Pay being the only motivator at work

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Any employment shall be remunerated by salaries or benefits. Pay is the essential end result of when people are going to work. It is the recognition of the commitment of an individual to society (Ogbonnaya, 2017). However, the debate still arises as to how much compensation is a motivator to work. This paper would show how the actual final result of jobs is the very reason that people work every day and break their bones to make that happen.
First of all, in the Abraham Maslow hierarchy of needs, the fundamental needs are the first cluster of needs that man is forced to meet (Healy, 2016). Basic needs consist of food, shelter, and clothing among other additions that fall within the same bracket. However, the attainment of such requirements is not free but depending on one’s ability to procure them. Hence for one to be able to feed himself, cloth and have a roof over their head, he or she has to work hard. In such a scenario, every coin counts and therefore working is a means to the attainment of that currency needed to procure those needs, what follows necessarily is that pay becomes the motivator to work, other to which one would have to live in a cave, walk naked and sleep hungry.

Another of Abraham Maslow’s needs is the sense of belonging (Rasskazova, 2016). Belonging is an inherent need for every creature; people need to feel needed, to feel acknowledged and recognized. Payment or wages are a similar way to achieving that reality; salaries are an official acknowledgment of one’s work, participation, and contribution to a particular course. Without it, the individuals working would feel like part of a mechanized process that is systemic to a whole without its individual constituent’s significance. Therefore when one receives his or her pay, the natural feeling is that their works, efforts, and contribution are recognized, and they feel as belonging to an entire system of production that values their worthy with money or any other equivalent gain.

Moreover the sense of belonging positions one in the society. As the saying goes, a poor man’s wisdom always goes unnoticed (Stoyanov, 2017). A person who has no sense of livelihood, or a decent living no matter how wise they are, they are always sidelined and end up left out in any given society. As Taylor explains, that is an inherent fear in many people if not all, for one to feel valued by a given community, they need to appear or give the impression that they are capable of taking care of their utilities and manage their affairs (Gerhart, 2017). To achieve that, one needs to have some level of income. That income whether arrived to through investments or a white collar job is significant since it makes an individual earn his or her dignity within the community.

Another hierarchy within Abraham Maslow’s ladder of human needs that is significant and serves as a compelling factor to how payment or wages are a motivator for work is the need for security (Jones, 2016). Everyone works towards an end, so that someday in the future they need not have to go through the hustles of work and just relax and enjoy their hard-earned fruits of their labor. That is security, the very thought that someday one would be begging on the streets or be disadvantaged because they have no dignified means of livelihood is sufficient enough to compel every right-thinking individual to demand payment from their work. It’s the very end product that enables them to put structures in place to secure that future.

Payment by its very virtue has advantages and disadvantages, it indeed is the end product of hard-earned work but it in effect manipulates the enthusiasm of an individual’s productivity at work (Tukhvatulina, 2016). The merits of wages after work include, it’s a great motivator of the employee’s productivity at work. The employee has something profitable to look forward to at the end of the day or the month. The very idea that one will achieve monetarily or any other equivalent proportion to wages at the end of the day compels one to work harder and or work more efficiently.

Another advantage of pay is that it is the very rationalization of work (Kumari, 2016). It enables an individual to understand why they ought to work. It would be morally wrong to compel one to work without some remuneration unless its voluntary work. No one would for an extended period accept to work in a company or a factory to which they leave for home in the evening empty-handed. Wages or pay rationalize one need to work, or in other terms, they provide reasons as to why people must toil and hustle the entire day and month (Yao, 2017). .

Another concept that is similar to the above is the feeling of fulfillment of one’s labor (Sieweke, 2017). It is rather easy to say that pay rationalizes work but the reversal argument is also valid. After a long day of work, one needs to rest and relax; pay is the fulfillment of work it is the fruit of one’s labor. It is the very thing that one works for no matter how much they love their profession or enjoy doing it. It’s like the fruits of a long earned labor that serves as the fulfillment of work, they very offspring of a day’s job or a month-long task.

However, the necessity of payment after work also bears disadvantages that affect the overall productivity of a person’s labor. As mentioned previously, people work towards some end; they work looking forward to that day when they will be paid. They, in essence, become mechanical, they work just to pass days looking forward to that payday. In other terms, it shifts the objectivity or work from the need to be productive to the remunerations that come with it (Cozzi, 2017). It’s rather unfortunate that people in this modern times do not choose work according to their aptitude or likeness of it but with regards to how much that specific profession pays at the end of the day or month. People become doctors only because they are paid a dignified income, but deep in their hearts they do not in any manner possible identify with the profession. Such kind of modern trends indeed impacts on the overall productivity of an employee at work (Ehrenberg, 2016).


Having demonstrated the extent, advantages and disadvantages of how pay can motivate one to work the following findings are evidential; work cannot be entirely disassociated with its consequential remuneration other to which individuals would fall out their needs for security and belonging. That pay or wages has to be the necessary end product of one’s labor but not the dominant motivator to work other to which it impedes one’s productivity and efficiency. That work is an aspect of human society; it’s the very element that dignifies and sanctifies man, without its pay the man would degenerate into a machine without rationality or dignity.


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