Addressing Employee Motivation

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Motivation, Psychology Pages: 5 (1201 words) Published: February 6, 2013
Addressing Employee Motivation

Table of Contents
Executive Summary3
A problematic work situation relating to a HRM concept in Book 24
1.1 A description of the work problem4
1.2 Analysis of my experience using my chosen concepts5
1.3 Proposed solutions to the problem6
Relevant Web sites8
Part 2 – TGF discussions10

Executive Summary

Tom was seen to have a loss of motivation at work which was investigated. An analysis showed the main cause to be a lack of communication from his manager, a need for role definition, and a lack of publicity for the success of his project initiative. Recommendation is for Tom’s manager to be informed so they are hopefully able to address these issues and retain and develop Tom’s skills.

A problematic work situation relating to a HRM concept in Book 2

1.1 A description of the work problem

Tom has a well paid job as a project manager.
He created an idea and initiated a project to design and implement a website. After setting up the design and defining the stakeholders, without discussion, another person was brought in to chair the project meetings and keep track of actions for the software team. He felt a lack of clarity in his role and without clear guidance and credit did not feel motivated to push the project as hard as before. Weekly work hours fell back to a normal 40 hours from 50 or 60, and his other ideas were not pushed to management with the same enthusiasm. Motivation was clearly falling. This example relates to motivation and Session 1 of Book 2 can be used to analyse what motivates Tom to go to work.

1.2 Analysis of my experience using my chosen concepts

To understand Tom’s motivation level’s I have analysed his situation using Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs (1954) from session 1 (The Open University, B120 Book 2). According to Maslow, “a satisfied need is not a motivator”. Matching which needs are met on the pyramid of five categories will give an indication of which unmet need should be a motivator.

Figure [ 1 ] Maslow's Hierarchy of needs pyramid, and summary of Tom's status within it. Figure 1 Maslow's Hierarchy of needs pyramid, and summary of Tom's status within it.

According to Maslow’s theory, Tom has reached the 3rd level, but the lack of communication and feedback has stopped him achieving ‘Esteem’. Maslow states that “Not meeting these needs has a negative effect on our mental health” and this could explain the low motivation that Tom’s behaviour indicates. Tom was also under the impression that his idea and the quick success of the project would be publicised by his manager and would open up opportunities to be involved in other senior projects within the business. This did not materialise, and the senior management was not made aware of any plans to utilise Tom’s skills. In fact Tom’s manager was based in another country and was often not reachable for consultation either by phone or email. This expectation and its failure to materialise also causes low motivation, as explained in the concept of a ‘psychological contract’ from The Open University (2012). By applying this concept, we can understand that Tom had reason to believe that a successful project would lead to acknowledgement and higher esteem within the company, and even though this was not part of a formal employment contract. When this did not occur Tom felt his psychological contract had been violated, and that his hard work was inconsequential, leading to his low motivation to keep working hard.

1.3 Proposed solutions to the problem
The analysis above has identified possible causes of Tom’s low motivation. With this understanding of these reasons, each can be addressed with the right actions. .
* Problem : Low motivation,
* caused by : Perceived low likelihood of achieving Esteem (on Maslow’s hierarchy) * caused by : lack of communication about tasks.
* Classified as : Broken psychological contract

If we can...

References: The Open University (2012) B120 An introduction to business studies, Book 2 ‘An introduction to human resource management in business’, Milton Keynes.
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