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Employee Motivation in Organizational Behavior

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Summary

Employee motivation is considered to be an essential part of business development in the contemporary corporate environment. However, the findings of a study conducted in 2009 on individuals employed in German companies showed that a considerable percentage of them felt that they did not owe the firms in which they were employed anything (Hauser, 2014). Furthermore, only a few would engage in extra activities on a voluntary basis, with a majority of them failing to identify themselves with the companies that had employed them. The author observed that the lack of adequate employee motivation was one of the key factors that had contributed to this eventuality and that various types of motivations could be used to counter this challenge.

Organizational Challenges

Major Overriding Issue

The primary overriding issue, in this case, is concerned with employee demotivation. The demands of the modern business world, coupled with the presence of an increasingly educated workforce, have resulted in members of staff being acknowledged as being a valuable asset (Lăzăroiu, 2015). I believe that it is without a doubt that the growth and success of any modern company are factors that are contingent on the levels of motivation associated with employees. When workers are motivated accordingly, they tend to feel satisfied with their jobs. In turn, this motivation, as well as the satisfaction, cause them to work even harder as they believe that their efforts will play a significant role in the success of the business.

On the other hand, I think that demotivated employees tend to disassociate themselves with their companies. Such individuals would only do what is assigned to them without bothering to engage in any additional tasks out of their volition. It may come as a surprise, but the reason as to why workers would behave in such a manner is concerned with the way they are treated by their colleagues at work and, especially, by the mid and top-level management teams. When employees are made to feel that their role in the organization is insignificant and that they are dispensable, they tend to withdraw and make little effort to go beyond their traditional tasks (Lăzăroiu, 2015). Such eventualities often result in companies being affected in an adverse manner as the lack of an enthusiastic and committed workforce translates into overall bad performance on the part of the entire organization.

Key Issues that Merit the Discussion

I believe that the issue of employee motivation is one that warrants a lot of deliberation and consideration. The fact that only a small fraction of the interviewed employees identified themselves with their firms raises a lot of concern. In the current corporate landscape, the need to maintain a lower employee turnover rate is increasingly being considered to be a prerequisite to organizational success. However, with a majority of the members of staff demonstrating a lack of enthusiasm and commitment towards their companies, the chances of such individuals transferring to other rival companies are significantly high (Lăzăroiu, 2015). I, therefore, think that there is a need to explicate this issue in detail and identify ways through which the challenge can be countered.

Also, the manner in which the leaderships of such organizations seem to be unbothered by the fact that their junior employees are unmotivated is an issue that raises concern. While it is evident that the senior management team is the one that determines the direction of a company’s growth, I believe that junior members of staff also contribute considerably towards the same. It is, thus, imperative that this matter is examined with the aim of finding strategies that can be used to ensure that the top leadership does not show disregard for their junior counterparts.

Key Individuals Involved

Considering that employee motivation is a matter that is, in most cases, regarded as a preserve of the human resources department, I believe that the professionals tasked with the mandate of managing this section within the organizations involved have played a significant role in causing the demotivation of workers (Kinicki & Fugate, 2012). The fact that they seemed unconcerned with the needs of the staff poses the risk of having the latter consider seeking employment in other firms where they believe their roles will be acknowledged. However, I believe that there is a still an opportunity to have these departments revamped and the leaders made to commit towards the idea of appreciating employees.

Role of Leadership

I believe that the management has a role to play as far as the motivation of workers is concerned. In particular, executives are in a better position to demonstrate to their junior counterparts that the roles played by the latter are important to the organization and that all members of staff are appreciated regardless of their position within the companies (Lăzăroiu, 2015). Besides, I also think that the leadership ought to contribute positively towards employee motivation by formulating policies that will facilitate the attainment of the same, in addition to creating training programs that will help motivate the workers.

Potential Environmental Issues

Employee demotivation tends to result in extensive and adverse implications that may affect the company both internally and externally. For instance, the feelings of frustration associated with the lack of motivation tend to be contagious and, as such, they are passed on from one member of staff to another, resulting in further conflicts (Kinicki & Fugate, 2012). The resulting effect is that the workplace environment becomes affected in a negative way and productivity levels reduce significantly. Consequently, the environment around the firm may also be affected as employees reduce the extent to which they are committed to their responsibilities, resulting in the potential pollution of the immediate surroundings.

Organizational Theory

Various theories have been formulated in an attempt to explain human behavior within a variety of contexts including that which is concerned with the corporate environment. I picked Maslow's theory of The Hierarchy of Needs. According to this theory, individuals are motivated to realize different needs and which are all at variance with one another concerning necessity and importance (Sadri & Bowen, 2011). At the basic level, a person will seek to realize their physiological needs and which include food, warmth, water, and rest. However, as time goes by and one progresses, their needs also change, progressing from the basic ones to those that can be realized at the psychological level, and finally to self-fulfillment needs (Sadri & Bowen, 2011).

In the article that I reviewed concerning organizational behavior, Hauser (2014) notes that many theories can be used to explain human motivational tendencies. One such position is that fronted by Maslow's theory. The author observes that this particular theory can be categorized as being under those which are needs-based, and which focus on how employers can utilize the needs of their employees in coming up with the ideal strategies of motivation.

Application of Theory on Concept

Hauser (2014) posits that employee motivation and satisfaction are factors that are highly dependent on whether an individual believes his or her needs have been addressed. More than just ensuring that all the needs of an organization have been met, workers also want to feel that their personal needs are also a concern for the management. In this regard, it is important that even as the leadership goes about formulating strategies to be used in realizing the company's objectives, a similar amount of effort should be dedicated to attending to any concerns that employees may have.

I tend to believe that one major mistake that the managements of modern businesses make is assuming that financial reward alone is sufficient. In particular, such leadership is mistaken to believe that employees are just in need of monetary assistance and that any other ostensible needs are secondary. However, the reality is hardly the case. There have been cases whereby workers have left senior positions in companies and gone ahead to work in relatively lower levels within other organizations (Lăzăroiu, 2015). In the same vein, instances involving employees who still pursue other employment alternatives despite the fact that they are well remunerated have been said to occur even in the 21st century. 

It is, thus, against this background that Hauser (2014) argues that employees need to look at more than just the basic needs of junior workers. Rather than focusing on remuneration alone, managements should strive to create a workplace environment that encourages members of staff to realize their psychological and self-fulfillment needs as well. It is without a doubt that a good salary may allow an individual to realize their essential needs including food and shelter. However, I believe that it is equally important to ensure that employees can experience feelings of accomplishment and prestige (Sadri & Bowen, 2011). Such an objective can only be attained when the workers believe that their roles within an organization are fundamental and that they are appreciated regardless of their position within the workforce hierarchy.

Most Relevant Portions of the Article

If I were to explain the issue of employee motivation to someone else, I would focus mostly on the extrinsic forms of motivation. Specifically, I will highlight the connection between this kind of motivation and that which is intrinsic in nature. Extrinsic motivators include prestige, remuneration, and status. These are factors that an organization's leadership can have a direct role in determining them. For example, it would be prudent to ensure that all employees are remunerated well and in a way that corresponds to their roles and tasks within the company. In most cases, paying members of staff less than what they deserve often results in such persons being disgruntled and unhappy at work (Lăzăroiu, 2015). Nevertheless, even as the leadership endeavors to make sure that all employees have access to a decent income, there is a need also to ensure that other measures are put in place to make them feel appreciated. The use of rewards, for instance, is a good example. I would, therefore, focus on the idea of using rewards as an external motivator. By doing so, the senior management team would go a long way in helping the workers to make sure of their intrinsic motivators and which, when utilized effectively, result in increased levels of productivity and employee satisfaction (Lunenburg, 2011).

Recommendations

Considering the critical role that employees play in determining the success of an organization, it is imperative that the necessary measures are put in place to ensure that they are well motivated (Lunenburg, 2011). As such, I intend to solve the issue created by the lack of motivation on the part of members of staff. This section provides information concerning the plan that I recommend to the affected companies on how to go about addressing the issue of employee demotivation. First, I would encourage the leaderships of such firms to create and adopt corporate cultures that foster openness and inclusivity. Rather than distancing themselves from junior workers and seemingly appearing to be bothered about any concerns that they may have, it would be prudent for the management to adopt approaches that will enable them to interact more often with their junior counterparts. Investing in clear channels of communication, for example, would help redefine how the members of the workforce interact with one another (Kinicki & Fugate, 2012). Employees are human beings too with needs, and they do not want to feel as though the top-level management is out of touch with their concerns.

Second, I will implore the management to formulate and implement policies that are aimed at recognizing the efforts of junior workers. I believe that it is important that such professionals are appreciated considering that they play a significant role in facilitating the operations and processes associated with a firm. In this regard, the leadership could adopt a system that recognizes employees who have gone out of their way and engaged in activities that have contributed positively towards the growth of the organization. However trivial the contribution may seem, it is important that the effort made by the member of staff is acknowledged in front of his or her peers for purposes of encouraging others to emulate the same (Lunenburg, 2011). Such moves serve as extrinsic motivators, and they help to set in motion other intrinsic motivators such as ambition.

Third, I will encourage the leadership to adopt a culture of transparency. I believe it is important that junior workers are aware of what is going on at the executive level. Doing so will not only allow the employees to gain a better understanding of the company's direction, but it will also enable them to contribute positively towards pertinent issues affecting the firm. While it may seem that decision-making would rather be reserved for the top-level management team, I believe that implementing a culture that fosters inclusiveness during the process would be a step in the right direction. Contemporary research has shown that employees tend to be more motivated and satisfied when they are allowed to provide feedback on matters affecting the enterprise.

Finally, I will encourage the management to create a livelier workplace environment by working closely with the junior employees. One way of doing this would involve checking up frequently on how the members of staff are doing and without engaging in micromanagement. What is more, it would also prudent for the executives to interact with the junior workers in more than just a professional way by also asking them about their well-being without intruding into the latter's personal lives. By doing so, the leadership would gain a better position as far as understanding the needs of employees is concerned and use the insight to pursue additional motivation strategies.

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