How Can Managers Use Their Understanding of Motivation and Communication Theories to Improve Performance of Staff?

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An employee's motivation to work consists of all the drives, forces and

influences – conscious or unconscious – that cause the employee to want to

achieve certain aims. Managers need to know about the factors that create

motivation in order to be able to induce employees to work harder, faster,

more efficiently and with greater enthusiasm. Employees are motivated in

part by the need to earn a living and partly by human needs for job

satisfaction, security of tenure, the respect of colleagues and so on.

The organisation's rewards systems may applied to the first motive and job

design to the latter. Much research has sought to discover the sources of

motivation is tentative and no definite conclusions can be advanced.

For instance, "Social philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart

Mill asserted that humans are driven by the desire to obtain pleasure and

avoid pain. And B.F.Skinner's theory of operant conditioning implied that 1 motivation emerges from the interplay of stimulus and response."

(H.T Graham & Roger Bennett, 1998)

With references to " The hierarchy of needs" theory by the American

psychologist, A.H. Maslow, he has divided human needs into the following

classes :

a) Physiological or basic needs

b) Security or safety needs

c)Belonging of affection needs

d)Esteem or ego needs

e) Self actualisation needs

In general, when physiological and security needs have been satisfied,

the higher needs ( belonging, esteem and self actualisation) become

important, usually, according to Maslow, in the order of the hierarchy. 2 (Stephen P. Robbins, Bruce Millett, Ron Cacioppe, Terry Waters-Mash,


For example, a manager who receives a substantial salary, and thus

adequately satisfies his or her lower needs, regards status symbols like a

well-furnished office as important, but a former manager who has been

unemployed for a long time will eventually take any available job that brings

a reasonable income, even though it is of low status.

Maslow's theory is widely accepted, easy to understand and can be

used to explain much but not all behaviour at work. For instances, a poor

person may yearn for status symbols (higher level of needs) even though his

or her immediate physical and security requirements (lower level of needs)

have not been properly met. Managers who do not realise this may try to

solve all problems with people by raising pay, for example. All he does is to 3 supply more of a responses to a low level needs than is necessary and

neglects the higher levels altogether. For instance, a married man who have

already more than enough money to satisfy his basic needs may yearn for

more time with his family unlike a young graduate ,who has just started out

working ,will place more emphasis on earning more.

According to David McClelland, the need to achieve is a primary

motivating factor. Other important needs, he suggested are the needs for

power and affiliation. (H.T Graham & Roger Bennett, 1998) Achievement –

oriented people worked extremely hard and constantly sought to improve

their performances. Power seekers were motivated by the prospect of

controlling subordinates and Affiliators wanted pleasant relationships with

the colleagues and to help other individuals.

Managers when motivating their subordinates can use " The
4 hierarchy of needs" theory ,David McClelland's suggestion...
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