Employee motivation can be defined as the level of commitment, creativity, and energy that the workers of a given organization bring to their occupations. An organization's management team must be concerned into motivating her employees irrespective of whether the organization's economy is deteriorating or growing. Sometimes it becomes a big problem for small business to motivate employees. The owner of the small business has spent a number of years building his own organization and sometimes finds it hard to assign meaningful duties to others. Entrepreneurs should be very mindful of the unexpected difficulties which come about as a result of low employee motivation on their small business. They should bear in mind that without motivating employees their organizations will collapse completely even if they have invested a lot of money in building these organization. These problems which may result due to lowly motivated employees include disinterest, complacency, and sometimes widespread discouragement. Different types of employee motivation strategies are to be discussed into detail (Bruce, 2006).
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It is possible that small business and organizations can give a favorable environment which allows for employee motivation. For example, an organization which allows her employees to observe the outcomes of their hard work directly and where there is a visible and swift feedback. A smoothly motivated and working work force gives the owner of the organization free time which he needs for daily chores to think about the organization's long-term development. Emotional and tangible rewards can consequently bring about retention of suitable employees. Most individuals prosper in the environments of creative work with the intention of trying to make a positive difference. Usually the work outcome itself will bring about a feeling of achievement only if well-integrated motives and realization programs can underscore this great and positive consequence (Griffin, 2007).
There are many approaches that are used to ensure motivated employees one of which being the add-ins usually accompanying an individual's job and these have been found to be the primary factors towards improving performance in many organizations. The continuous mixes of employee's welfares, for example life insurance, healthcare, profit sharing, exercise facilities, employee stock ownership plans, availability of childcare, plans for meal being subsidized, and employees allowed to use the organization's cars as the means to commute to and from workplace - have been employed by organizations in their attempts to ensure that the employees are happy, since happy employees are believed to be motivated (Bruce, 2006).
Most of the modern theorists argue that employees are not so much motivated due to material rewards but are motivated by the design of the specific jobs they do. It has been seen that highly simplified and segmented jobs bring about diminished morale and output of employees. Employee high turnover and absenteeism constitute other negative consequences due to low motivation of employees which become very costly for an organization. Because of the costs that organizations incur, initiatives of job enlargement began pop up in major organizations. It is true that the terminology concerning employee motivation changes but the tenets of the motivation remain constant. The buzzwords today consist of quality circles, empowerment, and teamwork. Empowerment encourages autonomy and enables an employee to be the owner of ideas and achievements, whether acting in teams or alone. Quality circles as well as teamwork in the work environments enable the employees to reinforce the significance of the work achieved by members and at the same time receive feedback concerning the efficaciousness of the particular job (Griffin, 2007).
Generally, most of the small businesses or organizations experience shortage of resources such that they might not be able to enact formal motivation programs for employees. However, irrespective of this shortage of resources, managers can be able to achieve the same fundamental principles and ensure that employees are equally motivated. So that the employees are encouraged to realize that their jobs are important and that their participation is of value to the organization, the owners for the small business are supposes to communicate the purpose and aim of the organization to employees. The type of communication used in this case should comprise form of words and actions. It is advisable for the owner of a small business to set high standards of performance for employees and continue being their support incase the goals cannot attained. It is also of great importance to allow employees enough flexibility and autonomy in performing their specific tasks. With small business, creativity should be encouraged provided honest mistakes are rectified but not punished. The vision of the employees to a given organization should be incorporated with the vision of the small business owner as this will encourage employees contribute to the goals of the small business and at the same time assist in the prevention of stagnancy in its purpose and direction (Bruce, 2006).
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Employers use varied methods of motivating their employees. Some strategies for motivation seem to be preferred over others within different organization in the world business environment. The best efforts for employee motivation will centre on what is deemed to be significant by the employees. There is a possibility that within a particular department of an organization, different employees will require different motivators. Today, most of the organizations have realized that flexibility in a job design as well as reward systems has brought about increased longevity of employees with the organization, increased employee morale, and improved productivity (Bruce, 2006).
Monetary incentive is one of the strategies used in encouraging employees to better work within an organization. For the varied and best motivators, money incentive still takes a good place within the mix of motivators. Employees are motivated by sharing a company's profits, and this encourages employees to produce high quality product, ameliorate the production process in the company, and enable the employees to carry out a quality service. It has been seen that, those factors which benefit the, directly benefit employees. Employees are given the monetary incentives to encourage the generation of process-improving or cost-saving ideas, reduce and do away with absenteeism, and to promote productivity. It is true that money is very effective if it is tied directly to an employee's achievements or ideas. However, the money incentive should be coupled with other motivators which are non-monetary since its effects of motivation last for a short time. Monetary incentives have been proven counterproductive incase they are not availed to each and every member of the particular organization (Church & Heumann, 1992).
Studies have shown that, the most efficacious motivators of employees are the non-monetary motivators. The monetary motivators are seen insufficient since the expectations are outweighing the results and as well the difference in the distribution of the incentives to the employees can bring about disunity within the employees. The best non-monetary incentives that have been proved promote team spirit and comprise responsibility, advancement, and recognition. Those managers, who realize employees' small wins, encourage participatory environment, and handle employees with respect and fairness, always have their employees highly motivated to perform tasks effectively and efficiently. Rewards such as time off from the job, self-respect, increased personal fulfillment, and letters of recommendation have been found to be the most efficacious rewards (Griffin, 2007).
Allowing employees acquire more knowledge by further studies regarding their current positions, motivates them towards performing effectively and efficiently. If employees are provided with the opportunities and tools to achieve more, most of them will indubitably accept the challenge. Organizations motivate employees to accomplish more by devoting a continual improvement of employee skills. Employee programs such as licensing and accreditation are becoming very popular and very effective in encouraging the growth in employee motivation and knowledge. It has also been found that, the programs enable employees to develop positive attitudes toward the organization and its clients, and at the same time strengthens employees' self-confidence. All the knowledge and skills gained can now be applied to the specific task that is to be accomplished and therefore it's of great significance to acquire more knowledge concerning the position one is currently occupying in an organization (Bruce, 2006).
Empowerment is another motivation strategy that in employed by organizations to bring about encouraged employees. Empowerment of employees can be brought about by giving employees a decision-making authority and responsibility to take control over the tasks in a particular organization and get equipped to carry out the tasks effectively. This results into diminished feelings of frustration that come about due to one being held accountable for what he or she does not have the suitable tools to carry out. In this way, energy gets directed toward improved task achievement.
Encouragement of innovation and creativity also motivates employees to perform well in their tasks. In many companies, it has been found that employees with creative and innovative ideas do not show them to the management fearing that they will be ridiculed or ignored. Incase the power to create within an organization is downed from the top until the line personnel, those employees who understand the job, service, or product best, are allowed the opportunity to employ their ideas to ameliorate it. This power to create gives a lot of encouragement to the employees, and it benefits the organization because of more flexible personnel by using the experience and knowledge of its employees. This brings about increased exchange of information and ideas among the organizations' departments and employees. The improvements can enable the organization to realize and respond faster to potential market changes and therefore it will be at a better position in the marketplace (Griffin, 2007).
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It is very important for employers to ensure quality lives of their employees if they are aiming at increased and quality production in their firms. This can be observed from the perspective of the number of hours the employees are going to spend in a daily basis to carry out the specific tasks effectively. For example in America the number of hours spent at work is tending to increase and most of the families have both parents working these long hours. In this case, most workers get discouraged since they cannot satisfy the needs of their lives outside the workplace. Indubitably, the productivity and morale of employees considerably reduce hence reducing the organization's daily profits. Most companies have instituted alternative work arrangements and therefore have motivated their employees whose productivity has greatly improved.
Griffin (2007) defines alternative work arrangements as the employment arrangements particularly arranged by a given employment intermediary especially, at the place of work where time, quantity of work, and place are potentially not predictable. These arrangements enable the employees have a work schedule that is more variable as compared to the 8-hour workday that is considered to be standard. Men and women can be allowed to balance their work as well as their personal commitments for example community, family, professional development, education, religion, and other wide-ranging interests.
Employees benefit from the alternative work arrangements as they experience flexible work schedules, telecommuting, compressed work weeks, and job sharing. Employees are allowed to freely select the suitable hours they will work; they experience reduced travelling costs as one can choose the appropriate time of reporting to work as well as when to get out of work place, for instance the time when there is no traffic jam, and this is important for employees who are entrepreneurs since they can be able to monitor their own businesses usually when they condense the working hours at the work place. Telecommuting is another benefit to employers as they can carry some of the duties from their places of residence by using communication equipment such as computers and telephones. This reduces the travelling costs and as well allows the employees to monitor their own businesses back at home. Employees are allowed more time for their family responsibilities and they are also given opportunities that they need for their own professional development. Employees also experience some problems due to alternative work arrangements such as feeling of alienation and isolation from co-workers; the supervisor can easily abuse the workers; there is lack of pensions, benefits, and advancement opportunities (Reich et.al 1995).
Employers also benefit from the alternative work arrangements as their firms will have increased employee retention; their firms will experience higher and efficient productivity; employee tardiness will decrease; recruitment of highly dependable employees will get improved; staff turnover is reduced; there is maximum use of equipment and facilities, employees' loyalty and morale is encouraged; and reduced absenteeism due to personal appointments, illness, or vacation is experienced. Employers can also experience problems with alternative work arrangements, for instance, they experience increased administration and training costs to train employees; some managers' attitudes concerning traditional working arrangements, may be difficult to change hence they end up being uncomfortable; it may be difficulty to supervise the staff members; and the responsibilities of employees may reduce (Bruce, 2006).
There are a number of factors that influence organizations to take the option of alternative work arrangements. These factors include the desires, expectations, and needs of employees for increased work flexibility; fuel consumption and increased fuel costs due to commuting, and the associated carbon footprint wallop; and the restrictive wallop of the 2008-2009 economic depression concerning job opportunities. Work flexibility can be met by flextime arrangements as the employees are given a chance to choose their appropriate working hours. Telecommuting address the problems with fuel consumption since the employers will be operating from their homes using communication equipments such as computers and phones. This reduces the consumption of fuel and hence less cost will be incurred. Less fuel consumed results into reduced carbon emission hence reduced carbon footprint impact (Reich et.al 1995).
It is very important for availability of alternative work arrangements to employees within United States be mandated by law since it has been found that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Their will be increased productivity since the employees' morale and loyalty will be encouraged. Employees will experience reduced fuel consumption and hence less costs as they will be operating from their homes using the communication devices for example telephones and computers.
An organization's management team must be concerned into motivating her employees irrespective of whether the organization's economy is deteriorating or growing. Most of the small businesses or organizations experience shortage of resources such that they might not be able to enact formal motivation programs for employees. However, irrespective of this shortage of resources, managers can be able to achieve the same fundamental principles and ensure that employees are equally motivated. So that the employees are encouraged to realize that their jobs are important and that their participation is of value to the organization, the owners for the small business are supposes to communicate the purpose and aim of the organization to employees. The type of communication used in this case should comprise form of words and actions.
Studies have shown that, the most efficacious motivators of employees are the non-monetary motivators. The monetary motivators are seen insufficient since the expectations are outweighing the results and as well the difference in the distribution of the incentives to the employees can bring about disunity within themselves. The best non-monetary incentives that have been discovered are seen to promote team spirit and comprise responsibility, advancement, and recognition.