A modified version of Maslow’s theory has been proposed by McCllend’s achievement theory (1967, 1975) and Herzberg et al’s (1959) two factor theory. Herzberg moved on from hierarchical need theory to study ‘motivators and hygiene factors’ in the work situation. He supported the idea that high job satisfaction would result correspondingly to high motivation. Herzberg’s two factor theory is appreciated on the fact, that hygiene factors provided will eliminate employee dissatisfaction and motivators will promote high satisfaction and performance.
The theory says that the manager’s role is to remove dissatisfiers i. e. provide hygiene factors such as basic needs and then use motivators to meet higher level needs of the employees. This is best demonstrated in the manager’s role at YSI, Inc. The company was overstaffed, the quality was low and the profits were stagnant. The manager solved the problem through empowerment of employees together with employee training and development. (Daft, R, 1993). The two factor theory is criticised on the fact that it has only limited application to manual workers. It is also claimed that the theory cannot be identified with people in unskilled jobs where jobs are termed to be repetitive, monotonous and limited in scope.
(Mullins, L, 2002). Locke (1976) has written extensively on Herzberg’s classification system. He claims that ‘the two factor theory is inconsistent in categorizing the factors of satisfaction’. In the recent scenario, researchers have started to focus more on process theories, which clearly suggests how motivation occurs instead of what needs motivate, as suggested by traditional theories. One of the most popular process theories is the expectancy theory (Vroom, 1964) and (Porter and Law 1968) that proposes that motivation depends upon an individual’s expectations about their ability to perform their tasks well and expect appropriate rewards.
Here managers are expected to identify the skills and the capabilities of their subordinates and then motivate them accordingly on their job demands. This theory is specifically personalised to subordinate’s needs and goals. (Daft, R ,1993). One can argue here that it is difficult to identify what factors are intrinsic to an individual. It is not easy for managers to relate to their subordinates’ personality traits. It is not always easy to maintain a climate of expectancies that will support requisite levels of motivation to work. Monetary rewards are desired by employees but they don’t continue to be the only motivating factor.
Another theory that throws light on employees’ motivation is the equity theory (Adam, 1965). This theory says that people compare their rewards relative to their contributions and to those of others. When they perceive unfairness or inequity, they experience disharmony. People evaluate equity by a ratio of inputs to outcomes. Outcomes can be anything from pay, recognition, benefits to promotion. The best example under equity theory can be seen in the company named Lincoln Electrics. Under its incentive management system, every worker is considered as a manager and every manager is considered as a worker.
Rules are similar for both management and labour. Individual achievement as recognised and rewarded ‘to pay for performance. ‘ (Daft, R, 1993). A recent theory that focuses on individual’s goals and intentions rather than on the organisation as a whole is the Locke’s goal setting theory. It focuses on the concept that people strive to achieve goals in order to satisfy their emotions and desires. In other words, goals direct work behaviour and performance. One can argue here, that if goals are set too high, performance will suffer, over a longer period of time.
The study and analysis of these theories suggests that, today there is a revolution in the expectations of workers from their performance. They not only seek monetary benefits from their work but tend to get highly satisfied from the feeling of accomplishment and recognition for their work. There is more to motivation than fear and money: What motivates employees? When employers are asked about this, they usually reply that it’s the monetary rewards that direct the behaviour of the employees. Money is important, but it fails to be the primary motivator.
The Income Data Services (IDS) draws attention to the challenges of motivation during economic circumstances of low inflation. IDS found out that importance of monetary rewards as a motivating factor could not be ignored in high growth companies but there was still a need to provide new forms of recognitions for the employees that do not depend on promotion and money. In the main employees agreed that they now face with the prime challenges of breaking with the habit of automatic annual increase in pay and shifting the focus of reward from individual performance to team success.
(Mullins, L, 2002:P424). If an employee is facing financial problems, more money can hold appeal, but after certain period of time when employees feel financially secured, money loses its charm. This argument can be very well supported by the Maslow’s need hierarchy theory and Herzberg’s two factor theory that tends to lessen the competitive importance of money as a major motivator and focuses more on issues such as opportunities for growth, creativity, challenging jobs, contribution to decision making and the like.
Similarly, fear does motivate people but only for a short p of time. Employees subjected to supervision figure out ways to avoid the work and limit their performance. A lot of research has been done to show that there are certain intangible rewards such as open communication, trust, recognition and opportunity for growth that motivates employees better in business today. Another theory that values the growth, relatedness and existence needs of work force is the ERG theory. This theory is best supported by the example of Tyson Food, Inc.
The company, in order to satisfy its employees, is operating round table suggestion programs and luncheons between management and employees that encourages participation from the employees’ side. Educational programs and the Tyson Improvement programmes give team members opportunities to grow, improve skills and reach their potentials thus satisfying their individual growth needs. (Daft, R, 1993:P517) Motivation is nothing but an effort by the managers to help people focus their minds and capabilities on doing their work as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Trust is another key to motivate people to perform at their best. Effective interpersonal communication also helps to develop an environment that motivates employees. If the employees are aware what the expectations of the managers are they can perform their jobs more effectively. A truly motivating environment is one where employees feel that their opinions are valued and where they can experience a sense of belongingness. In today’s complex business climate employees not only want appreciation for their work but also want to be recognised as people and not just workers.
Companies today are adopting a variety of programmes to achieve their goals together with their employees’ satisfaction. These employee incentive programmes are not just limited to sales people but involve all employees to help meet corporate objectives. These employees include everyone in the chain from line workers to office personnel etc. These programmes are framed to employees’ morale and empower them so that they take more personal responsibility and achieve their self actualisation goals.
These employee incentive programmes are often conducted as employee training programmes and new employ management systems etc. As the expectancy theory says that it is important for the management to recognise its employees’ skills and abilities and then match the job accordingly, it becomes essential on the part of the managers to design jobs according to the needs of their employees in order to improve productivity and satisfaction. Job design could be achieved through: a) Job simplification – Here workers with low skill requirements can perform the job well as the complexity in the job is stripped off.
b) Job rotation – It moves employees from one place to another thus increasing the number of tasks an employer performs. Companies such as National Steel, Motorola, and Dayton Hudson have built on this concept to train a flexible work force. c) Job enlargement – It combines a series of tasks together. It provides job variety and a greater challenge for employees. d) Job enrichment – It incorporates high level motivators into the work. Employees have an opportunity to exercise job responsibility and could look up to recognition, growth and achievement.
The success of job rotation and job enrichment can be seen in the example of General Electrics (GE). Here GE workers in the Bayamon, Puerto Rico plant enjoy the benefits of job rotation and job enrichment through self managed teams and pay plans that encourages learning and performance. (Daft, R, 1993:P532) In the today’s age of empowerment managers need to motivate their employees through: 1. ) Effectively communicating and clarifying the mission of the organisation to achieve a shared mission and ideology that lays out a basic way of thinking and doing things.
2.) Managers should stress values-based orientation and training for problem solving and incremental improvement of the employees, e. g. Toyota, during their orientation programmes together with team and quality oriented training tend to communicate company believes among its existing and new employees. 3. ) Company should follow comprehensive grievance procedures to review the complaints of its employees. 4. ) Companies should encourage cross utilisation as practiced by Delta Airlines where everyone worked co-operatively and even share work and jobs. 5. ) Managers should promote employees from within.
This is usually achieved through career oriented appraisals. (Matteson, I:P174) Conclusion: The literature review of motivational theories shows that neither concept nor process theories are perfect. Each theory has its own merits and limitations. A manager must judge the relevance of these different theories, how best to draw upon them, and how they might effectively be applied in particular work situations. There is no tailor made solution to a particular problem. Managers need to identify the capabilities of their employees and then motivate them accordingly.
“Management means helping people to get the best out of themselves, not organising things. ” (Lauren Appley). In this complex business world, traditional approaches like money and fear are not the only prime motivators today. Employees not only expect rewards in terms of monetary incentives for their performance, they expect more. Empowerment and morale boosting is the key to motivate workers. Workers have identified that appreciation, recognition and opportunities for personal growth are the ultimate desired needs of any human being.
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. ” (Zig Zigler, American sales trainer, author, motivational speaker).
Beck, Robert, C. (1983) Motivation: Theories and Principles, Prentice Hall. Daft, R (1993) Management, Harcourt Brace College Publishers. Greenberg, J (1999) Managing behaviour in organisations, Prentice Hall. Hampton, D (1987) Organisational behaviour and the practice of management, Scott, Foresman and Company.
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