The Issues Of The Motivation Theories Business Essay


Most people who work harder would just for earning more money to buy goods and services. However, this is only one of the factors to enable employees make an effort to do something. Therefore the manager should able to motivate employees. But that's easier than done! Before the behavior that motivates employees, manager should understand the human nature (Accel-team, 2010). Frederick Hertzberg said that 'An understanding and appreciation of this is a prerequisite to effective employee motivation in the workplace and therefore effective management and leadership'. According to enormous research, the theory of motivation can be divided into four key elements, which is communication, needs, perception, reward (Accel-team, 2010). Moreover, there are two main parts which include not only identify the characteristics of a demotivated workforce and provide probable reasons, but also recommend solutions about financial and non-financial for dealing with a demotivated workforce in a particular situation in this essay.

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In 1911, Fredrick Taylor put forwarded a new theory of scientific management in his book the Principles of Scientific Management, in which he described the scientific method to the management of workers could improve more productivity (Netmba, 2010). Furthermore, Taylor had a very simple view of what motivated people at work-money. In other word, workers should followed a 'fair day's pay for a fair's day work' and wage should linked to output through piece rate (Netmba, 2010).It is the most important theory in scientific management. After many years of different experiments to estimate the 'best way' of motivation, Taylor ( 2010:384) summarized four principles of scientific management .Firstly, workers should replace rule-of-thumb work methods with methods based on a scientific study of the tasks (Hall, D, 2007: 384). Secondly, managers should prefer the way which is scientifically select, train, and develop each worker rather than passively leaving them to train themselves (Hall, D, 2007: 384). Thirdly, workers should cooperate with each other to ensure that the scientifically developed methods are being followed (Hall, D, 2007: 384). Fourthly, the company should divide work nearly equally between managers and workers, so that the managers apply scientific management principles to planning the workers actually perform the tasks (Hall, D, 2007: 384).

However, there are a number of limitations of Taylor's ideas. The 'best way' theory still having a lot of boundedness and may not suit everyone. For example, money is an important motivator in the theory. However, Taylor (Hall, D, 2007:385) overlooked that some people also work for other different reasons. May be it is just a sense of achievement or a kind of interest.

Abraham Maslow outlined the first comprehensive theory -Maslow's hierarchy of needs in 1954 (Business balls, 2010). It can be consisted to two parts. The first part concerned classification of needs and the second parts focus on relationship between each class (Business balls, 2010). As show below the figure, the classes of needs were physiological need, safety needs, love and belonging, esteem needs, self-actualization ((Business balls, 2010). Moreover, Maslow pointed that each level of needs is dependent on the levels below.

However, the theory has problems when use in some case. For example, money needs to be used to buy some daily necessities, but it can also be seen as a status symbol or an indicator of personal worth (Hall, D, 2007:385). So it would easy to confuse the meaning of two classes. The other problem was the other levels would 'crash' the basic level. For instance, a worker may spend many hours on achieved his dream despite lack of sleep or food.

There is a real example about the Tesco how to use Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory to motivate its employees. At Tesco the maslow theory is seen to be operating throughout the company (Thetimes100, 2010 a). First at all, the company has a special department which ensures the security. Such as, protect from physical and physiological threats (Thetimes100, 2010 b). And then, communication is an important factor in motivating employees. Staffs may be through one to one discussions with manager or through the company intranet to express their ideas. Furthermore, the managers give a daily team meeting to update employees on what has happens in the day and give out value awards. These awards can be given from any member of staff to another as a way of celebrating achievements (Thetimes100, 2010).

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How to deal with a demotivated workforce? It is a common problem for manager. There are a lot of characteristics of a demotivated workforce, such as being lazy or argue with workmates, miss meeting, take day-off, nervous, ect (Change board, 2010). But then of course everything always happens for reason. According to theory of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the reasons of a demotivated workforce may be the terrible workplace's environment or harsh company policies, the wage too small, not harmonious workmate relations (Change board, 2010).

The solution of a demotivated workforce can be divided into two main theories. One method is financial method. Because of the views of Hertzberg pointed that monetary methods of motivation still have little value (Tutor2u, 2010).Therefore many company still use money as a major incentive to motivate employees in reality. Therefore there are a variety of payment systems that a business could use to motivate its employees (Tutor2u, 2010a). Such as increase wage and salaries or set the fringe benefits, profit sharing, share ownership (Tutor2u, 2010b). Moreover, it is the most effective way to encourage employees.

Another method is non-financial method which includes the most important way is job enrichment. It means giving workers more interesting, challenging and complex tasks. Manager should also arrange different opportunities to workers complete tasks. What's more, such as job enlargement means, empowerment (Tutor2u, 2010).There is a real example about the Starbucks Corporation how to motivate its employees. The company focuses on enable the employees who always touch with customers and can realize what customers really need. Therefore, it becomes an important factor for companies to motivate, reward and train their employees to be the best workers (Atheuk, 2009). Why Starbucks is worldwide popular? There are follow many reasons. One is not only the quality of coffee, but also its customer service and cosy environment (Atheuk, 2009). Furthermore, the strategies, which are used by Starbucks to make their employee feel more relax and working harder in the all-time. Totally it can list five parts which are Equal treatment, Listen to employees, Good welfare measures, Teamwork, The strategies to keep well relationship, a goal of public welfare (Atheuk, 2009).

In a conclusion, this article focus on explain the two main theories of Fredrick Taylor's scientific management and Maslow's hierarchy of needs. What's more, the characteristics of a demotivated workforce, such as miss meeting, take day-off. Different employees have different reasons for being motivated. But the majority reason always is money. For example, the IBM Company always gives the rewards for employees who have outstanding performance in each quarter. Furthermore, as far as I concern the method of Fredrick Taylor's scientific management is more effective than Maslow's hierarchy of needs in reality. Because of the Fredrick Taylor's scientific management describe that money is a biggest motivator. For instance, most workers who come from the countryside just care about how many salary he would earn in one year. It's a forever truth.