Discuss Motivation Can Contribute to Managing Mental Health in the Workplace

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People are motivated to work toward a goal by the expectation of receiving a reward they need (Maslow, 1954; Robbins, 2004). Motivation can be either intrinsic or extrinsic. Interesting and joyful tasks can evoke intrinsic motivation, which exists within an individual, while extrinsic motivation is influenced by external elements, such as status, threats and poverty (Be´nabou & Tirole, 2001). In terms of occupation, researchers maintain that an appropriate work design leads to a high level of job satisfaction, and a high level of job satisfaction is linked to high motivation (Clark et al., 1998), which in turn, is linked to a good work performance (Gibbons, 1999; Herzberg, 2003). This essay expresses the fact that supervisors should pay attention to encouraging employees’ motivation to engage with their work and put effort into their performance (Gibbons, 1999; Herzberg, 2003).

The essay will mainly focus on the way in which employees can be motivated in the workplace, and provide some strategies to manage their mental health at the same time. Related motivation theories will be described before providing the strategies, which are Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Douglas McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y. The reason for choosing these two theories is that there is a key to connect self-actualisation with work to Theory Y (McGregor, 1971). This will be followed by an introduction of the strategies and criticisms. Finally, a conclusion will be drawn that most people can be motivated by their different levels of needs, and mental health can be managed by fulfil their needs, including Theory X. In addition, Theory Y can be managed by engaging employees to participate in management tasks and empowering them to have more authority. Sometimes people’s hierarchy of needs overlap, and therefore, the higher level needs may become evident before the lower levels have been totally satisfied. The needs of an individual are not only affected by insight, but also by self-behaviour. Although satisfying needs can reduce mentally ill problems, it cannot influence behaviour.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs (1943)
Maslow developed his Hierarchy of Needs theory by observing his patients. According to him, human beings seek to satisfy five different levels of basic needs.

1.Physiological needs
Physiological needs are the lowest and most dominant of the five basic needs, and all other needs are generated after physiological needs have been satisfied. These needs include water, food, sex, breath and health. If people’s physiological needs are not met, they only exist. None of their other needs are important, and their ability to think and their sense of morality become weak. Employees are motivated to work by the expectation of rewards.

2.Safety needs
Safety occupies one of the lower levels of the hierarchy, and this need includes personal security, a stable life, and escape from suffering, threats, disease and poverty. When people feel threatened, they become insecure and believe that life is dangerous and unfair. They see danger in everything, and become nervous and anxious. They do not trust their neighbours, and are afraid to have a social life (believing that it is dangerous). They only look to themselves for protection and become self-secure.

3.Need for love
The need for love, such as friendship, love and sexual intimacy, belongs to a higher level of the hierarchy. If people do not care for each other and are cared for, they will see no value in the world. They tend to fulfil their obligations faithfully and without complaint in order to be accepted in society.

4.Need for esteem
The need for esteem, such as achievement, prestige, status, confidence and job promotion, also belongs to a higher level of the hierarchy. The need for esteem does only include being respected by others, but also means showing respect for others. If people are dissatisfied with their need for esteem, they can...
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