MotivationIntroductionMotivation in the workplace is the act of energizing or activating behaviors toward the achievement of specific or general goals. Motivation can also be viewed as a psychological process that influences behavior by giving direction, purpose and the desire to achieve particular unmet goals. For any organization to survive, it needs motivated employees (Reiss, 2004). The purpose of this essay is to discuss motivation in the workplace. First, a literature review of scholarly articles shall be done to highlight the importance and the effect of motivation in the workplace. Secondly, an analysis of the results of a motivation self assessment test shall be undertaken to demonstrate the implications of the results on current or future workplace behavior as related to the literature review.
In the final section of this paper, a case study on motivation in the workplace shall be analyzed. This shall help give bearing and relevance to the literature analyzed in the preceding parts. Literature ReviewThere have been different scholarly perspectives on what motivates employees to work and the most effective method of motivating employees. According to Bowen and Radhakrishna (1999), the things that motivate workers keep changing from time to time.
Consequently, different theories have been propagated on what motivates employees. Abraham Maslow (1908- 1970) and Frederick Herzberg (1923) came up with the Neo- Human Relation School theory of motivation which accentuates the psychological angle of motivation. According to Maslow, there are five levels of human needs that employees should fulfill at work; physiological needs such as food, shelter, safety needs, social needs in regards to love and sense of belonging, esteem needs, the need of status and recognition and finally the need for self actualization respectively.
Thus employees can only be motivated when a low level need has been met and the employee will strive to meet the next need in the hierarchy. For instance, an individual who is homeless and starving will first seek basic pay and will be less concerned about securing a permanent job contract or company car. According to this theory, organizations or companies should therefore give various incentives to its employees so that they can actualize the basic needs in the hierarchy. Managers or employers should realize that employees are at different levels of hierarchical needs thus they cannot be motivated in the same way thus employees should be given different sets of incentives based on their hierarchical needs (Maslow, 1943). Related to incentives, money or financial remuneration/compensation has been one of the most cited motivating factors for employees among scholars.
Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856- 1917) emphasized on the view that employees are normally motivated by pay. He argues that naturally, employees do not enjoy work, thus they require continuous control and supervision. Taylor advocated that managers or employers should break down work into several small tasks, train employees appropriately and equip them with the requisite tools for efficiency then payment should be rendered to each employee according to the task completed subsequent to the completion of the task (Gollwitzer, 1999). Consequently employees should be encouraged to maximize their productivity by working hard on their designated tasks.
Taylor’s method of motivation has over time been adopted in the management of various businesses and has yielded increased productivity amongst employees (Cervone & Shadel et al, 2006).