Using Motivational Theories in an Organization

Task 3.1: Using Motivational Theories in an Organization

Leadership mainly involves influencing, inspiring and motivating people within an organizational context or in other settings. On the other hand, management focuses on the effective use of human resources to attain the goals of an organization. Human resource cannot be used effectively if employees are not motivated. Therefore, leadership styles play a critical role in the motivation of employees. This is due to the fact that the leadership style influences the organizational culture, which has a significant impact on the performance of the organization. Leadership styles may be classified into three major categories. These include autocratic leadership, democratic leadership, and laissez-fair or free-rein leadership (Miner, 2005).

Autocratic leadership is a leadership style in which the leader has absolute power over the subordinates. Autocratic leaders instruct people on what to do instead of seeking their opinion. Tesco is one of the companies that use autocratic leadership. The company instructs its employees on what to do to. This helps in streamlining the activities according to the expectations of the management of the company. Using autocratic leadership enables Tesco to solve a problem that requires immediate reaction. It also enables managers of the company to make most functioning decisions. This enables them to run the company efficiently. However, autocratic leadership is not efficient in managing certain types of organization. This is due to the fact that it may reduce the motivation of employees who feel that they should be valued by the organization (Miner, 2005).

Unlike autocratic leadership, in democratic leadership the leader makes the last decision. However, the leader considers the opinion of other members of the organization in the decision-making process. Tesco uses democratic leadership in certain departments. This helps in improving job contentment since it involves other members of the company. it also helps in boosting their skills. Use of democratic leadership makes Tesco’s employees feel valued by the company. Democratic leadership motivates employees in the same manner as monetary remuneration. Tesco assigns various leadership roles to staff within the company. This ensures that all employees know their roles and responsibilities more clearly. It also ensures that it implements strategic decisions using efficient communication. Democratic leadership enables Tesco to undertake follow up of employees to ensure that provide services that meet the standards set by the company. This increase motivation and creativity of various teams within the organization (Hergenhahn, 2008).

In the laissez-faire leadership, the leader is involved in very little activities within the organization. The manager has the perception that all members of the organization can work better on their own. Therefore, they give the employees the so much freedom to determine their goals. Employees also have the freedom to make decisions and resolve various problems they may face in undertaking the activities on their own. Tesco is one of the companies that use the laissez-faire leadership style. However, the company uses this leadership style in only a few departments of the organization. Using the laissez-faire leadership style enables the members of an organization to improve their leadership skills. It also enables them to improve their communication and teamwork skills. Laissez-faire leadership also improves loyalty and responsibility of members of the organization. This improves motivation and productivity of members of an organization. However, the laissez-faire leadership increases the risk of members of the organization making mistakes that may have a detrimental effect on an organization (Miner, 2005).

3.2 Application of Motivation Theories in the Workplace

It is the principle duty of the manager to motivate employees in the workplace. This enables employees to improve productivity, meet the changing needs of customers, and enable organizations to withstand stiff competition in their industry of operation. Offering awards to high performing employees and punishing employees who have unacceptable performance is one of the methods that managers may use to motivate employees. Theories of motivation use three sets of variables, which are critical in the motivation of employees in the workplace. These include characteristics of the employee, characteristics of the job, and characteristics of the environment in which the employee works in. Motivational factors are different for different individuals, organizations, job levels or societies. Therefore, there is no single universal motivator. In addition, there is no single motivating factor for one individual. Therefore, a manager must consider the mixture of needs of an individual, the type of employees, and the kind of society when determining the motivation theory that would be most effective in motivating employees. For example, research shows that money is one of the predominant motivating factors in Hong Kong in all levels of fulfillment (Hergenhahn, 2008).

Employees motivation is critical in the ability of an organization to utilize scarce resources in the best possible manner and improve productivity of employees. It also enables an organization to tackle competition more efficiently by providing more goods and services at a lower cost. Organizations motivate their employees to improve their productivity by offering tem rewards whenever they have exemplary performance or punishing them when they have unacceptable performance. Motivation enables employees to work without any fear or pressure. It provides the employees with a motive to perform a certain task. Motivation makes provokes people to act either positively or negatively (Hergenhahn, 2008).

Various managers have used motivation to prompt normal people to achieve extraordinary results. Goals prompt people to work to achieve and surpass the goals. The goals are not simply financial. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, people aspire to make new friends, have job security, and have a sense of achievement. They also strive to have a sense of identity, feel important in the society and have a sense of job satisfaction. Therefore, employees who have high level of job satisfaction are high performers (Pinder, 2014).

Whiteside, Greg’s CEO, strived to motivate employees of the company using different means. He engaged worked full shifts on the floor of the company. He performed various jobs, which ranged from working on the production lines of the company to mopping floors. This passed the message ‘if the CEO could do it, why not me’ to the employees of the company. This prompted them to improve their efforts in undertaking their productivity. Interaction with lower level employees of the company also made them feel valued by the management of the company. therefore, they were willing to express the issues they faced in undertaking their daily activities to the management of the company freely. This enabled the management to reduce wastage and increase efficiency of its processes. However, most businesses use financial rewards to motivate employees. They provide high performing employees with monetary rewards. On the other hand, they give financial penalties to low performing employees. These are some of the major features of Jeremy Bentham’s carrot and stick motivational theory (Pinder, 2014).

3.3 usefulness of a Motivation Theory

Various motivation theories are applicable in the contemporary world. Equity theory is one of the most common motivation theories used in most organizations. The equity ratio uses the comparison of input and output ratio of work to motivate employees. Therefore, organizations should ensure that there is equity in the workplace. Organizations achieve equity when the input and output ratio is the similar for different individuals. Employees of an organization usually compare their input and output ratio with that of other employees of the organization. The employees are motivation if they think there is a fair comparison between their input and output ratio and that of other employees of the organization.

However, they would be de-motivated if they think there is unfairness in their input and output ratio compared to that of other employees of the organization. The major challenge of this motivational theory is the allocation of the right mix of input and output. The challenge is further complicated by the existence of a global workforce. Therefore, it is difficult to use this motivational theory to maintain equity in the organization. Lack of equity may affect people from different regions and cultures differently. In certain cultures, lack of equity may lead to negative behavior and frustration, which reduce motivation and productivity of the employees. On the other hand, in certain cultures lack of equity may lead to lower job satisfaction. This would not have a significant impact on the productivity of the employees (Pinder, 2014). Greg’s uses this motivation theory to motivate its employees. The company ensures that all employees receive a share of the profits of the company twice annually regardless of their ranking in the company.


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