are rules, practices, beliefs, culture, and such set by the organization as a means to eliminate conflict, misunderstandings, and failures. Types of hygiene factors include the laws, rules, regulations, and policies that the organization framed and implements for the compliance of its employees, reward system (salary and remuneration), the process of supervising and evaluating employees, the nurturance of desirable interpersonal communication relationships, the conditions within which employees must work, and the security that employees feel or are provided with in their occupation. (Motivation in Theory – Herzberg Two Factor Theory, 2008)
On the other hand, motivator factors are primarily based on intrinsic motivation influenced by external factors, such that employees are highly dedicated to their jobs for personal and career growth. Motivator factors include the status of the employee in the workplace, at home, whether financially, economically, emotionally, and such, openings or prospects that will be provided for employees, the need to be recognized or acknowledged for jobs well done, being provided with challenging tasks and responsibilities, and the personal choice of excelling in a particular field of industry for personal satisfaction, such as interest in the particular work. (Motivation in Theory – Herzberg Two Factor Theory, 2008) With this in mind, Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory explains lack of self-motivation in mortgage brokers by looking into the working environment of these workers. At some points during the work process, mortgage brokers feel dissatisfied with the hygienic factors and motivator factors that they experience within the workplace leading them to be motiveless when it comes to accomplishing their tasks and responsibilities.
To address the position of Herzberg in workplace motivation, the mortgage business should be able to improve the hygienic environment for the benefit of its human capital and its income. However, resolving the problem of lack of motivation needs to be a two-way process such that employees should be able to look into their problems regarding motivator factors that affect them intrinsically and attempt to look for solutions that will solve this particular problem. Combined efforts from the mortgage industry as a whole and mortgage brokers will ensure the improvement and development of the business. Aside from the much-needed collaboration between the mortgage business and mortgage brokers, there should be greater emphasis on intrinsic motivation in considering career development and improvement. Intrinsic motivation (dependent on motivator factors) is not only highly effective as opposed to extrinsic motivation, but it is perceived that self-motivation will be able to endure even the most challenging and difficult times during the work process.
Specifically, resolving the issue of lack of self-motivation in mortgage brokers require the application of solutions that Herzberg suggested in his theory – the need to expand or broaden the coverage, functions, and capacities of the industry, conduct rotation of jobs for fairness and equality, and job enrichment. Broadening jobs mean the mortgage brokers should be provided with additional challenging and stimulating tasks and responsibilities. This will result to the need for mortgage brokers to focus deeper attention on what knowledge and skills they need to work on causing them to be more engaged with their jobs. Rotation for jobs not only eliminates the dissatisfying nature of routine, but also promotes fairness and equality in terms of service rendered for tasks and responsibilities under the mortgage business. Finally, job enrichment requires proper training and improvement strategies or techniques that will help mortgage brokers to be more efficient in their jobs. This will lead them to be more confident in their undertakings, thus, resulting to inner motivation. (Motivation in the Workplace: Herzberg, Alderfer, and Maslow, 2008)
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