Motivation is a widely studied concept in the organizational management field. Wood et al. (1994) defined work motivation as the forces within an individual, which are reflected by the level, direction and persistence of effort put into his work to improve their work efficiency. The Hierarchy of Needs Theory proposed by Maslow (1943) states that every human being has five kinds of needs, which managers can use as motivators. In 1966, Frederik Herzberg put forward the Two-factor Theory, which divides the motivation into intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Hackman and Oldham proposed the Job Design Theory in 1980, which presumes that the work itself is the key motivation. According to Hofstede (2001), people form different cultural backgrounds have diverse work values. Thus managers should motivate their employees based on diverse values.
Personally speaking, motivation is the vary reason that employees complete their work as demanded, which fulfill the employees’ internal or external needs. High motivation leads to a satisfying job, which makes employee willing to contribute as much as they can to complete what is demanded. Usually, there are 5 factors of average job satisfaction: work itself, payment, promotion, supervision, and coworkers. Among the 5 factors, work itself accounted for almost 80%. (Robbins, S. 2008)
Human capital now is the most precious resource of a company, because the creativity of a firm’s core competitiveness is human beings, so the quality of the employees determines the future of a company. In this situation, employment and retention of “talent” employees becomes the key action of a company. To make employees “willing” to stay and generate their loyalty to the company, management have to maintain and heighten the level of job satisfaction.
In this article, author will discuss the concept of motivation with the theories that mentioned above, and how motivation can influence individual behavior in the organization. In addition, author will also talk about how management can apply the concept and improve the job performance with the discussion of a case study of Google recruiting.
According to the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory, every human being has lower-ordered needs, which includes Physiological, Safety, and higher-ordered needs, including Social, Esteem and Self-actualization. As each of these needs becomes substantially satisfied, the next need becomes dominant.
Due to the study of Dr. John Sullivan (2008), we found that in Google’s office, they offer employees the food and the gymnasium, which meets their needs of Physiological. To fulfill their employees’ needs of Safety, Google offer free parking, health care and many services, like child care. For Social, they provide their employees high level of job involvement as they call themselves “Googlers”, and you can share your ideas with anyone. They also offer training in what you are interested in, which makes the employees get access to esteem. To meet the employees’ needs of Self-actualization, Google involves them in decision-making. What’s more, everyone is important in Google since your idea can be realized at anytime. All these are aiming at heighten the level of job satisfaction of employees, making the employees in Google work hard for themselves, because they want to achieve the “best one” they could.
Since the work of Taylor during 1800s to 1900s, it is common for managers to use money as a major motivator for employees. Among the fairly large amount of research on the importance of payment, Lawson (1996) noted that salary is ranked the third or fourth most important factor. In Lawson’s research, respondents were asked to rate their perceived influence of different satisfier...