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"The one best way to increase work motivation for an organisation is through financial rewards" Discuss. It is considered by many that financial rewards, such as promotions and bonuses are one of the best motivators increasing work performance amongst employees of an organisation. This essay will look at the various forms of financial rewards and how these can be used as a motivator by organisations. However, although financial reward is one of the best ways of increasing work motivation amongst employees, there are other factors that have been acknowledged as providing equal influence when it comes to increasing work motivation and performance.
According to the dictionary, motivation can be defined as a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way (desire or willingness to do something). From an academic perspective, motivation in an organisational context, can be defined in a number of ways, there being a range of views in this regard. Colquitt, Lepine and Wesson (2011) said:
"Motivation has a strong positive relationship with job performance and a moderate positive relationship with organisational commitment".
According to Buchanan and Huczynski (2010), the definition of motivation is:
"â€¦the cognitive decision-making process through which goal-directed behaviour is initiated, energized, directed and maintained".
Academic thought in this area includes content theory, intrinsic and extrinsic work motivation, classical approach to motivation and an individual's behaviour. Motivation can be delivered through a range of means. One of the simplest and most common forms of increasing work motivation is through financial rewards. However, not all employees have the same needs and will require other forms of motivation in order to satisfy their needs. In a survey conducted by Reade in 2003, his evidence suggested that students rate job satisfaction more highly than money. The two aspects of an ideal job were enjoyment and friendly colleagues. The evidence demonstrated that earning "enough" came in third. Motivation has a relation to job performance and a positive relationship with organisational commitment. Another factor is the link between an individuals behaviour and work motivation. It is important for an organisation to understand their employee's needs in order to influence their behaviour in the work place.
F.W Taylor developed the concept of Scientific Management (1911). This theory, also referred to as Taylorism, looks to break down each aspect of a job role, by providing employees with appropriate level of training needed, instead of allowing employees to train themselves. Thus making it easier for them to complete the task set by their managers. Taylor was an early proponent of the idea of payment by results. In this situation, an employee will be paid according to their level of work performance. Although Taylor's concept of Scientific Management and motivating staff works, and has been implemented throughout factories, he has been condemned for treating staff like robots; mindless and emotionless beings.
Colquit (2011) states that process theories is theories of motivation that focus on how we make choices with respect to goals. It gives us a decision making role in choosing our goals and how to pursue them. There are four process theories of work motivation. These include
Equity theory - is a method of motivation that argues that the view of unfairness will lead to tension, which will result in motivating the individual in resolving the issue at hand.
Goal setting theory - the goal setting theory is a theory that looks at goals as the main drives of the persistence and intensity of effort.
Inner work life theory - This theory strongly states that an individuals behaviour and their work performance in an organisation is influenced by the relation of their views, emotions and motives.
Expectancy theory - the belief that if one puts in a good effort in to their work, the outcome of this will be a success.
The expectancy theory came about by an American psychologist, Edward Tolman, who believed that our behaviour is influenced by the expectations that we have about our behaviour leading to the achievement of desired outcomes. Vroom (1964) developed this concept further, instead focusing his idea of expectancy theory on work motivation. He based his theory on three concepts: valence, instrumentality and expectancy. This theory is also known as the valence-instrumentality-expectancy theory. The theory declares that a person's behaviour results from a conscious decision making process that has been based on expectations or probabilities that influences their work performance. For example, if an employee has been set a task by their manager and they have the confidence and belief in themselves that they can do it, it will result in them successfully completing the task that's been set for them. This defines the concept of self-efficacy; the belief that an individual has the capabilities of being able to carry out the behaviours required for the success of the task. Self-efficacy can be seen as the self-confidence or the strong belief in ones self. Employees of an organisation, who have self-confidence, will recognise advanced levels of expectancy, which will therefore result in higher performance in their work effort or outputs.
A number of academics have looked at the different forms of motivation. These forms have been broken down to extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Culquitt (2011) identifies extrinsic motivation as motivation that is controlled by some contingency that depends on task performance. Intrinsic motivation is motivation that is felt when task performance serves as its own reward. So for example, extrinsic motivation is what an employee will receive for doing something (e.g.being paid a bonus for completing a task that has been set out by the organisations manager). Conversely, intrinsic motivation is an emotive response that an individual may get for doing something. For example, the sense of accomplishment an employee feels after they have completed a task. Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Maslow (1943) 'A theory of human motivation', is a model that is based on nine needs, ranging from biological (basic survival) to self-actualisation (need to develop our full potential) that has been organised by needs and innate needs, which include drives and goals. Although there are nine needs that have been identified in the mode, academics tend to focus on the five needs. These five needs include psychological needs, safety and security, love and belongingness, self-esteem and self-actualisation. Maslow argued that self-actualisation is ones ultimate goal in life. Self-actualisation meaning that a persons aspiration for achievement, in order to becoming everything that one if capable of being. Maslow's hierarchy of needs explains that in order for an employee to meet self-actualisation (top of the hierarchy chart), they need first to meet their basic and safety needs (bottom of the chart). There are a few issues with Maslow's model, one being that it reflects more on middle-class white Americans living in the mid-twentieth century and also that it is unable to predict individual behaviour.
Theories that consist of drives and needs are known as content theories. Nitin Nohria, Boris Groysberg and Linda-Eling Lee (2008) have developed the most recent content theory of work motivation. Their theory of motivation declares that there are four innate and basic drives; the drive to acquire, the drive to bond, the drive to comprehend and the drive to defend. They conducted a survey of about 700 people, where their results found that an organisations capability to meet the four drives contributed to the organisations employee's motivation, by influencing their feelings of involvement, energy and initiative, satisfaction, commitment and intention to quit or stay. The content theory states that the best way to improve motivation is by meeting all four of the drives. A primary level has been linked to the four drives. The primary levers for the drives are, reward system (example, better than the organisations competitors), culture (example, creating friendships amongst co-workers), job design (example, creating jobs that have a purpose and meaning to them that can give the impression of contributing back to the organisation) and performance management (example, building relationships and trust, transparent in granting rewards). The Hawthorne Studies, in 1939 were a series of experiments that were carried out by George Elton May. The studies were a series of experiments which were performed for 5 years and were conducted in the Hawthorn factory that used natural daylight or candles in order to illuminate the workplace for the workers. In order for it to be implemented, for the experiment a number of changes were made in order to find how working conditions affected individual's work ethic. These consisted of changes in the lighting, temperature, altering rest brakes and working hours. The purpose of the experiment was to demonstrate a positive correlation between the amount of light and work productivity. The findings of the Hawthorne experiment were that workers were motivated and influenced by psychological conditions more than their working conditions that were physical. Other results which were found from the experiments were being shown interest motivated employees
Colquitt (2011) says "research studies show that financial incentives often have a stronger impact on motivation than other sorts of outcome". Financial rewards are one of the best ways of increasing work motivation for an organisations employee's. However, it is not just financial rewards that will increase work motivation. To conclude, there are a variety of theories and methods in relation to work motivation. Those being content theories: Maslow's hierarchy of needs and Emotional needs theory, Process theories: Expectancy theory, and intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. As a whole, when it comes to motivation in an organisation, not just financial rewards can be taken into consideration, an organisation needs to understand their employees, as individual's behaviour has a significant part in the role of motivation.