Factors Of Motivation And Their Impact Commerce Essay

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Understanding employee motivation and how to manage it has for a long time been an area of active research for academics and management consultants due to its importance and impact on staff performance. This has resulted in a large amount of literature and theories on how to manage and improve staff motivation (Bassett-Jones, and Lloyd, 2005). However, according to (Re'em, 2011), there is no definitive understanding of staff motivation and its impact on performance because the work environment is fluid and always changing. Although many experts in the subject such as (Govender and Parumasur, 2010)have questioned the logic of performance management systems and whether they really work, it is generally accepted that performance management systems and efforts to improved staff performance do really benefit companies by making staff more effective and productive. In fact performance management has become increasingly relevant in companies because the business environment has become much more competitive due to globalisation and managers are therefore extremely under pressure to deliver and to develop strategies for sustained competitiveness (Fryer, Antony and Ogden, 2009).

Understanding motivation and how to motivate diverse people working under a single company is important because it enables managers to get the most out of employees improve staff performance(Mullins, 2010). Although employee performance levels depend on skill and ability, understand the requirements of the job and be provided with the right environment to do the job, it is also dependent on motivation. But although there are many theories and practical solutions that have been developed to increase staff motivation, it has been generally accepted that motivation and its impact on performance is a difficult area of research with many variables and with different environments such as private and public sector work motivation (Oluseyi and Ayo, 2009). Additionally, the recent economic recession and the increased diversity in the workplace have highlighted the need for a better understanding of staff motivation in the workplace (Public Affairs Ireland , 2010).

The question of how managers should motivate staff in the private sector is very challenging yet rewarding, because if fully understood, it can be used as a management tool to improve performance in order to obtain a competitive edge which can sometimes be a determinant for success or failure (Robbins and Judge, 2008). This has increased the research value of motivation and how it relates to staff performance in an ever changing workplace (Landy and Conte, 2010). The overarching importance of this research is therefore its performance enhancement linkage. This is even more important when one considers that the main objective of management and their key determinant of success is increased productivity and increased staff performance levels.

The proposed research of understanding the factors that contribute to motivation and how this can be managed towards increased performance is of interest to management in the public sector and particularly in the private sector where competition is fierce. According to (Ahlstrom and Bruton, 2009) the performance level of employees is directly proportional to ability, understanding of what to do, the work environment and motivation. Management techniques are so evolved that they are able to control the work environment, employ the right staff with ability with a full understanding of the task at hand(Torrington et al., 2010).

An intimate knowledge of staff motivation and how to manage it would therefore provide the missing block that will enable to get the maximum performance and productivity from staff. In fact it has been argued that performances can(Bassett-Jones, and Lloyd, 2005)be maximised with a highly motivated staff even when there is an obvious gap in ability and work environment (Landy and Conte, 2010). The proposed research is therefore very important given that staffs that is very highly motivated is the most important asset of any company (MANforum, 2009)and staff not motivated enough would have low performance levels and staff resignations may even increase (MANforum, 2009).

However, much of the research and literature on the relationship between staff motivation and performance levels has been on large companies. Additionally, the relationship is very complex and depends on the context of each company. This work was intended to study the relationship between staff motivation and performance levels in environments different from large companies. This research study is targeted at Synergy Health Plc. which a medium company in the health sector with branches in several countries which therefore makes the relationship a bit more complex due to a complex mix of cultures in the work place.

Synergy Health Plc.

The research is also personal importance and relevance to the author who work on a part time basis at Synergy Health Plc. in their Technical Department (HSS). Synergy Health Plc. is a company that specialises in the delivery of healthcare services to their clients. The company has its headquarters in Swindon in United Kingdom, employs 4000 staff globally with a presence in UK, Europe, Middle East and Americas. The objective of Synergy is to develop a niche market by way of a high quality of service delivery to their clients and to build sustainable and lasting relationship with experts in the healthcare industry. This vision of Synergy Health Plc. is premised on highly motivated staffs who are rewarded for their high performance and dedication to excellence. Motivation their staff to further staff performance is therefore critical to the enabling the attainment of Synergy Health Plc.'s objectives. As a result, Synergy Health Plc. has a staff management system and a motivation scheme for their staff.

Synergy Health Plc. Performance Management

At Synergy Health Plc. the appropriate staffs is recruited and they also have a graduate recruitment and training program the purpose of which is to ensure that the right people with the required skills and personality. The underlying motivation for this is because capability and skills are the basic requirement for enhanced staff performance and any other thing such as motivation should be in addition to the requirement for a capable staff. Recruiting the right staff is just the start of a process and those recruited are offered extensive training to acquire new skills and to also educate them on the business values and vision of the company to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills set to enable them to perform at an optimal level(Synergy Health , 2012).

Synergy Health Plc. Staff Motivation

Synergy Health Plc. recognises that to get the maximum performance from their staff would require that they are motivated enough in addition to acquiring the required skills set and expertise. Consequently, they operate a reward and benefit system that is comparable to other companies. The benefit scheme is comprehensive and include pensions, healthcare and bonus systems. Although comprehensive, the benefit systems is not unified across all branches of the company and this research work will also look at the possibility of streamlining the benefit system across the whole company. Synergy Health Plc Ltd also run a "Managing and Rewarding Performance program" and they also perform annual performance appraisals and they encourage their staff to fully participate in meetings that discuss how to motivate staff to ensure improved performance (Synergy Health , 2012).

Aim of the Research

The aim of the proposed research is to critically analyse staff motivation and how it impacts staff performance and to determine and identify those factors that influence motivation and their consequent impact on staff performance. Additionally, it is an objective of the proposed research to provide recommendations and guidelines for corporate managers working in the frontline to enable them to manage staff motivation to ensure improved performance. The following are the specific research objectives.

1. To critically analyse staff motivation and its impact on staff performance at Synergy Health Plc.

2. To identify the factors of motivation and their impact on staff performance.

3. To evaluate the factors of motivation and their impact on staff performance.

4. To recommend guidelines for cooperate managers that are working on the front line to manage staffs which affect organisation performance.

Research Questions

The following are the research questions as they relate to Synergy Health Plc.

What are the factors that influence employee motivation?

How does a performance management system in place perform to specifications and why they increase staff performance?

How does motivation influence staff performance?

Why is the relationship between staff motivation and staff performance important?

How can staff motivation be optimally managed to improve performance?

Importance and Scope of Project

The outcome of the proposed research is therefore very important as it will provide an understanding of the factors that impact motivation and how these relate to staff performance levels. The proposed recommendation as an output of the research will be used as management tools to help them to manage staff motivation better to improve performance levels. Importantly too, it will provide a thorough understanding of the relationship between staff motivation and performance at Synergy Health Plc. where the author works. This will be very beneficial to the management at Synergy to improve staff management and to develop strategies that will enable the company to maintain a competitive edge and to perhaps grow their market share whilst at the same time maximising output from staff whilst keeping them happy and motivated.

Dissertation Outline

The research work that was carried out is reported in this dissertation and structured into the following chapters as shown on Figure : Dissertation Layout. Chapter 1 is the introductory chapter, Chapter 2 present a review of the literature on staff performance, staff motivation and the relationship between staff motivation and performance. Chapter 3 presents the methodology used to carry out the research and Chapter 4 provides an analysis and discussion of the results obtained from a case study of Synergy Health Plc. and Chapter 5 provides the conclusions of the research and recommendations.

Figure : Dissertation Layout


Literature Review


This Chapter reviews the relevant literature on motivation at the workplace and looks at work done in the area of motivation theories. The motivation in the work place is very important in the study and research of organisational behaviour and as a result many theories have been developed. But although there are many theories, there is no universally acceptable motivation theory that can be used in all cases hence the importance of this research. This research study aims to study the relationship between motivation and performance at the workplace which makes it important that the concept of performance and how performance is managed and measured be reviewed. This Chapter also therefore reviews the performance related literature and also reviews work on the relationship between motivation and performance.

It is paramount that managers responsible for improving staff performance and the design and development of performance management systems should be aware of employee motivation factors. They should also be aware of motivation theories such as Maslow (Torrington et al., 2011)because these provide the basis and foundations of effective performance management within organisations. An effective performance management system that is fit for purpose should be adaptive to the changing needs of employees. Additionally, managers should provide a clear and uncluttered means of communication with employees such that they get a feedback of the changing needs and expectation of their staff. This will then be used to fine tune and adjust the performance management system.

Performance should be viewed as an entity and motivation should encompass and provide a holistic notion in that factors should not be viewed in isolation but rather should all be taken in an integrated way (Govender and Parumasur, 2010). This had taken even more importance during the past decade due to the changing nature of organisations and also due to the changing needs and expectations of employees. Globalisation and the increased diversity in the workplace is another added complexity because the needs, values and expectations of employees at an organisation gets every much more diverse and getting a common denominator every more difficult (Meijen, 2007). The added complexity of organisations and the need to attain maximum output using the minimum resources which can manifest in reducing the size of employees, makes the design of performance management systems much more difficult to get right.

Even though there are many theories developed for staff motivation and even with extensive research within this domain, previous research might not be effective when applied to different types of organisations such as Synergy Health Plc. which is relatively newer and medium sized companies in which employee needs are always changing and diversity at the workplace much more increased. This study is therefore important as it provides insight in what motivates employees and how this impacts on their performance levels. Motivational theories are dependent on a proper and acceptable reward system and the individual behaviour has to be considered in developing of performance management system and in developing key performance indicators (KPI) to ensure a proper monitoring of performance. KPIs which measure the performance wellbeing of organisations are vital given that they are a measure that enables the monitoring of whether everyone in the organisation are contributing in unison towards the targeted performance levels set by the organisation.

The needs of staff need to be satisfied in order to motivate. These include the need for an acceptable reward system and also the need for staff to feel happy in their job functions and to have the feeling of satisfaction of having done a good job. This is important because the rewards system in place has to meet the need of their employees. Otherwise they can even demotivate as needs are not satisfied. In fact, employees will generally work harder to meet targets if they value the reward and if these rewards meet their needs and expectations (Fryer, Antony and Ogden, 2009).

Theoretical Background

Employee motivation is a concept that has had a lot of attention for a very long time especially in the field of HRM and organisation behaviour. In fact, many researchers such as (Lather and Jain, 2005) have suggested that motivation is a key ingredient that impacts staff performance levels and that organisations that succeeds in adequately motivating its staff are able to get the maximum performance from its staff. Research conducted by (Oluseyi and Ayo, 2009) comprehensively concluded that staff motivation is vital for staff performance given that employee skill, although vital, is not enough to increase performance level but rather that this has to be complimented by motivation. In fact staff motivation is vital, not only in the enhancement of performance levels but it also hugely influences whether staff are happy within their job function which also is important how the level of commitment that they have towards the company which also influences impact staff turnover within an organisation. It is not surprising therefore that staff motivation has been an important function of a manager's job description and many managers spend most of their time trying to improve staff motivation through motivation(Al-Alawi, 2005).

Organisations would like to get a maximised performance level from their employees using the optimal resources and they therefore use all necessary techniques that will ensure a maximisation of performance, and they normally develop motivation factors such as rewards systems, because of the importance of motivation on performance. However, research by (Lather and Jain, 2005) conclusively showed that getting staff adequately motivated is an inherently difficult task mainly because what motivates staff is difficult to gauge and the desires of staff is not always straightforward easy to determine and in most cases different from what the organisations wants and according to (MacMillan, 2007) many organisations make the mistake of underestimating the factors that motivate their staff which negatively impacts performance levels. It is therefore vital for staff motivation to be taken seriously. This is why a case study of what motivates staff at Synergy Health Plc. and how this impact on performance is very relevant and of huge importance to Synergy Health Plc.

The methodology employed by management to motivate their staff is normally developed after the organisation has defined its targets and clear goals for the organisation. However, getting staff motivated to ensure improved performance to achieve set targets is a difficult and complex proposition which is why it is a topic that has led to many research and theories. One of the key theories of motivation is the seminal research and work by Maslow in what is termed as the hierarchy of needs(Torrington et al., 2011). The basic foundation of this theory is that it recognises that motivation is subjective in that it is dependent on the individual and that motivation factors is different for each individual. It is basically based on the theory that each individual has needs and it is these needs that need to be satisfied in order to motivate the individual and which also explains why it is subjective because those individual needs are different for each individual. This is very important for those in management whose job it is to motivate staff because the fact it is subjects makes it very difficult to provide a set of motivating factors across board that will motivate all staff. It suggest that there should a basic core of motivation factors which should then be augmented using a personalised set of further motivators in such a way that the overall motivators become personalised which according to (Torrington et al., 2011)would result in a motivate staff.

Unlike Maslow's two factors that impact staff motion, they argued that the first factor is what they termed "hygiene" which is basically the conditions within which staff is required to work(Torrington et al., 2011). These hygiene include the environment and other such conditions which although do not directly impact staff motion, by they are basic requirements without which staff become unsatisfied and unhappy and thereby become much more difficult to motivate. The second factor they identified have to do with the job itself and the potential of growth and development within their job function. The key components of their theory are that they identified a reward system that impact job performance. They termed these reward system as an extrinsic and intrinsic reward system. They termed the extrinsic rewards as those that can be implemented through the organisation itself in an attempt to get the staff motivated and thereby improve performance, such as salary increments, providing a bonus system within the organisation, ensuring that there is a clear career path through promotions and also perhaps include the option for staff to have shares within the organisation. The intrinsic rewards are external to the organisation and it is basically dependent on the individual staff such as taking pride in their job function and is satisfied in how they do the job. It is basically being content or happy with how they perform their job(Torrington et al., 2011).

Understanding Motivation

Although motivation is a very useful tool for management, it is sometimes not properly understood and thereby not used effectively. A management team that intimately understand motivation can effectively use it as a management team that will allow them to achieve set targets using a minimum of resources and at the target time. In fact, motivation has been historically misunderstood with some even suggesting that it was something that has to start from the outside, although a better understanding of motivation has led the understanding that it is dependent on a set of factors not necessarily solely from the outside. It is therefore paramount that motivation is understood in order for managers to provide the right environment and the right factors to ensure staff are motivated as that leads to an improvement in performance (Bessell et al., 2012).

Motivation is greatly influenced by many varied factors which are sometimes subjective and dependent on the individual. Because there a number of motivation types and factors of impact, managers should ideally understand this to enable them to identify the type of motivation which is needed and to determine what factors they need concentrating on such that performance can be improved. This is however not an easy task because understanding motivation, factors that impact motivation and the relationship between motivation and employee performance is challenging. Motivation is that which drives or moves people to do something and it imbeds a desire in people to do or achieve something. In a workplace environment, motivation is often described as the subjective human behaviour in each employee that makes them to willingly work hard towards the achievement of set targets of the organisation. In other words it is the desire level by each employee to actively work towards the attainment of a goal and it is responsible for employees determining the amount of work that they are willing to put in tasks towards the attainment of the set goals and targets (Cheng and Yeh, 2009).

Types of Motivation

Motivation is intricately linked to an individual's behaviour and it is therefore subjective. Given this context, motivation is therefore extrinsic or intrinsic. Motivation is extrinsic if the factors that impact it, such as personal needs such as monetary, are outside of the individual (Reeve, 2005). In order words, extrinsic motivation is dependent on outside needs of the individual, which needs are dependent on the individual and include such as the need to belong and be loved, the need to be safe especially at the workplace, the need to be proud in what one is doing such as be valued and other needs that have to do with the phycology of the individual. Extrinsic motivation is therefore determined by external needs of the individual, which explains why Maslow (Mullins, 2010) suggested that there are basic needs that need to be satisfied in order for that individual to be motivated. Although Maslow's theory of needs has not received global acceptance it is a motivational model that allows management to understand the necessity of satisfying employees basic needs before attempting other performance management systems because employees will definitely not be motivated enough if their basic and extrinsic needs are not satisfied. Incidentally, it is not only Maslow who understood that motivation is dependent on extrinsic factors and there have been some extensive work in this area which enabled the needs to be structured along physiological and social needs that influences and employee's motivation. Physiological needs may perhaps be the need to have money or autonomy or be good at something whist the social needs might be varied and include such as the need to be affiliated with an organisation and even the sense of being powerful (Reeve, 2005). It should however be emphasised these needs of the individual employees is subjective and employee dependent and management should do their best to understand the needs of each employee given a personalised motivation management system is the one likely to achieve the most and thereby the best at improving employee performance.

Intrinsic motivation on the other hand is that which is within the individual that drive them or give them the desire to do or achieve something and it is generally believed to be intractably linked to the behaviour of the individual. Unlike extrinsic motivation which is reliant on external needs to stimulate the desire or motive of doing or achieving something, intrinsic motivation is dependent on the natural needs of the individual dependent perhaps on curiosity and desire. It has been suggested by experts such as (Reeve, 2005) that although extrinsic motivation might be responsible for increased performance from employees, the desire to improve on performance may actually drop when those extrinsic motivational need are missing. In other words, these have to be continuously available and renewed in order for performance levels to remain high. This is why it is thought that intrinsic motivation gives a better employee performance and that intrinsically motivated employees are more likely to rise up to much more challenging tasks and they even strive to be better at their jobs in order to attain expected levels and attain set goals. In fact according to (Reeve, 2005), intrinsic motivation encourage much more creativity at work, ensures that employees derive much more job satisfaction and to cap it all, once intrinsically motivated, employees do not rely on extrinsic motivation because they are satisfied in the job and ensured they obtained competence in the job which gives them a lot of pleasure in doing the job to the best of their abilities (Reeve, 2005). It is therefore paramount that management strives to intimately understand their employees on an individual level such that they can tap onto the factors that intrinsically motivate their staff.

Importance of Workplace Motivation

Motivation in the workplace is very important as it is intractably linked with performance levels which are why management in organisations spend most of their valuable time in devising methods and rewards systems to sufficiently motive their staff in an effort to drive the staff to desire to work very hard towards attaining the objectives and targets of the organisation. The human resources is perhaps the most valuable of an organisation's resources and it is the human resources that is required for the accomplishment of the organisation's targets and objectives. Motivation is key to this because it motivation that enable the use of the maximum available human resources, through a willingness of the employees, to accomplish the required tasks at the required performance levels to ensure a maximisation of the overall organisation performance. Importantly, motivation enables an organisation to achieve the required performance levels or targets with the use of minimum resources such as financial and other resources including human resources. This is because an adequately motivated staff will provide increased productivity, lead to a reduction in production costs and lead to increase in the efficiency along the organisation. A management team that fully understand the intricacies of motivation can tap onto intrinsic motivation to ensure that their employees are satisfied and derive satisfaction from their job which can help foster a friendly work environment and a stabilisation of the workplace. Augmenting this with extrinsic motivational factors such as monetary incentives, a clear career pathway among other factors can enable the management to build a very successful workforce which can provide rich pickings for the organisation.

Theories and Models of Motivation

The human resource (HR) capital is the most important resource of organisations and they are the vital blocks for any organisation achieving its target and effective in doing what they want to do and which is why HR management is a critical function within organisations. The human being is however very complex and difficult to understand especially given that each is unique. It is therefore very difficult to develop a one cap fits all motivation strategy in organisations. In fact, employee motivation is so difficult that not many managers have a fully understanding of the theories and models of motivation. The central theme of motivation is the design of techniques that will drive employees to work hard towards achieving the aims and objectives of an organisation. The obvious incentive that would get employees to work hard is monetary rewards. Although some researchers have suggested that money is not the only factor that influences employee motivation, it is generally accepted that it is a critical building factors a lack of which causes problems. This is probably why there has been a proliferation of performance related money inducement techniques in organisations which is used as the main tool for employee motivation. However, companies and organisations have had to look at other theories and models that can be used for employee motivation due to the recent global financial problems which has hit many organisations and forced to streamline their processes, improve efficiency, cut costs and in some cases make many employees redundant. An unlimited monetary inducement is therefore not an option and alternative theories and models of motivation a necessity.

Motivation is of huge importance in how organisational behaviour is studied and treated which explains why it is an area that has been subjected to extensive research over the years. This extensive research study of motivation has produced many and varied theories of motivation. The vast amount of literature on motivation provide the basis for acceptance that there are numerous ways in which employees at the workplace can be motivated and that the theories of motivation that have been developed over the years can be grouped into two broad classes: content and process motivation theories. Content motivation theories are mainly focussed what it is that motivate people while the process motivation theories are generally focussed on how the motivation of people is possible. Maslow, McClelland and Herzberg (Sonawane, 2008) are the most popular content theories and their process have been taught to business students over the years, whilst Vroom, Adam, Locke and Latham are probably the key proponents of process motivation theories (Oldham and Hackman, 2010).

Content Motivation Theories

This class of motivation theories put much more emphasis on employee's work in that they are focussed on the specific needs of employees that ensure that they are motivated, which is why there are referred to in the literature as the need theories. The key to these theories is based on the fact that for an individual to be motivated to work hard on the job then their needs both within and outside of their job environment would need to be satisfied. Once these needs are satisfied then the individual employee is driven or motivated to work to a target (Cuirrin, 2007). An individual employees needs are very important to them, and although subjective, the amount of importance that the employee attaches to the satisfaction of their needs will reflect the amount of effort they will exert to ensure that their needs are satisfied. This suggests that if management were to be clear what each employee needs, and if they can determine the hierarchy of these needs, then it is not farfetched to believe that mechanisms can be put in place to ensure these needs are met which will increase employee performance levels.

Hierarchy of Needs Theory

Maslow's hierarchy motivation theory is perhaps the most known and yet the most controversial motivation theory. This theory basically divided the individual needs of a person into a hierarchy or pyramid and says that if the basic needs of an individual are taken care off then they become motivated to work towards a fulfilment of the higher importance needs. In order words if the basic needs of an employee can be met, and a target set for the attainment of their higher order needs then that employee will be driven to work for the attainment of those needs (Fincham and Rhodes, 2005). The highest needs on the hierarchy is the self-actualisation which according to Maslow is the highest and which only a few people attain which suggest that it is near impossible to fully cater for the needs of individuals. This suggests that there is always a way for an employee to be motivated (Fincham and Rhodes, 2005).Although Maslow motivation theory has been around for a very long time it has not been without some controversies which basically stem from the fact it is extremely popular although it has not been subjected to a thorough validity test. Additionally, people are most times wont to oversimplify it in their desire to use it in situations that were not originally thought of by Maslow even when it is evident that the theory is limited and cannot be universally used in every context or situation (Fincham and Rhodes, 2005) .

Achievement Motivation Theory

Another motivation theory that has been popular over the years is the achievement motivation theory developed by McClelland (Miner, 2006). This is different from Maslow hiearachy of needs in that although Msalow concentrated on the hierachy of needs and differentiated thiese needs the core is that each individual have a need for these needs to be satisfied. The achievement motivation is opremised on the grounds that although theses needs needed to be satisfied the levele of needs is different and some people do actually have higher needs than others (Miner, 2006). He suggests in the theory that the needs of an individual are subjective and dependent on the individual and are acquired over an individual's life and through their experiences. These needs that are acquired were classiefied into what McClellend referred to as achievement, power and affiliation needs.

This theory actually intuitively makes much more sense than the Maslow hierarchy of needs because the human being is complex and their desires and wants and their value system is mainly developed over time and are very much dependent on the individual and the context in which they have lived their lives. This is why his theory that people needs are not the same and are different and why motivation needs are different and why some might be motivated to do something basically because they need the achievement, others might be motivated by the power of doing something and yet others might be motivated to have a strong sense of belonging or affiliation. In fact, this suggests that a manager that intimately understands the personal needs of their employees will be better at getting the best out of the workforce. Because people are very complex and different and for those that want to achieve higher things achieve satisfaction from being able to achieve something and for these type of employees the assignment of challenging tasks is actually motivation for them to work harder. Although this theory makes a lot of sense, especially to the layman, it has not been universally accepted and a number of researchers such as (Miner, 2006) conducted extensive researches the results of which have challenged the validity of this motivation theory.

Two Factor Motivation Theory

The two factor motivation excited practicing managers and academics in equal measure because it brought something different to other motivation theories in that it described employees needs towards motivation as well as how to motivate the whole workforce and enrich the jobs (Fincham & Rhodes, 2005). The basis of this theory is that people can either be satisfied in the work place or not satisfied at all and the key to motivation was to understand what makes them satisfied and or not satisfied. Things that made people satisfied in the work place are things such as job progression, achievement, being recognised or praised for doing a good job, challenging and interesting job function and being giving more responsibility. Things that make employees not satisfied include things such as the job environment, monetary rewards, and policy and job security. Although this motivation generated a lot of interest at the time, it has also received some criticisms. It was criticised for being selective of only two groups and that it allowed the explanation of success by factors that are internal and failure by external factors and thereby giving management an excuse for failure (Fincham and Rhodes, 2005). Additionally, it was criticised because it does not explicitly gauge the interrelationship between job satisfaction and job performance (Armstrong, 2007), which in the context of this research work is a big shortcoming.

Existence Relatedness Growth Motivation Theory

Process Motivation Theories

Process motivations theories unlike the content theories are dynamic in nature rather than being static. There is also a main difference in that these motivation theories are more concerned with how it is possible to motivate people rather than being concerned with what it is that motivates people. In essence the process motivation theories concern themselves with how the individual is involved in how they are motivated (Fincham and Rhodes, 2005).

Equity Motivation Theory

The equity motivation theories are concerned about how resources are distributed and three aspects are in common for all equity theories. The first is concerned about perception of fair return for employee's contribution to work done within an organisation. Additionally, it is suggested by implication that employees of an organisation are bound to compare the gains that they receive, and finally, those employees that have a sense of inequity are bound to respond by doing something in order to bring parity to the perceived inequity. The most accepted work in the inequity motivation is mainly concerned with employees input in terms of the level of effort they put into their work and the output that they derive from the work in terms of the benefits that they get from doing their job. It is this notion of input and output that employees take as variables in their decision process to arrive at a notion of or a lack of fairness towards them by their employers (Redmond, 2012).

In fact, the gauging of fairness using inputs and outputs is further augmented by way of employees comparing the outputs that they get with those of similar inputs and outputs. And any notion of unequal output is taken as unfairness towards them by their employers which can result in them taking action to address this unfairness, and if the employee cannot remove this unfairness by increasing their input to the job then they usually will resort to other means such as actions that are not in the interest of the objectives of the organisation such as stealing or other malpractices which are either some sort of protest or illegal gain to balance the original imbalance in outputs. In the extreme cases, the employee might even cease working for the organisation when they no longer are able to cope with the perceived injustice. In order for the organisation to motivate the employees, they must ensure a fair output for given inputs and ensure equality between all employees. This will ensure that employees become aware of the relationship between input and output which will be a motivation for them to increase input because they are sure that they will get increased output.

Expectancy Motivation Theory

This motivation theory explains why people make choices in terms of behavioural choices over others. The theory does not actually give an explanation of the reason why people get motivated but rather focuses on the decision choices in an attempt to get a desired end product. This motivation theory by Vroom is very good for staff motivation in the workplace because it is useful for management to understand and to anticipate the tasks that their employees will work hardest at which can be very useful for management and designers of performance management systems (Fincham and Rhodes, 2005). The core basis of this theory is that employees are most motivated if there is a perception of a relationship between their performance on the job and what they will get from doing their job provided that they are able to do the job at the required performance level and also whether they benefits are in line with what satisfies them.

Managing Staff Motivation at Synergy Health Plc.

Organisations are increasingly getting concerned about staff motivation and are therefore doing whatever they can to ensure that their employees are motivated. Incidentally, the interest in staff motivation and how employees can be motivated has been an area that has interested many managers and researchers as well as experts in the field, (Torrington et al., 2011) and many more. Although there had been intense research in this area in the 1970s and 1980s, there has not been much research output from this area and the key and seminal work on staff motivation has been reliant on (Torrington et al., 2011)and others whose theories have been the key components of taught theories for students. Most of the body of work in this area has been in the factors that motivate staff and how motivation impacts on the performance of staff (Devadass, 2011). Although there are many definitions of motivation, the stand out definition in terms of staff in the workplace is the one that describes motivation as the power that influences employee behaviour in such a way that it starts a process of wanting to do or achieve a set target, be it either personal or organisations (Farhad et al, 2011). Implicit in this definition of motivation is the fact that motivation is the desire to do whatever it takes and to consciously strive to reach targets.

Motivation Factors and Staff Performance

Performance in terms of employees in an organisation is dependent on many factors. Motivation is of vital importance in the enhancement of staff performance and one of the key areas of staff motivation in relation to performance is the study and research of those factors that impact staff motivation and make them to improve their input. According to (Sonawane, 2008) there are a number of factors of motivation which enhances performance levels. These factors include the appreciation of work done, competence on the job and also factors of whether employees find work they have been tasked to do as interesting and being stimulating to them. In fact, motivation factors that impact job performance are wide ranging and the particular factors depends on employees and are rather subjective. Herzberg in his seminal work on motivation suggested that although there are a number of factors that affect motivation, these are not equal but are rather in a hierarchy and he suggested the hierarchy to be: "security, interesting work, opportunity for advancement, appreciation and company and management."

Impact of Motivation on Staff Performance

The approaches presented in this subchapter show that there is no clear

answer to the question which kind of motivators are the best to increase

peoples' performance. There is a strong support for the economic man

approach which priorities money as a motivating factor. On the other hand there

is a group of researchers who completely disagree with that model saying that

money does not significantly affect peoples' motivation. Finally, there is a

number of researchers who do not focus on money at all. Instead of that they

put their interest and effort to analyze other motivators. Their findings show the

importance of leadership style and language used by leaders in increasing

subordinates' performance. They suggest that job design is a crucial in

motivating employees. Also recognition is considered by some of them as a

powerful motivator.


The question that may come out after reading the overview

of those complimentary or sometimes opposite models is what employees

themselves think that motivates them the most. The answer to this question will

be searched in the next subchapter.

Managers might look for ways to motivate employees because they assume that

motivation can lead to some positive outcomes for a company. The question

that can be stated is if motivation really has influence on peoples' performance

at work. Researches show that indeed there is a relation between motivation

and performance (Deci and Gagne, 2005).

However, motivation and performance

cannot be treated as equivalent phenomena. The distinction between them was

noted by Vroom (1964). He suggested that effective accomplishment of a task

is not only related to motivation but also to other factor. The picture that

emerged from his studies suggested that even if people are motivated they

cannot perform well if they do not posses abilities to fulfill the task. In Vroom's

point of view motivation and abilities are equally important. In his opinion more

is to be gained by increasing ability from people who are highly motivated to

accomplish the task than from those who are not motivated.

In other words performance is not constantly increasing when level motivation is

rising. Vroom (1964) cited an early study of Yerkes and Dodson (1908) which

showed that that highest level of motivation does not lead to the highest

performance, especially when the task is difficult. In fact, extremely high levels

of motivation lead to lower performance than moderate levels. This relation is

explained in two ways. First assumes that high levels of motivation narrow the

cognitive field. Second suggests that highly motivated people are afraid of

failure and that results in a lower performance. Other authors mentioned several

factors that might limit employees' performance such as restricted practices of

their superiors, limits of company policies and physical work environment -

lightening, temperature, noise or availability of materials (Hall, 1994; Baron,

1994, as cited in Pinder, 1998).

Limitations of peoples' performance are an important subject. However, it

seems that there are more studies that search for the answer to the question

what can positively influence performance of employees. Companies often use

incentives to motivate their employees. Meta-analysis on the effects of

incentives on workplace performance conducted by (Condly, Clark and Stolovitch, 2008), shows some interesting findings. The authors found that

average effect of all incentive programs in all work settings lead to 22% gain in

performance. It means that incentives can significantly increase performance

but, as authors claim, they have to be carefully implemented. Results of this

study indicated that some settings are better than others to increase


Finally, incentives have less significant impact if they are used to get people do

something than to get people do the job in a smarter way or to be more

persistent at job that people already started. The last important finding of the study was a relation between a type of incentives and performance. Studies

indicated that monetary incentives resulted in a higher performance than nonmonetary

incentives(Condly, Clark and Stolovitch, 2008).

They suggested that different people have

different goals in their life. Therefore, particular motivators influence

performance of individuals differently. There are employees who are motivated

extrinsically. Authors divided them into two types: Income maximizers and

Status seekers. Income maximizers are only interested in earning money for

consumption goods and they find work an unpleasant duty. Status seekers

search for social comparisons. Work for them is a tool to gain "positional goods"

that shows their high status. Employees can be also motivated intrinsically.

There are three groups of them characterized by specific features. Loyalists

identify personally with the goals of company they work for. Formalists are

focused on procedures and rules existing in a company, while Autonomists

pursuit for own ideology. Defining those types of employees helps to predict

which kind of motivators are effective in increasing individuals' performance. As

an example, performance-related pay increases performance of Income

maximizers, especially when it is paid out as money rather than fringe benefits.

The question that occurs in this point is if monetary ways of motivating people

are better that non-monetary ways. If they are not, what the best ways to

motivate employees not-financially are. Those problems are broadly discussed

by many researchers and professionals and seem to bring many opposite

opinions. That is why they will be presented separately in the next part of this



can be described as intrinsic and extrinsic. Some factors are more motivating

then others. Researchers put much effort to find out which of them are the best

motivators. The most common factors that are taken into consideration comes

from two categories: monetary and non-monetary incentives. As (Armstrong, 2007) wrote, money is a motivator because it satisfies a lot of needs. It is a

factor which is indispensable for life and which is needed to satisfy basic needs of survival and security. Higher needs such as self-esteem can also be satisfied

by it. Money let people buy things that show their status and create a visible

sign of appreciation. In other words, money is a symbol of many intangible

goals what makes it a powerful motivating factor. Some credible studies

confirm that in fact money is a good motivator, while others, equally credible

neglect that.

Similar results about the importance of money as a motivator come

from(Agrawal, 2010)study based on a literature review on motivation and

executive compensation. In his opinion money is still the most crucial motivating

factor for employee that makes him perform well in the company. He agrees

that intrinsic rewards motivate executives but after a certain point of career

money seems to have greater importance.

Agarwal goes further in his

conclusions as he indicates that long-term incentives are less effective than

short-term, performance based incentives.

The results that support McClelland words come from McKinsey

Quarterly recent survey conducted in June 2009 (Dewhurst, Guthridge and Mohr, 2009). Responses received from 1,047 executives, managers, and employees

around the world showed that three noncash motivators (praise from immediate

managers, leadership attention, a chance to lead projects or task forces) are

more effective motivators than the three highest-rated financial incentives (cash

bonuses, increased base pay, and stock or stock options).

The one of non-financial motivators that plays important role in shaping

employees' behavior is job design. In 1975 Oldham and Hackman introduced

The Job Characteristic Model (Figure 5). Essential point of this model is that

"the presence of certain attributes of jobs increases the probability that

individuals will find the work meaningful, will experience responsibility for work

outcomes, and will have trustworthy knowledge of the results of their work"

(Oldham and Hackman, 2010).

Authors of the Job Characteristic Model as a core of their theory presented

three psychological states (Experienced Meaningfulness of the Work,

Experienced Responsibility for Outcomes of the Work, Knowledge of the Actual

Results of the Work Activities) and related them to job characteristics and

personal and work outcomes. In their opinion if employees experience the work

to be meaningful, feel personally responsible for outcomes and have knowledge

of the results of their work it results in their motivation to perform well (Oldham and Hackman, 2010).

Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

KPIs are used to evaluate the past performance of a

company: making it possible to compare

performance with previous periods of measurement,

or industry standards or even individual competitors.

Consequently, any logistical system should try to

optimize and steer its decisions to the metrics it later

shall be evaluated upon. A clear insight into the

factors that drive logistical operations provides us

with adequate planning objectives




In order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between staff motivation and staff performance at Synergy Health Plc. and in order to formalise and explain this relationship, a qualitative case study research methodology was used because this line of enquiry has the ability to provide very in depth understanding of the issues. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an explanation and justification of the data collection exercise that was used and additionally to explain how the reliability of collected data was ensured, and to explain how ethical considerations were solved.

Introduction and Research Objectives

The aim of this research was explained in Chapter 1 as the critical review of existing knowledge through extensive review of the literature and a case study of Synergy Health Plc. in order to critically analyse and understand staff performance, motivation and to provide an understanding of how staff motivation impacts performance levels. This will be useful in improving staff performance levels at Synergy Health Plc. through the appropriate management of staff motivation. Fundamentally, the output of this research will enable the writing of recommendations and guidelines for corporate managers of similar companies to Synergy Health Plc., to better manage staff motivation for ensured improved performance.

The key reason for carrying out this research is to determine the efficacy of performance management system at Synergy Health Plc. and to determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) and to gauge the level, if any, that has directly contributed to the company's performance. This is vital especially given that it will allow the evaluation of whether this has contributed significantly to the attainment of the company's stated vision and objectives. Additionally, the stated objective of determining how motivation impacts on staff performance will allow management of Synergy Health Plc to better manage staff motivation and benefit or reward system in such a way that performance management is enhanced and staff performance maximised such that key stated objectives of Synergy Health Plc (and similar companies) is achieved.

A review of the literature and data and information obtained from the case study of Synergy Health Plc. shows the importance of this research. The research is current and topical given the increased competition in a globalised economic space and the results of this research will greatly contribute to the expertise and knowledge of performance managements systems and how they could be better enhanced through knowledge of how to better manage employee motivation. An added benefit of this research is the writing of guidelines and recommendations for possible consideration when management embark on developing performance management systems for similar companies to Synergy Health Plc. Critically though, the output of this research will enable management of similar companies to be clearly aware of the dangers and rewards of performance management systems which will enable them to be efficiently managed.

This study is primarily based on qualitative research methodology to obtain the main objectives of this project. This research method was chosen because enables the obtaining of personal perspective on the research question as well as give objective answers that are sought for the research question.

The purpose of this Chapter is a detailed description of the methods that were used to obtain the objectives of this research as explained in Chapter 1. The methodology of research used in this research will be described in the remainder of this Chapter. The Chapter firstly describes the research design paradigm used in this research before explaining the case study research methodology that was used. Background information on Synergy Health Plc. is given and the case study methodology on Synergy Health Plc is given. This includes methods of how Synergy Health Plc was studied in terms of data collection methods, the population and sample size used, data analysis, validity and reliability. The limitations of this research are also explained.

Research Design

There are many research designs in the literature, of which case study and experimental research designs are common. It is argued by (Ã-lçer, 2007)that a case study approach provides an in depth investigation of a case whilst the experimental research design methodology uses independent data and variables to measure effect. This research will use a research case study research to understand motivation factors, employee performance indicators, how motivation impacts staff performance levels in organisation and to determine appropriate guidelines for successful implementation of management tools that will enable management to motivate their staff effectively in order to improve performance levels.

A good description of the underlying research problem is a necessary first step in understanding the nature of the problem and a better formulation of the research objectives. The research design that was used in this project was based on a combination of descriptive as well as explanatory research designs because the research was set out to understand the factors of motivation and how they relate to performance levels using Synergy Health Plc. Ltd as a case study. The research design is a critical part of the research process because it enables the collection of appropriate evidence that is used to answer the research question. But for this to be done effectively requires the specification of the type of evidence that should be collected to describe what it is that the research sets out to do and to answer the research question comprehensively. In order to get an answer to this research question, a qualitative research strategy that consisted of the study of motivation and performance, the impact of staff motivation and how this impacts performance, and a case study of Synergy Health Plc was used as a context to study the relationship between motivation and performance.

The case study of Synergy Health Plc. will be uses to determine what factors of motivation there are, issues with staff performance and then determine the impact of motivation on performance levels. Combining these two research approaches provides scope for a comprehensive and an in-depth data collection which is needed for a better understanding of the research (Yin, 2008).

Case Study Research Methodology

A case study is the process of an in depth and thorough study and analysis of an entity (e.g. company, person, event etc.) in order to find the answers to an inquiry, which in this case is the relationship or rather the impact of staff motivation on performance. The case in this research is Synergy Health Plc. which is being studied to seek answers. A case study is the use of collected and observed data from an entity such as a company to enable the derivation of theoretical conclusions of the cause of certain events. For example a case study of Synergy Health Plc. would allow the collection of data relevant to staff motivation in order to derive it impact on performance. A case study enables the intimate study and analysis of a hypothesis in other to derive a thesis. A case study research is a very effective research method that enables the thorough examination of a single entity or process instead of being reliant on limited study when using samples. Case studies enable the research to be more systematic, thorough and in the main provide a more intimate understanding of the issue being studies.

A case study research methodology was used for this research because it enabled Synergy Health Plc to be studied in detail to enable a full understanding of the relationship between staff motivation and performance in a real life situation rather than using some abstract entity. Another reason for using a case study is that it is a research method that is very good at the study of a very complex theory or entity and be able to gain a good understanding of the required answer to the questions. Additionally, it is good to the addition of what is already know especially from previous studies and it also is excellent at looking at a problem using in real context to the problem being studied by using only a limited number of variables and conditions and gain an insight into the complex relationships that do exist (Grundtvig, 2010). A qualitative case study methodology is better suited to interpretation, and because the purpose of this research is much more aligned with interpretation of causes, then the qualitative case study research methodology was used. This is so because the researcher started out with some research hypothesis and questions which needed to be answered by the interpreted.

Another reason for using a case study is that it is a research method that is very good at the study of a very complex theory or entity and be able to gain a good understanding of the required answer to the questions. Additionally, it is good to the addition of what is already know especially from previous studies and it also is excellent at looking at a problem using in real context to the problem being studied by using only a limited number of variables and conditions and gain an insight into the complex relationships that do exist(Yin, 2008).

Population and Sample Size

Synergy Health Plc is headquartered in the UK at Swindon. They have products in the infection prevention, patient hygiene, surgical and wound care domains, and their services encompass areas such as hospital sterilisation and technologies, health laboratories, pharmaceuticals and in linen management (Synergy Health , 2012). Synergy Health Plc currently employs over 4000 staff in branches across their global presence and they represented in many committees in the industry and are fully compliant and signed up to international standards.

In this research, the entire Synergy Health Plc. is used as the case study. However, due to time limitations and given that the researcher works within the UK branch as a sterile technician, the Synergy Health Plc. headquarter in the UK has been considered the case study and it is where the study is limited. A sample size of 10 members of staff was chosen due to time constraints as it would have been impossible to sample the entire staff. This consisted of 5 from management and the remaining 5 from the general staff. Care was taken to ensure that these were taken from sections, such as in the laboratory, where key performance indicators are paramount. However, in order for the sampled staff to be representative of the whole staff population at Synergy Health Plc., the researcher used a probability sampling method for the selection of who is selected from management and staff to ensure a randomised selection. This is key and vital because the selection, given its relatively small sample size, has to be done in such a way that any gathered data became representative of the whole sample space at Synergy Health Plc.(Wilson,