Motivation in the Workplace

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Motivation in the Workplace
University of Phoenix
PSY 320

Motivation in the Workplace
The workplace at Roadway Express consists of a diverse group of employee, all which have unique motivational needs. Some employees try hard to meet their own personal goals and satisfaction levels. Others need to be pushed along with extrinsic motivators to compensate their lack of intrinsic motivation. Ultimately, the level of an employee’s motivation impacts their performance and the overall productivity of the Roadway Express workplace. This paper will explore what methods management currently uses to improve performance, how employees have responded to attempts at improving their performance, management’s philosophy and ability to consistently motivate, and an analysis of how the expectancy x value theory would impact the workplace if implemented. Motivational Methods

Two methods used by Roadway Express to motivate employees to produce at a higher level are intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. It should also be noted that Roadway express contains two different groups of employees. There are non-union employees comprised of front line supervisors, clerical staffing, and technicians and there are union employees that make up the direct labor force.

For non-union employees, the company offers extrinsic motivators such as an attractive benefits package, excellent salary, 401K contributions, flexible scheduling, tuition reimbursement, and a rewards program. The rewards and incentives program includes bonuses based upon goals set during yearly performance reviews. This gives the employee the opportunity to perform well and be compensated for it. While these motivators help lure in job candidates and provide initial surges of productivity, they are not the real substance of what motivates the non-union employees to improve performance in the long term. Roadway Express offers many intrinsic motivators as well such as a comprehensive coaching and mentorship program and an in house “university” that employees can enroll in to improve upon skills or learn and develop new skills. Intrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from within an individual independent of external influences such as a raise or promotion (Reeve, 2009). The coaching program provides the non-union employees with a mentor to help guide them in their decision making and situational skills. The program outlines a growth path for skills the employee wants to learn and skills the mentors and managers want the employee to learn. Having the available “lifeline” and assistance from seasoned job veterans keeps morale up among new employees learning the nuisances and competencies of the job.

Union employees receive mostly extrinsic motivation to improve their performance. They are guaranteed a yearly pay increase and receive premium health benefits and job security. Union employees also receive a pension, which is guaranteed to them unless the company goes bankrupt or the employee is discharged for due cause. These extrinsic motivators influence the employee’s needs to increase productivity because their future and guaranteed benefits are tied to the financial and operating success of the company. Management has also been making strides in providing intrinsic motivators. One method that the company has been implementing with success amongst the work force is lean principles. Management wanted to go lean and eliminate waste so they brought the union workforce into the discussions, decision making process, and implementation of the lean program. The goal management posed to the union was the return of waste reduction savings to the workforce in the form of worker appreciation and better job conditions and equipment. The results of this initiative were overwhelming. Not only did morale increase because employees were thrilled to be involved in decisions that impact their day to day job functions, but morale spiked again when all the cost savings began...
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