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Currently, no one doubts that the most important resource of any company is its employees. However, not all managers understand how difficult managing this resource is. The success of any company depends on how effective the work of employees will be. The task of managers is to maximise the abilities of staff (Stroh 2001). No matter how strong the leaders solutions were, the effect of this can be obtained only when they are successfully implemented by the employees. This can only happen if the workers are interested in the results of their labour activity. To do this, a manager has to somehow motivate and inspire an employee. It is clear that the main motivating factor is wage; however, there are many other factors that encourage a person to fruitful work.
Today, there are a huge number of ways to influence the motivation of a particular person, and their range is constantly growing. Moreover, the factor that motivates a particular person to intensive labour today may contribute to “turn off” the same person tomorrow. No one can name exact details of the mechanism of motivation, what force should be a motivating factor, when or why it works. Despite the breadth of methods one can use to motivate employees, the manager must choose how to encourage each employee to perform the main task – the survival of the company in tough competition.
In the organisational context, motivation is the process by which managers encourage others to work hard to achieve organisational goals, thereby satisfying their own desires and needs (McClelland & Boyatzis 1982). Even if it seems that the employees work for the sake of achieving the common goals of the organisation, they behave this way because they are sure that this is the best way to achieve their goals. Motivation is one of the methods of the HR function and is an integral part of the management process. There are many ways to improve the quality of the work. For example, many laws may prohibit the production of the type of equipment required for the control of pollution and occupational safety. Worker productivity could also be increased through investment in more modern equipment such as the assembly-line robots or word processors for secretaries. It is of course useful, although it is only a part of the solution since all services and production activities depend on the person. Even in the most automated car assembly plants, for example, involving a small number of employees, poor attitude of employees to work and sabotage can seriously affect performance.
Another way to improve the performance and quality of performance is to better employees behaviour at work through the application of modern concepts and methods of resource management. Thus, the task of a manager who should motivate the workers is to enable them to meet their personal needs in exchange for quality work. The term “needs” reflects the positive feelings of relief and well-being that a person feels when his/her wishes are fulfilled.
Practical management relies on certain theories motivation that can be divided into two groups. Content theories attempt to find out the cause of a person’s behaviour. It is often referred to as the “theory of needs.” Procedural theory puts a question of what directs, supports, and stops a particular type of behaviour.
In modern science, motivation plays a leading role. There are many different theories and models of motivation that often contradict each other. Among them are the hierarchy of needs theory of Abraham Maslow (1943), Victor Vrooms theory of expectations, Theory X and Y of Douglas McGregor, theory of two factors by Frederick Herzberg and others (House & Wigdor 1967). However, the heads of the organisations do not consider these papers as a ready-made recipe for motivating staff, but having learned for themselves their main provisions, it is necessary to work out for themselves their program staff motivation. It should also be understood that each specific enterprise should have its own specific programme, which would take into account all the features of the company. Thus, primarily, the manager determines what the needs of one or the other person are. It can be not only monetary rewards, but also social security, belonging to a well-known company, good working conditions, satisfaction of interests, high quality of life, the ability to move up the career ladder, membership of a particular social group, and the desire to benefit the people (Turban & Keon 1993). A list of these factors can be continued. Determining the needs of the employee must occur prior to hiring and be continuously adjusted in the course of employment. However, this task is not so simple, so one can change it in a certain pattern. The fact is that not all human needs are clearly evident. If an employee experiences a latent need for something, he will look for an opportunity to meet it. If it is so and an employee will remain unsatisfied, this will affect his/her behaviour and will be a major demotivating factor. Therefore, it is necessary to try to identify all the needs of the employee as well as to understand which ones are dominant. To do this, the manager should use special techniques for testing and interviews. Here, the hierarchy of needs of Abraham Maslow is a great aid. His hierarchy of needs gives a fairly clear idea of the structure of basic human needs. One can determine the most important group of human needs correctly applying this theory. This will help to find exactly the levers that should be impacted. However, we should not forget that the hierarchy of needs is a generalised model that does not take into account the individual differences of people. In operation, the managers need to carefully monitor their subordinates to understand what the needs drive them now. Once human needs are identified, they can be satisfied with the time.
In general, the motives that drive employee are not permanent and need to be constantly monitored. Thus, the first stage of motivational strategy should be to develop a package of measures aimed at understanding the needs of the staff.