Extreme Motivation Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:25:56
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Category: Motivation

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What do employees want and why do they want it? In todays business world, companies are employing a plethora of motivational techniques, in order to increase their profits. Human resources departments use a merit based motivational program, an approach that focuses on the esteem of the employee, or a combination of both. The merit based, pay-for-performance program, employed by Jack Welch, uses money to motivate high performance, whereas the other approach focuses more on helping an employee feel better about his or her self, which will lead to higher performance. Neither method is right nor wrong, it depends on the organization.

The organization needs to make sure it is meeting the needs of its employees. Maslows hierarchy of needs suggests people must satisfy five groups of needs in order-physiological, security, belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization. Concerning Maslows theory in terms of pay-for-performance, it can be analyzed under each of these five areas. The physiological need is the lowest in the hierarchy, and is generally the easiest to fulfill. This physiological level is the necessities and is usually entry level of pay, which is adequate to motivate a worker to pursue the desired position.

Once a person attains the physiological level, security is the next need in line. Security is having the feeling of job security. Pay raises and pension plans are money motivators, thus keeping the employee motivated in achieving company quotas and goals in the long term. Social processes describe belongingness needs in Maslows hierarchy. A company that provides an indirect monetary reward through a social gathering satisfies this need. A social gathering helps co-workers develop personal and business relationships with each other.

Esteem can be divided into two subcategories, self-respect and respect gained from peers. Monetary forms of company provided benefits such as larger offices, job titles and raises could suit this category. The most difficult level of the hierarchy to reach is self-actualization. According to Management with Exercises in Management, [¦] it can be argued these needs must be met entirely from within the individual (Griffin, 2008, p. 439). Even though self-actualization rests with the individual, a manager can promote an environment where one can realize his or her own potential.

With the pay-for-performance incentive plan, one can achieve self-actualization by reaching their goals and receiving a direct reward for the performance in the form of money. Money is not the only motivating factor, as displayed by a company named Seagate (Griffin, 2008, p. 463). With respect to Seagates motivational strategies, one must satisfy five groups of needs in order, physiological, security, belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization. The company decided their circumstance was dire enough for drastic measures. Seagate sent 200 managers to a weeklong adventure race in New Zealand.

Providing food, water, and air at the adventure retreat, fulfills the managers physiological needs. In the racing tasks, the employees learn how to depend and trust each other, thus gaining each others security and fulfilling the security need. Belongingness is an important aspect in a career. An individual spends more than forty hours a week with their work family. It is very important that one have a good rapport with their co-workers, in order to achieve self-actualization. In the adventure retreat, the ending task is the race itself.

For each leg of the adventure race, you must rely on your teammates and co-workers to complete the race together. The participation of all the employees fulfills the esteem area. Everyone is equal, honest, and encourages building the esteem of all participants. Self-actualization is the final level and most challenging to achieve. At the end of the retreat, participants leave with a new self-awareness and feel they were able to open up to their colleagues. This retreat gives everyone an important role on a team and creates dependence upon each other in order to complete tasks.

This team building experience gives individuals the potential for growth and creates an open environment. Every organization has different ideas concerning motivation; Jack Welch is more of a pay-for-performance man (Griffin, 2008, p. 463). When it comes to motivational theory, Jack Welsh, former CEO of General Electric, thinks that financial rewards are the most important. Jack Welch said it best, when he said, No company, large or small, can succeed over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it (Gallo, 2008).

Mr. Welch firmly believes money is the most important factor in motivating employees in reaching their goals. Two different motivational theories discussed in Management with Exercises in Management correlate the incentive process of the workplace (Griffin, 2008). The expectancy theory is the first theory that relates to Welchs money incentives. The expectancy theory depends on two things”how much we want something and how likely we think we are to get it (Griffin, 2008, p. 442). The expectancy theory states that if an incentive is there for an employee, the employee must also feel they have a chance to earn it.

For instance, if a company offers a monthly bonus of $1000. 00 to an employee to reach a certain goal, the employee must feel they have a chance to reach that goal as well. If the employee does not feel they can reach the goal, even though the bonus is monetary, they will not attempt to reach the goal. Jack Welch also utilizes the reinforcement theory in his approach. The reinforcement theory contends, when positive behaviors are rewarded, they are more likely to be repeated (Griffin, 2008, p. 448). Mr. Welch has a reputation of rewarding his employees with cold, hard cash.

By rewarding high performing employees with money, Welch demonstrates he rewards behavior benefitting the company. These monetary rewards are going to motivate the other employees to perform at a high level as well. Motivation seems to have pros and cons when it comes to an organization or firm. Seagate, a Silicon Valley firm, explains why retreats are motivating to workers. Seagates tactics are a combination of a human relations and a human resource approach to motivation. The human relations approach emphasizes the importance of social processes in the workplace.

Employees want to feel useful and important, have strong social needs, and these needs are more important than money when it comes to motivation (Griffin, 2008, p. 436). Managers give workers the feeling of importance by allowing them some power and control over their daily operations. For example, a manager will allow a team or an individual to provide input on a decision, although the manager already knew the result. This method satisfies basic social needs, therefore, results in higher motivation, which helps individuals reach self-actualization.

Another motivational approach one may use would be a human resource approach. The human resource approach takes the concepts of needs and motivation to another level. The human relationists believe the illusion of contribution and participation enhances motivation. The human resource view adds that the contributions themselves are valuable to both individuals and organizations (Griffin, 2008, p. 437). People are able and want to contribute. Management needs to make full use of the available human resources by promoting participation and team building.

Carla Cavanagh (2010) believes a human resources approach is a great way to train middle managers, and one could even argue it could extend to the rest of the employees. Cavanagh believes there should be a mutual trust between employees, they should be appreciated, conversed with, involved with decisions and their growth stimulated. When this much attention is shown to an employee, they become empowered and motivated to perform at a high level (Cavanagh, 2010). Seagates employees are motivated because, each year, selected managers participate in a weeklong retreat in New Zealand.

During the event, they learn important characteristics of a strong culture that endorses trust, accountability, and healthy competition. In addition, they work on skills for adventure racing. When they return to work, the managers apply what they learned to their division (Griffin 2008, pp. 463-464). This environment places individuals in a position that they must ask teammates for help in order to complete tasks. The ability to ask for help eliminates major roadblocks within a team or organization.

When an employee can ask for help, they open up to other employees. They begin to fill a social need and therefore, a level of trust. The employees also allow themselves to receive input from another team member or management. When members of teams or work groups give and accept ideas, they can collaborate and solve many issues. This in turn gives the employees a feeling of contribution and provides the organization with resolutions to problems. Everyday companies are looking for new ways to motivate their employees to perform at higher levels more efficiently.

There are so many different theories and approaches to motivation, which forces companies to research several different avenues before finally arriving with a solution. Jack Welch and his pay-for-performance method can work in one environment, but a human resource method may work best in a different environment. The success of a motivational strategy essentially depends on the organizations culture, and its leaders. As long as an organization can work off Maslows hierarchy as a template, they are on the right path to motivating employees, improving performance, and increasing profits.

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