Motivation refers to a condition that energizes and directs towards goal-oriented behavior (Baldwin & Migneate, 1996). Motivation is used at the workplace to attract individuals to the company as well as retain them there.
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This is done by applying principles such as total quality management, meritocracy, team building, performance contracting, and reward systems (Baldwin & Migneate, 1996). People who are not motivated are considered discouraged. This could be observed through their apathy, absenteeism, non-cooperativeness, and rebellion (Kirkman, Low & Young, 1999).
Several companies have discovered the importance of compensation and reward systems with the aim of empowering their employees. Money oriented rewards are major motivations for employees, and they can be applied to both individuals and teams.
However, money on its own cannot be used as a tool for the motivation of employees because there are other things employees consider to be more important than just money. Therefore, the importance of money should never be overemphasized.
Additionally, two motivational tools classified as intrinsic and extrinsic have been identified (Baldwin & Migneate, 1996). The behaviors of employees at work that come as a result of extrinsic motivation are credited to sources outside the work itself. Some of the extrinsic rewards may include pay increments, coercion, promotions, or even allowances.
On the other hand, when the employee is motivated by things arising from the job itself, it is referred to as intrinsic motivation. The outcomes are experienced by employees who tend to be independent of others (Kirkman, Low & Young, 1999).
These kinds of employees are typically committed to their work and are actually fulfilled by it. In the case of employees working in a company, signing performance contracts with precise targets and defined time deadlines for projects is beneficial in setting the benchmarks for rewarding performers and reviewing the strategic short term and long term goals.
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This can be achieved by team building and encouraging concerted effort in planning, decision making, and drafting project recommendations. Each team member is able to participate competitively as well as assess each other’s contributions for the sake of transparency and accountability (Baldwin & Migneate, 1996).
Reward systems for the team should ensure equity and fairness for the sake of team-esteem. The team leaders should be able to encourage cooperation instead of competition for the purpose of fostering team spirit.
The extrinsic motivation tool I could use is delegating duties to the junior staff as a way of empowering him or her to rise up the corporate ladder. This may involve several changes in the way work is done at the Excelsior Sales Corporation in that some of the duties done by the senior staff are delegated to the junior staff.
This will motivate the employees since they feel that the work of a higher rank is given to them. They then strive to do it well. This can go hand in hand with job redesigning with a view to restructuring the work itself without necessarily incorporating intrinsic outcomes based upon employee’s performance (Kirkman, Low & Young, 1999). This would lead to a higher level of job satisfaction.
Another extrinsic motivational technique is gaining and showing interest in what the employees are doing, their personal details, job experiences, schooling, family, future plans, and even hobbies. These can then be harmonized with the company’s vision and structure with a view of assigning them appropriate roles.
Thereafter, reward systems for individual performance should be consistent employee’s goals in order to enhance self-esteem and self-actualization (Kirkman, Low & Young, 1999). The extrinsic tool of rewarding employees for their good work is very powerful and makes them work even harder for them to get the reward the next time.
One of the most commonly used rewards is the employee of the month award, where the employee who the management determines that did better work than the rest is rewarded.
The reward can be in the form of certificates, medals, trophies, or a coffee mug written “employee of the month” or a strategic packing place near the entrance of the company.
Such acknowledgments should be done in public so that fellow workers are able to know what made them outstanding, which then shall motivate them to work harder in order to get the same recognition.
Above all employees, cherish to work under respectable and trustworthy management, which is ready to fulfill its promises at whatever costs, enough to keep their private matters confidential and one which they can look up to as a role model (Baldwin & Migneate, 1996).
Baldwin, A. D and Migneate L. R. (1996): Humanistic management by teamwork: an organizational and administrative alternative for academic libraries, Libraries Unlimited.
Kirkman, L. B., Low, B. K. and Young P. D. (1999): High-performance work organizations: definitions, practices and annotated bibliography, Center for Creative Leadership.