Why We Need Motivation

Topics: Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Reward system Pages: 17 (4562 words) Published: October 22, 2007

Why Do We Need Motivation ?

" People don't change their behavior unless it makes a difference for them to do so." ~ Fran Tarkenton

The most difficult job that faces a supervisor is learning how to effectively motivate and keep his/her employees motivated . The average person when asked how to motivate someone will tell you what motivates him or her. Unfortunately, everyone is different and what motivates one employee may only make another employee angry. The method we use to motivate each employee must be tailored to the individual employee. We must offer them something that value as an incentive to work towards a goal. One size does not fit all when it comes to motivation.

Before we begin exploring ways to tackle motivational problems, let us first discuss some of the telling signs of an unmotivated staff:

Telling Signs
It is clear that unmotivated staff are more than just lazy staff. They are not proactive and are afraid to make decisions. The following are some remarks that typically reflect these symptoms:

"The more you work, the more mistakes you make. So don't do anything unless you have to. And even then, do as little as possible."

"We just do our job, play it safe. We are not paid to make our own judgement. It is perfectly alright to seek and follow the boss's instructions every time."

"Why bother making suggestions? Let's check how the job was done last time and follow suit." Human resources (HR) are the backbone of an organisation (Gerhart & Milkovich 1990, Pfeffer 1998). Moreover, the continuing prosperity of a firm is likely to be enhanced by employees who hold attitudes, value and expectations that are closely aligned with the corporate vision (Borman & Motwidlo 1993, Spector 1997, Cable & Parsons 2001, Feldman 2003). Clearly, hiring capable people is an attractive point of departure in the process, but building and sustaining a committed workforce is more likely to be facilitated by the employment of sophisticated human resource management (HRM) infrastructures (Schuler & Jackson 1987, Beechler, Bird & Raghuram 1993). Arguably, HRM policies and practices can be strategically designed and installed to promote desirable employee outcomes, which include the enhancement of the in role and extra role behaviours of employees. Yet, despite such costly investments, corporations are continually searching for techniques to improve and cement the linkage between employees and their organisations. Weak employee organisational linkages are often displayed as the phenomenon of turnover. Indeed, people are likely to job hop to obtain better monetary rewards and career development opportunities. However, traditional approaches that rely heavily on competitive monetary rewards often have limited success in staff retention and job motivation in the long run. This limitation has brought practitioners to consider, along with the facilitation of sophisticated HRM infrastructures, other techniques to enhance employee attachment towards their organisation (i.e., person organisation fit selection approach, performance based incentives, extension of the attractive executive perks to all employees). With proper implementation, these techniques often facilitate a more committed workforce. This effect can be achieved through the enhancement of in role (i.e., organisational commitment) and extra role (i.e., organisational citizenship) behaviours (Allen & Meyer 1990, Organ 1990). Past research (Porter & Steers 1973, Allen & Meyer 1990) found that organisations with strong employee attachment, or organisational commitment, tend to have lower turnover or intention to leave than would those with weak employee attachment. The issues of staff retention and job motivation have continued to plague organisations in Malaysia. Annual surveys by Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF 2004, 2005) report that the annual labour turnover rates for 2003 and 2004 were high, approximately 17 per cent and 16 per cent...

References: 1. Ritchie, S. and Martin, P. (1999), Motivation Management, Hampshire: Gower.
2. Martin, P. and Nicholls, J. (1987), Creating a Committed Workforce, London: Institute of Personnel Development.
3. Chew, Y. T. (2005), Achieving Organisational Prosperity through Employee Motivation and Retention: A Comparative Study of Strategic HRM Practices in Malaysian Institutions, Research and Practice in Human Resource Management.
6. Abraham Maslow, Motivation and Personality, 1954
7. Douglas Mc Gregor, The Human Side of Enterprise, 1960
8. Frederick Herzberg, Work and The Nature of Man, 1966
9. David Mc Clelland, The Achieving Society, 1961
10. J. Stacey Adams, 1965
11. Victor Vroom, Work and Motivation, 1964
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