Analyzing Employee Motivation Theories

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Motivation Pages: 8 (2275 words) Published: November 8, 2015
Student ID:2163506

Module Code:PM025 2T

Tutor:Moira Nikodem

Nowadays, employees motivation has become so significant that corporations are prompted to do more with less in the global market economy. Motivation can be defined as psychological issues that decide employees’ behaviors and effort level in corporations (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2010: 232). Even though a number of useful motivational strategies have been used in organizations, it still needs more effective methods to be introduced. Moreover, the best managers know their staffs, practice their ability and utilize available incentive systems to motivate their employees (ibid: 234). Wilson (2010: 109) also suggested that, by understanding what motivate the employees, all members of a company are inspired to behave well and help the corporation achieve its targets, as well as achieving a competitive advantage for organizations and increasing the employees’ work efficiency. This is why employees motivation is essential if a corporation want to maintain competitive advantages in an economic climate.

According to Jones and George (2007: 109), the patterns of organizational motivation theories include content motivation theories which regarding what motivate the employees and process motivation theories which emphasize the issues of how the employees get motivated. The essay will explore how leaders in organizations can maintain and enhance the employees’ motivation when working by analyzing the employment of three motivation theories in three different corporations. Furthermore, the essay is made up of three parts: there will be a brief of motivation theories first, followed by the analysis of three motivation cases in corporations which include Apple, Tesco and Starbucks. Finally, the essay will conclude with recommendations as to how motivation theories could be adapted for improving the employees’ motivation.

In the early 1950s, Maslow put forward need hierarchy theory. It argues that human incentives emerge in a sequential pattern which includes five levels of human needs: physiological needs, safety needs, affiliation needs, esteems needs and self-actualization needs (Alderfer, 2000: 120). Furthermore, only once the lower level of needs have been truly satisfied, would the workers be inspired to move up to the next higher needs in the hierarchy (Kanfer, 2008: 445). Although Maslow's hierarchy theory is always used as a tool of personal psychology, companies could adapt it to motivate the staffs in the workplace as well. Maslow also believed that by helping the staffs meet the essential needs at work, the employers could produce a highly motivated and satisfied workforce which could make a company to be more productive (Steers et al, 2004: 382). This motivational theory will be analyzed in the context of the employees of Apple.

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Student ID:2163506

Module Code:PM025 2T

Tutor:Moira Nikodem

According to Maslow's hierarchy theory, the employees cannot get the higher level of needs met until they first meet the lower level of needs (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2010: 236). For example, Apple as the most constructive technology company in the world always holds that the physiological needs is the most basic aspect which could prompt its staffs to move forward. Therefore, Apple provides reasonable lunch breaks, working hours and body comfort for its workers in the workplace. Furthermore, Apple has done a great job in satisfying its employees’ safety needs, such as providing insurance policies and safe working conditions. However, job security in Apple is still have to be improved for the sake of a large number of its employees are worried about losing their jobs (Alderfer, 2000: 120). In terms of social needs, Apple has tried to reinforce team dynamics and improve the situation between its leaders and the workers, which may help the employees to develop a sense of belonging.

To date, the higher level of needs, which may bring about higher output of a...
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