Discuss and assess how motivational levels can affect the performance of a person and a team at work.
Motivation refers to a cause that a person acts or acts in a certain manner. It’s fundamentally a driving force or someone’s readiness to do something. Motivation is extremely necessary in an organization when it comes to enhancing not only the success of a person but also a team. Thus the efficiency and productivity of a workplace would drop, impacting all of the enterprise if there are no motivation. Some levels or types of motivation may influence a person in one way or the other (Wellington, 2017). The following essay will first discuss some of the types of workplace motivation and then move onto certain strategies available to help sustain motivation in an organization.
First of all, it is very important to hire right staff for an organization, a staff that is fully qualified, highly skilled and talented and most importantly loyal to the company. Right talented staff can beat any sort of competition and can do wonders. However it is necessary to keep them motivated throughout. There are many strategies that can make this happen and so everything comes under effective people management (Armstrong, 2008).
Effective people management is a broad term that covers all the important aspects and activities involved in managing staff and maintaining their work performance. It includes leadership, team building, handling staff problems, performance management, rewards and most importantly working towards their career development (Armstrong, 2008).
While talking particularly about motivation at work, there are four most important concepts or views that should be included before emphasizing on any strategy or theory. The first and foremost is a very simple ideology focusing on economic rewards. So basically it is a well-known phenomenon that to increase performance, one need to increase economic rewards i.e to assure a large and a permanent increase in the pay. With rewards, there is always a threat of punishment that comes and so it makes this principle short term, as monetary rewards are not effective if considered long term (Coleman, 2014). After identifying shortcomings in the previous approach, Mayo and a lot of other theorists felt that there should be another aspect rather than just focusing on monetary rewards and so came up with an important motivational factor related to social needs of the people or staff in particular. Social needs such as feeling of belonging, pleasant supervision, a strong cohesive team and feeling important can provide job satisfaction, consequently improving performance (Business management skills module booklet, 2015).
Another important principle related to work motivation is known as self-actualization. A number of theorists such as Maslow and Herzberg are in favor of this approach. According to this principle, there can be different levels of personal need in an attempt to achieve self-satisfaction or self-realization and this can vary from a person to person. However this approach is criticized for only emphasizing on intrinsic motivation and not giving importance to rewards and punishment. It only talks about the internal needs and satisfaction (Business management skills module booklet, 2015).
The last most important theory is actually a very complex one, but it summarizes all the three principles and so is considered very important and useful. It criticizes how previous approaches oversimplify the concept of motivation and since human beings are complex and unique, their needs and expectation also vary with time and is always changing. So what happens is that the individual and environmental systems interact with each other in different ways affecting the performance and the rewards gained. Simultaneously rewards can also affect the performance making the whole system complex and interrelated. Individual system consists of all the needs, wants, expectations, values, abilities and even perceptions. On the other hand, environmental system includes: technology, media, work demand, problems, roles that are always changing, external pressures and worldly experiences. Rewards gained can either be monetary or non-monetary such as praise, or giving responsibility. The end product is of course the performance and achievement (Coleman, 2014).
Each and every motivational theory mentioned above emphasizes on individuals being unique in terms of their personalities, attitudes, values and even needs. For example, some people have external locus of control while others possess internal locus of control. Hence it is very important to identify and recognize individual differences before implementing any motivational strategy. Job roles should then be matched according to the personality characteristics of the individuals, making sure that the roles are consistent with their needs. For example, a high achiever should be given a job role that comes with autonomy and enough responsibilities as compared to a low achiever who would not want a lot of responsibilities and challenges. This job role matching is one of the most fundamental steps in help sustaining motivation in an organization (Business management skills module booklet, 2015).
Second important step or strategy is related to goal assigning. According to the goal setting theory, managers should ensure that the goals assigned should be specific as well as hard. For example external goals will not hold much importance for high achievers as they are internally motivated. Also some goals could be self-assigned rather than letting managers assign and so it highly depends on an organization culture and norms. Most important thing is that the employees should perceive that the goals are attainable and that no task is impossible. It is the duty of the managers to make their employees feel confident that increasing efforts will eventually lead to attaining performance goals (Armstrong, 2008).
As mentioned above employees possess varying needs and expectations and so it is important for the manager to individualize the rewards rather than making it collective. Rewards such as promotions, bonuses, increase in pay, autonomy, responsibilities, providing opportunities to participate in decision making and goal setting, fringe benefits and much more. Each reward would reinforce each employee differently. Hence rewards gained should only be dependent on performance and goal attainment. Also it is very important to make these rewards visible enough for staff to know, such as openly communicating about compensations, bonuses and the increase in annual salary should be allocated in a lump sum rather than just spreading it over the entire year. All of these rewards should be communicated out loud with every employee and staff member (Business management skills module booklet, 2015).
Another important motivational strategy to consider is having a system of equity. This means that all the inputs such as effort, time, energy, ability and experience should equal the outputs such as rewards, pay, responsibilities and etc. If an employee is doing over time, he/she should be provided with a reward; hence this fair policy will highly motivate everyone working in an organization (Coleman, 2014).
All of these strategies were reviewed and was found that monetary reward comes first and has a major impact on employees when it comes to improving performance and attaining goals. However other rewards are also important and should be considered while attempting to motivate employees (Business management skills module booklet, 2015).
Managers are responsible for managing staff performance and the whole planning and implementation process needs clear and precise objectives. The objectives guide in carrying out action plans, job allocation and even personal development. The outcome of the objectives, thus measures the success of an organization. There are few requirements when it comes to setting objectives, these are collectively referred to as SMART(specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time bound). First of all objectives should be specific and should have a single key result rather than multiple results. Objectives affecting behavior should be measurable quantitatively so that one can know what is achieved and the level of accomplishment. Objectives should be achievable with the available resources, hence should align with the goals and the culture of an organization. Also objectives should be time bound and the individual should have a clear idea of when the task is to be completed (Business management skills module booklet, 2015).
After setting objectives, managers are required to monitor the team’s work from time to time, to make sure that everything is done within the required time frame. There are several reasons to monitor a team’s progress. First of all checking progress enables providing feedback to the manager as well as to the other employees, it can make the team feel accountable, ensure all the standards are met and most importantly discipline is maintained (Armstrong, 2008).
Herzberg is said to have a very important contribution when it comes to motivation and providing rewards. His motivational theory emphasizes on factors that contributes to satisfaction as well as dissatisfaction at work. Job satisfaction or in other words motivation can be an outcome of an interaction of various factors, and this due is too divided into short term and long terms. For example financial incentives, as mentioned above, can only motivate in the short term. On the other hand, achievement, responsibility, recognition, fringe benefits, promotions are some of the satisfiers that has a long term effect on work motivation. Herzberg termed dissatisfiers as hygiene factors, which can cause job dissatisfaction and can decrease motivation. Some of the dissatisfiers could be not appreciating an employee’s work, not giving enough roles and responsibilities, too much pressure on staff, very strict deadlines and not considering compensation for overtime (Coleman, 2014).
Most importantly jobs should be designed in a way that would not only improve the quality of working life but also maximizes the opportunities to obtain intrinsic satisfaction from work, which according to Herzberg is way more important than extrinsic motivation. Some of the strategies to increase intrinsic satisfaction at work are mentioned in the following paragraph.
A team of different people will have different personalities and varying attitudes and so it becomes important for the manager to know that what in particular excites them or satisfies them, so getting to know the team is very important. Second important strategy is to increase responsibilities of employees, providing them with more control over their job roles and tasks. This job enrichment scheme is also known as job enlargement. Another important non-monetary reward is job rotation. An employee should go through a variety of job positions and roles in an organization. This can truly boost their morale and can encourage them at every step (Armstrong, 2008).
To conclude, there can be monetary as well as non-monetary rewards to increase motivation at work, however one of the most important roles of a manager is to understand the motivational factors of each individual employee and to provide rewards based on their personal preferences and expectations and to encourage that their performance is aligned with the organization’s objectives and culture. Strategies to sustain motivation were also included in the essay to provide a clear picture of how it should be implemented (Business management skills module booklet, 2015).
Wellington, P. (2017). Effective people management (pp. 134-146). London: KoganPage.
Business management skills module booklet. (2015) (pp. 21-27).
Armstrong, M. (2008). Performance management. London [u.a.]: Kogan Page.
Coleman, A. (2014). End of year recognition and reward.