Management Challenge of Motivating Employees

Topics: Motivation, Reward system, Maslow's hierarchy of needs Pages: 6 (2201 words) Published: February 17, 2009
One of the major challenges management faces is motivatingemployees to do their best at work. Successful organizations have motivatedand enthusiastic employees. In this paper I will summarize three articles I’ve found in Harvard Business Review and relate them to chapter 16 from our text on motivation. In this summary I will show the relationship between a motivated workforce and corporate performances. I will then apply the concepts from the articles and the text to management in a personal organizational setting. The first article was abouta new model of employee motivation. For centuries thinkers and behaviorists have studied whatmotivates human beings. Today knowledge of brain science, neuroscience, biology, and evolutionary psychology has allowed deeper studies. Lawrence (2007) and Nohria (2007) suggest people are guided by four emotional needs. The four drivers that underlay motivation are the drive to acquire, bond, comprehend, and defend. We are all driven to acquire physical goods, experiences, and social status. We tend to compare these physical goods and experiences with others. People drive to bond with other employees. They feel motivated when they are proud to belong to an organization. The drive to comprehend leads to adesire to make a meaningful contribution. Employees are motivated by jobs designed to challenge them and enable them to learn. Fulfilling the desire to defend leads to feelings of security and confidence. People have a quest to promote justice and have clear goals and intentions (Groysber, Lee, & Nohria, 2007). The organization and individuals should strive to fulfill all four basic emotional drivers. The drive to acquire is satisfied by an organizations reward system. The most effective way to fulfill the drive to bond is to create a culture that promotes teamwork, collaboration, openness, and friendship. The drive to comprehend is best addressed by designing jobs that are meaningful, interesting, and challenging. Fair, trustworthy, and transparent processes for performance management and resource allocation help to meet peoples’ drive to defend. Companies can receive the best results in employee motivation by improving all four drivers a little rather than just improving one driver. Some drivers influence some motivational indicators more than others. A study done at Aflac proved the effectiveness of fulfilling all four emotional drivers that motivated the workforce ,which lead to better corporate performances(Groysberg, Lee, & Nohria, 2007). . The secondarticle explains how to maximize your return on people. Since employees are a very important asset, which contributes to the success and survival of organizations, there needs to be a measurement for the bottom line contributions of investment in human capital management (HCM). Bassi (2007) and McMurrer (2007)have developed a system for assessing HCM, predicting organizational performance, and guiding organizations investments in people. They found a core set of HCM drivers that predict performances across a broad array of organizations and operations. The drivers are leadership practices, employee engagement, knowledge accessibility, workforce optimization, and organizational learning capacity. By using surveys to score the organization on the range of HCM practices across the five major categories it is possible to benchmark organizational HCM capabilities, identify strengths, and weaknesses and link improvements or backsliding in specific HCM practices with improvement or shortcomings in organizational performances. A HCM sample survey can be found on pages 8 and 9. The following cases showthat their HCM methodology can be used to identify and manage process variations in HCM. In each case the HCM maturity score was directly linked to a range of performance outcomes. South Carolina’s Beaufort County School district students were not doing well on the state achievement tests. Bassi (2007) and McMurrer (2007) worked with the schools...
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