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Employees in most, if not all organizations whether public or private like to feel that they can share their ideas openly, and that they are able to make a difference in their workplace. Employees are motivated when they are working and implementing an idea they suggested and are interested in pursuing. Motivation, loyalty, and sustained improvement seem to go together with proposing new ideas in an organization. Motivated employees tend to work more seriously and strengthen their organization with their loyalty and innovations. Motivation acts as a tool to enhance loyalty within employees that would ultimately increase their innovation and productivity. Having these 3 main pillars in each employee's spirit is a sign of a successful, powerful organization.
People behave to satisfy needs. A need is anything that is required, desired, or useful. A want is a conscious acknowledgment of a need. A need comes up when there is a difference in self-concept (the way we see ourselves) and perception (the way we see the world around us).
Ever since the beginning of time, all people have been motivated in one way or another. Motivated to succeed, motivated to be the best, motivated to conquer, and motivated to achieve their goals. But what is motivation? It is the energizing of behavior, the force behind our desires for food, longing for safety, craving for sexual intimacy and our desire to achieve our goals and dreams. Motivation can be intrinsic which is derived from within the human and driven by the enjoyment and interest of doing the task, or it can be extrinsic which comes from external sources such as money, rewards or grades. There are different theories concerning our motivated behavior that I will be discussing below.
Abraham Maslow proposed a theory called hierarchy of needs. This hierarchy suggests that individuals are motivated to fulfill their basic needs before moving on to their other needs. The hierarchy of needs is often displayed as a pyramid, where the lowest levels are made up of the most basic needs, and the top levels are made up of more complex needs. As each individual goes up the levels of needs, the preceding needs lose their motivational value. The five levels of needs, according to Maslow are: 1. Physiological Needs. These are the needs that are essential for our survival like food, water, and sex. If these needs are not met, then all other needs will not be a source of motivation, and the individual will not progress to the second level. 2. Safety Needs. This is the need to feel safe from physical and emotional harm. 3. Social Needs. These needs are concerned with social interactions with others. Individuals need to feel a sense of belonging, affection, friendship, and acceptance. 4. Esteem Needs. Esteem is about having recognition, prestige and feeling self-confidence that is derived from achieving something. 5. Self-Actualization Needs. This level is the highest level of needs it is concerned with achieving human's full potential, goals and dreams. Humans are very complex with needs that overlap each other at different times, a need that was once satisfied in the past, might become again a source of motivation in a different situation. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is too simple and inflexible for such complexity.
Fredrick Herzburg developed a popular theory of motivation called the two-factor theory. Herzburg's results propose that there are two factors that contribute to employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction. One is referred to as motivators, which includes responsibility, growth, and recognition. The other is known as hygiene factors which include company policies, salaries, supervision and responsibility. Herzberg reasoned that because the factors of satisfaction are different from the factors of dissatisfaction this means that "dissatisfaction" is not the opposite of "satisfaction" but rather "no satisfaction", and the opposite of "dissatisfaction" is "no dissatisfaction". Another motivational theory, developed by B.F. Skinner, is the reinforcement theory. This theory is a behavioral approach. The main point is that consequences influence individual's behavior. According to the reinforcement theory, there are four ways to adjust behavior. The first and most effective way is positive reinforcement, which refers to rewarding a pleasing behavior to strengthen the possibilities that it will be repeated. Negative reinforcement, is a second way to change a behavior which is defined as removing a negative stimulus in the environment after the behavior occurs. Many tend to confuse punishments with negative reinforcement but they are not the same, Punishment attempts to decrease the probability of specific behaviors while negative reinforcement attempts to increase desired behavior. Another way of modifying behavior is punishment, which decreases the chances of a behavior to happen. Punishment is known to be something unpleasant and that all humans will try to avoid. The last way of behavior modification is lack of reinforcement. The idea behind this method is that if a behavior is not reinforced in any way the chances of it happening will decrease and eventually get purged.
Managers need to have the job of providing a motivating environment and culture for their employees. Motivated employees are happier, more productive and dynamic, and stay longer with the organization. Motivating your workforce is certainly not an easy task. Moreover, one of the primary and hardest tasks a manager faces is to find out what motivates their staff. Manager's first and utmost requirements are to understand employee needs to be able to know what rewards should be used to motivate them to reach a specific target of performance. It is not easy to increase employee motivation because employees respond in different ways to their jobs and their organization's system. Motivation is the set of ways that moves an individual towards a goal; people do not change their behavior unless they see that doing so makes a positive difference to them. Thus, motivated behaviors are voluntary actions controlled by the employee and practiced, from then on, by him/her. The employer, on the other hand, has to influence the factors that motivate employees to increase efficiency.
There are several important factors that we should discuss when it comes to work motivation. These factors affect motivation and consist of: individual differences such as gender, individual's interests and values, and personal needs and age differences. Another factor is job characteristics and work place such as responsibility and salary that determine its challenges and limitations. Furthermore, organizational practices are factors affecting motivation. These include company policies, rewards systems and managerial practices. Supervisors must consider how these factors interrelate to affect employee job performance.
Managers can increase employee motivation by creating conditions which will fulfill the needs of their employees by ensuring that there are pleasant working conditions, a comfortable atmosphere in the work place and satisfying the basic needs which is the lowest level of Maslow's pyramid all the way up to the higher levels. Rewarding employees after a desired behavior is seen will ensure that this behavior will be repeated. These rewards could be different such as: raises, bonuses, paid time off or tickets to events. Though sometimes certain rewards are not satisfactory if the individuals or safety needs are not fulfilled, for example if an employee's safety needs on Maslow's pyramid isn't satisfied by not having job security, rewarding him with a bonus or a paid time off wouldn't motivate him as much as giving him job security. Therefore we conclude that Maslow's hierarchy consists of a series of desires that have to be satisfied in order.
Another way of motivation would be empowering employees and putting them in situations where they feel responsibility and control. This would give them a sense of a bigger responsibility motivating them to work harder. Managers should delegate power to their employees to create higher needs in the workers, an urge to excel, a need for recognition and achievement and a good reputation. When an employee feels that he or she is a critical part of the organization, that their tasks and ideas have an influential impact in the work force, and by setting and attaining difficult goals and by having a friendly social relationship with coworkers and avoiding conflicts, employees are motivated to give all they have, put all their brains into their work which will encourage high performance.
Employee loyalty is slightly different that the other aspects in a way that it focuses primary on long term aspects. It can be defined as employees being committed to the success of the organization and believing that working for this organization is their best option. Not only do they plan to remain with the organization, but they do not actively search for alternative employment and are not responsive to offers. ( http://www.loyaltyresearch.com/media/thought-perspectives/4.3.3%20Employee%20Loyalty%20Part1.pdf). Employee loyalty is not just about tenure with the organization but also wanting to be there too. Why is employee loyalty so important? Employees are an essential resource for all organizations; they represent a major investment in terms of recruiting, selecting, training, salaries, healthcare plans, etc. There are significant expenses for replacing an employee, a good productive employee of course. Having disloyal employees will cost the company, that's why managers and executives try so hard to motivate their employees to win their loyalty to the organization.
William Ouchi, a Japanese theorist developed a theory called Theory Z which focuses on increasing employee loyalty to the company by providing a secure job for life (which is typical in Japan), with a strong focus on the well-being of the employee. According to Ouchi, Theory Z management tends to provide stable employment, high productivity, and high employee satisfaction and morale. A type Z organization according to Ouchi has 3 features, trust, subtlety and intimacy. Mutual trust between coworkers reduces conflicts, subtlety yields higher productivity and sensitivity towards others, while intimacy shows support and unselfishness in the work place.
To ensure employee loyalty every leader should communicate with their employees and make sure that each one of them knows that his/her work is very important to the company, and that it contributes to the bigger picture, and that each employee should be aware of the consequences on the company if their input to the company is minute, this way employees try their best not to let down their organization and their coworkers who are counting on him/her. Leaders and managers should practice fairness within the organization. If there is equity between managers and lower level employees then respect is mutual and employees tend to feel more comfortable in their work place. Moreover, if leaders give recognition to their employees' good behavior and high performance, this will reinforce their values and contributions. Each employee likes to be praised but in with meaningful feedback and reward systems this will ensure that such key competencies will be repeated. Leaders having such motivational, communication and equity skills will provide a better more beneficial work place atmosphere and will increase performance. Therefore, directly or indirectly, it is to the benefit of any employer or employee to practice these three critical aspects in the work environment: motivation, loyalty, and innovation. A simple equation would be employer recognition= employee motivation, loyalty, and innovation!
Moving on, innovation is seen by many as an important aspect to any organization. Being an asset to the organization, innovation takes the role of giving it a competitive advantage and a source of economic growth. Innovation is a highly admirable characteristic in an organization and we can say that all organizations aim at having this intangible asset. Examples in the edge it gives are: "increased global competition, technological change, fast changing market situations, and consistent customer/client demand for quality services." http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-8551.2006.00498.x/full In this case, we can see how innovation and loyalty can coincide in many cases. A highly innovative firm that delivers consistent quality to customers will keep them loyal. At the same time, the work staff is highly motivated to keep up with the innovations therefore invoking loyalty into the employees as well. To guide the innovation in an organization, Research and Development is critical however not any organization can foster motivation, innovation, and loyalty. A firm that can, is definitely going to or in a place many organizations strive to be.
Innovation, as I mentioned before, is a vital aspect to an organization. But who is held responsible and who are the most influential people that affect it? The answer is top executives. "Managers and administrators can influence workers' motivation and job satisfaction, create a work and social climate to improve morale and encourage and reward innovation and change" (Ekvall and Arvonen, 1994; Elenkov, Judge and Wright, 2005; Hooijberg and DiTomaso, 1996; Kimberly, 1981) By influencing employee motivation and satisfaction, they are creating the culture that the worker enjoys being in. As moral improves, the employees are highly encouraged to be loyal and innovative. Furthermore, as I mentioned before, rewarding innovation and change is a highly used and effective tool to foster innovation, loyalty, and motivation.
The link between motivation and innovation is one that portrays a positive correlation. Therefore, we can say that the higher the motivation in an organization, the higher the innovation and thus the more loyal an employee will be. An employee has to feel that his ideas make a difference and he is an important factor that leads to the success of that organization. The successful implementation of an idea an employee suggests, is perhaps the most motivating factor that will get the maximum effort out of the employee. The question is whether management actually encourages employees to contribute their ideas and then implement the best ones. Too often, supervisors overlook the odds that their employees may be a "yet to be found gold mine" of good ideas. This may be for one of many reasons such as the manager feeling that he/she knows best, ignoring employees out of insecurity, or even just feeling threatened by lower position employees who show potentially high competence and creativity. Managers are missing out on the benefit they could be enhancing in the company. They should be aggressive about bringing forth good ideas from employees and giving them a chance to openly discuss them. Getting everyone involved will most likely than never improve how things are done and has a multiplier effect on the speed of change, and the commitment and loyalty of employees to that change or innovation. This will never be achieved if managers do not try to foster a climate of openness and a culture that accepts new ideas.
Five practices discussed next represent an approach to innovation and motivation. Implemented together, these steps seem to be very effective in organizational context. To begin with, managers should get to know every employee personally. Creating an intimate relationship with your employee will open doors to motivation and innovation, without knowing your employees can you really motivate them? The second step would be challenging the employee to improve a "crack" in the organization's way of business. By giving them a clear problem and challenging them to find a solution, you are "setting down a marker" that all employees are expected to contribute their ideas openly and without hesitation. An employee will begin to see him/herself as a central asset to the innovation of the organization and therefore motivate them for further tasks and in turn, increased loyalty. A creative third tactic to get through to the employee is by maybe allowing them to be the "customer for the day" instead of the usual employee. This engages them in a "hands on" activity that allows for the customer (the employee in this "game") to name all that he sees defective and ways of improvement. This technique will induce creativity and the motivation to improve. Another commonly used way to increase motivation, innovation, and loyalty is to give awards to the greatest idea. Suggestions that help to improve the organization should be in some way recognized and rewarded; in this case, getting to the self actualization phase of Maslow. As mentioned before, managers should be able to identify the wants of the employee and reward him with something he sees as important, otherwise not being effective. A person with basic needs not being satisfied will not be looking for self actualization. Now moving on to what might be the most important part: implementation. The employee has to see that all the preceding steps are not just a form of deception made just for showing them motivation or loyalty. An employee has to see his good/creative idea being implemented. If the organization didn't follow through with the great ideas, the long list of unused great ideas would leave it with a lot of unsatisfied and frustrated employees. An employee is highly motivated to see his/her innovative idea put into action. He/she will more than like increase his loyalty to the organization.
Praveen Gupta, who wrote Business Innovation in the 21st Century, established a framework for developing breakthrough innovations in everything we encounter in our day to day life. He believes that a standard must be developed and the innovation process must be better understood in order for innovation to be institutionalized. Another accomplishment for Gupta was that he played a critical role in deploying six sigma in the corporate environment. Gupta believes that innovations are a crucial part in gaining competitive advantage in an organization. He divides it into 5 different types. Sporadic innovations are the initial awareness level and excitement. Idea innovations are launching the actual initiative throughout the organization. Managed innovations focus on deploying innovations in organization day to day business actions. Nurtured innovations are to basically institutionalize innovation in all business departments organization wide. Finally, sustained innovations are to manage the innovations and maintain them. "Every employee in an organization is an innovator, and possesses the potential to contribute innovatively." Gupta continues. The only factor missing is noticing the employee or "the hidden innovator" he claims. Employees are noticed miserably. Leading to failure of motivation and loyalty, employees are just getting work done. The world of business is ever changing, organizations have to adapt to changes and motivate the work force in order to obtain mutual help of adjusting to this change. I agree with Gupta on these factors and on the factors that kill innovations such as group thinking and keeping a workforce too busy to look think beyond his/her nose. http://www.realinnovation.com/commentary/praveengupta
"Innovation is more about dealing with uncertainty than predictability," Thomas Koulopoulos, author, futurist, and leaded claimed. He differentiated between the "Apollo generation" and the "now generation" by stating that the now generation could care less about the objective. "Their joy and passion is for exploring with no definite end in mindâ€¦ The joy for them is in the social journey not the destination." Understanding how innovation is changing into our modern world involves taking it into our daily business activities and tasks and practicing it hands on. Allowing employees to enjoy the process of creating new ideas and implementing them is giving them a chance to use their creativity and take pleasure in the "ride" and not the "destination." Nonetheless, organizations need to care about the final financial statements and how well they are doing in terms of numbers, innovation, motivation, and loyalty could be the hidden aspects that would allow the organization to prosper. "We were willing to endure any pain and pay any price to put a man on the moon. Today's global challenges are no less demanding, and far too complex to allow us the option of standing still.
We need a new set of rules for innovation - now." An error most organizations encounter is that as we move forward, we always limit ourselves to variables of the past. Why can't we just get past the past, move on, motivate, innovate, and see what point of productivity we could be able to reach.
3 or 4 theorists explained each one meen w shu his theory w arguments with w against then my opinion of each. Introduction of innovation, conclusion, paraveen gupta Thomas koulopoulos, prasad
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