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Factors that motivate or de-motivate employees

Question:

Discuss about the Organisational Psychology for Motivation and Abuse.

While working at a firm in my internship years, I came across a large number of positive and negative aspects which helped me to enrich my experience. These experiences would help me in my future endeavors and I will be able to take proper decisions about how to motivate myself as well as my fellow colleagues for better productivity. Motivation is one main driving factor that infuses zeal and enthusiasm in every working professional to not only meet organizational goals and objectives but also to develop oneself for better career progression and to be an expert professional (Olafsen et al., 2015). While working in the organization, there were many factors which motivated me to work more efficiently and be more dedicating to the company. At the same time, on many instances, I also developed feeling where I completely lacked motivation and felt that I am not eligible to carry out the assigned responsibilities. Researchers over the years have stated many theories which describe the factors which either motivate or de-motivate us. The assignment will highlight those theories in describing the rationale of my feelings of motivation and de-motivation and will thereby help me to prepare myself for overcoming any barriers that come my way in the future.

I joined the association as a member of the team which was mainly based on communicating globally with another overseas branch of the multinational organization and fix meetings, collect information and data from them and thereby help in calculating the overall productivity of the MNC. As I was new to the organization, I was quite nervous. Since, I had a very friendly manager, my work became much easier. He trusted me on my ability and continuously encouraged me to do better. He provided me many motivational quotes which I pasted in my cubicle which gave strength to me every time I feel down or tired. He never used to criticize me but in turn motivated me if I failed, telling me that failures are pillars of success. I became so motivated by him, that I often did extra hours at work along with overtime to help him meet the goals. However, the salaries that were paid to me did not accompany the incentives for my extra hours at work. Rather they used to deduct salary even due to minor excuses for which I was getting agitated. The company policies were strict and did not allow me any sick leaves which affected my salary. They deducted salary on my minor issues even if I was one minute late to enter office. This stringency was making me highly demotivated as they were totally overseeing the effort which I was giving at work. There was a strict formal environment where the organization did not allow talking to the fellow colleague on anything informal. As a result of lack of informal communication within colleagues, none were able to connect with each other and develop strong pressures. As a result the work burden became stressful. However, the ritual to have standing ovation for the best employee with highest productivity helped us to become motivated and try our best. One another factor of de-motivation was the long working hours and the short number of breaks. The breaks were really small and could not help the individual to refresh his mind. Overall several factors for motivation and de-motivation prevailed in the workplace and it was necessary for the organization to develop the organizational culture for motivating employees.

Personal experiences in an organization

A number of theories will now be analyzed sequentially in order to shed more light on the above mentioned factors and how they would enhance of reduce productivity at workplace –

The first motivational theory is called the Hertzberg’s Two Factor Theory. The first factor is the set of motivational factors which include those factors that result in developing satisfaction and also help the employees to work harder. These mainly include enjoying the work, feeling recognized and also career progression (Alshmemri et al., 2017). Here I noticed that as my manager was very helpful and recognized my hard work, I felt quite happy thinking the fact that my hard work got appreciated. Moreover, as I got my placement in the exact job role I wanted, I was quite contented. All these helped me to be highly motivated and made me dedicate more of my efficiency to the work. The second factor according to this theory is the Hygiene factors. The components of this factor if not attained properly by the managers or the employers to the employee, will lead to dissatisfaction and thereby loss of motivation (Hur, 2017). This mainly includes giving proper salaries and incentives, proper company policies, benefits and relationship with managers (Park & Ryoo, 2013). By using this theory, I understood that the company where I was placed, maintained very strict rules and did not provide extra benefits like bonus, incentives or others to the workers who did overtime or performed the job of another absentee. When the workers are not paid for their extra effort, it automatically leads to dissatisfaction and loss of motivation (Vanthournout et al., 2014). As a result of the strict rules and inability of the company to design a proper incentive plan, none of the workers along with me avoided doing overwork as we were demotivated for not getting rewards. One of the most important facts stated by the researcher is that both motivational factors and hygiene factors influence motivation but they can act entirely independent on one another (Ashkanasy, Bennett & Martinko, 2016).

The other theory which can be also used is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The author had stated that in order to make employees motivated they should be supplied with five different types of needs. The first component is the physiological needs which are to be attained by an individual to survive like food, water and shelter (Niemela & Kim, 2014). This was met by me as I had adequate access to proper food, water and shelter. The second part is the safety needs like personal as well as financial security and health and well being. The office was well built and proper safety measurement was conducted [preventing any activities that might lead to workplace injuries (Lester, 2013). However the salary was not paid on time and was often delayed. This sometimes used to create anxiety within the individuals. This often demotivated the employees as they used to feel that the company is not sincere with their employees. This affected the work output and hence affected productivity. The third component is the love or belonging component which states the necessity of friendships, relationships and family. In this case, it is seen that the company regulations discouraged talking among the colleagues and did not allow developing an informal work environment, friendship and relationship development could not be established (Cao et al., 2013). As result, I felt a lot of pressure sometimes as I had no one to share my views and feelings. This demotivated me as the work stress was affecting my health also. I would have shared my feeling among colleagues and as a result work stress could have been reduced due to proper feedback sharing and giving among the colleagues. The fourth component was esteem where an individual need to be confident and be respected by others (Jerome, 2013). In my office, the managers tried their best to encourage me and also provide me enough respect by allowing my views to be shared in the meetings. This motivated me to the highest degree as I felt that company is providing importance to my thinking procedure. The last component is the self actualization where an individual should desire to achieve anything and be successful.

Hertzberg’s Two Factor Theory

This was first described by the Henry A. Landsberger in 1950. In an experiment, he noticed that there arises a tendency of the workers to work harder when they are observed by researchers. He had conducted a series of social experiments where he had stated that changes in any physical conditions influences productivity. He changed a number of physical conditions like lighting, working hours and breaks (Sedgewirck & Greenwood, 2015)  This was seen to motivate the employees to work harder as they felt that attention is paid to them rather than the actual physical changes (McCambridge et al., 2014). This mainly means that the employer’s initiative to care for the employees make them motivated and not the real changes made for them. In my placement center, I rarely saw any initiative taken by the employer to care for the employees. I have always felt that everyone is just only aiming for higher production without caring for the wants and demands of the employees. A fellow colleague of me therefore said that she no more want to work for the company as she felt that there is a lack of reciprocation from the employee in providing honor to the hard work of the workers. A as result not only me, but also some of the colleagues felt de-motivated due to lack of reciprocation from the employees.

This theory is a bit complicated theory which proposes that people will develop their behaviour depending on the outcome they expect from the managers or the employer as the result of their behaviour (Purvis, Zagenczyk & McCray, 2015). This theory is indicative of the process by which an individual decide his behaviors after being influenced by how likely he perceives the rewards to be. Here the researchers have wanted to say that the workers would work harder if they are already promised to pay higher in comparison to those workers who assume to have a pay rise if they work harder (HemaMalini & Washington, 2014). This has three important elements - the first one is the expectancy. This is the belief that the effort provided by the employee will result in desired goal. This is mainly based on previous experiences and the level of difficulty for the individual to achieve the goal. The second element in instrumentality which is the belief where one will receive a reward if the expectations are met. The third element is valence which is the value one place on the reward (Lazaroiue, 2015). To be simple, this theory states that workers will be highly motivated if they believe that they will be receiving a desired reward for achieving the goal. They will be least motivated if they do not believe that their efforts will bring any results. In my placement arena, I noticed that as I already knew that the company does not provide any sort of incentives, therefore the zeal to do overtime was completely lost and I could not find myself feel motivated for doing overtime.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

I had analyzed every moments of my placements and had come up with several instances here I had either felt highly motivated or have felt low on motivation. The instances where I had been praised by my managers on my performance had motivated me to work harder beyond my limits. I had successfully developed a strong bond with my manager and his encouragement had motivated me a lot. However there had been also certain company regulations like strict maintenance of formal environment and discouragement in talking with colleagues made us feel burdened with work and we could not share our feelings. The lack of development of strong bond among colleague demotivated me as I felt strenuous and pressurized with work. Moreover failure to provide employees with incentives, bonus and other also demotivated me and I did not feel like doing overwork. All these instances had been backed up by famous motivational theories by which the disadvantage of motivation on productivity is noted. Therefore every organization should plan properly about how to motivate employees so that the organizational goals can be met properly. 

References:

Alshmemri, M., Shahwan-Akl, L., & Maude, P. (2017). Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory. Life Science Journal, Vol:14(5). doi:10.7537/marslsj140517.03

Ashkanasy, N. M., Bennett, R. J., & Martinko, M. J. (Eds.). (2016). Understanding the High Performance Workplace: The Line Between Motivation and Abuse. Routledge. Retrieved: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=Ashkanasy%2C+N.+M.%2C+Bennett%2C+R.+J.%2C+%26+Martinko%2C+M.+J.+%28Eds.%29.+%282016%29.+Understanding+the+High+Performance+Workplace%3A+The+Line+Between+Motivation+and+Abuse.+Routledge.&btnG=

Cao, H., Jiang, J., Oh, L.B., Li, H., Liao, X. and Chen, Z., 2013. A Maslow's hierarchy of needs analysis of social networking services continuance. Journal of Service Management, Vol 24(2), pp.170-190. https://doi.org/10.1108/09564231311323953

Gutsche, K., & Griffith, J. (2017, July). Automating Motivation: A Workplace Analysis of Service Technicians and the Motivational Impact of Automated Assistance. In International Conference on Serviceology (pp. 101-108). Springer, Cham. Retreieved: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-61240-9_10

Hur, Y. (2017). Testing Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of Motivation in the Public Sector: Is it Applicable to Public Managers?. Public Organization Review,  pp 1-15. Retrieved: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11115-017-0379-1

Jerome, N. (2013). Application of the Maslow’s hierarchy of need theory; impacts and implications on organizational culture, human resource and employee’s performance. International Journal of Business and Management Invention, Vol 2(3),  pp39-45. Retrieved: https://search.proquest.com/openview/0ad45c2b20980ed863ba4739f784211f/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=2032132

Lazaroiu, G. (2015). Work Motivation and Organizational Behavior. Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice, Vol  7(2), pp 66. https://doi.org/10.2466/02.20.PR0.113x16z1

Lester, D. (2013). Measuring Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Psychological Reports, Vol 113(1), pp 15-17. https://doi.org/10.2466/02.20.PR0.113x16z1

McCambridge, J., Witton, J., & Elbourne, D. R. (2014). Systematic review of the Hawthorne effect: new concepts are needed to study research participation effects. Journal of clinical epidemiology, Vol 67(3),  pp267-277. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2013.08.015

Niemela, P., & Kim, S. (2014). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research(pp. 3843-3846). Springer Netherlands.doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_1737

Olafsen, A. H., Halvari, H., Forest, J., & Deci, E. L. (2015). Show them the money? The role of pay, managerial need support, and justice in a self?determination theory model of intrinsic work motivation. Scandinavian journal of psychology, Vol  56(4), pp 447-457 DOI: 10.1111/sjop.12211

Park, S. C., & Ryoo, S. Y. (2013). An empirical investigation of end-users’ switching toward cloud computing: A two factor theory perspective. Computers in Human Behavior,  Vol 29(1), pp 160-170. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2012.07.032

Purvis, R. L., Zagenczyk, T. J., & McCray, G. E. (2015). What's in it for me? Using expectancy theory and climate to explain stakeholder participation, its direction and intensity. International Journal of Project Management, Vol  33(1), pp 3-14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijproman.2014.03.003

Sedgwick, P., & Greenwood, N. (2015). Understanding the Hawthorne effect. BMJ: British Medical Journal,  pp 351. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h4672

Vanthournout, G., Noyens, D., Gijbels, D., & Van den Bossche, P. (2014). The relationship between workplace climate, motivation and learning approaches for knowledge workers. Vocations and Learning, Vol  7(2), pp 191-214. Retreived: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12186-014-9112-1

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