Human resources practices and developments of Motivation


Farzana Aslam discussed how the performance management as a company investment lead employees to perform an unlimited performance, she listed four essential principles as guide line to unlock employee potential. This article provides more discussion and investigation on how to link up the essential principles, as a system to have impact on employee performance management.

Farzana Aslam discussed the starting point in knowing how to engage the employees should motivate them first in her "Principle One". In a common aspect: employment like a continuous trading between employer and employees, while the employee completed the specific job tasks within a period, they will obtain their salaries. Basically, salary seems to be a reason to motivate an employee. According to famous Maslow's Hierarchy for need Theory 1, she has proven that there are five hierarchy levels to expiations the human needs from extrinsic to intrinsic, Sunil Ramlall(2004) 2 quoted the examples which listed below can be applied to employment:

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Physiological Need Salary

Cafeterias, vending machines, drinking fountains

2. Security Need

Economic: Wages and salaries, Fringe, retirement and medical benefits

Psychological: provide job description, give praise/award, avoid abrupt changes, solve employee's problems.

Physical: working conditions, heating (can be deemed as comfortable temp) and ventilation, rest periods


- Encourage social interaction: create team spirit, facilitate outside social activities, use periodic praise and allow participation


Design challenging jobs: use praise and award, delegate responsibilities, give training, encourage participation


Give training: provide challenging, encourage creativity

According to the above, made a comparison to Herzberg satisfaction and dissatisfaction factors and found similar factors:

Dissatisfaction factors are similar to:

1. Physiological Need similar to Salary

These include the needs we have for oxygen, water, protein, salt, sugar, calcium, and other minerals and vitamins: employee used the salary trade to foods, drinks and other basic need for survival.

Security Need similar to Security factory, company policy, working condition, supervision: employees finding safe circumstances, stability and protection, away from physical and emotional harmfulness.

Need for Affiliation is similar to relationship with manager and peers, supervision: employees need for friendship with the peers, good relationship with management

Satisfaction factors are similar to:

Need for Esteems similar to achievement, recognition, responsibility: employees need for self respect, autonomy, achievement, recognition and attention among the peoples

5. Need for Self-actualization similar to the work itself and advancement: employees need growth and self-fulfillment

According to Maslow's hierarchy theory, the assumption has been made and emphasis the order of the needs should be satisfied internally from lowest to higher level, it defined the criteria is satisfied the lower level of employee's need initially for avoiding the employee's dissatisfaction, then seek for employee's satisfaction. Following the rule, it can be realized like ascending a ladder.

Alderfer, Clayton P(1972) 3 further expanded Maslow's hierarchy of needs by categorizing the hierarchy into his ERG theory, Existence, Relatedness and Growth.


- He categorized the lower order needs (Physiological and Safety) into the Existence category.


- He fitted Maslow's Affiliation needs into the Relatedness category.


- Which contained the self actualization and self esteem

He proposed a regression theory to go along with the ERG theory. He said that when needs in a higher category are not met then individuals redouble the efforts invested in a lower category need. According to the ERG theories, seems satisfaction and dissatisfaction factors can be re-categorized into ERG theory:

Existence (Dissatisfaction factors)

- salary, company policy, working condition, supervision.

Relatedness (Dissatisfaction factors)

relationship with manager and peers.

Growth (Satisfaction factors)

- achievement, recognition, responsibility, work itself and advancement.

Alderfer defined if self actualization or self esteem is not met, then individuals will invest more effort in the relatedness category in the hopes of achieving the higher need.

In additional, while each dependent category situation changes, it may influence to others. For example, an employee who are desired to increase his or her salary, it may stimulate he or she to increase his or her responsibility to perform the job better, once the salary is increased and he or she is promoted, he or she may felt the achievement and recognition of his or her efforts. Another example is, good relationship between the peers may affect the better communication among the individuals, it resulted better information sharing, peer can learning from each others for their internal growths.

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The diversity of employees existed within the organization. Renae & Ronald E. Box (1977) 4 believed that "to maximize the utilization of its human capital, organizations must go beyond merely creating a more diverse workplace. Once there, the value of having diverse employees must be recognized". The respective positive results are individual different ideas, viewpoints and knowledge to contribute. However, on the other hand, the diversifying of individual perspectives, expectations, and needs are the negative results. Farzana Aslam made an example of in between new graduate and long serving employee, he reported they are motivated by different things, that reflects their expectations may tend to desire for "Growth" for new graduate; and long serving employee may tend to desire for "Existence". Again, he reported that, for motivate those different employees, managers may need to allocate different role to them and enrich their tasks to increase the meaningful of the job. Employees can identify tasks and find more interesting on their job, for example, long serving employee has various skills and experiences, assign a coaching position for utilization of his or her ability may reduce their boredom and vitalize the routine. Therefore, the management should recognize individual ability for sufficient vitalization on their task.

In the real world, seems the dissatisfaction factors may not be eliminated totally, "Existence" factors may erect a barrier to employee motivations, some factors are maintain steadily, likes: salary, company policies, working conditions. Therefore, employee motivation became a very complex task. Management should adopt a systematic analysis to aware the diversity structure. For more efficient results, employees can typically grouped by age, married status, sex, education level and employed years, analysts can start from the homologues to determine more flexible solutions which consistent with company policies and strategies, making a clear decision on how to satisfy the employee needs.

Farzana Aslam's principle number two and four emphasized the importance of communication with employees and the manage engagingly, the requirement is enhance the "Relatedness" with good leadership skill to ensure the good communication under harmonious relationship, it also required to promote open dialog and remove barriers. Good vertical relations management resulted on more accurate and informative data collection about subordinates needs, hopes and feedbacks, its let management take correctional actions through review to decrease subordinates dissatisfactions and increase satisfactions. It also as a path lead management to convey a clear expectation on how the employees should perform the job well to maximize their motivations. Furthermore, good horizontal peers relation also contributes good teamwork, increase morale, create a peace working environment to improve the average productivity.

In principal three, Farzana Aslam defined the employee development is aim to improve the performance. It can be improved though training, participation, and obtain new skills through education from on or off job position, the identification of employee training need should putting in first priority. She also indicate management should give sufficient recognition not only to top performers. For reinforcement, management should adopt a positive value management to create a appropriate perception on employees efforts. The establishment of equity and justice reward system is necessary, it provide a fair platform to given employees feedback and counseling on their performance, provide a clear vision to their effort and return. Beside, it should be aligned with continuing leaning encouragement, both results to increase the employee "growth" factors.

Overall, the framework to maximize employee performance is like a loop and can be run into two ways as shown in figure 1 below.

Figure 1, maximize employee performance framework


"To maximize employee performance" is a complex task and a long term investment. People centric process is the key element; management should keeping high awareness of employee needs, satisfactions level, abilities and weaknesses. It required HR management and line management working closely and frequently to determine a proper coordinate actions.