14 April 2010
This paper explores some motivational strategies and theories modern day businesses use to motivate their employees. It begins by introducing Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and discusses how needs are met during motivational techniques. Then presents pay-for-performance motivation by utilizing techniques from former GE CEO, Jack Welch. Then continues with a human resource approach to motivation. The paper briefly looks at some approaches to motivation and evaluates how they are effective and why they are effective.
What do employees want and why do they want it? In today’s business world, companies are employing a plethora of motivational techniques, in order to increase their profits. Human resources departments use a merit based motivational program, an approach that focuses on the esteem of the employee, or a combination of both. The merit based, pay-for-performance program, employed by Jack Welch, uses money to motivate high performance, whereas the other approach focuses more on helping an employee feel better about his or her self, which will lead to higher performance. Neither method is right nor wrong, it depends on the organization. The organization needs to make sure it is meeting the needs of its employees. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs suggests people must satisfy five groups of needs in order-physiological, security, belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization. Concerning Maslow’s theory in terms of pay-for-performance, it can be analyzed under each of these five areas. The physiological need is the lowest in the hierarchy, and is generally the easiest to fulfill. This physiological level is the necessities and is usually entry level of pay, which is adequate to motivate a worker to pursue the desired position. Once a person attains the physiological level, security is the next need in line. Security is having the feeling of job security. Pay raises and pension plans are money motivators, thus keeping the employee motivated in achieving company quotas and goals in the long term. Social processes describe belongingness needs in Maslow’s hierarchy. A company that provides an indirect monetary reward through a social gathering satisfies this need. A social gathering helps co-workers develop personal and business relationships with each other. Esteem can be divided into two subcategories, self-respect and respect gained from peers. Monetary forms of company provided benefits such as larger offices, job titles and raises could suit this category. The most difficult level of the hierarchy to reach is self-actualization. According to “Management with Exercises in Management, “[…] it can be argued these needs must be met entirely from within the individual” (Griffin, 2008, p. 439). Even though self-actualization rests with the individual, a manager can promote an environment where one can realize his or her own potential. With the pay-for-performance incentive plan, one can achieve self-actualization by reaching their goals and receiving a direct reward for the performance in the form of money. Money is not the only motivating factor, as displayed by a company named Seagate (Griffin, 2008, p. 463).
With respect to Seagate’s motivational strategies, one must satisfy five groups of needs in order, physiological, security, belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization. The company decided their circumstance was dire enough for drastic measures. Seagate sent 200 managers to a weeklong adventure race in New Zealand. Providing food, water, and air at the adventure retreat, fulfills the managers' physiological needs. In the racing tasks, the employees learn how to depend and trust each other, thus gaining each other’s security and fulfilling the security need. Belongingness is an important aspect in a career. An individual spends more than forty hours a week with their work family. It is very important that one have a good rapport with...