Motivation at Work
Every organization strives to reach high productivity within its departments. Ideally, a worker manages to complete a task at high speed while still being efficient. Benefits that would result if this is done would not only be felt by the organization, but also by the workers, and consequently, by the customers. This is especially relevant in the service industry, such as that of tourism, where the client has direct contact with the service provider, that is, the worker, and if the worker feels satisfied with his effort and productivity, the likelihood of him/her giving a high quality service to the consumer inevitably increases. The issue, of course, arises when one tries to identify ways by which productivity can be efficiently improved within the organization. It has been recognized that one way of effectively doing is by having managers or superiors successfully motivating their subordinates. Theories show that motivating people is very much linked to the human resources department as this division is defined as that unit which seeks to create a competitive advantage to the organization, by building a strong work force. As to motivation, according to Luthans (1998), motivation is a management tool that is used to influence the behaviour of a person, based on the knowledge the influencer has about how that person is inspired or triggered off; stimulating people to work harder and reach their goals. Through effective motivation, workers in an organization would feel more satisfied and that company would actually be cost effective by investing in motivational efforts as expenses linked to inadequate productivity, such as idle time, are decreased. Yet, motivating people is not a simple assignment to pull off. Luthans (1998) sustains that the key to properly motivate people is by first understanding the relationship between a person and what drives or encourages him/her. As Dieleman and Toonen (2006), motivation has been commonly looked at from two main perspectives: motivation from the actual job and motivation to perform. The first one refers to the fact that an employee cannot be satisfied with his work or be eager to do the job if his workplace does not fulfil the basic needs for a content worker. This could very much be linked to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs where he identifies 5 levels of needs that must be present in order for a person to be motivated, in this case, at work. First there are the psychological, or basic, needs. These are necessities such as food and drink, which translate into wages and salaries when the workplace is taken into consideration. Studies show that pay is one of the most effective motivational tools that an organization could use. If the job that is being done does not pay as much as it should, the worker would inevitably feel less motivated to work. This goes in line with Adam’s equity theory which suggests that people calculate the fairness of their pay by considering the input they are giving the organization, in term of skills and effort. The idea of a raise is also relevant here. If an employee wants to get a raise in his/her salary, he/she will be more motivated to work harder in order to achieve this goal. Then there are safety needs which refer to the workplace’s health and safety measures that should be present in order for the worker to feel secure in his job. This may be interpreted in two different ways. First there is the obvious meaning of safety associated to one’s health and wellbeing. If a person does not think his workplace is a safe one, the perception of his work will not be a positive one and consequently, the willingness to work would decrease. One the other hand, we could consider safety of the job in terms of one’s employment guarantee – the knowledge of having and keeping the job. If a person feels that any minute, without real reasoning, his/her job is going to be taken away from him/her despite his/her best efforts, that person would feel...
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