Employee Motivation Research Paper

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Motivating Employees


Employees are motivated by both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. In order for the reward system to be effective, it must encompass both sources of motivation. Studies have found that among employees surveyed, money was not the most important motivator, and in some instances managers have found money to have a de-motivating or negative effect on employees.  This research paper addresses the definition of rewards in the work environment context, the importance of rewarding employees for their job performance, motivators to employee performance such as extrinsic and intrinsic rewards, Herzberg’s two-factor theory in relation to rewarding employees, Hackman and Oldman model of job enrichment that identifies how well-designed jobs lead to high motivation, superior performance and employee satisfaction, and Vroom’s expectancy theory. In addition, strategies for rewarding employees’ performance and steps to prepare for and give effective rewards for job performance that meet and exceed customer expectations are also discussed.

DeSimone, et al (2009) defines work motivation as “the psychological processes that cause the arousal, direction, and persistence of voluntary actions that are goal directed.” (p. 44). According to Mathis & Jackson (2010), “Motivation is the desire within a person causing that person to act. People usually act for one reason: to reach a goal. Motivation is a goal-directed drive; complex and individualized, and managerial strategies and tactics must be broad based to address the motivation concerns of individuals. (pp. 72-73). Like a child being given a chocolate cupcake and a big hug after cleaning his or her room, rewards and recognition can be powerful tools for employee motivation and performance improvement. According to Cicerone et al (2007), “Rewards are a powerful method for encouraging good job performance. When managers don’t recognize, encourage and reward...
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