One of the most significant aims and objectives of any organization in today's business environment is to have employees and staff who perform highly such that the business operations are smooth and efficient. Accordingly, human resource managers and the overall organization leadership usually employ various strategies to motivate their employees to do their best at all times at work. Achieving the dream of staff motivation, however, is becoming very cumbersome due to the ever-changing environment of today's workforce as well as the complex dynamics surrounding the behaviour of workers.
The subject matter of the discussion presented within this paper aims to present the various ways in which individuals, particularly human resource managers can motivate their employees so that they achieve the maximum performance within the organization itself. The paper takes into consideration the deeper meaning of employee motivation, based on the some of the theories of motivation which include; Marlow's hierarchy of needs theory, the two-factor theory, carrot and stick, reinforcement and the theories of X and Y as such. Based on these theories, the paper will then suggest the three most effective ways upon which as a manager, one can motivate their employees to curb the challenges brought about by these ever-changing workforce conditions (Baskerville et al., 2013).
To begin with, employee motivation can be described as the level of commitment, the degree of creativity and the energy that the staff and employees exhibit in carrying out of their respective roles in a company. The motivation of the employees within an organization should be every manager's concern, regardless of whether the company is growing or dying. Today, matters of employee motivation seem to be in chaos everywhere, especially within smaller companies and enterprises in which business owners and managers usually have the notion that since they've spent most of their time building the organization, they find it hard to delegate some of their meaningful responsibilities to other employees, especially those ones who are of lower ranks.
The pitfalls that come with low employee motivation should not be ignored. The employees are one of the greatest resources of an organization. This is because, apart from being responsible for other organizational resources, the staff are the backbone of any organization's business operations. As such, the inspiration of higher levels of employee output becomes a very important organizational issue for which the manager has to constantly seek solutions to. To this end, the following are some of the ways, that as a manager, one can keep motivating their employees, within today's shifting workforce dynamics, based on the previously stated theories of motivation.
There exist two broad categories of motivation, that is, extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation basically entails the use of various external factors to motivate or encourage the employees to carry out their required tasks efficiently and satisfactorily as needed. For instance, the use of strategies such as raising the pay, giving of time offs, bonus remunerations and checks or even at times threat of job loss. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, involves the use of internal factors. This is about making the employees have a personal desire to produce the best performance. When the staff of an organization are intrinsically motivated, they individually work to achieve a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment from their respective roles and the activities within which they engage in.
Every employee and team member have different needs from the other and therefore they have different motivators. Therefore, the first thing is for a manager to sufficiently understand the needs and requirements of their employees and consequently decide upon the most effective way of motivating them. The theories of motivation are a significant method that managers can use to understand the needs and requirements of their staff as such (Conrad et al., 2011).
One of the reasons behind the challenges of motivation is due to the complexity of human needs (Espejo and Reyes, 2011). As a manager, one cannot directly control an individual's interest in their job. The individual has the responsibility of motivating themselves, however, the manager can encourage this through the creation of an environment that helps the individual to be more intrinsically motivated. Motivated employees are usually highly adaptable when it comes to change, they usually have a positive attitude at the workplace and can help in spread of the organization's good reputation, decreasing their rates of absenteeism, and subsequently ensuring their own improvement of the overall performance and realization of better organization growth in terms of profits and returns. Motivated employees also work hard towards the achievement of their own individual goals, with a sense of emergency as compared to the unmotivated workforce.
Apart from clearly knowing the needs of the employees, another way to create a motivational environment begins with the management style in itself. This entails checking of one's assumptions about their employees as a manager (Deming, 1994). What one believes about their employees, such as whether they're happy or likely to enjoy their roles, form the backbone of the theories X and Y. Theory X involves authoritarian managers who assume that they constantly need to supervise while theory Y entails those managers who believe in giving their team members more responsibility. Such managers assume everyone in the organization has something significant to offer. Today, statistics show that most of the employees prefer working with minimal supervision and more guidance. Therefore, to individually motivate the employees intrinsically, as a manager one has to create an environment that is mainly based on theory Y.
The next step is for the manager to eliminate any cases of dissatisfaction at work and encourage job satisfaction within the workforce. Sources of job satisfaction mainly include the extrinsic motivational factors such as the promotional opportunities, increased sense of responsibility, regular training and development programs, rewarding the best performing employees as well as encouraging the poor performing ones or simply making all the employees to have an overall feeling of working with purpose.
Another way to ensure that the employees stay motivated as a manager is to have a personalized motivational approach. This is because of the fact that the employees who compose the teams at the workplace are individuals, each with their own unique experiences, needs, circumstance and backgrounds. Subsequently, each person is therefore motivated by different factors. When the manager makes an effort in understanding each of the team members beliefs, attitudes and thinking, they can assist in helping them stay motivated.
There are numerous tools that are available to the manager in tailoring the best approach to motivation. These include the three-factor theory which outlines three vital factors for motivating individuals. The three factors entail equity, achievement and camaraderie which a manager can incorporate all together in an organization to keep the employees motivated. Another tool is Maslow's hierarchy of needs, which generally identifies the needs of human beings in five broad categories which are physiological, safety, having a sense of belonging, self-actualization and self-esteem. As per the approach, the manager can motivate the employees by looking into all the levels. Finally, the expectancy theory can also help in the creation of a strong and motiving environment with high standards of work. By clarifying the distinction between effort an outcome, a manager can tailor various motivational rewards depending on each individual's preference at the workplace.
In conclusion, we have seen just how motivation at the workplace is vital for the overall success of an organization's business operations. However, motivation alone can only take an organization so far. As such, having transformational leadership is also crucial in taking the whole team to new heights and helping in the achievement of overall organizational goals (Spagnoletti, 2013). Aside from being inspirational, this is achieved by creating an attractive vision as well as a meaningful future and consequently encouraging the employees to buy into the vision, continuing to build trust and relationship with the employees per se.
Baskerville, R., De, M. M., & Spagnoletti, P. (2013). Designing organizational systems: An interdisciplinary discourse. Berlin: Springer.
Conrad, C. R., & Poole, M. S. (2011). Strategic Organizational Communication: In a Global Economy. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Deming, W. E. (1994). The new economics: For industry, government, education (2nd ed.). Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Advanced Engineering Study (MIT CAES).
Espejo, R., & Reyes, A. A. (2011). Organizational systems: Managing complexity with the viable system model. Heidelberg: Springer.
Spagnoletti, P. (2013). Organizational change and information systems: Working and living together in new ways. Berlin: Springer.
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