Human Resource Motivation
Introduction Business organizations rely on many resources such as, human resources technology, and raw materials to achieve organizational goals and get things done. However, of all resources at the disposal of an organization, none is as central and important to the success of the organization than the human resources. Human resources are very difficult to manage. Usually, big organizations could have thousands of employees. To manage such a magnitude of employees requires expertise, skill and a deep knowledge of principles of management. Regardless of the size of the organization, human resources are what keep a company moving.
This paper discusses the role of motivation in getting work done and especially in increasing employee job performance. Cranny, Smith, and Stone, (1992), defines motivation as the process of empowering an individual to continue acting in a certain positive behaviour. Motivation in organizations is aimed at encouraging employees to take initiative in execution of their duties at the work place. Motivated employees exhibit self-drive and desire to willingly perform their tasks in accordance to the organization’s objectives (Cranny, Smith, & Stone, 1992).
According to the Maslow’s theory, employees’ behaviour is influenced by wants and desires which unless satisfied, they continue to determine and influence how an employee will act. In a business organization, employees have their needs and wants, which make them to work. However unless their expectations are fulfilled they may under perform or function in less effective manner. Business organizations have come up with different ways of fulfilling human resource needs. The most important of them is the motivation of workers. Unless workers are motivated performance is likely to go down and therefore the organization is likely to face losses.
Different organizations have different mechanisms in place for motivating their employees. The most notable motivators in use by most organizations are in form of pay hikes and salary increments. Some organizations have a reward system for excellence in which sterling performance can earn an employee promotion another rewards such as increased responsibilities and benefits such as education and career growth opportunities. Therefore the above factors, money, promotions, benefits are all motivators different companies use to improve performance.
Another common form of motivation is performance based pay which links output to income. This has been largely successful especially for wage payments under casual labour schemes (Cranny, Smith, & Stone, 1992). Management has a big role to playing in bringing up a team which beats all the challenges such as cultural differences and work place conflicts in order to get employees to function as teams. Where management plays its roles of motivating employees well, employees are united and functions as a team. This in turn creates a synergetic effect in which the company attains success and utilizes the employees to the maximum.
Employee motivation is grounded on the fact that, employees are born with the drive to excel but the potential in human beings does not just come out easily, it has to be exploited (Guite, 1999). This is what calls for motivation of the employees by the management. Therefore, to achieve optimal job performance, employees must have the ability to perform the tasks; this ability is innate and also can be learnt. However the employees cannot achieve optimal use unless they are well motivated (Cranny, Smith, & Stone, 1992). Therefore employee motivation is very crucial and central to the job output of employees.
Pay for performance also makes work attractive, to increases performance, as well as protecting the business against the eventuality of poor market performance as well as to reduce the liability of the company. Critics of pay for performance schemes have criticized the system arguing that, it is an organization’s strategy geared at leveraging organization’s risks rather than a motivation effort geared at empowering employees (Guite, 1999). Spector, Fox, , & Van Katwyk, (1999) notes that education, experience, and the nature of training an employee has also plays an important role in job performance.
For motivation to be effective, it has to have the right kind of reinforcement and has to be designed in such a way so as to satisfy the employee’s needs. Also of importance is the kind of goals and objectives the management set for the employees, unless the kind of goals and objectives are directly linked to the kind of work, motivation efforts are likely to fail (Guite, 1999). Employees also rank security of their jobs very highly and motivation efforts may fail to bear fruit unless such security concerns are addressed.
For example salary increment may not change job performance if the employees perceive that they are likely to be sacked or retrenched from a job. This shows that for motivation to be effective other considerations are necessary. Such considerations include; how secure and safe the employees feel in the job, whether the employees are proud of the work they do, the opportunities available for the employees to progress and advance in their careers, as well as whether the employees feel they are part of the company or are distanced and do not consider themselves important in the organization.
Management in most organizations fail in their efforts to get performance improved by only concentrating on factors such as money and failing to appreciate the role of other factors such as security, working environment, prospects for career growth as well as recognition and appreciation in the work place. Fox, and Spector, (1999) cautions management against overemphasizing on payment and overlooking the attitude of employees as an important factor affecting employee performance.
Therefore, it is worth noting that, motivation plays an important role in employee motivation, but at the same time all motivation efforts should be put alongside other factors such as providing an enabling environment for the employees and making sure that the employee attitudes are right. Conclusion Employee motivation is very core to the survival of an organization. In an increasingly competitive business world, only organizations who motivate their employees well can survive the fierce business competition currently being experienced in the business world.
Motivation is important in job performance, and where employees are well motivated, production is boosted. However there is a need to balance the motivators for over reliance on money or pay as the sole motivator has been found to be ineffective. For management to excel in its efforts of consolidating the work force in order to achieve optimal out put, the consideration of what kind of motivators matter for the employees is very necessary, this can be done by the management conducting surveys or research aimed at establishing employees felt needs.
Reference Cranny, C. , Smith, P. & Stone, E. (1992), Job Satisfaction. New York: Lexington. Fox, S. & Spector, P. (1999). A model of work frustration-aggression. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 20, 915-931. Guite, T. (1999). Strategic Human Resource Management. 3rd Ed. Macmillan Publishers. London. Spector, P. , Fox, S. , & Van Katwyk, P. (1999). The role of negative affectivity in employee reactions to job characteristics: Bias effect or substantive effect. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 72, .