The need for motivation of staff


Motivation of staff continues to be of ongoing importance when managers consider an organisations performance. This becomes even more important to organisations using a 'teams' concept, due to a high reliance on human resources to meet organisational goals. By understanding what motivates people a managers can be assisted to obtain an optimal level of production out of their team. However, a lack of motivation can also cause a team to underachieve on a given task. Expanding on this, this assignment will discuss the use of teams within organisations and whether they provide motivational benefits or disadvantages.

To do this is, it is important to understand what a team is. Bartol, Tein, Matthews and Sharma (2008 p. 560) describes a team as " a temporary or on-going task group of members working to identify problems, form a consensus about action, and implement actions needed on a task or organisational area". When creating effective work teams, it is important to know the difference between a mere group and an actual team. A work group exists simply for the members of the group to share information and help each other perform their own individual responsibilities. Work groups are all about individual contributions instead of team effort, and thus the group is no greater than each individual's personal input. A work team, however, functioning through coordination and cooperation, has the ability to create outputs greater than the total of its member's individual inputs. In effective work teams, output is greatly increased by an overall positive outlook, individual and mutual accountability, and the combined performance of individuals with complimentary skills.

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McShane and Travagline (2007) identified that an increasing number of modern organisations now structure teams across processes which members have complementary skills sets. This is in contrast to previous methodology which grouped employees of similar skills together around specialties. Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborne (2003 p.6) described these types of groups as homogeneous and heterogeneous. Homogeneous groups work well together and can be somewhat effective. However they are restricted in their thinking, decision-making and skills. A heterogeneous group, made up of persons of various age, gender, race, and culture has a wide range of talent, viewpoints and experience to offer in problem solution.

This diversity within the heterogeneous group is important in creating effective teams that work on complex and demanding goals. Diverse teams in terms of members' demography, experiences and cultures have an excellent collection of information; talent and wide-ranging perspectives that can help improve problem solving and increase creativity. It should be noted though, diversity may cause come conflict in the early stages of team development like forming and storming, because of interpersonal interactions. However, in the long run working through these difficulties will create a stronger, more unified team (Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborne, 2003, p. 6).

Forming, storming, norming and performing as they relate to organisational teams are explained in Tuckman's model (Welbourne 2001). Forming is described as occurring where there is a high dependence on the leader for direction and guidance. There is little agreement in the group other than directed from the team leader. Responsibilities and roles within the group are uncertain. This is followed by storming, where decisions do not come simply within the team. Team members contest for their place as they attempt to establish themselves in relation to other members of the team and the leader, who may even face challenges from team members (Welbourne 2001).

Norming is occurs when the team are generally in agreement and able to compromise, responding well to facilitation by leader. The group is now able to make decisions but any smaller decisions could be delegated to individuals or small teams within group. In this stage commitment and unity is strong.

Finally is the performing stage, at this point the team is now strategically aware. It is clear to the team what and why it is doing what it is doing. There is a collective vision and the group is now able to stand on its feet. The team has a high degree of autonomy. Disagreements occur, but now they are resolved within the team positively before finally producing the performance targeted. As a cohesive group, goals can be achieved faster and more effectively as the team will be able to anticipate each other actions and be proactive accordingly (Carron 1980).

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In addition, this assists in empowering teams as they are involved in the decisions that directly affect their productivity and performance. As such, they help foster employees who are empowered because they are well aware of how their individual contributions are aligned with overall corporate objectives. Teams have also proved useful in improving the quality of decision making, helping to build consensus and support for action, and helping to build a cooperative, goal-oriented culture. Team interaction helps to build the consensus that is so essential to the execution of a decision. In theory, by having everyone participate in a decision, a better decision should result-one that everyone will accept and work toward (Amason, Hochwarter, Thompson & Harrison 1995).

This supports the view team-based organisations rely on the effectiveness of teams to meet objectives with this effectiveness being influenced by environment, team design and team processes (Travaglione 2010). These include rewards, communication, physical space, organizational environment, organisational structure and organisational leadership. Teams therefore develop norms to regulate and guide members but it is important to note that a team's performance only remains high when their norms do not conflict with the organisations goals (Travaglione 2010).

When considering this performance and its effect on motivation within an organisation it becomes important to consider what is motivation and its definition. It is often referred to as what influences a person's direction, intensity and persistence within the workplace (Travaglione 2010). Sometimes it is considered to be the same as morale. This is not the case, as there is a clear separation between morale and motivation. High morale can be very motivating. High motivation can improve performance, as such there is a linkage between morale and motivation but they are not he same (Foster 2006).

Motivation is defined as causing a person to act in a particular way or stimulating the interest of a person in an activity (Oxford Concise Australian Dictionary, 1997). As a manager and leader, you aim for high performance and motivation in your staff, which in turn is dependant on a number of workplace issues (Witschi, D Mitchell, M. 2005 p.5). Often teams know how to perform the desired behavior correctly, the process is good, and all resources are available, but for one reason or another, chooses not to do so which may now become a motivational issue which can impact on the achievement of organisational goals.

Motivation can be intrinsic - satisfaction, feelings of achievement; or extrinsic - rewards, punishment, or goal obtainment. It is important to note that not all people are motivated by the same thing and that, over time motivations can change. Many occupations have problems that are inherent to the position; it is the problems that are inherent to the person that cause us to loose focus from meeting desired goals and objectives. These motivational problems can come from family pressures, personality conflicts or a lack of understanding of how the behavior affects other people or process. Bartol et al (2007) expands on this through discussion on the needs and cognitive theories.

Bartol et al (2007) discusses the needs theory as behavior due to the internal needs people attempt to fulfill. They go on to examine Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Herzberg's two-factor theory, the ERG theory and the acquired-needs theory. Maslow, as described in Bartol et al (2007 p. 368), argues needs form a hierarchy of five levels. These levels being; physiological needs including food, water and shelter; safety needs where individuals seek a feeling of being safe and secure; belongingness needs involving being accepted by others; esteem needs which involve the desire to have a positive self imagine and contributions valued. Finally, the last and highest level being a self-actualization need where individuals wish to achieve their full potential.

Herzberg expanded on Maslow when he studied accountants and engineers. This study included questioning the participants about what work situations made them feel good and conversely feel bad about their jobs (Bartol et al 2007 p.369). Herzberg's two-factor theory argues, what he calls, 'hygiene factors' influence the level of dissatisfaction. These include aspects such as pay, conditions, company policies and fringe benefits etc. He called the second factor 'motivators' which includes things such as achievement, responsibility, recognition and growth and advancement (Herzberg 1966). This research showed people would strive to achieve 'hygiene' needs because they are unhappy without them, but once satisfied the effect soon wears off - satisfaction is temporary. It supported the view that poorly managed organisations fail to understand that people are not 'motivated' by addressing 'hygiene' needs. People are only truly motivated by enabling them to reach for and satisfy the factors that Herzberg identified as real motivators, such as accomplishment, progression and development, which represent a greater level of meaning and fulfillment.

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Whilst Herzberg's theory suggests positive results, Fourman and Jones (1997) found that there are potential negative impacts on morale when they considered the Ohio State University Extension, which used "job enrichment" as one tool for motivating mid-career employees. A subsequent study by its directors (Fourman & Jones 1997) found "vertical job enrichment" can produce positive benefits for employees, but negative outcomes can occur without careful planning and provision for appropriate resources. Job enrichment was viewed as a way to assist mid-career employees who had reached a plateau by offering new challenges. Also, because of downsizing, it was felt this approach could allow some critical job functions to be performed on an ad-hoc basis until an appropriate decision could be made about staffing a position for the future. The organisation believed certain employees would be recharged and newly motivated and that critical organisational needs could be addressed.

The ERG theory, as identified by Alderfer and discussed by Bartol et al (2007 p. 370), provided an alternative to Maslow's theory by combining his five identified needs into three. These levels being Existence Needs which co-relates to Maslow's first two levels, Relatedness Needs which co-relate to Maslow's third and fourth levels, and Growth Needs co-relate to Maslow's fourth and fifth levels. Contrarily to Maslow's idea, was that access to the higher levels of his pyramid required satisfaction in the lower level needs, according to Alderfer the three ERG areas are not stepped in any way.

Therefore ERG theory states that an employee's behaviour is motivated by more than one need level at the same time. For example, satisfying your growth needs by finishing a task on time even though your relatedness needs aren't especially satisfied (Warrilow 2010).

The Coca-Cola Company is an organisation, which identifies with the ERG theory. The existence needs of the employees within company can be defined as those needs that have a desired physiological effect on the employees within the company. To this end, the Coca-Cola Company has introduced many different programs in place in order to assist with this process. For example, it offers cultural awareness programs and employee forums; these forums consist of employees that share similar interest or backgrounds. The individuals within these forums provide both professional and personal growth to one another. It also motivates its employees with incentives and occupational opportunities on a daily basis.

The Coca-Cola Company prides itself on establishing relationships between both employer and employee, addressing the employees desires for satisfying interpersonal relationships (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2002) or their relatedness needs. This enables organisations to connect with the employee and produce a relationship that can benefit both of them. This includes the use of a one-on-one approach between management leaders and employees. Once a month, the employee speaks with a team leader, or supervisor, about any problems at home or in the workplace. This creates a positive environment where both parties can start to build a trusting relationship with one another. As a result, this could help them improve productivity because they are able to express personal needs that could affect their performance at work (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2002). It is their view that if an individual likes who he or she is working with, they tend to be more motivated to continue to come to work for the personal relationship and networking.

Thirdly, the growth need, is outlined by Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn (2002 p.156) as the desire for continued personal growth and development. This need alone can motivate each and every employee to do better within him or her, as well as within the job. Knowing that some of the choices made at work can help you advance is something that helps reassure an individual that advancement is up to him or her. The Coca-Cola Company tries to create an environment where promotions are encouraged to come from within the organisation. Furthermore, they implement training programs, which encourage an individual to move ahead in the company if, and when, the opportunity exists.

The final needs theory to be discussed is the 'acquired needs' theory. Bartol et al (2007 p. 371) discusses McClelland's view that people's needs are acquired or learned through experience. Fierman (1987) expands on this by outlining that sometimes particular incidents can deeply influence our needs. McClelland theorized that individuals' behaviour is influenced by three needs; the need for achievement, the need for affiliation and the need for power (Wood. et al 2006 p.85). It encourages organisational managers to look for these needs within their employees so they can create work environments responsive to these needs.

The American company Black and Decker is an example of companies who use content theories to assist to motivate employees. The company allows employees to form teams and contribute five new ideas in every twelve-week period to make recommendations on any methods that could improve any company processes or products. By allowing for employees to provide these avenues for involvement in continuous improvement and innovative ideas the company attains a high level commitment from its employees, which results in job satisfaction and the retention of staff (Harris and Brian 1993).

McClelland's research also identified the societal culture also impacts on the emphasis of the needs. This is discussed in Wood et al (2006 p.86) who suggest countries, generally Anglo-Saxon, high in masculinity have a high need for achievement whilst high femininity countries, including Portugal and Chile appear not have such a high need for achievement. McClelland as discussed in Wood et al (2006 p.86) also takes this further suggesting a combination of the various identified needs is needed for people to succeed. He gives the example of individuals with a moderate need for power and lower need for affiliation tend to make good mangers.

Chritie and others (2007, p.214) believed the needs theory stipulates that most of these needs are shaped over time and cultural background dependent upon the experiences of the particular individual. McClelland did not make a distinction between any certain transitions among the needs. He indicated that some people have higher levels of one need than others. If a person values power over affiliation they would have different characteristics towards their goals. Chritie and others (2007, p. 214) formed a view this can be supported by an evident restriction of explanations to a particular set of factors and how these motivate people. This is due to the fact that the theory is most closely linked to trait or inherited attributes rather than theories relating to achieving goals such as expectancy theory and other process related motivational theories which rely on the expectation that effort will lead to a pre calculated performance.

Expectancy theory is associated with the process motivational category. It suggests that motivation depends on individuals' expectations about their ability to perform tasks and receive desired rewards. This theory explores the view that people consider the three factors of Valence, Expectancy and Instrumentality when deciding what coarse of action they are about to take in a situation to achieve a particular result. The first factor is Valence. This relates to the importance that the individual places upon the expected outcome of a situation. Outcomes have different values depending on the individual's perception and needs therefore differing because they reflect on other factors in the person's life. (Stecher & Rosse 2007, 778)

The second factor is Expectancy; this is the belief that output from the individual and the success of the situation are linked, for example if an individual knows he/she took longer to do a particular task and they would achieve a better result they would be more inclined to do so. (Stecher, Rosse 2007, p.778)

Thirdly, an individual considers instrumentality, which is the belief that the success of the situation is linked to the expected outcome of the situation for example if the person believes he/she has performed a good job they would expect positive feedback. These three factors allow an individual to size up whether they should exert the effort, which would result in a satisfactory result (Stecher & Rosse 2007, p.778).

Included, as part of the process motivational category is the goal setting, which is based on a study from 1970 where conscious goals affect action (Locke and Latham 2006). As such Locke and Latham (2006) researched, as whether goals impacted on individual performance, finding a high level of validity and it is effective for individuals, groups and organisations.

McShane and Travaglione (2008) expand on this theory further, outlining six conditions which assist in making this method a success including specific goal, relevant goals, challenging goals, goal commitment, participation in goal formation and goal commitment. These conditions provide, when met, for the empowering of teams and their associated members. For example, Locke and Latham (2002) support McShane and Travaglione when they found in their earlier research that subordinates who were allowed to participate in decision making and setting goals have higher performance and set higher goals. Goal setting improves motivation through "stretching the intensity and persistence of effort" and by giving clear and not vague role perceptions to employees so that the effort is "channelled towards behaviours that will improve work performance" (McShane and Travaglione 2008)

The third process theory is known as the Equity theory. Adams first talked about Equity theory in 1963 and 1965 where formed a view an individual assesses his relationships by analysing his inputs to the relationship and what he receives in return compared to what other individuals contribute to the relationship and receive in return (Ambrose & Kulik 1999). Central to the theory is the perception of fairness. It is a reasonable and logical notion that people want to be treated in a manner that they perceive to be fair, or at the very least, equal to those performing the same tasks.

If the individual thinks that his outcome-to-input ratio is less or more than that of the other individuals in the relationship, then inequity arises and the individual is compelled to restore equity in order for the relationship to remain acceptable. Therefore, it is important to note, inequity can be either positive or negative ultimately individuals will seek to reach equilibrium with the others in their environment (Ambrose & Kulik 1999).

Chhokar, Zhuplev, Fok & Hartman (2001), discuss equity sensitivity, which elaborates on Adam's Equity theory. The concept of equity sensitivity is used to explain why individuals from different cultural backgrounds do not behave as predicted when inequity exists. However, there are individuals who feel at peace with different types of inequities, and they are known as "Benevolents" and "Entitleds". Chhokar et al. (2001), elaborates on equity sensitivity, by stating:

"This construct expands upon Adam's equity theory by hypothesizing that there are three types of individuals: (1) Equity Sensitive, who follow the traditional equity theory model of behavior and sense equity only when inputs equal outcomes; (2) Benevolents, who sense equity only when their inputs exceed their outcomes; and finally (3) Entitleds, who sense equity only when their outcomes exceed their inputs."

It is clear from the experiences of the discussed companies and other associated research, the added benefits of using work teams in the corporate environment, from diversity and heightened productivity to improved quality and customer service, is making them the preferred methodology in today's complex, competitive market (Hayes 1995). The effect of successful teams on an organisation are so advantageous that it is likely even though they are complex and difficult to achieve, the future will see them implemented more often with management becoming more adept at creating them.