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Satisfaction and performance

Motivation is a loosely used to describe certain behaviors. For example, one describes a student as highly motivated if he or she really studies very hard and aims for very good grades. Or sometimes, someone would say he or she is not motivated to study for advanced lessons or even simply to start working on assignments. It is an internal process that pushes or pulls a person towards or against a certain point. It cannot be observed directly, but it can somehow be inferred or manifested from a person’s behavior.

It may be easy for someone to observe what a person is doing, or about to do, but knowing why he or she is doing it is something else. By definition, motivation “[is]...

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... a concept used to describe the factors within an individual which arouse, maintain and channel behaviour towards a goal” (Boston, n. d. ). This is to say that this is a behavior that is directed by a goal. Satisfaction is a feeling or a state of mind of a person. It is something that is used to describe how content a person is on his or her present condition.

In a work place, it is a measure of how content a person is with his work or job. Some factors that affect job satisfaction are the amount of pay and benefits an employee receive (or do not receive), the notion on the fairness of any promotion scheme of a company, working conditions, and many others. It is defined as a “pleasurable or desirable emotional state or condition resulting from the assessment of his or her job job; an affective reaction to one’s job; and an attitude towards one’s job” (Cranny, Smith, & Stone, 1992 as cited in Weiss, 2002).

Simply put, the happier an employee is about his or her job, the more satisfied he or she is said to be. Note that job satisfaction is different from motivation, but there is clearly a link between the two concepts. Performance, on the other hand, is the actual action that a person gives or exerts as a response to what is expected from him or her. In the case of a working condition, this is how an employee performs in relation to what is written in his or her job description.

Performance is measured by managers or employers through what is referred to as performance appraisal which could either be the traditional or developmental performance appraisal. The difference between a traditional and development performance appraisal is that the former looks at the past performance (usually used for purposes of promotions, salary increase, transfer decisions, or even in separations) while the latter is forward-looking (where expectations are set, direction and level of the employee’s ambition is indicated, etc. ).

With these definitions, I believe that a person would work hard if appropriate motivational factors are present. A satisfied employee will only give you a high retention level in your company, but it will only give you that. What is needed for someone to work hard is the motivation. Financial motivation has always been the easiest to be identified. But other factors that may be used as motivations are effective promotion schemes, a competitive but healthy working environment, recognition, and a long-term goal that promises development in a person’s career or employment condition.

I could say that Herzberg’s theory on job satisfaction best explains my (and probably others, too) attitude towards work. In this theory, factors that do not “dis-satisfy” an employee are identified, as well as those that make a person involved or fulfilled. This means that a person may not be dis-satisfied, but at the same time, not satisfied and more importantly, not motivated. The idea of this theory is to identify those motivational factors to increase job satisfaction and eventually, motivation.

Works cited:

Bolton, Lisa, n.d. Information technology and management. http://opax. swin. edu. au/~388226/howto/it2/manage1. htm. Date accessed: September 30, 2007. Cranny, Smith & Stone, 1992 cited in Weiss, H. M. (2002). Deconstructing job satisfaction: separating evaluations, beliefs and affective experiences. Human Resource Management Review, 12, 173–194, p. 174. How to motivate your team; put Frederick Herzberg theory into practice. Management for the rest of us. http://www. mftrou. com/frederick-herzberg-theory. html. Date accessed: September 30, 2007.

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