מאמר: The Art of Employee Motivation

מאת סקוט לאנס - 04/03/2010

Can a manager motivate an employee? This is a question most managers wonder about and what methods management can use to motivate employees in the organization. “The long-term economic health of most organizations depends on the efforts of employees with both the appropriate capabilities and the motivation to do their jobs well,” according to Mathis and Jackson (2006, p. 68). Management must ensure the satisfaction of employees, with respect to their jobs, and organizational commitment. Employers regard employees as competent when these employees display employer satisfaction, perform their jobs according to expectations, and miss few days, if any, from work. What incentives and other efforts can management provide employees who do not meet the previous categorization? Companies must understand what motivational methods can be implemented in acquiring new talent, retaining existing employees, and balancing the cost of such compensation with increased productivity and other motivational factors.
Types of Motivation
Management must understand the reasons why one person responds favorably toward a motivational provision while such a provision does not work with another individual. Motivation energizes a person, gives him or her direction in his or her life, and sustains positive behaviors. Human beings are complex and respond to various needs and motivators. Some motivators are intrinsic and intangible while others are extrinsic and tangible. For management to identify what will motivate employees, examining the different motivational factors and their differences will allow management to successfully meet the various needs of their employees.
Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation is defined as the desire to perform specific tasks because of skill development, personal pleasure, or moral rightness. Abraham Maslow identified the individual need for social belonging, safety, and basic human needs in his Hierarchy of Needs. Management must understand how the intrinsic value of the workplace, including a safe work environment (safety needs), and social needs are all provided by the workplace if the workplace is managed properly. Management can meet such intrinsic needs through the offering of social activities both in the internal work environment and external to the work environment. When management meets the basic, lower-level needs of employees the employees feel safe and appreciated and will provide higher productivity and performance levels, in alignment with organizational requirements.
Extrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic motivators are tangible, meaning such motivators possess physical properties. Such extrinsic motivators employers often utilize in employee motivation and retention programs includes pay/wage scales, employee benefits (such as health benefits and retirement plans), and employee training programs. Management can motivate employees by providing opportunities to improve their relationship with the company, including training and advancement opportunities. Management can also offer financial compensation to induce certain productivity behaviors; however, such compensation may become an expectation by employees and must be discouraged as a practice by management. Management can also motivate employees by providing employees with opportunities to increase their self-esteem as the building of self-esteem through recognition or other avenues provides the employee with a willingness to align with organizational goals and expectations.
Employee Motivation in Review
Employee motivation is necessary for a company to continue operations, meet performance objectives, and meet long-term goals. Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic in nature and management must understand the results of certain motivators. Management will continue to motivate employees with different types of compensatory plans, such as direct compensation for employee work and indirect compensation for employees remaining with an organization for a specified length of time. Without such motivators, a manager would not be able to properly motivate his or her employees.

Scott Lazenby

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