Talking Paper – Motivation

  • The concept of motivation

Motivation is an individual’s psychological characteristic that determines his or her degree of commitment. Basically, motivation accounts for an employee’s efforts towards achieving organizational goals (Peterson, 2007. In order to motivate employees, an organization must use factors that channel employee behavior towards a particular direction. According to (Tella, Ayeni and Popoola (2007), managers must understand four basic assumptions to motivation. First, an employee will only feel good if he or she is motivated. Second, motivation is one of the factors that enhance employee performance. Third, motivation is always limited in supply and should be replenished periodically. Fourth, motivation is an important tool that managers must use in their organization to encourage workers. Motivation is always difficult to understand because it internal to every worker meaning that it is not directly observable. In addition, many people find it difficult to understand the concept of motivation mainly because it is personal and what arouses employees differs from one person to another (Peterson, 2007).

  • The potential effectiveness of the model positioning of motivation

The model positioning of motivation is a matrix that enables managers to understand different mixtures of work groups or teams in order to identify the best motivational strategies to use. The model assists managers to design ways that will enable employees to utilize their potentials in order to help an organization to realize its objectives (Peterson, 2007). The model positioning of motivation is effective in managing employees because it enables managers to make quick and easy illustrations of a complex set of employee-related factors that are greatly significant for organizational development and performance. One of the ways through which an organization can apply the model positioning of motivation is by giving employees appropriate training, mentoring and coaching in order to raise their potentials and performance (Peterson, 2007).

  • How an organization can use the feedback control loop to determine whether management actions are motivation or demotivating

A feedback control loop is a very important tool in every control system because it enables the system to make adjustments that can help bring about the desired response. The most basic feedback control system has got three components namely; a plant, a sensor, and a controller. A plant is the object to be controlled, a sensor measure the plant’s output and a controller measure generated the plant’s input. A control system can have both positive and negative feedback. A negative feedback occurs when the value of output is subtracted from the values of input, and it helps to determine how far the output is from the preferred input. A positive feedback occurs when signals reinforce themselves to produce a larger output.

An organization can use the feedback control loop to determine whether management’s actions are motivating or demotivating. This can be done by assessing employee behavior after applying a particular motivational strategy. Suppose there is a decline in employee performance after applying a motivational strategy, then the strategy is demotivating rather than motivating. Conversely, if employee performance is increased following application of a motivational strategy, then management’s actions are motivating. In such a case, performance can be enhanced further by applying the motivational strategy again and again (Peterson, 2007).

  • Leaders can influence employee motivation through goal setting, impression management, and encouragement.

Goal setting theory assumes that employees are motivated if there are pre-set goals that gives them direction on what they are supposed to do. Leaders can influence worker motivation through goal setting by formulating smart goals that are to be achieved within a given period of time. These goals will motivate employees because they give direction, energize employees to work hard, and urging them to think outside the box when at work (Locke and Lathan, 1990). As far as impression management is concerned, leaders can involve employees in decision making thereby motivating them. Additionally, leaders can motivate employees by increasing their pay as a way of encouraging them to work hard even during tough times (Peterson, 2007).

  • Redesigning a job to encourage and develop motivation for employees

One of the best ways that an organization can redesign a job is through job rotation. For example, an organization can use job rotation when assigning employees to carry out cleaning services in various departments. This will help relieve boredom and monotony typical in repetitive cleaning (Tella, Ayeni and Popoola, 2007). First, the organization should prepare a list of all areas that require cleaning on a daily basis. Second, the organization should group these areas according to size. Third, the company should have a complete list of all cleaners. Fourth, the organization should assign cleaners to different areas that are to be cleaned. Fifth, a list that details how cleaners should rotate from one place to another on a weekly basis should be prepared (Tella, Ayeni and Popoola, 2007).

  • Theory X and Theory Y

Theory X and Theory Y assume that there are theory X and theory Y employees referring to those who are not ready to work and those who are ready to work respectively. These two categories of employees must be motivated in order to enhance their performance in an organization (Peterson, 2007). First, an organization should exercise maximum control in order to keep theory X workers motivated. Second, an organization must dictate decisions in order to encourage theory X employees to perform required tasks. Third, an organization should establish a strong relationship with employees in order to motivate theory Y employees. Fourth, an organization should allow theory Y to give their opinions during decision making (Peterson, 2007).

  • The key to success in implementing Theory X and Theory Y to increase motivation within an organization

The new system will motivate both unfocussed and focused employees to work towards achievement of organizational goals. After the plan will have been implemented, each and every employee will understand his or her responsibilities and will perform them well to promote success in the organization. Implementation of theory X and theory Y in the organization will enable the manager to distinguish between different types of workers in the organization and to identify the best motivational strategies that will help in realization of the desired results (Peterson, 2007).

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