Motivational Theories

Motivational Theories
Employees are our most important asset....
­ easy for corporate leaders to claim people are their most important asset
­ proof comes in backing such a statement with actions that support it
­ consideration of the human side of the workplace can become complex as intricacies of psychology the What is motivation? the forces within the individual that account for the level, direction and persistence of effort expended at work. Intrinsic Rewards: valued outcomes given to someone by another person.
Eg. Feeling of competency, personal development, self­
Extrinsic rewards: valued outcomes that occur naturally as a person works on a task.
Eg. pay, bonuses, promotions, time off, awards, praise
Three types of motivation theories:
I. Content theories: Help us to understand human needs and how people with different needs may respond to different work situations
II. Process theories: Describe how people give meaning to rewards and respond with various work­related behaviours
III. Reinforcement theory: focuses attention on how people’s behaviour is influenced by environmental consequences
I. Content Theories of Motivation
1) Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs 2) Two Factor Theory
The two factor theory of Frederick Herzberg was developed from a pattern in responses of almost 4000 people with regard to questions about their work.
When asked what ‘turns them on,’ they tended to identify things related to the job itself. Herzberg calls these “satisfier factors.”
For example: an insurance office employee whose job duties included answering phones and processing applications has now been asked to meet with clients as well. How would you interpret this increased responsibility?
­ Some may be motivated by the increased responsibility as it represents an advancement in their career
­ Others may be stretched thin as it is and view as only an increase in workload When asked what “turns them off,” they tended to identify things relating more to the work setting. Hertzberg calls these “hygiene factors.”
For example: You are bothered by your fellow employees smoking in the lunch room, so your office manager imposes a no­smoking policy
­ in order to alleviate the silence in the office, the manager turns on the radio in the background Since hygiene factors are associated with dissatisfaction, Herzberg argues that improving them will not increase job satisfaction, but instead, decrease job dissatisfaction.
In order to increase job satisfaction, Herzberg argues that managers need to focus on the satisfier factors. 3) Acquired Needs Theory
David McCelland’s approach identifies three needs that are central to motivation.
> Need for Achievement: the desire to do something better, to solve problems or to master complex tasks. Example: An accountant whose primary duty is to balance company statements A waitress who takes pride in knowing the entire menu to better serve customers.
The work preference for high need achievers include: ­ individual responsibility for results
­ achievable but challenging goals
­ feedback on performance
> Need for Power: The desire to control, influence or be responsible for other people.
Eg. Mr. Stuart is motivated to have a clear impact on other people and events. He prefers work that involves control over other persons, has an impact on people and events and brings public recognition and attention.
> Need for Affiliation: the desire to establish and maintain good relationships with others. People high in the need for affiliation seek companionship, social approval and satisfying interpersonal relationships.
What type of positions would be suitable for people with a high need for affiliation?
Which group would you fall into? Which theory do you feel most confident with?
Questions for summarizing the content theories of motivation:
­ how many different individual needs are there? ­ likely not a perfect list of individual needs at work
­ flexible combination of all theories
­ value needs differently at different times, at different ages, at different levels of career stages
Assignment: You are the manager of 12 part­time employees at the local SportMart. You are aware of the high level of turnover in student employment and want to solve the problem by motivating them to increase job satisfaction. How can you combine the powers of goal setting and positive reinforcement to create a highly motivational work environment for a group of workers with high needs for achievement? ­ individual responsibility for results;
could assign a couple of employees to be in charge of changing weekly displays, others to choose organization of weekly deals, others to be in charge of inventory control etc...
­ achievable but challenging goals
The manager can motivate employees to sell 2% more than the comparable sales for the same week in the previous year.
Employees could be encouraged to increase the sales of "upsell" items such as wristbands and socks.
As a reward, employees could be offered extra time off or preferred shifts. ­ feedback on performance
Managers could take time out to individually praise, encouragement and support to each employee on their performance.