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Motivation is a feeling that is drawn from ones emotions. Normally, this happens when an individual is on the lookout for a positive emotional experience, and making an effort to avoid the negative emotional experiences. Motivation can thus be defined as the primary influence on a behavior which is brought by the willingness one to hand in a high level of efforts in order to realize the goals of the involved organization. It is the drive behind the efforts put in place to meet individual needs. Everyone possesses some definite needs with their goals that they have set forth. However, to meet these goals, they will agree to perform work and provide services in exchange for what they want. One key to these arrangements satisfactory manner, they are being treated fair. People want to be constantly treated fairly. Perceived factors are considered sufficient in terms of an employee's wages, benefits, bonuses, if any incentives, etc. If an agreement does not look fair, that person will not be satisfied. This would result in poor morale. But the situation is different when you consider the agreement as fair. It will play its role in making the person a motivated worker.
Employees are normally looking for something to motivate them in their work. Normally it is a small nudge which is brought by one factor; they must know what is expected of them. Employees need to have a clear understanding of problems and realistic goals that they must accomplish (Baumeister 2004). Thus, in order to get success in what they are doing, they require a great amount of competition. This will go a long way in not encouraging dissatisfaction or low morale. Firm approaches regarding the work policy, such as firing staff who are not working at their full potential, can motivate other staff to do the work better. By doing so, they achieve the goals that were set. There is no ideal way to motivate the staff. However, different approaches work for different situations. Financial bonuses and incentives are normally enough to give the employees the drive they need to put more effort in the responsibilities set for them. While one person may be due to money, another may find a job or meet the creative possibilities of powerful factors. But as some motivation techniques have shown, the majority of workers respond to the same stimulus (Carver 2001). Most of the times, money improves the motivation. It also improves the retention and ambitions. Everyone is different and has its view that is important to their lives. Thus, doing things that one values can really motivate the individual. These motivation factors are as follows:
• There should be involvement of staff in the development of the company.
• Praise and recognize the employee achievements as you constructively criticize them
• Let employees be aware of their different responsibilities at the work place.
• Find the right person for the job in order to avoid inconveniences with other related work.
• Provide enough employees for the job.
• One has to be a leader on the staff.
• Create a comfortable working environment providing all the basic requirements.
• All the employees have to be treated fairly without biases.
• Managers should be responsible for employees who are engaged in work or training objectives.
Managers ought to be aware that some staff are involved more and have greater interest in the task than others. Others get the satisfaction mainly because of how they work on a task leads to the award of pay or status. But usually there is a mixture of motives, for which various incentives is relevant. Most employees will find at least some satisfaction simply doing the work. In the balance of these internal and external sources of satisfaction depends on one person to another, (Fishbein 1975) as well as between various situations.
Motivational theories are not just a study of the human behavior. They however can act as guides for managers on how to lead and motivate their teams. These theories try to establish the basic drivers that always trigger people’s behavior. Because of the diversity of the human behavior, there is no one theory to summarize how all people behave. There is however now a much better understanding of why we make certain decisions and what drives us to do these. Often these decisions are made on a subconscious level, or some may be made deliberately. As a manager, one always has to employ this motivation strategically in his team and raise their ambitions. This motivation is what drives the people under that manager to work even harder. The widely known and popular motivation theory is Maslow hierarchy theory.
In this theory, Maslow explains that in every person there is a hierarchy of five types of needs:
a) Physiological needs: these are the same fundamental human needs that are usually wanted. They are food, drink, shelter and other bodily needs (Baumeister 2004).
b) Safety requirements: In order to be motivated to work, the safety and protection from physical and emotional harm is what the employees want.
c) Social needs: Employees are always searching for lesions, effects, acceptance, and friendship at their work place.
d) Respect for the needs: Even at their work places, there is a certain accord for respect that the employees desire. These are both internal and external.
e) Self-actualization needs: This motivates people in achieving their potential and self-realization. They thus have the desire to become something that is capable of becoming a good performer.
According to Maslow’s theory, once all these needs are met, the people will be motivated to work even harder at their jobs. These are the things employees like you want to do. For most people, in fact a pleasant event things like food, rest, laughter, games, victories, create, see and hear beautiful things and people, and so on. To make these people do not have to be paid, applauded, lucky, thank, respect or anything. They have their good sense, which are automatically and naturally derived from such activities. Most activities are not in effect, satisfying enough for most people, make them permanent, so the external motivation to be applied in the form of compensation, benefits, or as a way to avoid some unpleasant condition (Gollwitzer 1999).
There are many activities that are in fact satisfy some people but not for other people. This diversity shows that past experience can have a huge influence in determining what is satisfying an individual. Many activities meet the dimensions in combination with external pay-offs. For example, employees and people in general enjoy talking, and at the same time they receive the attention, (Baumeister 2004) praise, support and useful information. In this case, when internal and external motivations are mixed, it can be assumed that over a period of time, accompanying the external reinforcement to gradually increase our internal implementation of these activities, and possibly vice versa (Carver 2001).
The Herzberg’s theory also deals with motivational management. The Herzberg’s’ theory separates what enhances the motivation in the humans in two. One of these factors is hygiene or maintenance factor. This usually entails the conditions under which people do work, for example company policy, salary, interpersonal relations, and the work environment. The other factor is a motivator or growth factor. These factors deal with the work itself, such as achievement, recognition, responsibility and the potential to advance within the job. Herzberg emphasizes that both these variables are as important as each other. It could be argued that this theory is simply an extension from Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory and as a consequence it is more applicable to a real work situation. Hygiene factors are Maslow's lower-level needs and the motivators are his higher level needs. Herzberg's original study was made up of a series of interviews with accountants and engineers. They were asked about occasions of when they felt good or bad in a certain job, and what they considered were the reasons for this. This showed that good job performance always resulted to employee satisfaction and not the other way round. Results from the interviews were generally consistent. From these results, Herzberg derived his two factors which were hygiene and motivators.
Herzberg’s theory is often criticized for not being applicable for unskilled, manual workers. These according to his critics share no interest in their job, it is monotonous or they feel no sense of achievement. Taking an interest in your work content brings about a sense of achievement. The significance of this theory in today’s world was verified by a well renowned person, Phillips Hank. He tested Herzberg’s theory more recently. This was in an engineering office in Canada. Here, he concluded that the theory was still very much relevant. However salary and working condition were no longer the most important issues. Results showed that achievement was now the main satisfier and company policy was the main issue causing dissatisfaction. This theory makes it all the more appropriate for a manager’s office setting, as the work that is undertaken is mainly creative. Each profession allows for work to be unique in its own way as different projects come in. The number of staff in the studios is in equilibrium with the amount of work that will be coming into that office. It is a main concern in Herzberg’s theory that if workers are not stretched to their potential it creates dissatisfaction. Replacing any of the employees by less skilled workers would be a loss to the team and therefore effective task delegation is a critical part of a successful manager.
In today’s tight employment market there is a lot of competition. Job security is a factor that has become increasingly important. Ouchi’s Z Theory is a study of the way Japanese firms function. His theory showed that loyalty to a company is valued greatly in Japan, and large bonuses are rewarded to those who show this loyalty. The senior partner informed that it is unlikely that the team will have any new recruits in the foreseeable future. This alone should provide some security. Any manager needs to approach this with some caution. To stretch the potential of the employees and their output, healthy level of competition should exist between them. The management office should not be led by a leader who is relaxed on deadlines and does not give the team direct expectations. He should clarify future goals and the importance of working towards these goals as a team. During this progress toward achieving these goals, he will aim to identify the progress made. This is important so that the team and I can clearly see what still needs to be achieved. He should approach issues like the deadline in a very strict manner. In managing any institution that involves administrative work responsibility should be spread across the whole team. This may sometimes cause confusion about who has been delegated, may occasionally therefore fall behind. The positive factor about this is that all the workers opinions are reflected in the work they do. The aim of the manager is to keep the administrative work as it is; the team appears to enjoy the way it is managed. It also gives the team more power to change anything that they are dissatisfied with (Carver, 2001).
Herzberg’s motivational or growth factors are according many of his followers what make the employees satisfied. As already mentioned, a good manager should be able to set out goals and progress more clearly. In order to give more recognition to those who have achieved the work he should introduce progress reports for every individual. These should aim to give constructive criticism about how the worker can improve, both individually and as part of the team. They should also include praise about any work that was done exceptionally well or any attribute that has contributed to help the team achieve its goals. This should give that illusive sense of achievement, and the recognition that Herzberg emphasizes in his theory. Personal growth can be achieved by careful job delegation by the manager. Herzberg stresses that this is one of the largest growth factors. Workers need to feel challenged during their job otherwise it runs stale. Clearly Herzberg’s theory is not the most recent study. However he emphasizes the importance of job design to create a desirable and motivational work environment. This is no doubt still an important recipe for a successful manager. Despite all the criticisms about his methodology the theory has got many supporters and many factors are still used as tools to bring about the all important motivation, and job enrichment among employees (Carver 2001).
Leadership is one of the vague priorities that bring motivation at the work place. It is an area in which there is no absolute, no guaranteed model in the way it should be handled. In motivating his workers or the people that are under him, good managing skills require a good leader. Leadership is a topic that has been widely disputed. The concept of leadership in the past brought with it some controversy as it makes one human being superior to another. There is however no doubt in the matter that an essential part of management is coordinating people in order to reach goals and this requires a leader. Leadership is a vital part of motivation; it is an important part of reducing employee dissatisfaction. Leadership is about effective delegation and people skills, leading is a dynamic process. Situations are constantly changing and a leader must know how to adapt to these changes. Ironically leaders are most desired during periods of change. A manager is not automatically a leader and a leader does not automatically qualify to be a manager. Leadership can be a quality that any given employee within a company can have regardless of his or her position. A manager however has the title, but may not have the leadership skills. Managers normally take up passive attitudes towards the set goals. Leaders on the other hand adopt a more personal and active attitude toward goals in the company they work for (Baumeister 2004).
Motivational management has never been an easy task for anybody. In order to motivate the people working under you, it requires one to have very good skills in leadership. These skills have been explained in the theories of management and are vital in helping one guide his team forward. Thus, motivation is a primary factor in the success of anything and those who take time to study a situation and find ways to improve the motivation always end up at the top of everything.