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Employee motivation

Given this background, many organizations have embarked on the need to establish diversity in their workplaces. Some of the diversity initiatives which are more commonly used include: mentorship programs, cultural awareness training for employees, the use of flexible work schedules, telecommuting, establishment of day care centres for children at the workplace, and installing disabled-friendly facilities at the workplace.

Others include: the creation and implementation of an organizational culture that encourages diversity (for example, an inclusive culture), organization of intercultural events, rewards for employees who behave in a manner that is consistent with the organization’s diversity goals, as well as tying employee pay to how well they meet their diversity goals (Ollapally and Bhatnagar, 2009). a. Motivation: Employee motivation has generally been regarded as the internal force that drives the employee to behave in the way she does, in furtherance of her own or her organization’s goals.

In that regard, organizational theorists assert that the organization is more likely to meet its goals through the employee, if the employee’s motivation can be enhanced (Kreitner, 1995). There are a number of theories which have been put forward in an attempt to explain the concept of employee motivation. One oft cited theory is that proposed by Abraham Maslow. This is more commonly referred to as the hierarchy of needs model (Cherrington, 2000). This theory views individual employees as having five levels of needs.

These levels of need have been given as: physiological needs, the need for safety, social needs, the need for esteem, as well as the need for self-actualization. These are arranged in a pyramid, in that order (Cherrington, 2000). An individual will satisfy the lower level needs first (for example, physiological needs) before she can be motivated to fulfill her higher level needs (for example, esteem needs or the need for self-actualization). The theory holds that once the lower level needs are met, they no longer motivate the individual and the individual now becomes motivated by needs higher up on the hierarchy (Cherrington, 2000).

Apart from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, another motivational theory that is commonly used is the Hertzberg Two Factor theory. This theory asserts that the level of employee motivation is a function of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. The former refers to aspects of the job which are external to it such as the monetary rewards while the latter refers to factors inherent within the individual and related to the task itself. Extrinsic factor have also been referred to as hygiene factors while intrinsic factors are also referred to as motivators (Cherrington, 2000).

Yet another motivation theory which has found widespread usage is Vroom’s expectancy theory. This theory holds that an employee’s performance necessarily leads to rewards. When the performance is good, the employee will enjoy positive rewards as a result of the performance. Conversely, when her performance is not up to the required standard, the employee will only receive negative rewards. This implies that to get the employee to give her bets to the organization, the organization must be able to promise the employee positive rewards on condition that she achieves a certain stipulated goal (Cherringtom, 2000).

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