Motivation

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Rewards whether monetary or non-monetary possess a motivational element. It is psychological; one always feels a sense of achievement when given a reward. However in today’s day and age people are more content with rewards of high value be it financial or materialistic. This could be due to the on-going recession most countries and individuals are experiencing. Then again, it depends on the individual; there are people who expect rewards with exponential value and there are those who are appreciative of just knowing that their job is secure. This difference is most likely due to the position the individual holds in a particular firm or organisation. This essay will analyze whether the best way to increase work motivation is through financial rewards. When it comes to motivation, there are various theories espoused with the ultimate aim of increasing an employee’s work performance. Motivation is defined as being “the cognitive decision-making process through which goal-directed behaviour is initiated, energized, directed and maintained” (Buchanan & Huczynski, 2007, p.242). These are the factors that a manager must retain in order to motivate his/her employees profitably. An individual’s work motivation can be positively related to job performance and organisational commitment. (Colquitt et.al, 2011) As stated in the definition of motivation, there are various forces that determine employee motivation in the workplace. Intrinsic motivation is “a form of motivation that stresses valued outcomes or benefits that come from within the individual such as; feelings of satisfaction, competence, esteem and accomplishment” (Buchanan & Huczynski, 2007, p.435). This form of motivation has a lot to do with psychological empowerment, which will be discussed later in this essay. Extrinsic motivation on the other hand is “a form of motivation that stresses valued outcomes or benefits provided by others such as; promotion, pay increase, bigger office desk.” Both factors possess the same importance when it comes to motivating employees in an organisation. Another research suggests that employees underestimate how powerful a motivator such as pay is to them. They often put ‘pay’ in the fifth or sixth place. Nevertheless pay or bonuses can be motivational because it can satisfy a great number of needs, therefore financial rewards in reference to extrinsic rewards do prove to be a great way of motivating people compared to the intrinsic way of motivation. Hence, by satisfying their needs financially, job performance is bound to increase. The first category of theories is known as ‘Need Theories’ which basically focuses on satisfying the needs of people in order to motivate them to perform well, Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) believed that there were nine levels in something called “the hierarchy of needs” which summarized what motivated people in an organisation. He believed that people believed in satisfying biological needs (food, clothing and shelter) first, and then the rest of their psychological needs. Nonetheless, till today many firms do incorporate Maslow’s ideas to influence management practices in areas such as rewards policy, job design and management style (Buchanan & Huczynski, 2007, p.242). Maslow’s theory states that employees at the lower part of the hierarchy are only motivated if their needs are satisfied fiscally. Then as they grow in an organisation, their needs are more of extrinsic value rather than intrinsic. From his theory it is understood that financial rewards alone cannot motivate people to perform well at their work. Financial rewards would motivate the younger generation more than the older generation. This is because the young people work to earn in order to make extra money to pay for; tuition fees, books, extra classes. However once people grow older their needs change and their view of the value of money changes as well, from economic to symbolic; achievement, respect and freedom. The theory of Clayton Paul...
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