Taking into account all the many “Work Motivation Theories” that you have learned, read and analyzed, state how some of the leading theories and studies have contributed to the objective of “Sustainable Personnel Output” for organizations to realize profitability and growth.
To discuss motivation in this paper, it is essential that we establish a straightforward definition for what we wish to analyze. I will use Stephen Robbins’ definition of motivation in his book “Organizational Behavior” (2001, p. 155) “[…] the processes that account for an individual's intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal”. Thus, Robin uses intensity as something concerned with “how hard a person tries” and direction implies energy “towards attaining the organizational goals.“ Finally, persistence refers to “how long a person can maintain his or her effort”. Previous to the emergence of work motivation theories, employees were considered simply another input into the production of goods and services. However, upon the realization that employees are not motivated solely by money and the realization that firm survival is entirely dependant upon levels of employee motivation, managers began to think like psychologists. Because, motivated employees help organizations not only to survive AND thrive, but to be prosperous, they are absolutely required in our rapidly changing workplaces. To be entirely effective, managers need to be aware of what motivates employees within the context of the roles they perform. Of all the functions a manager or leader performs, ironically, motivating employees is arguably the most complex! This is due to the fact that what motivates individual employees changes constantly and may even differ from person to person. What motivates employees today, may not work tomorrow. Also, as employee needs become fulfilled, they are no longer useful as motivators. However, it IS so important to apply motivation theories to maintain employee focus; this is one of the keys to running a successful business. Motivated employees work harder and more productively, thus intensifying business dynamics and growth and adding to profits. Research has suggested that older employees are motivated more by interesting work than by income. Research has also suggested that as employee’s salaries rise, money becomes less of a motivator thus pushing managers to look for other unfulfilled needs of employees. This contradicts the old school beliefs about employees being money hungry, greedy and lazy, which they aren’t. Theories like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Alderfer’s ERG Theory point out that employees want more than money. They want interpersonal relationships, they want to make useful and productive contributions in their place of employment and they also want opportunities for personal growth. Work motivation theories are also valuable because managers need to maintain top performers in an organization and this can be done by keeping staff motivation levels high. Often, discontented employees will leave if they feel that their efforts are going unappreciated. If they perceive a certain lack of recognition for their efforts, they may resign and look elsewhere anticipating a feeling of belonging and appreciation in their next position. This is a loss to an organization which may have trained, developed, empowered and basically ‘produced’ a superior employee. However, if an employee loves his job and has been told on several accounts that he is indispensable, he will think twice about leaving his place of employment. Employees love to feel needed and a part of a team or ‘family.’ Because a motivated employee works harder, longer and more efficiently, managers need to value and apply research and theories of work motivation. The high cost of not applying such knowledge is one that organizations simply cannot afford. Low motivation in the work place wrecks havoc on organizations with negative disease like symptoms;...
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