Can managers create employee motivation? Discuss with reference to the theoretical material outlined in the module. Motivation is the driving force in which human being achieve their goals. Motivation is the power that strengthens behavior, gives the route to the behavior and it triggers the tendency to continue. Motivation is a course that is concerned with a kind of strength that boosts the performance and directs one towards accomplishing some definite target. Motivation is a force that helps individual to achieve their desires. It is a strength that helps individual to stay focus and determined. Over the years many authors have defined motivation but up till date there is no single definition for motivation. According to Goddard et al (2006) it is an accumulation of diverse routes which put across and manipulates our activities to attaining some particular ambitions. However, despite different definition of motivation there are some common concerns expressed such as the individuality phenomenon. Individual can be motivated differently due to their behavior, attitudes, goals and values. Employee behaviors can be change toward achieving success in an organization by applying a sort of motivation. Employee motivation is one of the policies that managers use to increase the effectual job management among the employees in the organization. An employee who is motivated is responsive of the goals and objectives that she or he must achieve and she therefore directs her efforts towards that direction.
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Motivation usually formulates an organization more successfully because the provoked employees are constantly looking for the improved practices to do the work. It is therefore important for organization to persuade employee's motivation. One key factor in employee motivation is the opportunity that the employees want to continue to develop and grow the job and career enhancing skills. According to Goddard et al (2006) training is the planned intervention which is designed to enhance the determinants of an individual's job performance.
Managers are individuals that are responsible for heading organizations. Managers are also accountable for overseeing of the various departments within an organization. In any organization, the management of employees should be the first priority of all managers. How employees functions within the organization is highly dependent on the relationship that they have with the management. Managers thus play a vital role in motivating employees. A motivated employee will be more productive and effective in his work station than an employee with strained relations with the manager. Managers should strive to maintain a positive relationship as such productive relationships enable managers to accomplish the organizational goals and objectives. Effective management allows managers to capitalize on the strengths of individuals employees. A manager can motivate his employees to use their strengths to see a business venture succeed. The success of a manager in encouraging his employees to be productive translates to success in the organizational operations as the company is able to attain its set goals and objectives. Managers who have a vision for their organization can create employee motivation that will see an organization soar and become successful.
According to McGregory (1960), the management should strive to organize the element of productive enterprise which includes the finances, raw materials, resources and the people within the organization. It is only through the proper management of these elements of productive enterprise that a manager can effectively lead an organization towards reaching its economic ends. The people within an organization refer to employees. The management is responsible for the direction, motivation and control of the actions of its employees [i] . The behavior of employees within an organization is reflective of the kind of leadership and management that persists within the organization. The active intervention of the management in the functioning of employees within an organization reduces the risks of resistance among employees. According to McGregory (1960) employees need to be persuaded, rewarded, directed, punished and controlled by the management.
Managers need to establish the ideal approach to use so as to motivate employees to work harder and efficiently within the organization. The hard approach of management involves the use of coercion, threats and extreme control to get functions of the organization operational. The hard approach to management of employees may bear result, but it breeds negativity such as demoralization of employee, high employee turn out and sabotage of organization objectives. Alternatively, employees can choose to select the soft approach of managing employees. The soft approach of management involves satisfying employee demands, and emphasizing on harmony. The soft approach may be the ideal strategy, though it can also lead to abdication of management and indifferent performance. Managers should thus strive to establish a firm but fair approach that adopts bits of the hard and the soft approach of management of employees.
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Managers can also motivate its employees by considering the diverse needs of employees as presented in Maslow's "theory of human motivation". Managers should ensure that employees are able to meet their physiological needs by working in the organization. The job description that an individual undertake should be satisfactory enough in terms of financial benefits. An employee would be motivated to perform if his job enables him to meet his basic needs. Other needs such as safety needs, love needs and esteem needs. The management can motivate employees by reviewing the esteem needs of employees. This can be done by giving recognition to employees for their efforts. Managers should also hold each of employees with equal importance so as to motivate each to work in their respective work stations. Employees must be able to work in organizations that allow self actualization. Employees need to have a sense of growth and development as they work in their organizations. Managers can achieve this by engaging employees in strategies such as training and development programs. Employees will be motivated to work for institutions that give them a chance to grow.
Managers must strive to see their employees receive training and educational opportunities as they work in the organization. The ability of an employee to shift from one job description to another motivates them to remain productive and efficient. Managers should motivate employees to perform by creating career growth opportunities. Training program within the organization are indicators that a manager desires to retain its employees. It is also an indicator that the management desires to take its employees to greater levels of achievement. Managers should ensure that the organization embraces an elaborate training system from the time an employee is hired. How the organization orientate a new employee is critical on the success of the organization. An orientation activity can drive or destroy employee relationships, which in turn affect their motivation and performance within the organization.
Alderfer (1972) presents an alternative look of the human needs rather than the one provided by Maslow in his hierarchy of needs. Alderfer's theory is known as the Existence, Relatedness and Growth (ERG) theory. The existence category as provided by Alderfer refers to the basic needs that human begins desire for so as to survive. These are basic needs such as food and shelter as provided in Maslow's physiological and safety needs. Just like in Maslow's an individual will be motivated to work for an organization that enable him to satisfy these needs. With this in mind manager should ensure that they adopt a pay system that guarantees reasonable payment to employees. The second category refers to needs associated, with relatedness and ability to form personal relationships. Managers should be able to create an environment that fosters unity and a sense of belonging among employees. A sense of belonging leads to productivity and performance as employees considers themselves a unit. The employees, as a unit, strive to achieve the organization's goals as well as set targets. An employee will be motivated to operate in an environment with warmth rather than hostility and conflict.
Vroom (1964) the expectancy theory looked at how individual perceived the attractiveness of reward and how to achieve it. Individuals work in an organization with the intention of benefiting in one way. The reward system covers the drive to acquire among employees within an organization. Managers should strive to establish an elaborate reward scheme that note high performers and low performance. Rewards in the form of commissions and compensation packages to high performing employees motivate the winners to keep up the exemplary work. Similarly, those identified as average or low performers will strive to work harder. Subsequently, the organization ends up with a highly motivated team that strives to achieve the overall goals of the organization. Rewards for performance motivate employees to achieve the target that managers set for the organization. It is the incentives that the managers offer to the employees that determines their levels of motivation to see the company achieve its targets. Some individual may also think that the target is unattainable therefore affecting their expectations of meeting the set target
It is the responsibility of managers to ensure that they create a healthy relationship with the employees. Employees must be able to function where they can demonstrate their potential without barriers. Creating an environment where employees work at their level best means that there is minimal conflict. Conflict interferes with the work environment; managers should thus strive to ensure that all employees understand the need to avoid all forms of conflict and focus on working in unison. Employees must function in a scenario where they trust each other; where employees are comfortable working with each other. It is the presence of such environments that employees feel motivated to work and become fully committed to the responsibilities assigned to them.
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The manager plays a vital role in ensuring that employees have healthy relations at the workplace. The manger must take the role of the team leaders. As a team leader, he should strive to understand and know his employees well. It through understanding their employees well that the manager will understand the interests and specialization of each employees. He will then assign task and responsibilities based on the employee's specialization. A motivated employee is one who is given an opportunity to demonstrate his potential, managers can encourage this by allowing employees to select task and responsibilities they believe they can perform best.
Managers should also motivate their employees by being good role models. Manager should encourage team work and working towards one goal. He should also avoid negative subjectivism as well as partialities that strain relationships in the workplace. Acts of favoritism of some employees over others should be avoided. Managers should also strive to compliment employees when they perform exceptionally. Similarly, he should correct them when they fail to perform as expected.
The model job characteristics which consist of five core dimension help to describes motivation in the context of job satisfaction. ( Hackman and Oldham's 1975). The five core dimensions that can be associated with job satisfaction levels of employees within an organization. The skill variety the extent to which an employee is required to used multiple or different level of skills. The core dimension is task identity this is where an individual is identifiable in completing a piece of work from start to finish. The third core dimension is task significance whether an individual job affect other people work which relate to the importance of the work. The fourth core dimension is autonomy the freedom or discretion for people to perform and organized work. The fifth core dimension the task feedback this is the feedback that employee receive after completion of task. It could also be feedback receive on job performance.
The element of bonding within an organization determines the ability of employees to work together and achieve set goals. The sense of belonging that employees achieve within an organization determines their level of motivation. Managers can strive to enhance the motivation levels of employees by formulating an organization culture that promotes positive aspects of work such as team work, collaboration and friendship. Managers should strive to foster mutual reliance and friendship among employees. Employees must be able to recognize each other as not only co-workers, but also friends who they can entrust with their personal stories. The ability of implementing a strong culture that emphasizes on oneness encourages best practices within the organization.
The third drive is the drive to comprehend events and situations that occur around human beings. It is by understanding different aspects of events that individuals are able to establish reasonable actions and responses. In the workplace, the drive to comprehend means that employees must be capable of making viable contributions. Manager should be able to create job descriptions that pose a challenge to the employees. Challenging job descriptions give employees an opportunity to learn and grow. It also eliminates the risk of monotony which discourages employees as they feel trapped and without any prospects of growth [ii] . Managers should also strive to give employees job designs that are distinct and give important roles for employees within the organization. The job designs must be meaningful so that employees get a sense of purpose within the organization. Employees must be able to see that there are integral parts of the organization due to the specific role they are undertaking within the organization.
Creating a feeling of security and confidence Manager should ensure that they participate in transparent performance management and resource allocation process. Employees who are certain of their job security regardless of business actions such as mergers and acquisitions are motivated to perform rather than employees that are unsure of their future within the organization. Managers should ensure that they engage in fair organizational process. If the management intends to engage in a retrenchment exercise for instance, they should strive to ensure all employees comprehend the need of the restricting exercise and the effects of the process [iii] . Manager should also be just and transparent in processes such as rewarding and recognizing employees for their efforts within the organization.
According to Gitman, & McDaniel, (2008) managers who desire to motivate their employees to perform exemplary must be able to detect talent among employees. A manager can detect positive traits among a few employees. Instead of picking out the exemplary employees from the rest, an ideal manager will formulate a strategy to capitalize on these unique traits. The manager must determine an effective strategy to capture a talent and turn it into performance. In any organization, it is impossible to find employees that function the same way. Employees exhibit different skills and talents that a manager must be able to tap and use to realize the company success. A manager that focuses on employee strength is able to lead the employee to success. The manager is also able to encourage employees to embrace the spirit of team work that they can rely on so as to achieve organizational objectives.
Employees are valuable assets of any institution; it is the responsibility of management, to ensure that he employees have the morale to work and see the organization soar to success. Managers should take a hand-on approach in their management efforts. Employees need to see their managers putting as much effort in seeing the company succeeds. Manager should be the role models of their employees by guiding them through hardships of employment. Managers can also select the ideal approach to handle the employees. The hard approach may appear too dictatorial, whereas the soft approach may lead to lack of seriousness on the part of the employees. A middle stand enables the managers to be strict, but helpful to employees to achieve their greatest potential. Managers should also consider having a training and development strategy to assist its employees grow. Employees will be motivated to work for an employer who takes the time to see their employees grow and develop in their career paths. Managers must also adopt reasonable pay and compensation packages that will motivate employees to perform. The pay and compensation package must be one that enables employees to meet their basic needs and also secure their future.
Alderfer, C. (1972). Existence, relatedness and growth: human needs in organizational settings. London: New York: free press.
Bratton (2007) extract from motivation at work, in work and organizational behavior, pp257-269, 272-273 and 487-519. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Gitman, L. & McDaniel, C. (2008). The future of business. ASTD Publishers
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Lauby, S. (2005). Motivating employees. Cengage Learning
Vroom, V. (1964) work and motivation, New York: Wiley