Improving Motivation of the Staff in the Workplace
Christina Nguyen (First M. Last)
School or Institution Name (University at Place or Town, State)
Motivation is the reason or driving force behind an individual's actions. The motivation of employees is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of a manager. It is vital to increase efficiency in the work done, to achieve a high level of productivity, and to satisfy the ever-changing needs and demands of customers. In addition, it is the crucial factor to survive in the competitive environment. Management of an organization motivates employees to do their best and make the most of the scarce resources in many ways such as by awarding employees for their positive and favourable actions and punishing on the negative or unacceptable ones. Motivation is a great tool employed by the management to catalyze the avidness or organisational members so that they can work and perform without taking any pressure. Various motivational theories have developed by the researchers and management gurus to motivate employees at the workplace. These theories serve as the basis of employee motivation by the managers.
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation
Motivation is generally classified into two forms, intrinsic motivation, and extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation, when an employee or an individual is willing to perform an action either to earn a reward or to stay away from punishment. This type of motivation is based on the fact that there is no enjoyment in the task being performed but for the purpose of a reward or to avoid any unpleasant event. On the other hand, intrinsic motivation is based on the personal enjoyment and satisfaction gained from performing a task. That behaviour is considered itself as a reward. The intrinsic motivation is linked with the inner self while the extrinsic motivation is linked with the external factors.
Intrinsic motivation is considered as more rewarding and best for the long-term consequences. Studies also indicate that the intrinsic motivation must be focused more; it has more impact as compared to the external factors. For instance, if an employee is performing well because it gives inner satisfaction, he/she will continue to obtain more satisfaction by performing well. On the other hand, employees performing well to achieve rewards will not continue to perform well in the absence of those rewards. Things that charge from within works best for many people and their surroundings, however, these factors are individualised and they are not universal.
Improving Motivation of the Staff
To improve motivation in the staff, managers need to understand the differences among the people and the difference in their needs and hence based on that, they must be able to use the right mix of motivational theories. Analogous motivation methods can result in the resentment and frustration of employees having different needs and wants. Taking into consideration the fact that employees come from a diverse background and culture, management can apply knowledge to make use of right, and most appropriate motivational theories to enhance workplace motivation. The motivation of employees depends on different individuals, job levels, and organisational levels.
There is no universal motivator for humankind or a single motivating force for each individual. The issue managers' face is to identify what mixture of needs of what type of people and in what society. Money is considered as a predominant motivator when it comes to satisfying both the lower level needs and status achievement. One of the most common methods to motivate employees is to offer them rewards and punish them for inappropriate behaviours. Employee performance is often the best tool to identify the motivated and demotivated employees and it is also used to increase the performance. It is motivation, which stimulates the workforce to perform some tasks and provoke others to behave either positively or negatively. When it comes to determining the factors to motivate employees, few motivational theories are very helpful for the managers.
Theories of Motivation
Motivational theories are generally divided into two types; one of them deals with the scientific aspects and are known as process theories, while those, which display the inner drive of employees that motivates them to perform, are the content theories. When it comes to employee motivation, the significance of Maslow’s theory cannot be denied (Sadri, & Bowen, 2011). Abraham Maslow presented his theory of the hierarchy of needs. These include physiological needs, safety needs, the need of love and belonging, esteem needs, and need of self-actualisation. According to Maslow, when a person satisfies a lower level need, the higher level needs become his/her priority until satisfied. The urge to satisfy these needs stimulated the person towards best performance. Maslow theory received a lot of attention as a motivational theory, though it also faced criticism that every person has unique needs and the idea that satisfaction of a lower level need results in making the higher one a motivator does not hold true in all the cases. For a workplace, which is open 24/7, its employees can be motivated using the Maslow theory, it is essential to identify if the lower level employees needs are satisfied. Such as allowing employees to have some time for chit chat, have some food together can fulfil the belonging needs of employees. Considering employees in decision making about the restaurant items and obtaining their opinions regarding the improvement of service can satisfy the esteem needs of employees.
Herzberg ‘s (1959) Motivation- Hygiene is also referred to as two-factor theory and it is focused on the intrinsic and extrinsic factors of the job. According to this theory, job satisfaction can be broken into hygiene and motivation factors. Motivation factors are the internal factors such as achievement, recognition, and responsibility, while the hygiene factors are the external factors such as working conditions, position, and salary. Absence of these external factors result in the dissatisfaction and their presence can boost the motivation of employees. The motivation factors result in job enrichment and exert long-term positive impacts of an employee's performance and they play an important role until date (Bassett-Jones & Lloyd, 2005).
For restaurant employees, depending on their employees they can be provided what satisfies. For some employees' good and comfortable working environment, salary will be a motivator and hence their performance can be enhanced this way. Job empowerment, recognition, sense of achievement and assigning responsibility can be the ways to some employees. The job of a manager is to assess the need for employees in this regard and must use the right factor accordingly, which satisfies employee the most. However, it must be kept in mind the requirement of each individual is different and some motivation factors may not be able to satisfy some employees.
Another motivational theory by an American social psychologist, McGregor is the famous Theory X and Y. this theory is also considered as a foundation to motivate employees and it consists of simple elements to motivate and manage people (Carson, 2005). There are some employees who dislike their work and try every mean to avoid it, to motivate such employees an authoritarian style of management is used, this is the concept of theory X. On the other hand, there is a group of people who take pride in their work. In order to motivate such employees a participative management style is used so that they can take ownership of their work and they can perform better, this is theory Y. Both the styles of management can be used to motivate employees of a restaurant depending on the level of employees, for instance, theory X is not suitable for the employees at higher positions who are involved in decision making.
McClelland also identified some factors like Maslow that can be used to motivate employees. He identified motivators such as need of power, affiliation, and achievement. Employees have different characteristics depending on the factor that motivates them the most. He argues that one of these factors is always the motivating factor and it is determined by the life experiences and culture. This theory can be used to identify the motivator of employees and then goals can be set accordingly to motivate employees. An employee of a restaurant also have needs for achievement, power, and affiliation. For people having a need for achievement must be given challenging tasks, and they must be provided feedback. Employees having need of affiliation should be put in a group while the employees having a need for power can be given charge of some activities or people. This theory acts as a direct mean to motivate workers of any organization.
To sum up, many motivational theories provide a foundation for the managers to motivate their employees toward the goals and objectives of an organization. It is the sole responsibility of management to determine the relevance of theory by evaluating the needs of both the individual and the organization. Only then, managers are able to align the motivational theories with the desired results. Despite having a number of theories, managers may feed difficulty in motivating employees owing to the changing needs of the global workforce. In a restaurant, there are many employees from the managers and decision makers to the waiters, all of them having different needs. To motivate the employees, it is vital to determine the needs of employees of each level and then must be motivated according to their own needs and the factors, which could drive them towards excellent performance.
Bassett-Jones, N., & Lloyd, G. C. (2005). Does Herzberg's motivation theory have staying power?. Journal of management development, 24(10), 929-943.
Carson, C. M. (2005). A historical view of Douglas McGregor's Theory Y. Management Decision, 43(3), 450-460.
Sadri, G., & Bowen, C. R. (2011). Meeting employee requirements: Maslow's hierarchy of needs is still a reliable guide to motivating staff. Industrial engineer, 43(10), 44-49.
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