What a manager should know about motivation

Motivation of the employees is essential for the organization’s survival. With this in mind, there is need to put in place effective measures to foster motivation. Employees can list various reasons for their discontent at the job place: insufficient incomes, restrictive regulations or inflexible policies are just a few of the causes of discontent. However, setting out to fix these deficiencies in a bid to motivate the staff will yield negative, even detrimental results. This is because lack of motivation is an intrinsic quality.

To understand this statement better, I will adopt Ray B. Williams’ definition of motivation: a predisposition to behave purposefully to acquire the will to achieve, achieve unmet goals, and that force that pushes a person to strive for the accomplishment of both personal and organizational goals. From the definition, it becomes clear that financial compensation is never sufficient for the motivation of an individual.

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Other factors such as challenging, interesting tasks and more responsibility are better placed to counter this problem. An inherent quality can only be cultivated through several well-researched processes, and over a period. Moreover, the manager has little choice if any but to comply as failure to do so will result in poor results in the organization or loss of employees for more interesting opportunities way, the manager loses.

A lot of research has been conducted on the topic of motivation. It is important to note here that what applies to employees will most likely apply to consumers as well, “Companies also survey their front-line employees for their attitudes as well as for their ideas for improved service, asking their employees to take the customer’s perspective” (Plunket, Attner, and Allen 35). Neuroscientific findings have the most authority, which suggest four basic needs that influence motivation.

First, the need of driving to acquire, which involves minimal material elements that are necessary for a good life including financial compensation. Managers can modify their policies by adopting reward systems that are based on performance to satisfy this need. Secondly, the Drive to bond discusses about the humans need to constantly build relationships of love, caring and in which they can feel like they belong.

Managers can satisfy this need by introducing collaborative strategies at the work place such as teamwork and mutual work policies. Thirdly, the driving to comprehend points out the yearning for learning as well as the understanding of the complexities of life where managers can increase specificity of job definitions in a manner that will make employees feel as if they are contributing to the organization’s growth.

They can also install learning policies that are aimed at building on the employees’ current repertoire of knowledge. Drive to defend urges to protect what belongs to us: property, accomplishments, and ourselves. In such a case, the management can build trust with the employees by reinstating the firm’s integrity through transparency and fairness.

All these drives seem to echo what psychologists have already said including Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs which lists, love, security, self actualization, and self transcendence as forces that direct human behavior. To coordinate the employees’ performance, a manager needs to be wise about it.

It is interesting to note that while these drives seem to be aimed at individual development of the staff members, it is only after an individual has accomplished inner stability that they can begin to transfer their efforts for the betterment of the organization. There is no other way, “control and command” or “carrot and stick” techniques are no longer effective, and in fact, they never have been. Finally, it is also important to apply these motivational techniques to consumers.

Effective managers should know their consumers expectations and anticipate their needs right from production as well as “…trying to anticipate the needs and problems of customers and to set realistic expectations through customer education and communication strategies” (Plunket, Attner, and Allen 23). Today’s multiplicity of opportunities makes the need for organization-based motivation even greater to guarantee retention and success. Emotions inform decision-making. They are the keys to successful motivation.

Work cited

Plunket, Warren, Attner, Raymond, and Allen, Gemmy. Management, Meeting and

Exceeding Customer Expectations. Ninth Edition. Chicago: South-western, 2008.