Managers are continually challenged to motivate a workforce to do two things. The first challenge is to motivate employees to work toward helping the organization achieve its goals. The second is to motivate employees to work toward achieving their own personal goals. Meeting the needs and achieving the goals of both the employer and the employee is often difficult for managers in all types of organizations.
Motivation refers to the forces either within or external to a person that arouse enthusiasm and persistence to pursue a certain course of action. Employee motivation affects productivity and part of a manager’s job is to channel motivation toward the accomplishment of organizational goals. Rewards are of two types: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic rewards are the satisfactions a person receives in the process of performing a particular action. Extrinsic rewards are given by another person, typically a manager, and include promotions, pay increases, and bonuses. (Daft,2008) Motivation is an important tool that is often under-utilized by managers in today’s workplace. Managers use motivation in the workplace to inspire people to work, both individually and in groups, to produce the best results for business in the most efficient and effective manner. It was once assumed that motivation had to be generated from the outside, but it is now understood that each individual has his own set of motivating forces. It is the duty of the manager to carefully identify and address these motivating forces. Managers may lack knowledge in implementing successful motivational programs that increase production and create a positive work environment. Motivation for better performance depends on job satisfaction, achievement, recognition, and professional growth (Boyett and Boyett, 2000). Providing a positive motivational work environment is a challenging managerial activity. Therefore, managers must understand associates and their professional needs. While rewards may serve as incentives and those who bestow rewards may seek to use them as motivators, the real motivation to act comes from within the individual. Managers do exert a significant amount of influence over their employees, but they do not have the power to force a person to act. They can work to provide various types of incentives in an effort to influence an employee in any number of ways, such as by changing job descriptions, rearranging work schedules, improving working conditions, reconfiguring teams, and a host of other activities. While these may have an impact on an employee’s level of motivation and willingness to act, when all is said and done, it is the employee’s decision to take action or not. In discussing management and motivation, it will be important to continually remember the roles of both managers and employees in the process of motivation.
The Role of Motivation
Why do we need motivated employees is survival (Smith, 1994). Motivated employees are needed in our rapidly changing workplaces. Motivated employees help organizations survive. Motivated employees are more productive. To be effective, managers need to understand what motivates employees within the context of the roles they perform. Of all the functions a manager performs, motivating employees is arguably the most complex. This is due, in part, to the fact that what motivates employees changes constantly (Bowen & Radhakrishna, 1991). Motivation is defined by Rudolf and Kleiner (1989, 1) as “the development of a desire within an employee to perform a task to his/her greatest ability based on that individual’s own initiative”. Rationale for empowerment Creative thinking and initiative from as many employees as possible will increase the likelihood of better ideas, better decisions, better quality, better productivity, and therefore, better competitiveness. Harris (1996, 84) on the other hand...
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