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The main task of a successful manager in the working environment is to get things done through the proper organization of employees' interaction. To make it happen the manager ought to motivate the staff. But it's much easier to say it than to implement. The issue of Motivation is really difficult topic both from practical and theoretical sides. It appears that despite the huge development of business psychology, the nature of motivation is still not clearly understood. Still many employees all over the world are facing inner conflicts trying to make themselves do the work which they don't want to do. Many employers trying to figure out how they can raise the effectiveness and efficiency of their teams. Nevertheless the problem remains. Moreover, the issue of poor motivation leads us to another troubles such as:
Bad inner climate in the organization
Conflicts in the team
Additional expenses for motivation and team-building trainings
Definitely these points altogether can make the life of any organization significantly more difficult, especially considering the current difficult economical situation. That's why it's essential to find a proper solution for this case.
To understand how motivation works, we need to figure out the human nature. Some aspects of the human nature are obvious, the other lies deep inside it's' core structure. And it's important to always remember it on the long road of understanding the concept of effective motivation. During the observation of the revealed problem we will have to cover some of the relevant areas of psychology. Motivation has some kind of a riddle inside as it's not directly linked to money or promotion. It has nothing to do with outer environment. What is really important in this case is inner motives.
The primary aim of this work is to analyze the topic of motivation, observe the most important psychological factors which have an influence on employees raising or decreasing the level of motivation, and offer perspective approach of managing the motivation through creating healthy relations between managers and employees. We will also focus on different tools and instruments using which we can manage this issue as practical side is really important in this research.
After the introduction we will cover the part which is dedicated to the role of psychology regarding the topic of motivation and afterwards we will observe some of the most significant psychological factors which have direct affection on the employee's performance. Finally, we will summarize the most important points of this work and review them in the conclusion.
The role of psychology in corporate interpersonal relations
Much of motivational problems are coming from imbalanced relations in team (especially in interaction of employees and the management). Usually specialists are trying to find the roots of the poor motivation in outer factors such as salary, unsatisfying working environment and an absence of expected promotion. It appears that this approach doesn't work effectively as the problem remains to be the same both for small and for big business (despite the level of offered to employees salary), both for employees who recently got promoted and for those who stocked in their career development and finally it's also still actual for the companies which have lots of different HR awards for creating a perfect working condition for the staff. Consequently, we may assume that the answer lies somewhere else. In this part of the work we will observe various models and concepts of motivation systems and later we will try to evaluate and suggest some critical points on which we could base new construct of modern motivation approach.
We can define motivation as the psychological process that gives behavior purpose and direction (Kreitner, 1995) and also as an internal drive to satisfy an unsatisfied need (Higgins, 1994). It is possible to define motivation as attraction to the goal and inner readiness to undertake something to achieve it. The need to understand factors which motivate and inspire employees and moreover what potentially could employers do to increase the level of motivation, has been the primary aim of research by many scientists and still this topic has high relevance and many uncovered questions inside. There are many different points of view and models of motivation structure which were discovered by psychologists and business coaches. Now we will observe some of them.
The concept of scientific management considers the staff as an input to the production of goods/services. This idea is based on training and development of employees instead of giving them an opportunity to choose their own goals, training methods and tasks, and the main objective is to perform the work according to the plan and developed strategy.
Significant contribution to this approach was brought by Frederick Taylor. Taylor analyzed human behavior from the scientific point of view with the machine model considering people as an equivalent of mechanism. After detailed analysis of the job process, employees were trained to do only what was required for required result. In some sense, the main aim was to separate human variability from the working process. Taylor's concept was successful and really increased production and profitability. Nevertheless, Taylor's approach considered employees as machines and faced strong resistance from workers who saw this process as dehumanization. Moreover this approach also met group resistance because nobody likes to be closely monitored during the whole period of working time as it raises additional stress and frustration.
This approach puts emphasis on factors which motivate employees and aimed at identification and account for the influences that motivate staff. The roots of this concept are beginning from Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory which considered human basic needs in the form of a hierarchy, being ranged from lowest to the highest. Maslow was inclined to think that lower level needs had to be satisfied before the higher level needs and since one particular set of needs is satisfied, that kind of needs is not a motivator anymore. The needs which Maslow included in his concept are the following:
Safety or Security
If we take a look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs, we'll easily see that when each group of needs is satisfied, higher need becomes primal. Here also hides another interesting point - when a need is satisfied, it stops being motivating anymore. The breaking point of Abraham Maslow's theory is to concentrate on evaluating the level of hierarchy the person currently has and focus on the goal of satisfying that person's needs and the higher needs. This theory of needs has been widely developed and accepted by managers all around the world. Despite the fact that this theory is easy to be practically implemented and generally simple to understand, it still doesn't have solid practical evidence of it's' effectiveness and moreover there is no system to measure the efficiency of the theory after implementation.
Vroom's Expectancy Theory
The following concept claims that motivation stands on core values and beliefs of people and tests motives through the idea of what will happen according to the individual's expectations. It is organized around the idea that employees' activity will lead to performance and consequently performance will bring us to appraisal and rewards. This theory claims that people can be motivated if they truly believe that there is a positive connection between the efforts which employees put in and their performance which afterwards leads to rewards. Finally, the reward creates an opportunity to satisfy a significant need and this desire is solid enough to make the efforts seem worthy.
Vroom's theory also states that the advantage of employee's motivation will depend on the structure to which they inclined to expect the results to contribute towards their needs or aims and locate that motivation as a result of a cautious and rational calculation(Vroom, 1964). Basically, Vroom claims that the equation which explains main concept of his theory - Motivation = Expectancy * Instrumentality * Valence possibly might be used to predict if a particular reward will be considered as a solid enough motivator for an employee or not.
Porter-Lawler Expectancy theory
Basically, this theory is based on the same structure as Vroom's theory and suggests that core levels of motivation are stood more on the value that employees place on the reward.Â Real performance in a working process is basically organized by the invested effort and is usually affected by the employee's ability to qualified performance and the perception of what the required task is all about. Porter-Lawler theory claims that performance is the most significant factor that leads us to inner and outer-oriented rewards which with the equity of employee leads to overall satisfaction. This theory demonstrates the importance of policy of avoiding discriminatory practices in the working environment and claims that it is essential for the personnel to give equal and fair treatment to the staff.
After we have observed several theories and approaches in the first part of the work, we may state that none of them are perfect and moreover we may suggest that successful manager surely needs to apply a mix of these concepts in his attempts to organize a working process in the most effective way and motivate people really efficiently. In this part we will cover various hints and tools on which a new approach relevant to the situation can be based.
One of the most important points of a new generation's approach is a fact that money and promotion are main motivators. Unfortunately it is not so simple, and it doesn't equal happy staff. Definitely, money will always play an important role in motivating people and certainly serious compensation plan is extremely valuable to attracting and making stat key employees. But the answer is that additional money is not the only answer and in many different situations not the best answer.
It appears that non-monetary compensation is the main value which employer is able to provide to employees nowadays. It also seems logical to highlight three major areas where emphasis should be put: Treatment, Education & Development and Environment. Now, let's take a more attentive look at them.
If we speak about the treatment it's very important for a manager to give to employees recognition and attention. When people accomplish a task it means that they have achieved something. Recognition is some kind of appreciation for the achievement. Many managers forget about giving recognition because it's not so widely developed policy in today's corporate environment. Recognition works also very well when it comes from an executive management. The secret of this tool is that it shouldn't be used neither too often nor too rare.
It's also essential to manage corporate events offsite as they events empower bonding which in return strengthen team spirit, which significantly enhances positive work environment. There should be always a place for some relaxing and entertaining events in a corporate lifestyle of any organization. These events significantly help to establish friendly and positive atmosphere in team and consequently raise the level of motivation and maintain required environment. Holidays and Birthday parties, sports events can help bring all employees together for a happy party time. The most successful events appear to be those which affiliated with various specific themes such as cultural theme for example, really nice ideas to base contest on.
Another interesting idea which can help to create a solid motivation level is giving a chance to employees to have a time off. Â Effective manager should create contests that earn time off. Employees will compete with a great enthusiasm for additional one or two hours off. And moreover they'll do it as hard as they will work for usual monetary award. When people have an opportunity to get dismissals, arrivals and additional vacation days it will motivate and inspire them.
Education & Development
Education should be provided surely because it will be considered by the employees as an important value. For instance, individual coaching can be a solid contribution to employee's development. The only price here is time. When employer invests his time in employee's development it means his care and pure interest in team progress through the prism of every individual.
Besides that, usual training also should not be forgotten. There is no such employer who can provide too much training. There are many employers who think that employees have already been enough trained or generally the level of employee's development is high enough and only one member of the team needs training. Education processes in company should be controlled by a supervisor with provided help from specific employees who are able to demonstrate a specific strength amongst the skills list. These training sessions will continually increase the effectiveness of the performance of employees and the productivity of a business.Â
Various seminars (outside and inside) are also can be provided. Basically, these seminars are usually efficient for many people. Different seminars can be granted for some employees in a form of a prize. Then this seminar can be recreated to the rest of the people by participants and finally the whole staff can get the knowledge nearly for free.
Trainings on the topic of Stress Management also can play part in a process of motivation formation.Â Many different books and articles were written on this topic. These materials can be given to employees and moreover manager should encourage them to use these materials in practice. It's also great if a company has a possibility to provide a seminar inside the organization on various stress management strategies and techniques.
It's also important to give a clear understanding of a career path to employees. The staff needs to know what is waiting them potentially in the nearest future from the promotion point of view, what opportunities they have for growth. This aspect plays a really significant role in the overall motivation process of employees. Effective manager should also set visible career paths in the organization.
Various industry studies have shown the importance of good work environment and its' significant role in motivation. It's a pleasant fact that more and more employers appreciate the meaning of proper working condition. Comfort and well-organized working conditions are very important to the emotional state which employees feel regarding the environment where people work.
The office should look really nice: pictures on the walls, plantsÐ± fresh paint and nice furniture will definitely make people feel much better about their working environment. It's essential to control if there is enough space for effective and comfortable working process or not. All desks should be ergonomic and of the proper size, chairs and sofas should be comfortable.
Effective manager definitely should also care not only about outer environment but about the inner part too. Surely, there are many employees nearly in every organization who would like to use their chance to handle additional responsibility. Managers ought to identify who these people are and try to do best to match the most actual responsibilities to the employees' strengths and wants.
Finally we have observed various motivation approaches, theories and what's even more important, practical guidelines which can be practically implemented in a process of raising motivation amongst employees and keeping it on a high level permanently.
Effective managers need to figure out what motivates employees in the context of the roles they perform and understand the process, theories, and fundamental components of motivation concept. Despite the fact which theory is chosen, (or even the mix of them) interesting work and employee pay are important links to higher motivation. Various options such as job enlargement, job enrichment, promotions, monetary and especially non-monetary types of compensation should be taken into consideration. The secret key to effective motivating employees is to know what motivates them and designing a motivation program based on those core needs. Successful leader who understands his team's hidden desires and forces which motivates people should permanently reflect and react on his activities re-developing and optimizing his approach.
All listed earlier concepts should be kept in mind altogether because motivation is a personal thing for every individual. When employees realize that they are being treated equally and fairly, they will most probably do their best in work. Manager needs to keep in mind that employees have their own personal goals and system of motivation as much effective as much it meets these aims. Fair pay and comfortable humanized working conditions are surely essential for any organization as these criteria cover basic needs of every employee. Nevertheless, such inner factors as fulfillment at work and recognition shouldn't be forgotten as such type of a motivation helps to Motivating staff helps to make employees more devoted and committed to the workplace. Through understanding of the effects of different motivation techniques, we are able to make work a really exciting, challenging and interesting experience for employees during creating a more productive, profitable and competitive business structure.
It is important to create the proper environment to motivate and engage people through the lever of development, communication channels, solid training and fair and feedback given in a proper time.
It's also very important for a manager to try to practically apply a skill of empathy and ask himself about the factors which motivate every person of the team individually. Knowing this and understanding factors which drives people can help figure out what sequence of moves should be taken in every particular case and situation. Understanding the motivations of others can give insight which will better help to understand hidden relations.