Question Janice Mabudah Business & Management

Why would companies use motivation theories and strategies?

Motivation theories and strategies Why employee motivation ,who cares

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Answer Internal Staff

HR professionals and practitioners state that employee motivation is a crucial factor for productivity and thus a vital factor for company success. However, with a variety of competing theories there is clearly uncertainty as to what the best approach is. With this being the case it can be questioned whether firms should pay attention to formal motivation theories or develop specific strategies based on these. An alternative approach of developing agile and emergent motivation techniques may provide better results that are more suited to the specific business.

Firms operating in different areas may find that they attract specific types of people, and that these people are motivated in different ways. For example, the methods employed by Google, in promoting employee freedom and self-management, are unlikely to be a successful approach for a large manufacturing plant with regimented tasks. Further, at an individual level, attempts to apply a selected strategy to a person may ignore that person’s needs and responses in favour of a blanket approach based on theory.

Rigid motivation strategies face the risk that they treat people within the business as being homogeneous entities that are expected to respond in a set manner. This could occur if one particular theory of motivation is relied on too heavily and at the expense of discussions with employees over their own opinions.

However, motivational theories do provide good guidance on what factor may be important to employees, and so in this way they can guide the development of strategies that do address employee needs.

Ultimately, while theories themselves may not be directly practical or applicable they can provide the knowledge needed to develop effective strategies. Having this knowledge also makes it easier for managers and supervisors to directly motivate their subordinates and to understand their perspectives during dialogues.