Motivation is the inner drive that directs a person’s behavior toward goals. Motivation can be defined as a process which energizes, directs and sustains human behavior. In HRM the term refers to person’s desire to do the best possible job or to exert the maximum effort to perform assigned tasks. An important feature of motivation is that it is behavior directed towards goal.
Why is motivation important?
Motivation is important in getting and retaining people. Motivation tools act as the glue that links individuals to organizational goals, In addition, make individuals go beyond the job and be creative.
The Motivation Process
In its simplest form, the motivation process begins with a need; an individual’s perception of a deficiency .For instance, an employee might feel the need for more challenging work, for higher pay, for time off, or for the respect and admiration of colleagues. These needs lead to thought processes that guide an employee’s decision to satisfy them and to follow a particular course of action. If an employee’s chosen course of action results in the anticipated out come and reward, that person is likely to be motivated by the prospect of a similar reward to act the same way in the future. However, if the employee’s action does not result in the expected reward, he or she is unlikely to repeat the behavior. Thus, the reward acts as feedback mechanism to help the individual evaluate the consequences of the behavior when considering futures action.
Core Phases of the Motivational Process:
Need Identification: First phase of motivation process is need identification where the employee feels his/her some unsatisfied need. The motivation process begins with an unsatisfied need, which creates tension and drives an individual to search for goals that, if attained, will satisfy the need and reduce the tension.
Searching Ways to satisfy needs: Second phase is finding the different alternatives that can be used to satisfy the needs, which were felt in first stage. These needs lead to thought processes that guide an employee’s decision to satisfy them and to follow a particular course of action.
Selecting Goals: Once if the need is assessed and employee is able to find out the way to satisfy the need than next phase is selection of goals to be performed.
Employee Performance: These needs lead to thought processes that guide an employee’s decision to satisfy them and to follow a particular course of action in form of performance.
Consequences of performance Reward/punishments: If an employee’s chosen course of action results in the anticipated out come and reward, that person is likely to be motivated by the prospect of a similar reward to act the same way in the future. However, if the employee’s action does not result in
the expected reward, he or she is unlikely to repeat the behavior
Reassessment of Need deficiencies: Once felt need is satisfied through certain rewards in response to performance than employee reassesses any deficiencies and entire process is repeated again.
Motivation theories seek to explain why employees are motivated by and satisfied with one type of work than another. It is essential that mangers have a basic understanding of work motivation because highly motivated employees are more likely to produce a superior quality product or service than employee who lack motivation
Maslow’s Need Hierarchy
Abraham Maslow organized five major types of human needs into a hierarchy, as shown in Figure. The need hierarchy illustrates Maslow’s conception of people satisfying their needs in a specified order, from bottom to top. The needs, in ascending order, are:
1. Physiological (food, water,and shelter.)
2. Safety or security (protection against threat and deprivation)
3. Social (friendship, affection, belonging, and love)
4. Ego (independence, achievement, freedom, status, recognition, and self-
5. Self-actualization (realizing one’s full potential; becoming everything one is
capable of being.)
According to Maslow, people are motivated to satisfy the lower needs before they try to satisfy the higher need. Also, once a need is satisfied it is no longer a powerful motivator. Maslow’s hierarchy, however, is a simplistic and not altogether accurate theory of human motivation. For example, not everyone progresses through the five needs in hierarchical order. But Maslow makes three important contributions. First, he identifies important need categories, which can help managers create effective positive rein forcers. Second, it is helpful to think of two general levels of needs, in which lower-level needs must be satisfied before
higher-level needs become important. Third, Maslow sensitized managers to the importance of personal growth and self-actualization. Self-actualization is the best-known concept arising from this theory. According to Maslow, the average person is only 10 percent self-actualized. In other words, most of us are living our lives and working at our lives and working at our jobs with a large untapped reservoir of potential. The implication is clear: Create a work environment that provides training, resources, gives people a chance to use their skills and abilities in creative ways and allows them to use their skills and abilities kin creative ways and allows them to achieve more of their full potential.
Existence Relatedness Growth (ERG) Theory
Alderfer focuses on three needs: existence, relatedness, and growth. Existence needs are similar to Maslow’s physiological needs, and to the physical components of Maslow’s security needs. Relatedness needs are those that require interpersonal interaction to satisfy the needs for things like prestige and esteem
from others. Growth needs are similar to Maslow’s needs for self-esteem and self-actualization.
McGregor’s Theory-X and Theory-Y
McGregor’s Theory-X represented the traditional management view that employees are lazy, was uninterested in work, and needed to be prodded to perform. In contrast his theory Y viewed employees as creative, complex, and mature individuals interested in meaningful work. McGregor believed that under the right circumstances, employees would willingly contribute their ingenuity and their talents for the benefits of the organization. He suggested that the mangers motivate em-0loyees by giving them the opportunity to develop their talents more fully and by giving them the freedom to choose the methods they would use to achieve organizational goals. In McGregor’s view the mangers role was not to manipulate employees but to align their needs with needs of the organization so that employees would regulate their own actions and performance. These insights lead researches to investigate the origins and processes of motivation more
Expectancy theory states that a person’s motivation to exert a certain level of effort is a function of three things: expectancy (E), instrumentality (I), and valance (V). Motivation = E x I x V. “E” is the person’s expectancy that his or her effort will lead to performance, “I” represents the perceived relationship between
successful performance and obtaining the reward, and “V” refers to the perceived value the person attaches to the reward.
In 1911, psychologist Edward Thorndike formulated the law effect: Behavior that is followed by positive consequences probably will be repeated. This powerful law of behavior laid the foundation for country investigations into the effects of the positive consequences, called rein forcers that motivate behavior. Organizational behavior modification attempts to people’s actions. Four key consequences of behavior either encourage or discourage people’s behavior
Positive Reinforcement– applying a valued consequence that increases the likelihood that the person will repeat the behavior that led to it. Examples of positive reinforcers include compliments, letters of commendation, favorable performance evaluations, and pay raises. Equally important, jobs can be positively reinforcing. Performing well on interesting, challenging, or enriched jobs (discussed later in this chapter) is much more reinforcing, and therefore motivating, then performing well on jobs that are routine and monotonous.
Negative Reinforcement– removing or withholding an undesirable consequence. For example, a manager takes an employee (or a school takes a student) off probation because of improved performance. Frequent threatening memos admonished people to achieve every one of their many performance goals
3. Punishment– administering an aversive consequence. Examples include criticizing or shouting at an employee, assigning an unappealing task, and sending a worker home without pay. Negative reinforcement can involve the threat of punishment, but not delivering it when employees perform satisfactorily. Punishment is the actual delivery of the aversive consequence.
Extinction –withdrawing or failing or failing to provide a reinforcing consequence. When this occurs motivation is reduced and the behavior is extinguished, or eliminated. Examples include not giving a compliment for a job well done, forgetting to say thanks for a favor, or setting impossible performance goals so that the person never experiences success. The first two consequences, positive and negative reinforcement, are positive for the person receiving them:
The person either gains something or avoids something negative. Therefore, the person who experiences these consequences will be motivated to behave in the ways that led to the reinforcement. The last two consequences, punishment and extinction, are negative outcomes for the person receiving them: Motivation to repeat the behavior that led to the undesirable results will be reduced.
Thus, effective managers give positive reinforcement to their high-performing people and negative reinforcement to low performance. They also punish or extinguish poor performance and other unwanted behavior.
Herzberg’s Two-Factor Approach
Herzberg Two-Factor theory divides Maslow’s Hierarchy into a lower-level and a higher-level set of needs, and suggests that the best way to provide motivation for an employee is to offer to satisfy the person’s higher-order needs, ego and self-actualization. Herzberg said that lower-order needs, or hygiene factors, are different from higher-order needs, or motivators. He maintains that adding more hygiene factors to the job is a very bad way to motivate because lower-order needs are quickly satisfied.
McClelland (Needs for Affiliation, Power, and Achievement) Theory
McClelland agrees with Herzberg that higher-level needs are most important at work. He believes the needs for affiliation, power, and achievement are most important. He and his associates use the Thematic Apperception Test to identify a person’s needs for achievement, power, and affiliation. People with a high
need for achievement strive for success, are highly motivated to accomplish a challenging task or goal, prefer tasks that have a reasonable chance for success, and avoid tasks that are either too easy or too difficult. People with a high need for power enjoy roles requiring persuasion. People with a strong need for affiliations are highly motivated to maintain strong, warm relationships.
Adam’s Equity Theory
Adams’s equity theory assumes that people have a need for fairness at work, and therefore, value and seek it. People are motivated to maintain a balance between what they perceive as their inputs or contributions and their rewards as compared to others. This theory seems to work when people feel they are underpaid, but inequity due to overpayment does not seem to have the positive effects on either quantity or quality that Adams’s equity theory would predict.
Methods for Motivating Employees for Employee Satisfaction
Rewards: People behave in ways that they believe are in their best interest, they constantly look for payoffs for their efforts. They expect good job performance to lead to organizational goal attainment, which in turn leads to satisfying their individual goals or needs. Organization, then, use rewards to motivate people.
Challenging Jobs: Job design refers to the number and nature of activities in a
job. The key issue is whether jobs should be more specialized or more enriched and non-routine. Job design has been implemented in several ways. Job
enlargement assigns workers to additional same-level tasks to increase the number of tasks they have to perform. Job rotation systematically moves workers from job to job. Job enrichment means building motivators like opportunities for achievement into the job by making it more interesting and challenging. Forming natural work groups, combining tasks, establishing client relationships, vertically loading the job, and having open feedback channels may implement Job enrichment.
Using Merit Pay: A merit raise is a salary increase, usually permanent, that is based on the employee’s individual performance. It is a continuing increment rather than a single payment like a bonus. Relying heavily on merit rewards can be a problem because the reinforcement benefits of merit pay is usually only determined once per year.
Using Spot Awards: A spot award is one given to an employee as soon as the laudable performance is observed. These awards are consistent with principles of motivation because they are contingent on good performance and are awarded immediately.
Using Skill-Based Pay: With skill-based pay, employees are paid for the range, depth, and types of skills and knowledge they are capable of using rather than for the job they currently hold. Skillbased pay is consistent with motivation theory because people have a self-concept in which they seek to fulfill their potential. The system also appeals to the employee’s sense of self-efficacy because the reward is a formal and concrete recognition that the person can do the more
challenging job well.
Using Recognition: Some employees highly value day-to-day recognition from their supervisors, peers and team members because it is important for their work to be appreciated by others. Recognition helps satisfy the need people have to achieve and be recognized for their achievement.
Using Job Redesign: Job design refers to the number and nature of activities in a job. The key issue is whether jobs should be more specialized or more enriched and nonroutine. Job design has been implemented in several ways. Job enlargement assigns workers to additional same-level tasks to increase the number of tasks they have to perform. Job rotation systematically moves workers
from job to job. Job enrichment means building motivators like opportunities for achievement into the job by making it more interesting and challenging. Job enrichment may be implemented by forming natural work groups, combining tasks, establishing client relationships, vertically loading the job, and having open feedback channels.
Using Empowerment: Empowerment means giving employees the authority, tools, and information they need to do their jobs with greater autonomy, as well as the self-confidence to perform new jobs effectively. Empowerment boosts employees’ feelings of self-efficacy and enables them to use their potential more fully.
Using Goal-Setting Methods: People are strongly motivated to achieve goals they consciously set. Setting goals with employees can be a very effective way of motivating them. Goals should be clear and specific, measurable and verifiable, challenging but realistic, and set with participation.
Using Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement programs rely on operant conditioning principles to supply positive reinforcement and change behavior. Experts claim it is better to focus on improving desirable behaviors rather than on decreasing undesirable ones. There are a variety of consequences including social consequences (e.g., peer approval or praise from the boss),
intrinsic consequences (e.g., the enjoyment the person gets from accomplishing challenging tasks), or tangible consequences (e.g., bonuses or merit raises).
Using Lifelong Learning: Lifelong learning can be used to deal with problems of downsizing and employee commitment, and to counterbalance their negative effects. It provides extensive continuing training and education, from basic remedial skills to advanced decision-making techniques, throughout the employees’ careers, which provide employees the opportunity to boost
their self-efficacy and self- actualization.
Challenges of motivating employees:
Motivation is not a simple subject; no two people respond to precisely the same set of motivators. Mangers face several pressing issues that complicate the challenges of motivating their employees.
Workforce Diversity: the composition of the workforce becoming less homogeneous. This diversity complicates the task of motivating employees because mangers must consider so many more motivational variables
Organizational Restructuring: The wave of mergers and acquisitions is followed by massive layoffs that represent another challenge. Employees who have been let go for reason unrelated to their performance may question whether initiative and creativity are now less important than political survival skills. Moreover, employees who have seen colleagues’ loss their jobs may concentrate on keeping their own jobs and may stop taking risks –risk that might lead to new products, new markets, or other advances.
Fewer Entry-level Employees: The labor force is growing at half the rate of the previous decade; the number of qualified candidates for most entry-level positions is decreasing. In such a tight labor market, mangers face new challenges in attracting; retaining and motivating qualified entry-level employees. Managers must also determine how to motivate under qualified candidates to upgrade their skills and education so that they can handle the entry-level tasks.
An oversupply of managers: In the middle and top ranks of management, quite different phenomenon is causing organizational headaches. The number of senior management positions is far fewer than the number of deserving candidates, and the trend toward flatter organizations only makes matters worse for people who want to climb the hierarchal ladder. As managers in organizations come to grips with these increasingly urgent challenges, they must understate the forces that derive employees’ actions, how employees channel their actions towards goals, and how high performance behavior can be sustained.