Motivating Employees

Topics: Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Locus of control Pages: 12 (2777 words) Published: October 13, 2014

Motivating Employees

Motivating Employees
If you want a successful company, you need to understand the important role that your employees play in any activity. Many times, as an employer, we forget the importance of understanding employees’ needs and want to be able to keep an atmosphere with motivated employees. When I think about motivation, I think about the reason that initiates, guides, and maintains people to keep reaching for their goals. Without motivation, people can’t find the strength and desirability to do their best to achieve goals in all aspects of their lives. Unfortunately for many employers, motivation plays the same role in the work environment. In other words, motivation is what causes us to act, whether it is getting a glass of water to reduce thirst, reading a book to gain knowledge, or put effort in completing a task at work. Motivation is an employee's intrinsic enthusiasm about accomplishing activities related to work (Heathfield, 2013). An individual's motivation is influenced by different factors that can be biological, intellectual, social, and emotional. Creating a motivational work environment should be a priority for all companies. Every employee has activities, events, people, and goals in his or her life that he or she finds motivating.

To create the appropriated motivational work environment, you need to figure out how to inspire your employees. Employee motivation is the combination of fulfilling the employee's needs and expectations from work with the workplace factors that enable employee motivation or not (Heathfield, 2013). In addition to creating a strategy to keep your employees motivated, you also need to considerer the importance in creating clear and specific missions and goals. It is important to have your employees understand the purpose of the company’s objectives. The more they understand the more they will able to contribute to its success. Failure to do so, could affect their performance and desirability to achieve goals.

There are theories of motivation at work that are important to explore and can help to create and maintain a motivational work environment. The first one we will discuss is the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Abraham Maslow proposed a hierarchy of needs that indicates how people in general achieve a sense of satisfaction (Richards, L., Media, D., 2013). Maslow proposed that needs are satisfied in a certain order from the most important to the least important. These needs cannot be fulfilled until the one with higher ranking is met and are physiological which are the need for food and water, safety and security, social, esteem and status, and the need for self-actualization, which equals to living up to one's fullest potential. Accordingly, in the workplace, most employees' physiological needs are met. Safety varies from job to job since some professions have more risk than others. Once employees have met these two needs, they will move on to the next one in line which is the need for social and the need of receiving positive feedback and support for their work. With all of these needs met, employees can stay motivated to do their best work. The next theory is the concept of Locus of Control, Internal vs. External Control. This theory was developed by social learning theorist Julian B. Rotter in 1954. It refers to the degree to which people believed they control their own destiny versus believing they are controlled by others (Richards, L., Media, D., 2013). This theory affects the workplace by focusing on the differences between employees who believe they have more authority than others and accordingly can use control through their own actions. Those employees with an internal locus of control tend to be self-motivated and need less external approval and reward. According to Lin Grensing-Pophal, those with a higher external locus of control respond more readily to external praise (Richards, L., Media, D.,...

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