Understanding Motivation and rewards in the Workplace Essay
Working relationships are a central portion of a person’s life. Motivation and dedication to any endeavor (e. g. work) and the pleasure from it are collective concerns of the organization and the individual. There are definite factors that generate satisfaction, the so-called “motivator” factors according to Hertzberg. These factors push the worker to the highest levels of accomplishment possible. They are an inherent part of the work itself and consist of the nature of the work, the person’s sense of achievement, level of responsibility, and individual development and improvement.
These motivator needs can only be rewarded by stimulating, challenging, and absorbing work. Consequently, the goal of motivation should be to enhance individual growth and advancement, develop sense of accomplishment and liability, and provide recognition (Papalia et al. , 2002). Essentially, the role of motivation in a person’s life is crucial to the understanding of human activities. Motivation is never static because in life, there always presents a dynamic and changing pattern of needs. Internal and external motivation provides in brief, an astute way of explaining the “why’s” of people’s behaviors (Papalia et al.
, 2002). No wonder then, that in general, educators handle pupils or learners in the light of this ideation.
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Human motivation is most complex. People seldom behave or respond to a particular situation because of a single motive. Generally, individuals are driven by a variety of needs and desires, some complimentary and others conflicting (Papalia et al. , 2002). Although there is no full and accurate understanding of a human being’s motivational structure, there is a body of knowledge from psychological research, which shows quite a bit about the forces that drive humans. Theoretical framework Motivation theory 1 – McClelland’s Achievement Motivation Theory
This desire to accomplish something, to do a good job, to be the best typifies many people in this society, not only successful business executives(McClelland & Burnham, 1976). Those who possess this need derive great satisfaction from their achievement and are motivated to excel in everything they undertake. Evidence also shows that the economic growth of private companies and of whole societies is related to the level of the need for achievement among managers in these private companies and members of these societies (Berry, 2003).
Successful business managers generally score higher in need for achievement – need persons have been identified, it is possible to determine what they want and what they need in their work to satisfy this high level of achievement motivation (McClelland & Burnham, 1976). The organization for which high achievement-need persons work is not required to generate motivation; these persons already possess the motivation. What the company must do is to provide working conditions that will allow them to achieve. If they cannot satisfy their high drive for achievement, they will become frustrated and will probably look for another job.
If they can satisfy this drive, however, they will become happy and productive members of the organization (Curry, 2001). McClelland’s research identified three characteristics of high need-achievement persons: 1. They favor a working situation in which they are able to assume personal responsibility for solving problems. If they were not solely responsible for finding the solutions to the problems, they would not have any sense of achievement. They are not happy when the solution depends on chance or on external factors beyond their control. It must depend on their own efforts and ability (Curry, 2001).
This is a desirable characteristic for an executive as long as the working situation affords the opportunity for personal responsibility. The organization must provide these persons with challenging responsibility and a degree of personal autonomy. 2. They have a tendency to take calculated risks and to set moderate achievement goals. By assuming tasks of moderate difficulty, high achievement need persons are able to satisfy their achievement needs (Curry, 2001). If the tasks or goals were too easy, there would be little sense of accomplishment.
If they were too difficult, they might not succeed and would again have no sense of accomplishment. They must arrange the job and working conditions to face new problems or goals of moderate difficulty constantly. 3. High achievement-need persons must have definite and continuing feedback about their progress. If they did not receive recognition for their work, they would not have a clear idea of how well they were doing (Berry, 2003). Fortunately, companies provide continuing feedback in periodic sales, cost, and production figures.
High achievement-need persons feel a greater sense of accomplishment if they have personal feedback from superiors in the form of congratulatory memos, pay raises, promotions, or a pat in the back. The higher the achievement-need scores of the executives, the more successful were their companies. Other studies show that managers high in achievement-need display a number of desirable managerial characteristics. They tend to have more respect for their subordinates and to be receptive to new ideas and new ways of doing things (Curry, 2001).
Also, they are more open to participatory democracy than are managers low in achievement need. High achievement-need managers appear to be better than low achievement-need managers to lead and motivate the new breed of employee. There are unresolved questions about the need-achievement theory, and not all research supports the findings discussed (Curry, 2001). However, it seems to be a useful theory of behavior and a plausible explanation for the motivation of some employees. The theory is judged to be high in scientific validity and in its usefulness in application to the world of work (Berry, 2003).
Motivation theory 2 – Adam’s Equity Theory The notion that people’s motivation is influenced by their perception of how equitably they are treated at work was proposed by J. Stacy Adams. In any work situation, be it a classroom or an office, people assess both their inputs – how much effort they are putting into the work – and their outcomes – how much reward they are receiving for the work. People then, perhaps unconsciously, calculate the ratio of outcome to input and compare their ratio with what they perceive are the ratios of fellow students or co-workers (Curry, 2001).
Are people getting equal outcomes as a function of their inputs or are they getting less than other people? If they are getting less, a state of inequity exists, which motivates them to create a condition of equity. If people are getting the same, a state of equity exists. Research shows and personal experience confirms that people do make such comparisons. One may have felt unfairly or inequitably treated in a course for which he worked harder than someone who, ultimately, received a higher grade. Did one work even harder as a result of this inequity?
It is generally accepted that a sense of being treated fairly with respect to others can influence work motivation, either by increasing or reducing it. The theory is fairly well supported by research but has a limited application to specific situations at work (Curry, 2001). Motivation theory 3 – Goal Setting Theory Developed by Edwin Locke, goal-setting theory also has a common-sense appeal and is clearly relevant to the world of work. Locke argues that a person’s primary motivation in a work situation can be defined in terms of his desire to achieve a particular goal.
The goal represents what the person intends to do at a given time in the future. For example, people may have as a goal graduating from college with honors or achieving the highest sales recorded in the company or getting a pay raise to buy a new house (Curry, 2001). Goals are important in any endeavor, motivating and guiding ones’ behavior so that the person performs in the most effective way. Studies of work behavior have shown how goals influence a person’s motivation; for example, having goals results in higher performance than not having goals. Specific goals are more motivating than general goals (Berry, 2003).
Goals that are difficult to obtain are more motivating than easy goals. On the other hand, goals that so difficult as to seem impossible to achieve are worse than having no goals at all as far as motivation and performance are concerned. The goal-setting theory is probably the most thoroughly researched of all the motivational theories that are discussed. The evidence is highly supportive, in case after case goal-setting has been found to produce substantial increases in employee output (Curry, 2001). Furthermore, the theory is high in both scientific validity and in usefulness on the job.
Significance of the study The problem of employee motivation is critical in all kinds of organizations today and is responsible for the shoddy products we buy and the careless service we receive. It was thought that all that was necessary to produce high motivation in workers was to pay them more; this idea may no longer be valid for a large portion of the work force. Modern workers demand jobs that satisfy their inner needs for fulfillment, expression, and self-actualization. Traditional values involved loyalty to the company and a strong drive for money, status, promotion and security.
The new breed of workers focuses on self-fulfillment and self-actualization and demands jobs that are challenging and that allow participation in decision-making. They have little loyalty to the organization and less concern with money, status and security. Psychologists have proposed several theories of motivation. The need for achievement by McClelland posits the existence to be the best in whatever they undertake. Studies show that good executives are higher in Ach than poor ones. High in ability and take calculated risks and set moderate achievement goals.
These individuals constantly need feedback on their progress (Curry, 2001). These theories deal with content of motivation, with internal needs that arouse and guide behavior. Process theories of motivation focus on the psychological processes involved in making decisions and choices about work. This is illustrated in the goal-setting theory, which argues that employee motivation is defined by our intention to achieve a particular goal; and equity theory, which deals with our perceived ratio or outcome to input and how equitably that ratio compares with those co-workers.
Knowing what a person values most, like I do, still these things do not reduce the presence or effects of stressors in my life. Trying to achieve a correct balance of my work and the more important life relationships as well entails a big bulk of decision-making dilemmas and resolutions of what should be followed or not. Whenever other people in the workplace are around us, it is undoubtedly a complicated set-up knowing that these people have values and priorities and desires multiplied over their number. Their motivation at work or in life is impinged upon by their values and priorities which are in turn what makes them motivated.
These values are translated into goals that fuel what and how their conduct will be in their field of work. The workplace today considers any of the perspectives mentioned in this paper. However, what are more reflective at many organizations are their strategies in enhancing the life of the average worker. The understanding of the needs or drives that motivate people is therefore critical in the choice of what “motivator variables” that the management may employ to encourage their people to do or sustain an excellent job or an efficient performance.
Work-life initiatives are strategies implemented by firms to reduce turnover and increase productivity and overall firm performance. Studies were made to examine the influence and effects of work-life initiatives on employees and the organization in general. Workplace diversity which incorporates the concepts of work-life initiatives does indicate that it is inevitable that when a company introduces work-life initiatives, there is a resulting increase in diversity. Substantial evidence point to the effectiveness of workplace diversity hence, many institutions encourage and promote this in their particular milieu (http://www.
cmdronline. com/workshops. htm). This type of strategy caters to the goal-setting perspective posited by Edwin Locke. Although the other two are also very valid in many instances or situations, the applicability of the former (goal-setting) seemed to be more realistic and practical. It is inevitable that juggling work and family life will be one of a person’s demanding experiences. The rationale for having a job is not only to have a livelihood, achieve personal satisfaction in the expression of his abilities and trainings, and receive his remuneration and perks on the side.
Preparation for family stability to be able to provide and thus create an atmosphere of care, for bachelors/maidens, is also the foremost and logical reason for having a job. However, the thin thread that separates between the two polarities becomes blurred, and there lies the tension that pulls a person in different directions. The Center for Mediation and Dispute Resolution opens its website with the following quote: “Our life is one giant balancing act (http://www. cmdronline. com/workshops. htm). ” Perhaps, no person will ever disagree with that statement.
The goal then is to know how to do the balancing act, to gain competencies in achieving a rewarding, flourishing kind of life that holds work in one hand, while maintaining a well-nurtured and healthy family on the other hand. Every home has its set of beliefs or tradition that they hold in high esteem. This is referred to as family values. Anything that the family believes is important comprises a family values system. Among the values an individual possesses, the most important I believe is that a person must regard most his/her values about family as the most significant.
Many people don’t usually pause and contemplate what their values are. They may not know whether these values they already have are still practical or useful in a modern day world. Moreover, they do not think how their values fit in with their kind of milieu that they evolve in. There are families that take time out though to impart to their children what had been passed on to them when they too were yet very young. The values may not be as strong as when were yet children because the person may have adapted to his world and adjusted his values that others may be accommodated.
Through the years, a family value system may be a combination of what had been passed on to an individual and the values system of one’s friends or colleagues at work (_______”Values: What are they? ” 2007). The primary reason that goals and goal-setting are critical aspects in the role of motivation in people is pointedly because what we hold as important affects how we use time, money and energy or how we interact with people. If a person believes in the importance of education then he tries to save for the schooling of their children. What we set as goals are actually our values influencing how we spend our resources and make decisions.
d. Work-Life Balance Initiatives and Telecommuting as Interventions: Paradigm Shift in the Organization It is inevitable that juggling work and family life will be one of a person’s demanding experiences. The rationale for having a job is not only to have a livelihood, achieve personal satisfaction in the expression of his abilities and trainings, and receive his remuneration and perks on the side. Preparation for family stability to be able to provide and thus create an atmosphere of care, for bachelors/maidens, is also the foremost and logical reason for having a job.
However, the thin thread that separates between the two polarities becomes blurred, and there lies the tension that pulls a person in different directions. The Center for Mediation and Dispute Resolution opens its website with the following quote: “Our life is one giant balancing act (http://www. cmdronline. com/workshops. htm). ” Perhaps, no person will ever disagree with that statement. The goal then is to know how to do the balancing act, to gain competencies in achieving a rewarding, flourishing kind of life that holds work in one hand, while maintaining a well-nurtured and healthy family on the other hand.
The array of questions that confront couples or families with this dilemma is quite limitless. To address this matter, the following questions are entertained and tackled: What is the definition of “dual career”? What are the problems and challenges that families meet while doing this balancing act of maintaining a job and tending a family? Finally, what are the strategies to be implemented that will successfully balance both work and family? Definition Dual-career couples are understood as parents/couples who are not simply both working, but employed in jobs that demand a high level of commitment (Hester and Dickerson, 1998).
This may also occur in families where only one spouse has the outside work and does this kind of dual career. Throughout this paper, the term “dual career” and “work and family life” refer to the same thing, whether they occur in both working spouses, or in single spouse-working family units. This arrangement of a family where both parents work and at the same time attend to the needs of the family to maintain its wholeness is quite a challenging, if not an exhausting set up. For how can both parents be working full-time in their respective jobs while being full-time parents to their children in the same excellent capacity?
This trend of dual career families came into vogue for a number of possible reasons; one of those is the pressure of keeping up with the fast-paced high technology 21st century. It is said that more and more couples nowadays are adapting to this kind of family set up. The lure of this system lies in its deemed compensation in the form of monetary rewards, high social status because of the impression it gives like “high levels of career responsibility,” and the parents’ investment of their time and energy (Jana, 2001). Problems and Challenges
While working, dual career parents who have not agreed beforehand, assume that either one of them would somehow manage to adjust and take heavier responsibility of managing the household and minimize responsibility in the workplace. This poses a lot of potential problems like expecting more understanding from the other spouse who had not taken this additional household cares. Another major thing, and probably more important, is the parents’ oversight of children. Whereas it is true that some considerable “rewards” go along with dual career arrangement, the potential neglect of children must not be ignored.
Imbalance family set up can wreck a household. At the organizational level, employees in this kind of set-up experience the beginning of burnout or may be highly stressed to the point of exhibiting physiological, mental and emotional exhaustion. Symptoms appear in the form of “presenteeism, absenteeism, regrettable turnover and loss of productivity,” according to Spinks (2006). Strategies to Balance Work and Family At the stake when a family works to achieve a balance are principles or values they uphold. These are the values of family togetherness, rearing and nurturing their offspring, and providing for all aspects of each household member.
The Centre for Mediation & Dispute Resolution has suggested five points to help their clients; namely: 1. ) Division of labor and household tasks, 2. ) Career expectations and plans, 3. ) Allocation of family funds, 4. ) Changing roles over time, and 5. ) Educational plans and provisions (http://www. cmdronline. com/workshops. htm). . These are strategies not only to address the challenges, but are sure methods also to prevent possible frictions and eventual breakups of households. Constant communication that is authentic and with respect are keys to the five points enumerated.
When the spouses are able to adjust to changing roles they become less stressed or burdened over the many expectations that society and themselves raise on how families are supposed to be run and arranged. At times, institutions employ the services of mental health practitioners as retainers to provide their employees with counseling help along these strategic lines. Companies who deeply understand that human personnel are their primary investments look to utilizing the available resources within their reach to lessen the stress, burnout, unhealthy lifestyle, or other potential problems within each of their framework.
According to Spinks, achieving work-family life balance requires the contribution of “employers, employees, governments and communities. ” He also adds that it entails a collaborative effort that “integrates health and fitness, mental health and well-being, and non-work commitments, as well as career aspirations and job satisfaction. ” This implies that employees are given a more varied approach to maximizing their potential while taking care that they do not sacrifice other areas of their personal domain.
The corporate world now talks of supportive environments that look after an employee’s other pursuits in life besides his/her work, giving him/her opportunities to have a more convenient or handy work schedule, more sufficient and suitable means for the anticipated problems to come, a system of reward and recognition for performance, as well as creating a good working environment for the individual workers. III. Conclusion The workplace today considers any of the perspectives mentioned in this paper.
However, what are more reflective at many organizations are their strategies in enhancing the life of the average worker. The understanding of the needs or drives that motivate people is therefore critical in the choice of what “motivator variables” that the management may employ to encourage their people to do or sustain an excellent job or an efficient performance. Essentially, the role of motivation in a person’s life is crucial to the understanding of human activities. Motivation is never static because in life, there always presents a dynamic and changing pattern of needs.
Internal and external motivation provides in brief, an astute way of explaining the “why’s” of people’s behaviors. No wonder then, that in general, educators handle pupils or learners in the light of this ideation.
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It is the understanding that when a person accepts this transaction of sorts, he yields his rights o the sole authority in charge of the goings-on in the business, of course as provided by or limited by law. However, even these days where it is easy to sue someone due despite some unclear and grey areas in the business dealings, this kind of business relationship or leadership is bound to have many disadvantages and abuses. As clearly explained earlier, the leader in this arrangement tends to look things at usually what and where he profits most utilizing the weaknesses of the employee.
In arrangements other than business, there is bound to arise risks and threats usually on the side of the subordinate. Conversely, in the long run, there is sure to be loopholes that the leader (and/or owner, manager) will experience the drawbacks ensuring the negative effects of the bargain. It can be profitable for some time but probably not long lasting (Northouse, 2004; Curry, 2001). When leaders employ the right approach in the specific milieu of their influence there is hope for positive effects of the way they handle their people, themselves, and the organization as a whole.
It will be difficult not to see the productivity and the enhancement of the people as they are. In every business or in the industry, almost singly the aspiration is efficiency and productivity. In the aforementioned precis, both have their advantages and disadvantages in whatever realm these may be applied. It is my opinion that the leader’s own personality, convictions, style and values influence the results with whatever of the two styles he may be using. Leadership effectiveness is equated with proficiency. This is the technical, tactical, and physical ability of the individual and the group to perform the job.
It is better to look at leadership effectiveness through the lens of someone evaluating the work of an ineffective leader (Northouse, 2004). One of the indicators of ineffective leadership is the feeling of members called “low morale”. “Morale” is the feeling of well-being that an individual experiences when his needs are being filled to his satisfaction. It has been found that good morale and high productivity have a positive correlation. Managers know that the better a person’s morale, the more he produces (Jana, 2001). Moreover, in an organization, multiculturalism is inevitable; people come with a culture individually of their own.
Hence, the drive to accept this reality is half the issue but a more positive stance with any person/s in leadership. As such, any organization with these aspects present will automatically be complex and difficulties surely will arise. But when leaders accept that this is a fact and that everywhere in the world, any institution that exists rise on these complications and must thrive because of it and learn through it (Jana, 2001). An organization therefore is characterized by a give and take of ideas; someone at times or oftentimes is monopolizing the lead roles especially if a number of them happen to be of the same persuasion.
Depending on who’s dominant, and what the organization successfully follows as the “voice,” there the rest of the group eventually follows. We therefore see here, a plus and minus, pros and cons of multiculturalism. As a leader and manager leading a team which caters to customer service aspiring to excelling work output, a leader or manager’s responsibilities are as complex more so that eventually the leader ultimately leads alone. When he is within a group, the complexities are more evident. Leaders then should have greater capacity to be considerate: being aware and sensitive to the feelings of subordinates.
I believe that leaders must see members of the organization as unique persons, each with their unique set of motivations, feelings and needs. This places a great demand on the sympathy, warmth and understanding of managers because they must, at the same time, maintain production levels and deal with the technical details of the plant’s operation (Papalia et al. , 2002). II. Reference Adams, Guy B. & Danny L. Balfour (2004). Unmasking Administrative Evil (Armonk, N. Y. : M. E. Sharpe, pp. 31-36. Berry, Lilly M (2003). Employee selection. Belmont, Wadsworth: CA. Berry, Lilly M. 1993.
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Article originally published by WFC Resources, (Accessed May 12, 2009 in http://www. workfamily. com/Work-lifeClearinghouse/GuestColumns/gc0036. htm). Sullivan, Eleanor and Phillip J. Decker (2005). Effective Leadership and Nursing Management in Nursing, with Student Video (4th Edition). __________ “Values: what are they? ”(2007). Family Works : University of Illinois extension. Accessed May 12, 2009 http://www. urbanext. uiuc. edu/familyworks/values- 01. html _________Centre for Mediation & Dispute Resolution, Accessed May 12, 2009 in http://www. cmdronline. com/workshops. htm