Motivation In The Workplace Essay

1347 words - 5 pages

The basis of this theory pivots on how individuals learn as well as influencing the trainees’ motivation to learn. Changing behaviour cannot just result from consequences, but must consider the effect that personal characteristics, their input and output, as well as feedback will have on motivation (Noe, 2010). Reinforcing particular behaviours within the initial stages of learning can become an incentivising tool to act under certain conditions, and if regularly enforced, may even become controlling. The effects of this means that reactions are not oriented around the desire to learn and progress but are due to past outcomes, as well as future expectations, internal principles, and self-efficacy (Kleinbeck, Quast, Thierry & Hacker, 1990). Therefore, this method of strengthening workplace motivation must consider when this method is suitable and when not. Using behaviour modification methods can assist in increasing productivity and safety behaviours, as well as reducing absenteeism and the time taken to do something (Redmond, 2010, in wiki). Additionally, reinforcement theory can motivate both individuals as well as the group dynamic as it cultivates a sense of commitment and performance ethic within employees and teams. The benefit of working in a team requires everyone to work as a unit to get any positive reinforcement, unlike individually which centres on looking after oneself (http://www.teambuildingportal.com/articles/team-performance/reinforcement-method). However, there are several issues with reinforcement theory. Employees have to change their behaviour to what the organisation deems as correct to be rewarded for their efforts, and managers have to let their employees know what they are doing wrong so they can learn from their mistakes. Employees may not be rewarded for exhibiting the desired behaviour which could lead to workers becoming disenchanted with their manager and the company (http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/Motivation-Theories-Behavior.topicArticleId-8944,articleId-8909.html).

The extent that reinforcement theory is useful is evidenced through the retail chain ‘Farmers’. Management used positive reinforcement to promote the desired behaviour over the Christmas period by giving employees a ticket to go in the weekly prize draw after closing a big sale, adding on items, and helping customers and co-workers. The control and manipulation of rewards to change behaviour was used to increase employee drive, energy and commitment to ultimately exceed the sales target. Through behaviour modification techniques, management sought to train and develop their staff by providing incentives to increase productivity (Nelson, Raj & Rao, 2006, in wiki site). When first implemented, employees observed and learned from those rewarded for specific behaviours and worked hard to achieve recognition for the same efforts. Hence, the reward produced noticeable changes in behaviour that led to increased sales compared with the previous year....

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