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Motivation In A Working Organization

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Since the beginning of time, leaders have risen to take charge of societies and make decisions. These decisions often meant the difference between having food and going hungry, having shelter or being homeless, and sometimes the difference between life and death. As society has progressed, we have seen great technological advances which have brought convenience to our lives. Despite having advancements, the basic needs for humans still remain the same. Business is the means by which people make the money to acquire their needs, and managers today are the leaders who rise to make decisions and ensure the survival of the business. A manager's ability to motivate workers to achieve the highest result determines the success of a business. All managers should understand the motivation theory so that they can ensure the success of their workplace. There are many techniques that can be applied to determine survival of a business.

Many of years ago before organizational behavior existed; people realized the importance of influencing workers to accomplish tasks. The oldest technique used to motivate others is known today as the Carrot and stick method. Early managers regularly offered economic "carrots" to entice people to work harder. This technique was passed on from generation to generation and was part of society for hundreds of years. This theory created a misconception that money always motivated a person to work harder. However, managers were beginning to realize that the methods of the past where not effective. Since then psychology has been looking for new ways to motivate people, and managers would begin looking for new methods of management (Mescon).

Performing an experiment in a Philadelphia textile mill, Mayo concluded that the reason for low productivity was that spinners had few opportunities to communicate with one another. Financial incentives failed to increase productivity. Mayo felt that the solution to this productivity problem was to change the atmosphere of the workplace. The introduction of two ten-minute breaks for the spinners produced immediate results. Morale improved and output increased tremendously (Mescon). The experiment confirmed Mayo's belief that it was important for managers to take into account the psychology and well being of the worker.

Psychologist do know exactly what motivates people to work but research of human behavior has allowed psychologist to explain motivation and developing models to aid managers in understanding how to get the most out of people. Primary needs are physiological in nature and generally inborn. Examples include the need for food, water, air and sleep. Secondary needs are socio-psychological in nature. Examples are the need for achievement, esteem, affection, power, and affiliation. Primary needs are genetically determined whereas secondary needs are usually learned through experience. Since individuals have different learned experiences, secondary needs vary among people to greater extent than primary needs (Mescon).

There were three famous psychologist who developed models to illustrate the needs of people; Maslow, Alderfer, and Herzberg. Maslow and Alderfer focus on the internal needs while Herzberg focuses more on differences in job context and content which could provide satisfaction. All three states that before a manager try to give a reward, it is very important to first figure out the needs of the employee. Needs can

not be directly observed or measured, rather, they are inferred from a persons behavior. By observing an individual needs there are usually reactions. When a need is felt, it induces a drive state in the individual. The individual drive is focused on a goal. After the individual attains the goal, the need is either satisfied, partially satisfied, or not satisfied. The degree of satisfaction obtained by attaining the goal affects the individual's behavior in related future situations. Generally, people will tend to repeat behavior they associate with satisfaction and avoid this associated with lack of satisfaction.

A reward is effective towards performance. A reward is anything an individual perceives as valuable. Rewards do not have to hold any monetary value. Since each person's perception is different, what will be considered a reward and its relative value will differ widely among individuals. For example, let's consider a suitcase full of money. Most people would consider this suitcase to be a highly valuable reward. An extremely wealthy person, however, might perceive a few weeks of vacation to be more valuable than the money. Rewarding is a form of reinforcement. You can have positive or negative reinforcement but to be an effective manager positive reinforcement is significant.

Goal-setting theory suggests that if goals are difficult and specific, tied to rewards, and voluntarily committed to by employees, they will increase motivation (Greenberg 112). The process of setting goals is one of the most important motivational forces available for managers. Performance can be enhanced through measures taken to clarify and establish work goals. Goal influence a person's beliefs

about being able to perform the task. Goals make the expected level of performance clear and help improve performance by measuring the progress of a task. Outstanding performance should be explicitly recognized and poor performance should also be identified and addressed with constructive criticism. To enhance motivation and job performance, goals must be specific and challenging. In a field study, a crew of loggers tended to load the trucks to only about sixty percent of their legal weight capacity. Then a specific goal was set, challenging them to load the trucks to ninety- four percent of their capacity before driving to the plant. The outcome was that the goal was reached in just a few weeks. Even more importantly, the loggers were found to sustain this level of performance as long as seven years later. The result was an estimated $450,000 saved in the first nine months alone. As is evidenced by the logging example, setting a specific goal is often a very effective and inexpensive way for managers to increase motivation and productivity.

Employees tend to work harder to reach higher goals, but only if they are within the limits of their capability. As goals become too overbearing, performance drops because employees reject the goals



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