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Employee Motivation & Expectancy Theory Essay

1146 words - 5 pages

In today’s digital world, employment has become much easier to find. Gone are the days of buying newspapers, looking over countless job ads, mailing in resumes, and waiting days for a response. Anyone can access employment sites such as,, or and find their dream job. The specificity of job search engines have made it easy to find a particular job in a particular field, click the submit resume button to apply for it, and move on. Tens or even hundreds of jobs can be applied for in no time at all. All of this makes it very easy for a disgruntled employee to easily obtain employment elsewhere. Companies must work much harder to attract and retain competent employees.
Once hired, in order to retain competent employees, management can use many tools. One of the tools at their disposal is Expectancy Theory, first suggested by Yale University Professor Victor H. Vroom. As explained by Brian Redmond and Shaun Miller (2013), the theory suggests that an individual's perceived view of an outcome will determine the level of motivation. Some employees are motivated by money, while others prefer recognition for a job well done, a corner office, or the parking space closest to the building. Each person is different. Therefore, no one size fits all solution will work.
There are three key components to Expectancy Theory, expectancy, instrumentality, and valence. Expectancy can be described as the belief a person has that the more effort they put into a task, the more favorable the outcome will be. For instance, if a carpenter makes sure all the angles in the addition he is building are 90 degree angles, the addition will be perfectly square; thereby making it easier for the sheetrock to be hung, new hardwood to be installed, and painting to be done more efficiently. His belief, or expectancy, is the extra work he puts into the addition will result in a favorable outcome for him, a pay raise. The carpenter’s pay raise is an example of instrumentality. The carpenter performed well, and trusted that the contractor would reward him for job performance. The importance of the pay raise is an example of the value, or valence, the carpenter associated with the raise. All three components of Expectancy Theory explain why the carpenter performed his job duties so well. To receive the reward he wanted most, a pay raise. Without the possible motivation of more money, the carpenter may not have performed as well as he could have, and the project would suffer as a result.
Unlike the carpenter, the employees at the professional audio products company suffer from a lack of motivation. The company does not provide any real incentives for reaching production goals. Some of the employees also have concerns about the hand dexterity required by the new production process. In order to motivate the employees, management should first implement a training program. The program should instruct all employees about the new production process while also...

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