Motivation in the Workplace

Topics: Motivation, Self-efficacy, Educational psychology Pages: 8 (1552 words) Published: May 4, 2014

Motivation in the Workplace
Nathan Kositsky

According to “Merriam” (n.d.) website, motivation is factors within humans or other animals that arouse and direct goal-oriented behavior. The goal for maintaining a motivated workforce should be paramount for any organization. Employees that are intrinsically motivated and likely to be more productive, less likely to be absent from work, and less likely to be a distraction. Employees are different and motivating each of them is different. This paper will concentrate on various theories of motivational strategies, how productivity is affected and efforts to improve performance within the fire department. It will address employee’s resistance to management’s efforts of motivation. Finally, it will discuss the impact other theories of motivation have on management and firefighters. Motivational Impact

Why do people behave the way they do, is the fundamental question to understanding motivation. Motivation is an important factor in organizations, it encourage productivity, facilitates alignment of employee goals with organizational goals. Understanding motivation provides management with insight about behaviors such as absenteeism, turnover, and poor job performance (Jex & Britt, p. 233, 2008). Acquiring knowledge about employee motivation provides management with information better to organize job assignments, which will make them less labor intensive, provide more creativity, and improve productivity. Employees are intrinsically and extrinsically motivated to perform their assigned duties. An employee, who shows great deal of satisfaction with their work, seeks out other responsibilities or shows initiative, is intrinsically motivated. According to Reeve (2008) intrinsic motivation is a natural tendency of a person to engage their interest and to exercise his or her capacity and in doing so, seek out, and master optimal challenges (p. 111). In the workplace, management use pay, threats of termination, surveillance, and competition to motivate employees, which is referred to as extrinsic motivation. Types of Motivational Theories

Self efficacy is an individual’s belief he or she will be successful in any undertaking. He or she has the competence to organize and coordinate their skills to deal with any difficulty they encounter. They draw upon their knowledge and experience in complex situations. Self efficacy and ability are not the same. Ability is the act of carrying out a task, self efficacy is a state of mind the person has while doing the task. Self efficacy is just as important in determining one’s competence while doing a task as is their ability the handle the task because circumstances are often stressful, ambiguous, and unpredictable as situations always change (Reeve & Bandura, p.233, 2009). Confidence in self-efficacy improves the ability to be effective in performing a task. A person with low self-efficacy will find it difficult to be successful when face with difficult situations and will give up. Self actualization, which is at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the process of doing away with tentativeness, defensive appraisals, and a dependence on others while moving toward courage to create, make realist appraisals, and achieve autonomous self regulation (Reeve, p.421, 2000). Self-actualizers have similar traits such as judging and analyzing situations correctly, acceptance of their flaws and tolerant of other’s flaws, resourceful, profound interpersonal relationships, ok with solitude, and a sense of humor (Coon & Mitterer, 2010, 2007). Motivational strategies affect on productivity

In many ways the fire department is similar to any other company or organization. There is a CEO or fire chief, it has department heads, and managers or supervisors, who seek ways to keep his or her employees motivated. A major difference between the fire department and other organizations is...
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