Motivational Psychology in Organizations

Introduction

The recent years has seen an increase in competition among companies and organization. This has led to the need for businesses to ensure their performances to be able to survive the market. As such, there has also been the need for them to enhance motivation among their employees to be able to achieve the same. Motivation is a feature that stimulates individuals to act in a manner that that will lead to the accomplishment of a particular task. Highly motivated employees enable a company or organization to achieve its goals and objectives in an effective manner. On the other hand de-motivated employees lead to low performances in an organization or even its collapse. Motivating people can be a difficult task especially if the management fails to understand how to do it.

Motivational Psychology

It is common knowledge that people differ in a number of ways, for example, people’s ideas, attitudes, strengths, values, and beliefs. With this being the case, there is no way an organization can be able to motivate its people using one strategy. It is essential for the management to come with different motivation strategies to ensure motivation among its people. There are also different reasons to why people are motivated or de-motivated by certain things (Latham, 2007).

This enables them to handle its people in an effective manner, for instance, it will be able to develop strong strategies to deal with low levels of motivation among employees considering the fact that it will know exactly the reasons to why this is the case. It is also imperative for the management to focus more on the employees’ strengths as opposed to their weakness. This strategy enables organizational leaders to develop positive working environments hence high motivation. Basically, concentrating on employees’ weakness leads to the employee feeling incompetent and as a result may lack the confidence to engage in the right behaviors integral to the success of the company or organization in question (Beck, 2004).

Organizations normally come up with goals and objectives that determine where they intend to be in the future. Employees in every organization must ensure the goals and objectives are implemented within the stipulated time. There are many times when they are able to achieve this as the survival of the organization in question normally depends on it. One way to ensure employees maintain the same satisfaction in the future is acknowledging their efforts.

It is essential for employees to notice appreciation of their efforts. It is not a must for the management to reward such efforts as the company may lack the ability to do so. However, just recognizing it goes a long way in enhancing satisfaction. People feel appreciated hence will be willing to do all it takes to ensure the company thrives on the market. This also leads to development of trust between the management and employees considering the fact those employees will not develop the feeling that the management is taking credit for their efforts.

Many researchers have developed meaningful approaches, which assist in making employees pleased with their work. O’Neil (2012) indicates that satisfaction is a very important aspect of employee productivity and job satisfaction; the managers in any organization should understand that there are two types of satisfactions. The negative form of satisfaction is when workers do what they are supposed to due to fear of punishment or being laid off. The positive form of worker satisfaction is that which causes employees to perform their tasks enthusiastically because they love their jobs and they derive great satisfaction from performing their tasks effectively.

Chandler and Scott (2008) reveal that there are many ways of motivating employees in any organization. One of the first important steps is for the managers to realize that if there is any problem with the productivity or enthusiasm of their workers, more often than not the problem is with the management. Managers ought to realize that they cannot ‘control’ their workers. What they can do is to come up with effective agreements, which create a compromise in their ability to satisfy the goals of both the employee and the organization.

In addition to this, the managers ought to equip their employees with the virtues of self-discipline and stop their criticism of upper management organs. When managers, through their words or actions imply that their organizational administrators cannot be trusted or that the team leaders are just ‘toothless bulldogs’ it becomes almost impossible to raise the enthusiasm of workers and their job satisfaction.

Herzberg (2003) claims that wages and other monetary benefits play a great role in making people develop enthusiasm for their jobs; this is in addition to the existence of a good relationship with one’s superiors. One of the most important factors that have adverse effects on employees’ job satisfaction and levels of satisfaction is being on bad terms with their immediate supervisors or managers.

Communication and Motivation

Communication can also enable the management in organizations to ensure high levels of motivation among employees. On the other hand, motivation can also contribute to good communication practices. This is because managers are forced to communicate effectively to enhance motivation. For one, it is essential for the management to develop listening skills. One of the reasons to why employees may be de-motivated to act in a particular manner in the problems they face while dealing with their duties.

Most of them raise such issues to the management, which must respond in kind by dealing with them. This cannot be achieved if leaders do not develop listening skills. Listening skills enable leaders to get everything an employee forwards hence their ability to avoid missing any small detail (Morreale, Spitzberg & Barge, 2007). As such, employee issues are solved in an effective way, which contributes to high levels of motivation.

Ultimately, it is important for the management to be very clear on what the company or organization intends to achieve. Essentially, employees need to understand exactly what they are trying to achieve. Ambiguous objectives and goals also contribute to low levels of motivation. This is because employees will be unsure of what is expected of them hence may not be able to accomplish the tasks in the desired manner (Morreale, Spitzberg & Barge, 2007).

Equally, unclear objectives lead to confusion and frustration among members of the organization. In the end, they may be unwilling to behave in a manner that will lead to high performances. This shows that the managers’ desire to motivate employees leads to them communicating in a clear and concise manner.

Employee motivation also demands of leaders or managers to relate with employees in a friendly manner. They must also handle employees in a professional manner. One thing managers ought to understand is that without employees an organization cannot be able to function. Additionally, the days when leaders acted in unfriendly manner to instill fear among employees are long gone. Employees need to be free to share their ideas and opinions with the management without fear of any form of intimidation.

They must also develop the feeling that the management respects them. This is very essential as it also contributes to development of trust between the management and its people. Correspondingly, employees also develop emotional attachment to the organization hence their will to act in ways that will enable the company in question compete effectively on its market (Davidson, 2011). This is also a clear indication that a company’s quest to motivate its employees lead to the management communicating with the employees in a friendly manner.

Similarly, managers ought to encourage communication among people working in teams or groups. De-motivation can easily occur because of lack of communication as a problem can arise and people find it hard to solve it simply because they are not communicating. Communication among team members also lead to team cohesion hence team members’ willingness to work with one another (Davidson, 2011). It also enables them to handle any dispute before it gets out of hand. This also means that motivational strategies lead to constant communication among people in an organization or company.

Employee satisfaction also demands of leaders or managers to relate with employees in a friendly manner. They must also handle employees in a professional manner. One thing managers ought to understand is that without employees an organization cannot be able to function. Additionally, the days when leaders acted in unfriendly manner to instill fear among employees are long gone. Employees need to be free to share their ideas and opinions with the management without fear of any form of intimidation (O’Neill, 2012).

They must also develop the feeling that the management respects them. This is very essential as it also contributes to development of trust between the management and its people. Correspondingly, employees also develop emotional attachment to the organization hence their will to act in ways that will enable the company in question compete effectively on its market (McNamara, 2011). This is also a clear indication that a company’s quest to motivate its employees lead to the management communicating with the employees in a friendly manner.

Similarly, managers ought to encourage communication among people working in teams or groups. Dissatisfaction can easily occur because of lack of communication as a problem can arise and people find it hard to solve it simply because they are not communicating (McNamara, 2011). Communication among team members also lead to team cohesion hence team members’ willingness to work with one another. It also enables them to handle any dispute before it gets out of hand. This also means that job satisfaction strategies lead to constant communication among people in an organization or company.

Motivation Methods

People are either motivated intrinsically or extrinsically. Intrinsic motivation occurs when an individual is motivated to act in a certain manner without the introduction of external factors such as money. This type of motivation exists within people. For example, there are people who may be motivated to execute a particular task simply because they enjoy doing the same as opposed to relying on external rewards. On the contrary, extrinsic motivation occurs when an individual is motivated to engage in a certain behaviors as result of the rewards or outcome that come with it. It exists from outside the individual (Beck, 2004).

Extrinsic motivators include, among others, threat of punishment, promotion, and rewards. Individuals that are motivated intrinsically are preferred over those motivated by external factors. Intrinsic motivation also leads to more engagement among employees as compared to extrinsic motivation. It is also essential for the management in organization to ascertain on whether its employees are motivated extrinsically or intrinsically to be able to come up with well informed decision on how to enhance motivation. It is also important for managers to ensure a balance between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation if they are to achieve the best results.

Ways to Reward and Motivate Employees

Microsoft (2012) elucidates the concept of employee satisfaction as well as its importance in the work environment; satisfaction of the workers by the management is supportive of the employees and their job satisfaction because it emphasizes their achievements and encourages them to be more productive in the future. The first way to reward and motivate employees as indicated by Microsoft is to formulate a plan of action to be utilized in the rewarding of top performers. This requires that there be effective communication between the managers and the workers on the systems of reward.

The second step in motivating and rewarding employees is for the managers to be innovative in their determination of the kinds of rewards to give tip performers; examples include the giving of bonuses or sharing the proceeds accrued by the organization. Microsoft reveals that in the rewarding and motivating of workers it is also very important for the managers to engage themselves in personally acknowledging the efforts of the employees; this personal touch motivates the workers more than a simple presentation of a paycheck by immediate superiors would.

The fourth way to motivate workers as elucidated by Microsoft is to determine the extent of the reward structures in the organization; despite the fact that it is commendable to award teams, it is more important for the managers to recognize and reward exemplary individual efforts.

“SMARTER” Goals

Carter (2011) discusses the idea of satisfaction elements, which determines the level to which the employees will be satisfied or dissatisfied with their jobs. Carter, in the depiction of these elements utilizes the acronym ‘SMARTER’ which stands for Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic, timely, extending of Capabilities and Rewarding the members involved in successful completion of organizational tasks. Before any organizational manage can motivate their employees, they must first of all make sure that they are motivated themselves; this is due to the fact that employees look up to their organizational managers to be role models. In the event that the managers are enthusiastic about their work, the workers also attain the same enthusiasm.

In addition to this, Carter (2011) reveals that for the workers to remain enthusiastic in the performance of their organizational tasks and to be satisfied with their jobs there is a need for the organizational managers and administrators to align the organizational intents with the employees’ set objectives. When the organizational goals are aligned to those of the employees, the employees tend to find their jobs more fulfilling and interesting.

The managers should therefore endeavor to include their workers in the process of formulating strategic organizational goals. In addition to this, the organizational managers ought to understand the factors that motivate their different workers; this is because workers in any organization are unique and the managers have to dedicate their time into observing, asking, listening and interrogating their workers to understand each one of them.

Lastly, Carter asserts that the managers in any commercial organization should understand that the activity of motivating workers and increasing their job satisfaction and morale to work is not a one-time job in itself but a process that that takes time, dedication and effort in order to attain the desired outcomes. Sometimes it may be necessary to transform the organizational culture as well as the business atmosphere in an organization to increase the workers’ enthusiasm to work.

Wage Comparisons with Similar and Dissimilar Others

Sweeney and McFarlih (2005) reveal that competitive wages is another reason which leads to employee satisfaction. Generally, when employees compare themselves to other employees who are getting higher salaries, they have a propensity to think that they are being treated unfairly. Consequently, the extent to which workers are satisfied with their pay greatly determines the organization’s rates of turnover and absenteeism.

Workers in any organization tend to compare themselves socially with people they perceive as being at the same level with themselves. The social comparison theory therefore indicates that employees’ perception of organizational justice will be based on the manner in which they are treated, and remunerated in comparison to significant similar others. Sweeney and McFarlih (2005) further state that when employees perceive differences in the remuneration given to co-workers with a similar level of experience or educational credentials, they tend to be overly dissatisfied with their jobs.

It is common knowledge that people differ in a number of ways, for example, people’s ideas, attitudes, strengths, values, and beliefs. With this being the case, there is no way an organization can be able to motivate its people using one strategy. It is essential for the management to come with different satisfaction strategies to ensure satisfaction among its people. There are also different reasons to why people are motivated or de-motivated by certain things (Albrecht, 2010).

This enables them to handle its people in an effective manner, for instance, it will be able to develop strong strategies to deal with low levels of satisfaction among employees considering the fact that it will know exactly the reasons to why this is the case. It is also imperative for the management to focus more on the employees’ strengths as opposed to their weakness. This strategy enables organizational leaders to develop positive working environments hence high satisfaction. Concentrating on employees’ weakness leads to the employee feeling incompetent and as a result may lack the confidence to engage in the right behaviors integral to the success of the company or organization in question.

Significance of Motivation In Workplace

Motivation results in stability of workforce, which is very critical from the viewpoint of reputation and public image. The staff can stay loyal only when they feel part and parcel of the organization, fulfill the sense of participation and feel they are appreciated and needed. The longer an employee stays in an enterprise, the more experienced and skilled he gets. The efficiency and skills of workforce can be employed in its advantage as well as in the advantage of the employers. Motivation is crucial for a business organization for the following reasons.

Motivation raises employee efficiency and puts human resources into action. Every concern needs human and financial resources to meet the goals. Having workers only bodily does not imply the organization is able to make full use of these physical resources. The employer needs the employees’ willingness to be actually there. Given that the efficiency level of an employee is not inflexibly associated with his abilities, but also on an ideal balance between employee’s willingness and ability (Marques, Dhiman & King, 2008). This suggests that to obtain best results, there is a need to balance the two as such a balance will result in increased productivity, enhancement in efficiency and reduced operational costs and is achievable only through employee motivation.

Motivation in workplace results in accomplishment of organizational goals. Any business venture has its own goals, which may be met only when there is a cooperative work environment, when all workers are guided by their objectives and resource management is a proper one. Such enterprise goals can be met if coordination and cooperation are accomplished once via motivation.

Motivation is equally important in building friendly relationships. In fact, it is one of the leading factors that bring employees satisfaction. Provided the employees’ needs are met via attractive incentives and rewards such as promotion of efficient employees and rewarding productive with monetary incentives, employees will get more interested in their organization. This helps develop cordial relations and build a friendly atmosphere in an organization.

In addition to that, motivated employees are often ready to embrace and adjust to change that organizations initiate. Change is inevitable and organizations have to integrate different essentials changes to remain relevant. With the assistance of competent motivated work force, those changes can be taken in, initiated and executed without pessimistic attitudes (Levesque, 2009).

Conclusion

Motivation leads to people acting in a manner that contributes to the accomplishment of a particular task. Motivating people can be difficult especially when leaders do not understand the logistics involved in the process. People are either motivated intrinsically or extrinsically. It is essential for the management to balance between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Effective communication can also be used to motivate people. Organizations’ quest to motivate people enhances their communication skills.

References

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Beck, R. C. (2004). Motivation: Theories and Principles. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Chandler, S. & Scott, R. (2008). One Hundred ways to motivate others: How great Leaders can Produce Insane Results without Driving Others Crazy. Web.

Davidson, J. P. ( 2011). 60 Second Solutions: Motivation. Cincinnati, OH: David and Charles.

Herzberg, F. (2003). How Do You Motivate Your Staff? Web.

Latham, G. P. (2007). Work Motivation: History, Theory, Research, and Practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Levesque, P. (2008). Motivation: powerful motivators that will turbo-charge your workforce. Irvine, Calif., Entrepreneur Press.

Marques J., Dhiman S. & King, R. (2009). The workplace and spirituality: new perspectives on research and practice. Woodstock, Vt, SkyLight Paths Pub.

McNamara, C. (2011). Basics about Employee Satisfaction (Including Steps You Can Take). Free Management Library. Web.

Microsoft Business Hub. (2012). 4 Ways to Reward Motivate Employees. Web.

Morreale, S. P., Spitzberg, B. H., & Barge, J. K. (2007). Human Communication: Motivation, Knowledge And Skills. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.

O’Neill, T. (2012). Developing your Career Path. Occupational Health, 64 (9): 20-22. Web.

Sweeney, P. D. & McFarlin, D. B. (2005). Wage Comparisons with Similar and Dissimilar Others. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 78:113-131.