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Meaning of motivation and how this will affect the employees of an organization

The purpose of this essay is to give the reader an insight the meaning of motivation and how this will affect the employees of an organization in terms of their commitment and performance at work. Based on (Mitchell, 1982), what ways do management at the top will have to do to motivate the people under them which are the workers, making sure they are comfortable working in the environment and how the employees can give their best to the organization. According to Clegg et al (2008) as the employees’ motivation increased, the organisation performance also increases therefore there is a link between these two.

An example of motivation in real life in practice that you can experience what motivation is why you wake up early this morning, what motivates you to get good marks? And finally how this motivation can affect organisations, will they get motivated by different approach by the top management team to perform better, what motivates them in order to increase their performance at work.

This Essay will start with introduction by defining motivation by different theorists who came up with the idea of motivations and by using empirical examples; it shows the link between these two how each theory will be relevant to each different approach by the top management team use in the organization. Followed by this is the content where it will show and assess different approach by the organization use in the environment in addition, it criticises the approach taken by the organization, and different techniques use by the organization to increase employees commitment and performance for example is money the only reason why the workers can get motivated (Fulmer et al, 2003). Finally, the last part of this essay will be the conclusion where it sums up the theory of motivations using theories and case study examples on how this can affect the employees’ commitment and performance at the workplace.

According to (Steers et al, 2004), the term motivation derives from Latin words for movement (movere). The theories behind motivation where it can be distinct into 2 theories, which are, content and process theory (http://www.managementjournals.com). The first emphasis on what motivates individuals and the latter emphasis on the actual process of motivation. An example of content theories are scientific management by Frederick Taylor, the Hawthorne studies by Elton Mayo, hierarchy of needs by Abraham Maslow, whereas process theory: Goal setting theory by Locke in (Locke, 1975).

Management theories for many years have tried to understand why people do work harder than others, what factors do make them better than others, why do they work harder, are they achieving something, what motivates them to work hard. Therefore in the later part of this essay, it will discuss some of the motivation factors by theorists can be seen at work in the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) is one of the largest financial institutions in the world. It is a global business with a range of operations in Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America. RBS has center’s in sixteen North America, thirteen European countries, and eight major Asia Pacific cities.

RBS is one of the world’s leading financial services companies providing a range of corporate banking, retail, consumer finance, financial markets, insurance, and wealth management services. It serves more than 36 million customers world wide and employs more than 140,000 people. http://www.thetimes100.co.uk/case-study

Early theorists on employees’ motivation often looked at factors outside the individual for example Taylor and the piece rate. Frederick W. Taylor was the founder of scientific management where he believes that there is only one best way to manage and each element of job could be timed (Locke, 1982). This theory suggests all the managers had to do was pay for every output the employees or workers produced and by doing this they would work harder to get more money in other words money is everything to them therefore they would do anything and work really hard in order for them to get more money. This led to a long established pay scheme also known as piece rate where workers received a fixed amount for every unit of output. This scheme is not appropriate for a complex service led organization like RBS but is usually associated with manufacturing industries.

Abraham Maslow introduced Maslow’s’ hierarchy of needs theory in 1943 where his theory links to other many theories of human developmental psychology which focus more on the stages of growth in humans. His theory can be portrayed in the shape of a pyramid consists of 5 stages where the need for self-actualisation at the top of the pyramid and the most fundamental levels of needs at the bottom which are physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging, and esteem and they sometimes called as the deficiency needs. (Maslow, 1943)

Trough RBS, it creates opportunity for its community of employees worldwide to share in its vision for the group and its common goals. It does this by rewarding the employees who contribute to its success through their hard work and commitment. It also provides self actualization by offering promotion opportunities, recognition and the chance to develop a lifelong career with the group.

Maslow’s theory suggests the most basic level of needs must be met before an individual can focus on the higher level of needs. Physiological needs include hunger, breathing, and nutrition. The human body cannot continue to function unless these needs are met. Working our way up the pyramid we have safety needs these includes financial security, job security, health and well being. As physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third layer of human needs is love and belonging. This aspect of the hierarchy includes emotionally based relationship in general for instance family and friendship where humans feel that they need to have sense of belonging and acceptance from social group. Self-esteem and a stable self respect are needed for most people. He distinguishes a lower and higher esteem needs where the lower one is the need to respect others for instance fame, recognition, and attention whereas the higher one is the need for self-respect for example self-confidence and competence. As for self-actualisation, all the previous needs have to be achieved in order to be at this level, it concerns to what a person’s full potential is and realising that potential. (Hagerty, 1997)

The next level esteem refers to the employees need to feel valued which matters to them. The RBS mind set is that the workers can make it happen for themselves. It gives opportunities for all employees through training or promotion and then recognizes their achievements. Through this, the employees of RBS can improve their self esteem. Self actualization sits at the very top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which is our human need this means in order to be as good as a worker possibly can be, he/she should work hard to achieve this. RBS meets this by offering recognition, opportunities for promotion, and the chance to develop a lifelong career with the group.

According to (House, 1967) another theorist, Frederick Herzberg observed a large scale survey into motivation in an American industry. The results of his survey led him to develop a two factor theory of motivation. He firstly established that if an employee’s basic needs were not met for instance a basic rate of pay and a suitable working environment, then this may creates a source of dissatisfaction where he termed these as hygiene factors. On the other hand, the presence of less tangible factors, for example recognition for doing well and the provision of challenging work can create or increase work motivation where he termed these as motivators. (Knights and Willmott, 2007). His theory also known as Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. (Ryan, 2000)

Taking RBS into example of using Herzberg theories of motivators (Dermer, 1975), in RBS the employees get recognition for good work in other words, employees can get a promotion or recognition from the above management if they have done the job well, on the top of that they have a collective sense of achievement when the whole business does well. They also will gain extra responsibility and advancement through regular performance reviews what’s more, when RBS people do well in their work, the company rewards them.

The organizational levers of motivation can be divided into 4 categories they are Reward system, Culture, job design, and performance management and resource allocation processes. (Nohria et al, 2008)

By using reward system, it will effectively discriminate between good and poor performers, ties rewards to performance and gives the best worker opportunities for advancement. When NatWest was acquired by the RBS, it introduced a new system that the top management are responsible for specific goals and rewarded good performance over average performance. The reward system was tough but individual achievements are recognized. Another example of organization is Sonoco, a manufacturer of packaging for industrial and consumer goods it has established a clear links between performance and rewards, employee satisfaction and engagement improved. (http://www.sonoco.com)

Creating a culture will encourage teamwork, openness, collaboration, and friendship. When RBS took over NatWest it brought together people from two firms to work on well defined cost savings and revenue growth projects, this encourages to break old attachments and form new bonds. For instance both RBS and ex NatWest executives meets once a week to discuss and resolve any outstanding issues that can slow decision making at the top. Wegmans supermarket chain is another example, the evidence of a sense of teamwork and belonging is shown by the employees report routinely that the management cares about them and care about one another. (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies)

Cirque du Soleil is a Canadian entertainment company that performs street entertainment and circus. It committed to making jobs challenging and fulfilling. Its employees get to say a lot about how performance are staged moreover, they are allowed to move from show to show to learn new skills. At RBS, jobs are designed to be meaningful, interesting, and challenging to the employees. (Nohria et al, 2008)

Performance management and resource allocation processes will contribute people’s drive to defend. RBS has managed to make its decision processes very clear, Individual performance is recognized and rewarded in highly visible ways. Training and scholarships, on site child care that enhance work and life balance will help to motivate its employees to commit on their work and hopefully can increase work performance.

Finally based on the statistics (Nohria et al, 2008) by fulfilling all four basic of the above not just one, the employee motivation is to improve and its effectiveness. For instance a firm that relative to other firms ranks in the 50th percentile on employee motivation. If there is an improvement in job design alone it would only move that organization only up to 56th percentile but an improvement on all four drives would reach up to 88th percentile.

Another way to increase workers motivation at work is to introduce to them a flexible working. To retain and attract the highest motivated and qualified employees, RBS provides its own workers to develop a work life balance between work and non work commitments.

RBS offer its employees the right to work flexibly; this means that workers are not restricted. An example of this can be through a range of flexible working practices covering part time working, job sharing, home working, compressed hours, variable working hours and term time working. These are adapted to meet the requirements of the local needs of each RBS centre. The procedures and policies for applying are easily available on its own website. Help direct is provided by RBS for their workers so that they can call for advice on making the most of their time at and away from work, moreover it offers counseling on a range of life issues. http://www.thetimes100.co.uk/case-study

In some circumstances, RBS recognizes that people may need time off from work for reasons other than sickness this can be a special family commitments or commitments in their local community for some people therefore, RBS understand how the employees need to take their time off from work by letting them take a couple of days of holidays. In 2004, ‘your time’ programmes which is sponsored by the RBS won the HR Excellence Award for most effective use of flexibility in the workplace.

One of the benefits of flexible working practices is help to create a working atmosphere that relives stress, as this is the policy of RBS in relation to work life balance. What’s more this will help to generate greater equality of opportunity for everyone. For instance, this flexibility allows employees to choose working patterns that fit with their childcare arrangements or their personal lives. Talented people will get attracted as well to RBS following these flexible practices. Elton Mayo theoretical work on motivation in the 1920s showed that contented people, who are satisfied with the working environment they work, were likely to be more productive (O’Connor, 1999). The interruption of home or community pressures can be handled far more comfortably with the help of an employer such as RBS, which in return, RBS will gain the loyalty and commitment of their own staffs resulting drives higher performance.

Workers are not motivated by money alone as Abraham Maslow theory describes but individuals are more motivated by different things. Motivation itself can be about shaping or build a worthwhile career or it may involve having more flexibility with time. For example, at the beginning of a student’s career, help to pay off the student debt may be more crucial to him than retirement planning. The workers at RBS enjoy total reward that is a specific benefits package designed by RBS that goes far beyond salary. It does not include just the money, but it provides benefits for each member of staff but also personal choice in working hours and security. (Rynes et al, 2004)

The total reward package that RBS offered might also include flexible pension funding, paid holidays, health and medical benefits and a confidential advice service. Usually between 25 and 30 days for full time staff is what the employees at RBS get for holiday allowance with include the option of buying or even selling days. Employees may also choose from a wide range of lifestyle benefits, this will include childcare facilities, discounted shopping vouchers and RBS financial products such as currency exchange, mortgages, personal loans and banking at special staff discounted rates therefore by doing this, the employees will get motivated to go to work resulting in a higher performance at the workplace. (http://www.business-intelligence.co.uk)

As RBS manage an exciting and forward thinking Human Resources (HR) strategy at every level wherever they work, it provides a world class employment package for every employee. It adopts an attitude that motivates its own staff in both financial and personal ways (Guest, 1987). The result of doing this, RBS is able to compete for the best people and pull them to its business.

Motivation theory comes to life at RBS. The employees at all levels can enjoy a work environment where effort is seen to be valued moreover achievement is recognized, where a long term career is available for those who are able to grow with the business and where individual progress is rewarded. Where the rewards available are varied, practical, personal and tailored to the individual and where the individuals are made up to feel a part of the bigger picture, there are motivators for all.

At the core of the package is a competitive salary based on experience and skills regardless of where in the world the employees of RBS are based. By providing a competitive pay means comparing what the workers are offering against salaries for similar jobs in other financial services organizations. The staff in RBS receive their salaries credited based on monthly basis to their bank account. The basic rate of pay is specified by the terms and conditions and any further payments that they may be eligible to receive.

However, within RBS the basic salary is only the start up point from which a number of additional bonus payments can be received. The profit sharing scheme is the key to success for the employee’s share, if the company meets its overall targets of profits, then all employees will also receive a bonus worth 10% of their salary. On top of the profit share bonus as described before, there will be also a chance to earn an individual performance related bonus when the workers in RBS managed to achieve or exceed their performance targets, for instance, a project manager who manage to delivers the project within budget provided and ahead of time given therefore in a year time when the organization does well and the individual performs well, it is substantial for the individual to get additional payments. http://www.thetimes100.co.uk/case-study

Non financial award can be given to the employees as well in order to motivate them in their commitment and performance at work so it is not always the money that can motivate them. Whilst money may be a stimulant for employees to go to work, at work pay cannot motivate people to give more. Theorists have long understood that employees need a combination of motivators. This is one of the reasons why RBS offers so many non financial rewards that in turn can improve personal lifestyle. http://www.thetimes100.co.uk/case-study

As it described earlier in the passage, recognition of good performance by graded progression is one of the most important motivators for RBS employees. At RBS, workers are encouraged to make it happen through personal development in other words, RBS inspires employees to grow and develop their skills and abilities that in turn, it will help RBS to grow as a company. At their annual performance review, employees can identify development needs with their line manager. These are documented in a personal development plan. Development itself can involve attending courses or gaining new understanding and skills and more training therefore this will allow the prospects of promotion and enable employees to move up the organization and increase their total reward. http://www.thetimes100.co.uk/case-study

In conclusion, the theories of motivations can be distinct into 2 theories, which are, content and process theory. Early theorists on employees’ motivation often looked at factors outside the individual for example Taylor and the piece rate. Frederick W. Taylor was the founder of scientific management where he believes that there is only one best way to manage and each element of job could be timed. It Suggests all the managers had to do was pay for every output the employees or workers produced and by doing this they would work harder to get more money in other words money is everything to them therefore they would do anything and work really hard in order for them to get more money.

Abraham Maslow introduced Maslow’s’ hierarchy of needs theory in 1943 where his theory links to other many theories of human developmental psychology which focus more on the stages of growth in humans. Trough RBS It does this by rewarding the employees who contribute to its success through their hard work and commitment.

Workers are not motivated by money alone as Abraham Maslow theory describes but individuals are more motivated by different things The workers at RBS enjoy total reward that is a specific benefits package designed by RBS that goes far beyond salary. It does not include just the money, but it provides benefits for each member of staff but also personal choice in working hours and security.

Another theorist, Frederick Herzberg observed a large scale survey into motivation in an American industry his theory also known as Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. In RBS the employees get recognition for good work in other words, employees can get a promotion or recognition from the above management if they have done the job well.

The organizational levers of motivation can be divided into 4 categories they are Reward system, Culture, job design, and performance management and resource allocation processes. Improvement on all four drives would reach up to 88th percentile.

RBS offer its employees the right to work flexibly; this means that workers are not restricted One of the benefits of flexible working practices is help to create a working atmosphere that relives stress, as this is the policy of RBS in relation to work life balance.

Motivation theory comes to life at RBS. The employees at all levels can enjoy a work environment where effort is seen to be valued moreover achievement is recognized, where a long term career is available for those who are able to grow with the business and where individual progress is rewarded.

Non financial award can be given to the employees as well in order to motivate them in their commitment and performance at work so it is not always the money that can motivate them.

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