Effect of Motivation on Employees

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CHAPTER 1

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

Human capital has emerged as the most critical firm asset, and the ability to attract motivate and retain capable employees is essential in organization’s innovation and quality improvement (Frye, 2004). These sentiments are supported by Jung and Hartog, (2007) who suggest that, one way for organizations to become more innovative is to capitalize on their employees’ ability to innovate. Jung and Hartog, continue to argue that employees can help to improve business performance through their ability to generate ideas and use these as building blocks for new and better products, services and work processes. Therefore, under new work conditions, to create value, every organization has to seek, generate, distribute and apply knowledge, a function that instead of being driven by capital, emerges from an environment in which the human spirit is enthused (Amar, 2004). Amar goes on to add that, only those organizations that develop a work environment that motivates their employees to engage in a behaviour consistent with this goal will succeed.

Motivation is fundamental to human behaviour (Cesare and Sandri, 2003). Staff motivation is the basis for organizational survival; in fact it argued that employees are the greatest asset of a company, and that satisfied customers must satisfy employee requirements (Nebeker, Busso, Werefels, Diallo, Czekajewski and Ferman, 2001). Non-profit organizations might only have to spend resources to carefully select intrinsically motivated employees, but also find ways to continuously direct and support their motivation; they can be expected to rely more on organizational practices and procedures that strengthen intrinsic a motivation to work towards the organization’s goal (Benz, 2005). For motivational problems, the best source of information is the employee. Exploring the attitudes that employees hold concerning factors that motivate them to work is important to creating an environment that fosters employee motivation (Wiley, 1995). In order to cater for the changes in perception brought about by time, Wiley also suggest that employees must be asked on a regular basis what sparks and sustains their desire to work.

Individual performance is moderated by the personality, values, attitudes and ability of the individual which, in combination, affect their perceptions and motivation, and ultimately influence individual performance (Marchant, 1999). However, whether they will do so, will depend upon whether they are motivated to exert the necessary efforts to perform the task and perform well (Oben, 2003). The increasingly turbulent and competitive environment facing both private and non-private sector organizations over the past two decades has put a greater focus on effectively developing employees’ knowledge and skills as a means of enhancing organizational performance (Birdie, Patterson and Wood, 2007). Therefore, understanding the theory and application of motivation is very important in managing human resource in making these new organizations succeed (Amar, 2004).

Rewards are an ever present and always controversial feature of the organization (Kreitner and Kinicki, 2006). The existence of sectoral differences in reward preferences is not just a matter of purely academic interest; rather, it is assumed that these differences have a practical influence on the performance of public sector organizations (Wright, 2007). Reward should be at the heart of affairs, reflecting the business direction of an organization and acting as a strategic lever for change in employee behaviour. This can be done by encouraging a performance culture and by linking the efforts of staff to business goals (Reilly, 2003). Reilly continues to say that reward must also be adaptable to the changing business climate, and employees must be encouraged to be flexible in the work they do. Good contingent reward management should be in place...
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