Essay: Motivation

Motivation is the process of influencing an individual as to act or behave in a certain way.
Motivation was defined as ‘a general term applying to the entire class of drives, desires, needs, wishes and similar forces’. (Weihrich &Koontz (1993: p.462)
Motivation can also be defined as ‘the psychological forces that determine the direction of a person’s behaviour in an organisation, a person’s level of effort, and a person’s level of persistence in the face of obstacles’. (Ezigbo (2012: 115)
There are different types of motivational incentives which can either be financial or non-financial that can influence an individual or an employee’s behaviour.
‘Financial Incentives are the financial payments given to employees for their high performance’ (Erbasi & Arat (2012:136)
Financial incentives plays a very significant role in motivating employees because it can be used in various ways as to influence employees to increase their level of productivity or to increase effectiveness. It can also be used to make employees to struggle for bigger goals.
Financial incentives includes ‘pay, bonuses, stock options, company-paid insurance or any other thing that may be given to people for performance’ (Weihrich & Koontz (1994:476)
As stated by Chand (2014) financial incentives is an important motivator because it is usually used to satisfy an individual’s basic needs, psychological needs and even security needs. It has been recognized that financial incentives forms the foundation for power, respect, and even most importantly status.
However, not all employees are motivated by financial incentives, some employees are motivated by non- financial incentives such as ‘Participation in the management, Job Enrichment, promotions, holidays, better working atmosphere, profit sharing and enhancing a sense of belonging'(Erbasi &Arat (2012:136)
In terms of participation, this is whereby employees are given the opportunity to get involved with the management. ‘The encouragement of participation creates an environment of affiliation, acceptance, and importance and gives employees a sense of accomplishment’. (Weihrich & Koontz, 1994, p.478)
‘Job enrichment is related to Herzberg’s Theory of motivation, in which factors such as challenge, achievement recognition and responsibility are seen as the real motivators’. (Weihrich & Koontz (1994:479)
Job enrichment is used as a medium to motivate employees by giving them more responsibility which are reserved for the senior level employees
The purpose of job enrichment is to give employees more freedom in decision making, encouraging participation of employees and lastly makes the job more challenging. (Weihrich & Koontz, 1994, p.480)
As noted by Gillespie et al (2008), profit sharing are financial incentives that offers the employees a portion of the yearly income.
Enhancing a sense of belonging is very vital because it would make the employees feel like they are important and appreciated in their work place.
Motivation is important because it has the ability of increasing employee’s level of performance. When employees are motivated they would be inspired to put in all their effort as to enhance the business thereby increasing their level of performance.
As noted by Pujari (2012), motivation has the ability of reducing employee’s turnover. When employees are motivated they tend to work longer thereby reducing the rate of employee’s turnover. Lastly motivation increases productivity.
The four major motivational theories, includes ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, expectancy theory, goal setting theory and lastly McClelland motivation theory’. (Ezigbo (2012:115)
Abraham Maslow was trying to illustrate in his theory that individuals would always aim at satisfying the lower needs in the hierarchy first before pursing for the higher needs in the hierarchy.
‘People’s needs move up the column, with concentration being on the more basic things first, then finally on all those things that reflect our satisfaction with fulfilling our potential’. (Forsyth (2006:21)
In the expectancy theory Victor H. Vroom was trying to demonstrate that people would only be motivated to do certain things as to attain a goal when they can have trust in the worth of that goal and when they can perceive that what they would do would enable them to achieve that goal. (Weihrich & Koontz (1994:471)
The term goal setting was defined ‘as people who have conscious goals that energize them and direct their thoughts and behaviours toward a particular end’ (Bateman and Snell 2009)[paraphrase]
‘Goal setting is the process of motivating employees and clarifying their role perceptions by establishing performance objectives’. (McShane & Von- Glinow, 2000)[paraphrase]
According to Weihrich&Koontz (1994), David McClelland in his theory identified three most important motivating needs which must be recognized in order for an organisation to function properly. These motivating needs are power, affiliation and achievement.
The role of motivation has been given to the Human Resource Manager to motivate he’s or her employee’s in the work place.
The Human Resource Manager plays a very significant role in the organisation because he executes functions such as recruitment and selection, motivating and satisfying employees, performance appraisal, retention and dismissal of staff.
The Human Resource Manager is also responsible for employee’s welfare in the organisation, so by making sure that all employees are treated well and fairly, making sure that the working condition for employees are of satisfactory level and also making employees happy and satisfied
The Human Resource Manager would need to create a positive environment by showing appreciation or commending employees on the job they have done. The Human Resource Manager usually use this as a medium to motivate employees because there are some employees who perceive appreciation as a motivator and would definitely get motivated when they are appreciated because they would feel their work is being noticed and also it makes them feel valued in their workplace.
The Human Resource Manager encourages innovative ideas and initiative from his/ her employees for the purpose of achieving or promoting organizational success. By doing so the employees would feel more involved, it gives them a sense of belonging and they would be motivated because there is always an intrinsic reward attached to it.
One of the most important factors in an employee’s motivation is the opportunity for employees to develop new skills, enhance themselves and as well grow. This is why the human resource manager engages he’s or her employees in a training session in order to make them exposed to new skills and other profitable opportunities that would be of advantage to the organisation and also boost employee performance. The two major type of training process Human Resource Managers usually use are on the job training and off the job training.
On the job training allows the ‘trainee to learn as they contribute to the aims of the enterprise’. (Weihrich & Koontz (1994:423).
On the job training makes employees to become more productive, gives them the ability to learn while on the job and lastly, employees have the opportunity to work with an experienced and a professional trainer.
Off the job training is whereby employees leave their place of work in order to be trained. The benefits of this is that the employees would acquire a wide range of skills, knowledge and qualifications, they tend to be more confident and they are learning from specialists.
However, the responsibility of motivation does not only rest in the palm of the Human Resource Manager, it is also the duty of all the personnel in the organisation to motivate one another.
An employee can self-motivate himself or herself by setting achievable goals and objectives in order to attain success in the task at hand. At the end of each goal the employee can set a reward after accomplishing each goal. For example, an employee, can reward himself or herself with a break after he has achieved the goal which he has set for himself.
Edberg (2015) stated that another way an employee can motivate himself or herself is by reviewing their results. This is an important motivator because it enables the individual to see how much they have improved and also it allows them to identify where they have gone wrong in the past in order to avoid similar mistakes in the future.
An employee can motivate a fellow employee, for example, if an employee wins staff or employee of the month this can serve as a motivator to other employees because they would also want to get that appreciation and reward that has been given to that employee for the task he has executed, therefore this would make all the other employee to put in all their endeavour in order to become the best.
Another scenario whereby an employee can motivate another employee is where a particular employee has a record of being punctual to work and he’s being given a reward for coming to work on time. This can function
as an important motivator to all other employees because they would also want to obtain the same reward and praise like the other employee.
Since the manager works directly with the subordinates which he supervises, it is he’s duty to motivate his subordinates by communicating effectively with them.
As noted by Heathfield (2015) communication is the fundamental skill that every great manager should have or acquire.
It is very important for the manager to be a good communicator because through he’s words he would be able to motivate and inspire he’s subordinates to increase their productivity at work.
Every employee needs to be well communicated regarding matters of the organization and how to perform the job, by doing this it gives the employees the ability to make good decisions regarding the task at hand and enables them to become confident. Once the employees have adequate information about the job they would be committed to the work thereby promoting organizational success.
It is the duty of the manager to effectively communicate with he’s subordinates regarding matters of the organization. The manager would need to distribute information that are very vital. For example, if an organization is merging with another organization it is the responsibility of the manager to inform the other staff the current position of the company and how each staff would be affected by this merger.
Another example is when the company is shutting down it’s the responsibility of the manager to inform the staff that they would be made redundant so they can look for other job alternatives.
It is the job or responsibility of the Manager to empower he’s employees by giving them a reasonable amount of control over their work process. Empowerment arises when the employees are given the authority, autonomy, freedom and support to make certain decisions concerning their work and also when they are allowed to apply their knowledge and use the skill they have acquired in order to achieve success in the task they are executing.
Managers uses this as a motivational strategy to enhance the performance in the organization because it gives the employees a sense of control over their work and makes them to be confident and independent.
The manager is responsible for creating a motivating environment, by listening carefully to employees, complaints and dissatisfaction and keeping them informed about how their complaints are being resolved.
As reported by Heathfield (2015) it is very important for the manager to provide feedback regarding the status of the employees expressed concern about a particular problem.
‘One of the best ways to motivate employees and increase productivity is to keep personal contact with them’ (Martins 2015)

Motivation is like a waterfall that flows from top to bottom (conclusion)

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