Queries
CHR 629
The job of a manager in the workplace is to get things done through employees. To do this the manager should be able to motivate employees. But that's easier said than done! Motivation practice and theory are difficult subjects, touching on several disciplines.

In spite of enormous research, basic as well as applied, the subject of motivation is not clearly understood and more often than not poorly practiced. To understand motivation one must understand human nature itself. And there lies the problem!

Human nature can be very simple, yet very complex too. An understanding and appreciation of this is a prerequisite to effective employee motivation in the workplace and therefore effective management and leadership.

There is an old saying you can take a horse to the water but you cannot force it to drink; it will drink only if it's thirsty - so with people. They will do what they want to do or otherwise motivated to do. Whether it is to excel on the workshop floor or in the 'ivory tower' they must be motivated or driven to it, either by themselves or through external stimulus.

Are they born with the self-motivation or drive? Yes and no. If no, they can be motivated, for motivation is a skill which can and must be learnt. This is essential for any business to survive and succeed.

Performance is considered to be a function of ability and motivation, thus:

* Job performance =f(ability)(motivation)

Ability in turn depends on education, experience and training and its improvement is a slow and long process. On the other hand motivation can be improved quickly. There are many options and an uninitiated manager may not even know where to start. As a guideline, there are broadly seven strategies for motivation.

* Positive reinforcement / high expectations

* Effective discipline and punishment

* Treating people fairly

* Satisfying employees needs

* Setting work related goals

* Restructuring jobs

* Base rewards on job performance


These are the basic strategies, though the mix in the final 'recipe' will vary from workplace situation to situation. Essentially, there is a gap between an individuals actual state and some desired state and the manager tries to reduce this gap.

Motivation is, in effect, a means to reduce and manipulate this gap. It is inducing others in a specific way towards goals specifically stated by the motivator. Naturally, these goals as also the motivation system must conform to the corporate policy of the organization. The motivational system must be tailored to the situation and to the organization.

In one of the most elaborate studies on employee motivation, involving 31,000 men and 13,000 women, the Minneapolis Gas Company sought to determine what their potential employees desire most from a job. This study was carried out during a 20 year period from 1945 to 1965 and was quite revealing. The ratings for the various factors differed only slightly between men and women, but both groups considered security as the highest rated factor. The next three factors were;

* advancement

* type of work

* company - proud to work for


Surprisingly, factors such as pay, benefits and working conditions were given a low rating by both groups. So after all, and contrary to common belief, money is not the prime motivator. (Though this should not be regarded as a signal to reward employees poorly or unfairly.)
15th June 2004 From India, Gurgaon

PARTICIPATING IN DISCUSSION:
CHR
Founder Cite.co
Afolabi Ajayi
Hr/mktg Consultant
Rbhimjiani
Consultant
+1 Other

May I build upon what my

good e-friend Gautam just said?

He is 100% on-track when he talks

of building organisational parameters

Around people, rather than slotting them in.

The key question is - which people?

Building them around the work-force

Is necessary but just not sufficient.

Once you expand your heart, and

Your organisational boundaries too

To include people in a range of roles:

- Suppliers, Customers, Competitors

People get woven into a magic net

Of myriad relationships which

Bind people inextricably together

Support them in their hour of need

Pat them when they have done well

And kick them if they haven't

All in a very matter of fact manner

With no reference to role-relationships

Humdrum reality gets susupended

Creating an all new magical world

Where the magnificent spirit

of "Vasudeiv Kutambalam"

Blossoms in its truest form

Transforming people into karmayogis

And the organisation into a winning team

On the Kurukshetra where it stands

Poised to break the chains of the past

In its attempt to create a new world

Of peace, pleasure, plenty and piety

For this is its true meaning and destiny

Rahul Bhimjiani
18th June 2004 From India, New Delhi

Dear Colleagues,

I wish to add my voice to the issue of employee motivation in the workplace.

From the radical point of view-money does not motivate especsially a demotivated staff.

However I would just highlight some forward looking ideas and postulations:

* Get employees involved in decision making especsially when/where it affects them directly.

*Allow internal migration for employees who can crisscross departs-eg accounts-marketing

*Encourage Superior Level delegation of assignments eg staffers could be made to represent the establishment at a very high level - Govt Regulatory Forai, Industry Association etal

*Bring them into Committee for the purpose of blueprint preparation, brainstorming etal

*Deliberately engage employee on jobs they have flair for even if outside their core area.

*Company Management should try as much as possible to create an environment where employees can be expressive-intellectually, emotionally too.

*In addition to the aforementioned is the issue of geographical relocation to employees if it would motivate them-especsially the adventurous ones.

We can go on and on avoiding the issue of money as a much as possible, if you give more money to a demotivated employee you have only made another angry employee richer but not happen or motivated.

Cheers and bye bye for now.

Afolabi Ajayi
2nd September 2004 From Nigeria, Lagos

Employee motivation is essential to the success of any company big or small. In the modern workplace human resources are valued above all others. Motivated employees are productive, happy and committed. The spin off of this includes reduced employee turnover, results driven employees, company loyalty and work place harmony.
28th October 2010 From Vietnam, Bac Ninh

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