“the One Best Way of Increasing Work Motivation for an Organization Is Through Employee Reward Schemes”. Discuss.

Topics: Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Abraham Maslow Pages: 7 (2202 words) Published: April 30, 2011
“The one best way of increasing work motivation for an organization is through employee reward schemes”. Discuss. Motivation is a critical factor in a business as research shows that work motivation has a strong positive impact on job performance (Colquitt, page 202). “Why do we need motivated employees? The answer is survival” (Smith, 1994). Research shows that motivated employees are more productive than unmotivated employees. This is because motivated employees work to the best of their ability to achieve their personal or organisational goals. The manager’s objective is to make sure that the work force is motivated. This is arguably the most complex function the manager has to perform because individuals motivation needs keeps changing constantly (Bowen & Radhakrishna, 1991). Rewarding employees for their work is one way of motivating them however academic research indicates that other methods of motivating employees have a stronger impact on job performance this includes self-efficacy and goal setting theory.

The definition of motivation given is "the psychological process that gives behavior purpose and direction" (Kreitner, 1995), "a predisposition to behave in a purposive manner to achieve specific, unmet needs" (Buford, Bedeian, & Lindner, 1995), "the drive to satisfy an unsatisfied need of an individual" (Higgins, 1994), and "the will to achieve" (Bedeian, 1993). There are 3 concepts of motivation, Intrinsic, Extrinsic and Effort. Intrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from within the employee himself. "It is felt when task performance serves as its own reward" (Colquitt, page 184). Some examples of intrinsic motivation are enjoyment, skill development and knowledge gain. Extrinsic motivation is when an employee is motivated by external rewards. "It is motivation that is controlled by some contingency that depends on task performance" (Colquitt, page 184). Some examples of extrinsic motivation are pay, bonuses and praise. Effort has been defined persistence, intensity towards task performance in a positive direction (Colquitt, Page …). Rewards are a type of extrinsic motivation.

"Abraham Maslow proposed that motivation is based a number of human needs" (Hollyforde & Whiddett, 2002, Page 94). His needs hierarchy suggests that lower most needs to be satisfied before moving to achieve higher level needs. These needs are physiological needs (the need for food, water and shelter), safety needs (the need for job security, insurance), love and belonging needs (the need to belong to a family or group), esteem needs (the need for confidence, achievement, respect), and self actualisation needs (the need for personal growth and development) (Maslow, 1943). They are usually illustrated by a pyramid with the most basic needs (physiological needs) at the bottom of the pyramid and the higher level one (self actualisation) at the top. Maslow feels that people are motivated to satisfy the physiological and safety needs first as they are the most basic needs an individual requires and once they are satisfied the people are driven to the higher lever needs (Hollyforde & Whiddett, 2002, Page 95). This means that when one basic level need is satisfied another higher level need emerges.

Alderfer’s theory the ERG theory is a continuation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory (Hollyforde & Whiddett, 2002, Page 70). Alderfer thought that these needs can be better categorised into 3 core needs: Existence needs, Relatedness needs and Growth needs. Existence needs are the one which Maslow defined as physiological and safety needs, Relatedness needs are the love and belonging needs and Growth needs are self-esteem and self actualisation needs. Unlike maslow’s needs hierarchy, Alderfer regards existence of more than one need at a time, but more from existence to growth (Hollyforde & Whiddett, 2002, Page 71). Existence needs are at one end as they are the most concrete, as they are the basic needs and...
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