The evolving nature of the economy has shift people’s attention to the term ‘Human Resource Management’. Human resource management according to Danny Samson refers to “the activities undertaken to attract, develop and maintain an effective workforce within an organization”(Samson & Daft 2005). Since human resource management it mainly dealing with workforce, employee motivation is one important component of this area. Employees’ level of motivation is a crucial component in determining a company’s performance (McKanic 2005). Hence, it is not surprising to find that the most requested article in history of Harvard Business Review publication is Frederick Hertzberg’s 1967 article entitled “ One More Time : How Do You Motivate Employees?” (Garmager & Shemmer 1998). Realizing the importance of these two areas this essay will outline reasons why human resource management in general and employee motivation in particular has become crucially important, by showing the impact they have on an organization. Next, we shall discuss some challenges faced in dealing with human resource management and employee motivation. Lastly, this essay will outline some methods relevant to creating a motivated workforce.
Firstly, reasons why human resource management and employee motivation have become increasingly important. Human resource management has become essential for a number of reasons, among which include the existence of competitive pressure to dominate a market, the ever changing nature of the economy as well as the complexity of the labor market (Samson & Daft 2005, p.441; Lusthaus et al. 1999, p. 62) For example, competitive pressure in today’s market is rather fierce and stiff (Garmegger & Shemmer 1998). Rapid economic growth has resulted to companies trying fiercely to differentiate its products and services from competitors in order to increase market share (Lecture 5 2006, Samson & Daft 2005, p.441) . In order to be distinctive, human resource management plays an important role as it deals with the workforce (Anthony et al. 2002, p.749, What Intel is and What it isn’t 2001). This is because, the quality of the workforce would have a huge impact on the quality and the distinction of services or products sold (Samson & Daft 2005; Anthony et al. 2001, p.749, What Intel is and What it isn’t 2001). A good example for this would be Toyota, a renowned car manufacturing giant, famous for its extensive employees benefits, whilst making tremendously high profit each year (The Economist January 29th, 2005). According to an article published in the magazine The Economist, The Car Company in Front (January 29th, 2005) under its human resource management, Toyota allows flexible positive working condition and gives its workers a certain degree of power to attain access to business information, and control the production line to encourage an increase in the production capacity and the company’s performance as a whole. This shows how an effective human resource management robustly affects a company’s performance.
Looking more specifically, employee motivation is one area under human resource management. In Harvard Business Review (Kotter 2001) it was clearly stated that ongoing and effective motivation is imperative as it would result to an organization’s ability to overcome hurdles and achieve its missions and visions. This could be explained by looking at the positive effects motivation has on people (Kotter 2001). When a person is hardly motivated, there is little that he or she can do because motivations as well as inspiration energize people (Kotter 2001, Marsh 1998, p.10-44). Consequently, employee’s skills are underutilized resulting to the underperformance of a company (Kotter 2001, Conlon 2003). In other words, a company could not perform to its greatest potential due to inefficient employees who lacks motivation and support. Another way of explaining the importance of employee motivation is to look at what motivation itself...
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