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With the progress of competition in the economy, large quantities of companies need employees who are motivated at work. According to Romando (2010), the word "motivation" in Latin means to move, which can be defined as intrinsic driving force, while the theory of motivation is stated that "the processes that describe why and how human behavior is activated and directed." This is said to be one of the most essential aspects of organizational action. There are two motivation theories, which can be divided in two major groups. One is called content theories, describing the particular factors that enable to motivate workforce. For instance, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Taylor's theory of scientific management and McClelland's three-need theory are some of the major content theories. The other kind of item is process theories which are concerned with the thinking process that affect behaviors such as the Vroom's Valence x Expectancy theory (Hall et al, 2008). Therefore, this essay will examine diversified features of de-motivated employees and with its reasons. Three theories have attempted to provide an explanation of financial and non-financial strategies to help motivate workforce.
The factors of de-motivated workforce can be mainly categorized into three parts. It is reported by Investors in People UK (2008) that approximately 30% of workforces in the UK were de-motivated in their jobs. This research also found out that there are three major negative factors, consisting of unreasonable workload, feeling underpaid and lack of clear career path. To be specific, both unreasonable workload and feeling underpaid among workforces accounted for 18%. The remaining 17% was lack of clear career path. Besides, 44% of workforce thought that their companies were not willing to support their careers. More than one in four people (28%) of them claimed they consider they lost support by their managers. For those employees who have de-motivated factors also concluded that "without the support in the organization, employees are likely to drift and depart rather than stay engaged with their organization's objectives." (Investors in People UK, 2008)
A number of motivation theories emphasize that money is the most vital element in motivating employees at work. To motivate a reluctant workforce, it is necessary to use financial reward such as piece-rate and fringe benefits.
To begin with, piece-rate is one of the useful financial rewards in Taylor's theory, which closely connects with the production lines and pays for a worker per unit in a certain period of time (Tutor2u.net, 2010). It was mentioned by Frederick Winslow Taylor that the best way to motivate workforce were through money. He also focused on industrial production, especially in time and motion studies which has paid off the significant improvement in it (Sandrone, 2009). It is a helpful example that introduces Florida's citrus harvesters for the minimum wage at fruit and vegetable commodities. In 2002, the workers were paid 5.60 dollars per hour with a piece rate of 70 cents per box. However, in 2008 and 2009, the minimum wage increased to $6.79 to $7.25 per hour which means their productivity needs to increase so that they can meet the low minimum wage (Roka, 2009).
Apart from the piece-rate method, fringe benefits are also popular money strategies according to Maslow's theory for firms which want to motivate their employees. Fringe benefits are considered as the items beyond normal wage or salaries such as private health insurance, contribution to pension and a company car (Tutor2u.net, 2010). It is proved by Shah (2008) that Abraham Maslow's "Need Hierarchy Theory" can be divided into a pyramid which can be seen in Diagram One. This pyramid focuses on physiological and security needs which can be connected with the use of fringe benefits. What is more, it is stated by Srivastava (2005) that a considerable number of large companies such as GE and LG built gyms with great facilities for their workforce. The purpose of the firms is to keep employees healthy and provide opportunities for them to relax from the work so that they can be more motivated.
Sources: Theories of Motivation by Maslow (Shah, 2008)
In contrast, it is pointed out by Worman (2010) that more payment for employees do not mean more happiness because extra money paid to workforce is not the only answer or the best one to motivate employees. The scientific approach, in particular, non-monetary motivation is more useful to solve de-motivation problems for people.
To effectively help de-motivated employees, managers can look forward to developing team spirit among the group members and connecting with McClelland's managerial needs. According to Worman (2010), everybody in a company enjoys being a member of a group which is "the need for affiliation" of McClelland's managerial need which concerns gaining the acceptance of work colleagues (Hall et al, 2008). It is necessary to build "team" theme because it can arouse employees to be responsible and be more motivated in team working. According to Blue Scope Steel (2010), Blue Scope Steel and Toyota Australia constituted a team which investigated intermittent quality problems on the inside door panels of Toyota Camry. Owing to their responsibilities and team spirit, these two companies improved the quality in the product and built great working relationship.
Exclusive of good relationship with other workforce, de-motivated employees are likely interested in receiving training to develop themselves in a company. It is believed by Worman (2010) that a workforce who was trained to improve the skills knows how much the company cares about the person, who tends to continue to stay in the company. IBM's Human Resource Service Center, for instance, diversified their training into three types, including new staff training, refresher training and new program training (Peter et al, 1999). To sum up, these training increases the sense of belonging of the employees and helps them enjoy their work.
In summary, for workforce who were partly de-motivated owing to the problem of underpaid, unreasonable workload and lack of career path, employers can use both financial methods such as piece-rate and fringe benefits, as well as non-monetary strategies, including cultivating team spirit and training by their company. As a rule, the usage of piece-rate closely connects with the industrial productions such as farm work for Florida's citrus harvesters, while fringe benefits are extra welfare such as private car and healthcare insurance in addition to employee's wages or salary, workers in GE and LG, for instance. Furthermore, team cooperation between Blue Scope Steel and Toyota Australia is helpful to motivate employees, whereas, the employee coaching given by IBM is also successful. Accordingly, productive and creative workforces, who can be motivated, are a key to operate the company. Carefully designed reward systems including both financial and non-financial strategies should be considered.
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