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Since the early 1920's, attempts have been made to help organizations run more efficiently by understanding the dynamic relationships between employee and employer. Elements such as employee motivation, satisfaction, commitment and productivity have all been deemed essential and detrimental to the survival and success of an organisation. However, society's knowledge concerning work motivation has been rather poor.
The early and survival and success of an organisation is directly related to its ability to remain competitive. Companies, worldwide, have been economically and competitively connected since the advent of the industrial age to the information age, it is necessary for companies to devise more effective ways of remaining economically and globally competitive. According to Lawrence Perlman (1995), president and chief executive officer of Ceridian Corporation, one of the primary ways of affecting change in this manner os to ensure that corporate America recognizes that, due to current technology, the more traditional hierarchical approaches to organizations are quickly becoming absolute.
Many of the employees working in today's organizations are required to perform duties much more sophisticated than the mindless work required in the industrial age. For example, it is no longer takes four people to produce a single straight pin. Modern companies use machines for such tasks, and is the employee who is operating these machines (Perlman, 1995). so it is necessary to train employees to be competitive in the new technological era, which in turn, will most likely keep companies competitive and profitable.(Perlman, 1995)
Because most societies adhere to capitalism, and the majority of most individual waking hours are spent working within an organization (Perlman, 1995), strategies must be developed to create positive work environments for employees. While retraining employees to be more technologically capable is a key strategy to corporate success, organizations must depend upon two other components (perlman, 1995). first, the workforce must take advantage of "an increasingly diverse talent pool" which may simultaneously decreases discrimination. Perlman (1995) asserts that, "persistent discrimination undermines both social progress and business competitiveness" (p.2). Secondly, workers must be afforded the power to make decisions concerning their everyday work. In other words, a new approach to management must be taken.
Purpose of study
With the strategic development of a positive work environment in mind, the purpose of this study was to analyse employee attitude and propose practical, possible solutions for enhancing motivation and satisfaction levels of individuals employed at office plus, an office supply company, located in Las Vegas, New York. One of the reasons for choosing office plus employees as participate in this study was that there are a variety of job descriptions to focus on, such as warehouse personnel, drivers, order takers, and office personnel.
Another reason for choosing Office plus employees as participants was the traditional structure of the organization. For instance, women only work in the office area, whereas the men only work as drivers and warehouse personal. Lastly, an interview with the general manager of Office Plus indicated that there is low motivation among the employees which may account for low performance. Hence, once employee motivation and satisfaction are increased, there should be an improvement in the organisational working environment.
In order to assess employee attitudes ans management's perception of Employee attitudes, separate, individual interviews for each managers and each employees was conducted. The questions on the interview schedule, which were derived from Martin Patchen's (1965) Some Questionnaire measures of employee motivation and morale, were designed to determine employee motivation and satisfaction levels. In addition to the interviews, the employees and management were required to rank Herzberg's (1968) list of motivators and hygiene factors which helped to determine if there were differences between management's and employees perceptions of motivation/hygiene factors. The outcome of the interview session, in addition to the survey, provided knowledge of the job situation and a necessary frame of reference which aided in the development of possible solutions for motivation enhancement.
The goals of the employee interviews and survey questionnaire were to provide information and encourage workplace harmony, which in turn, should have provided incentive for the employees and managers of Office Plus to incre"hygiene factors" was used as a means of determining employee motivation. However, it is important to note that Herzberg's (1968) motivators and "hygiene factors" are discrete in that the proper implementation of each concept is designed to enhance different human needs. as employee motivation and satisfaction.
The following list of motivators and "Hygiene factors" was used as a mean of determining employee motivation. However, it is important to note that Herzberg's (1968) motivators and "hygiene factors" are discrete in that the proper implementation of each concept is designed to enhance different human needs.
Please rank the following list in order of importance, with "one" being the highest and "ten" being the lowest.
Appreciation for work done
Feeling "in" on things â€¦
Good wages â€¦
Good working conditions â€¦
Interesting work â€¦
Job security â€¦
Management loyalty to workers â€¦
Promotion and growth with the company â€¦
Tactful disciplining â€¦
Understanding of personal problems â€¦
The variables "appreciation for work done", "feeling in on things", "interesting work" and "promotion and growth with the company" are considered motivators, while the variables "good wages", "good working conditions", "job security", "management loyalty to workers", "tactful disciplining", and "understanding of personal problems" are considered hygiene factors. There are two conditions distinguishing motivators from "hygiene factors". First, motivators are used to do precisely as the word denotes which is to motivate. Hygiene factors, on the other hand, create satisfaction or dissatisfaction for individuals in the workplace. However, hygiene factors do not enhance motivation levels in employees.
Secondly, motivators stem from intrinsic, inherent needs most human beings possess. For instance, most individuals require being told that they and their efforts are appreciated. When appreciation is expressed to employees, it may produce higher levels of employee motivation. However, when employers and management do not indicate to workers that their efforts are appreciated, individuals begin to doubt and question their worth within the organisation, thus decreasing employee motivation.
The list of motivators and hygiene factors was designed to determine managements perceptions of employee needs and employees perceptions of their own needs by asking the participants (management and employees) to list the motivators and "hygiene factors" in order of importance. If management's perceptions of important motivators vary significantly from that of the employee, there is an obvious breakdown in communication which may significantly reduce employee motivation.
Also the survey was designed to assess sex differences concerning motivational attitudes between women and men. In other words, would women rank Herzberg's (1968) motivators/hygine factors differently than men? Questions addressing demographic data were also included on the questionnaire.
Following is the interview schedule which was used in conjunction with the survey to assess employee motivation and satisfaction levels.
What is your company's take on teamwork ?
This question was designed to determine the extent to which employees identify with their organization. If the employe perceives his or her organisation as team work oriented, and s/he feels a part of the team, then the concept of team - work may be considered a motivator. On the other hand, if the employee perceives the organisation as lacking the team-work concept, s/he may not identify with the organisation, and consequently, lack motivation.
How does management communicate to employees a job done?
This question was designed to assess the extent to which management effectively communicate a job well done to employees. If the employees are not aware of their performance, be it positive or negative, they wont know if they should be motivated to continue to perform in the same manner or motivated to improve their performance. If employees are left in limbo, so are their motivational levels.
How does management reward employees for finding new ways of improving work performance?
This question was designed to assess the extent to which employees strive to improve job performance. Since motivation can not be directly measured, a high level of job performance, in conjunction with other factors such as pay, recognition, etc., may indicate a high level of motivation.
how does the company show flexibility to employee's needs ?
This question was designed to determine the organisations sensitivity to its employees needs. For instance, is the company tailored to allow individuals who have needs such as childcare or eldercare to take care of those responsibilities? Or does the company discourage or ignore employees who have such responsibilities?
How are employee grievances handled at the company?
This question was also designed to determine the organisation's sensitivity to the employees. For instance, ignoring an employee's grievances may communicate to the employee that his/her complaints are unimportant or invalid to the organisation. By ignoring the employee's complaint, a disconfirming message may be sent. "Disconfirming communication implicitly says, you don't exist, you are not valued" (Adler, Rosenfeld, Towne & Proctor, 1998, p.358). Even through management may send unintentional disconfirming messages the employee's perception of disconfirming messages may help to create individual low motivational levels. On the other hand, addressing employee complaints accordingly may send confirming messages which may lead employee to view themselves as valued member of the organisation (Alder, et al., 1998). Management's attempt at sending confirming messages may help to promote higher motivational levels.
How does management communicate trust towards employees?
This questions function was to determine if management delegated responsibilities to employee's and trust that employee's are capable of carrying out side tasks. This is important to the concept of motivation, because often, with responsibility comes success. If the employee's is given the responsibility to perform a task and completes the task successfully, s/he may perceive the achievement as his or her own success and not management's success. Since the workforce places high emphasis on achievement and success, employees who are able to perceive themselves as successful may have increased levels of motivation.
How are daily goals communicate to employees?
How do employees communicate to management when they are unsure of daily goals?
How important is goal setting to this organisation?
Questions seven, eight and nine were designed to access company communication effectivness as well as the importance of goal-settings. Clear communication of daily goals and expression of unclear goals is extremely important for maintaining organisational harmony. When employees have a clear understanding of expected goals, there is a sense of purpose, which may aid in increasing motivation and satisfaction.
What happened to motivational levels after raises are received?
This question was designed to determine the extent to which pay is a key motivational factor for employees. For instance, are employees motivated to perform better after they have received their raises, or are employees motivated to perform better hoping to receive raises? Perhaps the prospect of receiving a raise does not appeal to the employee, because s/he is motivated by other means. It is imperative for management to establish the role money plays in an employee's life . If management perceives money as a primary source of motivation and uses it as such, but the employee does not perceive money as a primary source of motivation, using money may be mute when trying to increase motivational levels.
How do employees communicate to management their dissatisfaction?
This question was designed to determine if workers perceive open line of communication in the workplace. When there are open lines of communication, employees may feel more satisfied, thus more motivated.
What is the company's take on people who change their usual way of doing things at work? Explain.
What is the company's take on people who try out their own ideas before checking with management first?
Question 12 and 13 were designed to assess employee interest and initiative levels while working. These questions were beneficial to this project in that determining the levels of interest and initiative on the job may also indicate the level of motivation the employee has for the job.
What positive things can be said about this organisation?
What negative things can be said about this organisation ?
Question 14 and 15 were designed to elicit the employee's overall perception of the organisation.
During the course of study some of the following terms may be unfamiliar to the reader
content theories explains certain needs influencing human behaviour and motivation. In other words, content theories explain what factors motivate people. These factors include, but are not limited to, social needs, economic needs, and self-worth needs. Content theories are at the core of understanding human motivation.
Dis confirming messages
feedback is responding, either verbally or nonverbally, to a senders message
Theoretical framework posed for understanding motivation have been in the making for nearly a century. All of the theories regarding motivation proposed during this paper are tied and true measures that build off of one another, which is why they were appropriate for this project.
There are two hypotheses stemming from this project. The first hypothesis is associated with determining which motivators appeal more to women than men, and vice versa. Therefore, it is hypothesized that men and women rank Herzberg's (1968) "hygiene factors" and motivators differently from one another.
The second hypothesis is related to management's perception of the employee's perception of motivational variables. Often, management attempts to motivate employees with factors they believe will facilitate motivation instead of determining which motivational factors are important from the employees. When managers assume that they correctly perceive the foremost motivator factors for their employees, it may be due to the traditional hierarchical structure of organizations.
Since hierarchic structures in organisations are the accepted norm among organisations and there is a distinct division between management and workers, it is presupposed that management's motivational attitude and expectations differ from that of worker's motivational attitudes and expectations. Using Victor Varoom's (1964) Expectancy Theory should provide a means of determining if management's "obvious" expectations for workers is in conjunction with the worker's expectations of themselves.
For example, management may believe that an employee will view a promotion in title only as positively valent and also may believe that the employee will be motivated to increase performance to receive the promotion. However, if the worker views a promotion with an increase in responsibility and pay as positively valent, it is likely that the motivational needed to increase performance in order to receive the promotion may decrease significantly. If it established that there is a problem with differing expectations among management and workers, it is possible that a lack of effective feedback and communication are contributing factors.
Also, Lawrence Lindahi (1949) conducted a study to determine "wheather supervisors are motivated by the same things that motivate rank-and-file workers" (Smith, 1997,p.45) by asking management and workers to rank assigned motivators based on Hertzberg's (1968) "hygiene factors". Lindahl discovered that management's perception of motivation factors did indeed differ from workers. This same study was replicated by Hersey and Blanchard in the 1980's, where again, it was determined that management and workers perceptions do differ. Therefore, using Vroom's (1964) Expectancy Theory and Herzberg's (1968) ten motivators and a scale of one to ten, it is hypothesized that management will rank these motivators differently than workers.
The recognition of these differences is particularly important to managers and or supervisors, because it may be counterproductive for managers to select motivators/ hygiene factors based on his/her list of the factors instead of the employee's list.