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Motivating People in the Workplace Essay Sample

Motivating People in the Workplace Pages
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Section 1:Understand the factors that may affect performance and motivation in the workplace. Section 2:Be able to improve levels of motivation and increase performance in the workplace.

AC 1.1
Evaluate theories of motivation relevant to your workplace.
The word “motivation” is derived from a Latin word movere, meaning ‘to move’. So motivation can also be defined as those forces that cause people to behave in certain ways – the level of desire employees feel to perform, regardless of the level of happiness. Employees who are adequately motivated to perform will be more productive, more engaged and feel more invested in their work. Employee motivation has always been an issue, I believe, for leaders and managers. Unmotivated employees are likely to spend little or no effort in their jobs, avoid the workplace as much as possible, exit the organization if given the opportunity and produce low quality work. On the other hand, employees who feel motivated to work are likely to be persistent, creative and productive, turning out high quality work that they willingly undertake. Reality however is that every employee has different ways to become motivated and as leaders and managers we need to get to know, and understand, our employees well and be able to use different tactics to motivate each of them based on their personal wants and needs.

Motivation can also be defined as something inside a person that drives them to action. This motivation varies in different people. We can also say that motivation is the willingness to work at a certain level of effort. Motivation emerges, in theories, out of needs, values, goals, intentions, and expectation. Motivation comes from within, so, as leaders need to cultivate and direct the motivation that our employees already have. As leaders, we need to develop and encourage good employee performance, and good performance comes from strong employee motivation – but we can’t motivate employees, it’s down to them! Motivation is an internal state, like emotions and attitudes, which only the individual can control. We can, however, create a workplace environment that will inspire and support strong motivation on the part of employees.

This can be explained and seen in evaluating 2 theories relevant to my workplace in Hawker Siddeley Aftermarket division. These theories are Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” and Herzberg’s “Motivation and Hygiene Factors”.

Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” shows us that some of our needs take precedence over others. For instance, the need for food, air and water comes before anything else. Similarly, if you are both hungry and thirsty at the same time, you will instinctively take care of your thirst first, because you can survive without food longer than you can survive without water. In that case, the need for water takes precedence over the need for food.

Beyond the basic human needs for food, water and clean air, Maslow introduced other layers; physiological needs, safety and security needs, love and belonging needs, and the need to know one’s self, in that order.

The pyramid below shows how these needs are categorised.

The physiological needs are the needs for oxygen, minerals, water, vitamins, and sugar. They are what keep our bodies physically healthy and functioning correctly. In the workplace these needs are associated, as shown above, with things such as providing a comfortable work space, with clean air, lighting, warmth and salary.

The needs for safety and security are fairly self-explanatory. They are the needs that every human has to stay away from dangerous places, and cause people to become afraid, nervous, and anxious. The “Fight or Flight” instinct would also be included in this category. Again in the workplace this is aligned to things such as pension / healthcare schemes, employee handbooks, job security, grievance procedures and a human resource department for support.

Our need to be loved and to belong is one that all people experience a lot of the time. This layer includes the need for friends, a partner, even a sense of community. Workplace belonging comes in the form of general socialising, working in teams, opportunity to participate in group activities breeding strong team relationships and encouraging employee motivation.

Our esteem needs, according to Maslow, have two separate versions. The lower version is the need for recognition, fame, the respect and appreciation of others, and even dominance. The higher version is the need for self-respect, confidence, freedom and independence.

The higher form was perhaps titled so because once you have self-respect, it is very difficult to lose, as opposed to the respect of others which comes and goes depending on ‘others’ perception of you as an individual. This level can be supported and achieved in work by the possibility of promotion and opportunity to progress through job roles / levels and salary. Earning and gaining respect from co-workers whilst maintaining a clear vision and determination for any given task.

Finally, we have reached the top of the pyramid! The need for self-actualization. This is the need to “be the best that you can be” and the need to reach goals and continue reaching them. At its best this can be seen in work through providing interesting challenges to our employees that provides them the opportunity to grow and develop both personally and professionally. As an employee becomes self-actualised, they accept more responsibility for their performance and receive more control over their activities. I believe Maslow’s theory clearly highlights that having our needs met is a great motivator for loyalty and continued productivity. We all consider work a place to get our physical needs met: work for money to exchange for shelter, food, etc. But as leaders we can utilize the rest of the pyramid to inspire our teams. We can encourage a sense of safety and security in our team, within HSSL, by letting them know we appreciate their efforts. If they make mistakes, consider it a learning experience and help or encourage them to correct errors and try again.

By doing this, we can avoid a team member feeling insecure and undervalued which will, no doubt, decrease their motivation and productivity. Work is not a social event, but people who work together may be at best friendly and kind, and at the very least courteous and civil. If we are managing a team of workers, we need to know that our behaviour will likely be mirrored, and we need to ensure we promote the correct attitudes and appropriate treatment of each. I don’t’ think we can build a workers’ self-esteem by berating them, or complimenting everything they do. It is my opinion that the key is to offer both praise and constructive criticism. If they do something poorly, explain how they may do it better. To maintain the self-actualization state or level we need to consider how our team members see their jobs role.

Frederick Herzberg, in his motivators and hygiene factors theory, was the first to show that satisfaction and dissatisfaction at work act independently of each other and almost always arose from different factors. He showed that certain factors truly motivate (‘motivators’), whereas others tended to lead to dissatisfaction (‘hygiene factors’). These can be seen in the illustration below.

Herzberg’s research proved that people will strive to achieve hygiene needs because we are unhappy without them, but once satisfied the effect soon wears off – satisfaction is temporary. Examples of hygiene needs in the workplace are policy, relationship with colleagues and or leaders, work conditions, salary, company car, status, security, personal life.

True motivators were found to be completely different factors: achievement, recognition, work itself, responsibility, advancement, and personal growth.

People commonly argue that money is a primary motivator – it’s not. It is important to understand that employees are not unmotivated by hygiene factors but feel dissatisfied without them. Employees are only driven by what Herzberg identified as motivational factors which give a deeper sense of achievement and meaning.

If we manage our teams badly with poor working conditions and low pay then this would not motivate anyone. Hygiene Factors are basic needs of every employee that an employer must satisfy before they can start looking at motivation.

If we want to create a motivational environment we need to ensure, as leaders, we look at adopting the following culture within our teams in Hawker Siddeley.

Ensure hygiene factors are sufficient enough so employees don’t become demotivated. Ensure work is rewarding and challenging to motivate employees to work harder. Continually develop employees to keep motivation high.

Reward and Recognise high achieving employees.
If possible rotate employees roles to keep Job interest high. Ensure employees have training resources to continually develop themselves.

Both of these theories, Maslow’s & Herzburg’s if used correctly can have a significant positive effect on our performance levels. Motivated employees have a drive to succeed no matter what the project. So as leaders we need to ‘get it right’ and understand that a ‘one size’ approach will not fit all.

AC 1.2
Evaluate the principal factors that may affect performance and motivation in the workplace.

There are 4 main principle factors that affect an individual’s or team’s performance and the levels of motivation displayed in the workplace. These are detailed below with explanations as to why they are so important in our daily working environments.

Expectations
As leaders we need to ensure our teams are clear in what is expected of them in group tasks and individually. Any task we set our teams need to be clear in their objectives, specific about what we want, the standard with which we expect it to be delivered and the timeframe or deadline for carrying it out. Employees need to know their responsibilities and have a clear understanding about what they need to accomplish at the end of the day. Ambiguity about roles could be a reason for a drop in their performance so we must ensure we give and receive feedback from the individual to ensure our message has been clear and understood.

Ability
We need to be confident that our employees have the ability to carry out a given task or job role. If the individual lacks the skills, knowledge and or experience to do what is required we must provide adequate training. In order to maximise their potential and encourage their motivation levels we must, as a business, provide enough opportunities so they can learn more and more about certain skills so that these can add value to the team, department and their own development. We can then promote a culture where employees share their skills, ideas and views, encouraging ‘other’ employees / team members the opportunity to grow.

Constraints
Individuals are obliged to work within a set of conditions, rules, processes and procedures with the Aftermarket environment. However we always have to give consideration that they may have ‘other’ demands that they are expected to deliver against as well as ours. We need to be mindful of these and check if there are conflicting priorities and workloads and we need take these into account where deadlines are imposed. We need to ensure they have the right tools, equipment and resources in order to perform well. If these are not present or available to an individual they could also contribute to a dip in performance level.

Motivation
The Organizational Culture of HSSL dictates the norms and behaviours that people depict while at work. Work captures everything at work from the way people enter the office to the way they leave, the way they dress to the way they eat, it’s how they do things at work, they could be official or non- official, but they impact deeply on the organization, and motivation people show. It is therefore important we promote a culture of knowledge sharing, helping each other, communication, respect, one that has the flexibility to absorb mistakes will have more motivated staff than one where mistakes are not tolerated, one where layers of structure exist that hinder communication and knowledge sharing.

Responsibility needs to be shared for any given task and the individual needs to understand the WIIFM [What’s in it for Me]. We need to give consideration to one, if not two, of the theories we’ve already referred to earlier to ensure we are meeting all the individuals needs to allow them to be motivated and perform.

We need to ensure our workforce is consulted and asked their opinions when decisions are being made, especially if they are concerning matters affecting their own work and or department. To get the best performance from employees, there needs to be some sort of motivation beyond the weekly paycheck. Motivation can come in the form of financial incentives, but the opportunity to get more involved in company projects, a career path that leads to management and direct involvement from management into the daily tasks can be more rewarding and effective. Motivation can create a productive work force, but a lack of motivating factors can leave employees searching for reasons to give their maximum effort.

AC 2.1
Select a theory of motivation and apply this to your workplace.

As we’ve already read in the early 1940s, Abraham Maslow created his theory of needs . This identified the basic needs that human beings have, in order of their importance: physiological needs, safety needs, and the needs for belonging, self-esteem and “self-actualization”. Later, David McClelland built on this work and he identified three motivators that he believed we all have: a need for achievement, a need for affiliation, and a need for power. People will have different characteristics depending on their dominant need /motivator. According to McClelland, these motivators are learned (which is why this theory is sometimes called the Learned Needs Theory). McClelland says that, regardless of our gender, culture, or age, we all have three motivating drivers, and one of these will be our dominant motivating driver. This dominant motivator is largely dependent on our culture and life experiences. These motivators / needs can be defined as follows.

Achievement Motivation [Achievers]
People motivated by achievement need challenging, but not impossible, projects. They thrive on overcoming difficult problems or situations, so we must make sure we keep them engaged this way. People motivated by achievement work very effectively either alone or with other high achievers. When providing feedback, we must ensure we them a fair and balanced appraisal.

They want to know what they’re doing right – and wrong – so that they can improve.

Affiliation Motivators [People]
People motivated by affiliation work best in a group environment, so we must try to integrate them with a team (versus working alone) whenever possible. They also don’t like uncertainty and risk so when assigning projects or tasks, save the risky ones for other people. When providing feedback to these people, be personal. It’s still important to give balanced feedback, if we start by emphasizing their good working relationship and your trust in them, they’re then likely be more open to what we say. We must also be considerate of the fact that these people often don’t want to stand out, so it might be best to praise them in private rather than in front of others.

Authority / Power Motivation [Influences]
These are people with a high need for power and work best when they’re in charge. Because they enjoy competition, they do well with goal-oriented projects or tasks. They may also be very effective in negotiations or in situations in which another party must be convinced of an idea or goal. When providing feedback, it is best to be direct with these team members. And keep them motivated by helping them further their career goals.

Drive to Excel.
Achieve in relation to a set of standards.
Strive to Succeed.

Friendship.
Good relationships.
Wants to belong.

To control others.
To get desired things done.
Enjoys status & recognition.

I believe McClelland’s theory would be advantageous within HSS Aftermarket division and would be able to help me identify the dominant motivators of the people in my team. I can then use this information to help set goals, provide appropriate feedback, motivate and reward team members. I can also use these motivators to craft, or design, the job around individuals ensuring the best outcomes are achieved.

The first thing I will need to do is examine which if the three motivators, as discussed above, is dominant for each person. This can be achieved by assessing their personalities, past actions and performances. I will then need to structure my approach to the leadership style I choose and also the project, assignment or given task I’m asking of each team member to undertake. This will help ensure that they all stay engaged, motivated and happy with the work they are doing.

Alongside this theory I can also use some of Maslow’s applications to ensure we maximise potential and see the motivation levels required to affect performance.

Create a workplace that helps employees satisfy psychological needs as well as the need for income.

Set clear goals for employee performance using SMART objectives – see below

Encourage good performance through rewards and reinforcement.

Maintain open communication with all employees.

As a leader I now see that I need to have a level of understanding if I’m to be in a position to motivate my team. I will need to recognise that people are different, make work interesting, show appreciation & recognition, ensure employees feel involved in the work process, allow them the opportunity to get a sense of achievement, have job security, give them increased responsibility and be part of a team.

AC 2.2
Evaluate the impact of applying the theory of motivation on performance in the workplace

It is clear that most of the ‘known’ theories of motivation date back many years and I think it’s almost certain that some will question their relevance in the workplace. However motivation influences the level of interest and effort given to tasks, and it is essential in maintaining and enhancing individual and business performance within HSSL.

Maslow’s theory, I believe, can have a significant impact on business performance and also a leaders approach as to how we motivate our teams, giving consideration to their individual needs. It is clear that it will allow us to view the different needs and expectations people have and where in the hierarchy they currently sit and the different motivators we should consider when looking to empower and enthuse team members.

McClelland’s theory shows us that once we’ve identified what motivates someone we can give them work driven tasks to suit aligning to the type of person they are – so people with achievement motives are motivated by standards of excellence, delineated roles and responsibilities and concrete, timely feedback. Those with affiliation motives are motivated when they can accomplish things with people they know and trust. And the power motive is activated when people are allowed to have an impact, impress those in power, or beat competitors.

In unison both these theories can, as already highlighted, have a positive impact on our business performance. People become aware that their work is worthwhile, at both individual and organisational levels, that they are working within a culture and environment that is encouraging and that they have power over how well they complete their allocated tasks and the freedom to make decisions about their work. Motivation enhances initiation and determination in activities. People who are motivated are likely to start a task and pursue it to the end.

The importance of employee motivation cannot be down-played. Ultimately when employees are motivated this increases productivity, lowers turnover, and improves overall performance. The correct use of motivation can and will allow an individual to apply and display discretionary effort daily within Hawker Siddeleys Aftermarket departments.

Simply put motivated employees perform better!

Motivation therefore [as seen in the model below] is the driving force behind performance and therefore we must give attention to the level of motivation our teams display. We must encourage staff to direct their efforts [their driving force] towards the successful attainment of the goals and objectives of the organisation.

Significant work has been undertaken over 2013/14 in re-defining the Aftermarket organisation in Hawker Siddeley, notably the recruitment of an experienced Engineering & Site Manager, who had previously worked for the Business for over 20 years, plus the appointment of a dedicated Aftermarket Key Account Manager and Commercial Manager. The Aftermarket factory has also been formally established, with focus on both skill levels and product knowledge, and, therefore, aligning commercial and engineering processes in support of this i.e. focus on delivery to our customers. As such motivation is paramount, within the Aftermarket environment, to meeting our customer demands and delivering against our growth strategy. Performance measures have been established within the commercial and tendering areas to cover the following.

Commercial
On time in full (OTIF),
Contract Compliance T&C’s,
Variation Management,
Order Processing,
Tender to Actual cost comparison.

Tendering
RFQ management to cover priority requests and site & engineering requirements, Tender – Order Conversion ratio,
Tender Value,
Order Value,
Spares lead time,
Spares Profitability
GM at order placement.

So the impact of applying a motivational theory, if carried out successfully, is critical to having an enthused, dedicated, focused & willing to ‘go the extra mile’ team – delivering against clear set targets and objectives and ultimately succeeding in our vision! As a leader I know I can help my team want to come to work, help and support their motivation levels by creating a work environment in which they not only can feel respected and of worth but empowered and positive to delivering against, and exceeding, departmental KPI’s, expectations and strategy by them understanding the rational and WIIFM [What’s in it for me] incentives.

Aftermarket growth remains vital to the success of the business and engaged, motivated and committed employees displaying the ‘right’ behaviours, with associated KPI’s, on-going performance management and support, will drive our success.

Motivation & Discretionary Effort / Behaviour

High Performing / Loyal Staff

Drive Performance / Profit / Growth

The ‘have to do’ attitude becoming the ‘want to do’ attitude, through motivation and discretionary behaviours and efforts, whilst encompassing and aligning our work principles to the Company’s Vital Few philosophy and Vision.

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