The paper "Importance of Pay in Employee Motivation" is a good example of management coursework. According to Rynes et al (2004) human resources practitioners tend to take the simple answer given by the employee and disregard the behavioral signals that actually send a different message from what the employee is claiming. In thus doing, the practitioners go on believing that pay is of little motivation to employees than other factors such as job satisfaction and non-cash benefits. The result of this underestimation is that human resource practitioners don’ t pay enough attention to developing a well-designed compensation system (Rynes et al, 2004). Rynes et al (2004) forward several arguments to support the thesis statement regarding employee pay.
Among them, Rynes et al (2004)claim that the reason most employees and potential employees will say one thing and reserve different opinion regarding pay and motivation is the fact that people usually give a socially desirable response to such questions. Socially desirable responding according to Rynes et al (2004) comes from lack of self-insight or lack of frankness. In regards to pay, people would want to respond with an answer that shows they are not so into money than other motivating factors such as a challenging work or work that contributes to societal welfare.
Money is viewed as a less noble source of motivation that an employer may perceive the employee from a negative point of view if he/she lists money as a primary motivator. The more a question touches on strongly held social norms, the less likely that the response is going to be valid (Rynes, Gerhart, & Minette, Winter 2004). In this view then, some researchers prefer to asses several factors indirectly to see the effects of pay on the productivity of the employee, productivity being a measure of motivation in work settings (Rynes et al, 2004).
This is what the authors refer to as assessing behavioral signals rather than asking straight questions that don’ t get valid responses. In such studies, Rynes et al (2004) argue that the results are inconsistent with what the employees admit consciously. The results of the behavioral assessment show that pay is actually the number one motivator for productivity in the workplace and no other factor comes anywhere near the effects of pay on employee motivation to be productive. Another approach which can also betray the inner thoughts and positions of employees is to ask indirect questions which bundle all the motivation factors without singling out pay.
If asked to choose a job from this kind of setting most employees would rank pay as the highest motivator to their accepting a job and giving in total productivity to the job. In a nutshell, then Rynes et al (2004) try to bring out the fact that most employees and potential employees don’ t tell the truth about whether pay is an important motivational factor; they lie by saying it is not while deep inside they know and actually show it when their productivity goes up whenever their pay is raised.
Rynes et al (2004) insist on there is strong evidence from studies that pay is a powerful motivator or even the most powerful potential motivator in an organization.
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