Motivation In The Workplace Essay

2228 words - 9 pages

When it is discovered that a worker can fulfill the requirements of their job, but are experiencing shortcomings in doing so, many times it is believed that worker motivation may be the root of the problem (Laird 95). What, though, is work motivation? According to Laird (2006), “motivation is a fundamental component of performance “ and “is the reason that someone chooses to do some things and chooses not to do others”. In other words, work motivation is what energizes workers to the level of output required to fulfill a task, directs their energy towards the objectives that they need to accomplish, and sustains that level of effort over a period of time (Steers et al., 2004). In essence, worker motivation is what gets the job done. Employee motivation has always been a central problem in the workplace, and, as an individual in a supervisory position, it becomes ones duty to understand and institute systems that ensure the proper motivation of your subordinates. Proper motivation of employees can ensure high productivity and successful workflow, while low worker motivation can result in absenteeism, decreased productivity rates, and turnover. A large body of research has been produced regarding motivation, and much of this research is applicable to the workplace. Due to the nature of man, motivation varies from individual to individual, and, because of this, there is no one system that is the best for ensuring worker motivation in every organizational situation, and, as a product, many theories have been created to outline what drives people to satisfactorily complete their work tasks. Throughout the course of this document, the three main types of these motivational theories will be outlined and examples of each as well as how these theories can be used to further strengthen and sustain worker motivation.
The first of the three subsections of motivational theories that we will cover focuses on the role of personality, needs, and value as a basis of behavioral differences. The underlying basis for the majority of these theories, known as Needs-Motives-Values theories is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow’s Hierarchy makes the assumption that we as human beings are all driven by biological and instinctual needs (Levy 258). Driven by this idea, Maslow created a model which established the needs that all humans have ranked from least demanding to most demanding to accomplish. According to Maslow’s Model, the lower order needs are: physiological, safety, and social. When the lower level needs are accomplished, humans seek to meet the higher order needs, esteem and self-actualization. Due to the lack of empirical evidence to support this structure, it has become disfavored by many organizational psychologists but is often used as a basis for developing new needs-based models (Levy 267). One such revision, proposed by Frederick Herzberg and his colleagues in the late 1950’s, suggested that there were two main categories of needs,...

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