Motivating Subordinates

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Motivation, Abraham Maslow Pages: 11 (3681 words) Published: July 14, 2008
Motivation as a subjective experience, is the readiness to act or behave in a particular way. People do what they do or behave the way they do, because it helps them to satisfy some of their needs and experience pleasure or it helps them to avoid thwarting of certain needs and consequent experience of displeasure. Under certain circumstances people act in such a way that they seek satisfaction of some of their needs (for example the staff listens to the boss whose arguments are logical and convincing). Under other circumstances, a person behaves in such a way that he avoids sources of personal dissatisfaction or failure. For example, an employee behaves properly on the job for fear of disciplinary actions towards him, in other words to avoid a situation in which he has to suffer punishment.

Motivating subordinates is an act on the part or superiors to energise the will and prompt action of their subordinates towards doing their job well. It is influencing their behavior so that they work as expected. The process of motivating subordinates is means to get the work done by them. In making the subordinates to do what their superior wants them to do, he can either force them, using his authority, or can create positive conditions for the satisfaction of their needs and get them to do the job willingly. His first approach is a negative “Motivation Approach” or “Punishment” or “Coercive” approach and his second approach is “Positive Motivation Approach “ or “Reward Approach” or “Persuasive Approach.” The first one creates conditions for the subordinates to avoid ‘potential punishment.’ The practice of administering “Rewards” (providing for need satisfaction) and administering “Punishments” together is known as “carrot and stick” style of management/ leadership.

Organisation tries to influence and control (tries to motivate) its employees by means of its personnel and welfare policies by providing proper work environment and through supportive supervision. The kinds of attempts, superior officers make in motivation their staff, whether they employ predominantly a Positive Motivational approach or predominantly a Negative Motivational Approach or a mixed approach, or even in Motivational Approach, what positive ‘Motivational Techniques will be used, all depend upon their understanding and appreciation of the “process of human Motivation.” The field of psychology has brought about a rich wealth of material on “Human Motivation and Human Behaviour.”

The Psychology of Human Motivation
The first principle is that all our behaviour is purposeful. That is it serves some purpose to the person. The behaviour is aroused by needs. We may not be aware of all needs. Some needs may be operating at the sub-conscious level. That is, we may not be knowing always why we behave or behaved in a particular way. The primary motive (intention, purpose) of a student who studies hard at the time of examination is to get a good pass. This primary motive is clear to him. But, he might also unconsciously want to invite the attention of his parents and to enjoy their appreciation and good will. Similarly, an employee attends his work with punctuality and does a good job, because, he knows clearly that he will have to face punishments, if he is irregular in attendance and neglects his duties. But, there is nothing in the code of conduct to check whether the employee is putting his best. If he puts in the so called ‘day’s work’, he can be safe. But some take more initiative, more responsibility and enjoys working hard, while the same job for other is not so attractive. The reasons for this may not be quite clear to them. In other words, some of the needs that trigger their enthusiasm may be operating at the sub-conscious level.

Multiplicity of Needs
It is not that a single need operates I producing behaviour on the other hand, many needs operate simultaneously. The personal satisfaction or other wise, that result from the needs when they are...
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