Motivation of Workers
Having a motivated workforce is vital for most businesses, since it
can lead to higher rates of productivity, better quality output, and
low rates of absenteeism and labour turnover.
The main factors which affect the motivation of workers are pay
levels, job security, promotional prospects, being given
responsibilities, working conditions, fringe benefits, participation
in decision-making and working in a team.
There are two basic theories of motivation; content theories and
process theories. Content theories focus on what actually motivates
people, they study the needs that must be satisfied in order for the
employee to be motivated.
The need is either satisfied by an extrinsic reward (e.g. pay) or an
intrinsic reward (e.g. recognition and praise). The Classical (Fayol),
the Scientific (Taylor), the Human Relations (Mayo), and the Neo-Human
Relations (Maslow, Herzberg, McGregor) schools of management thought
are all content theories.
Process theories, do not concern the needs which must be satisfied in
order to achieve motivation, but instead they are concerned with the
thought-processes that influence workers’ behaviour. There are two
This states that workers will only act when they have a reasonable
expectation that their work will lead to the desired outcome. If they
believe that they possess the ability and skill to achieve the goal,
then their level of effort will be great and they will be motivated.
This states that each worker will wish to receive a remuneration
package (equal to their pay plus fringe benefits) in return for their
efforts. Each worker will only be motivated if their remuneration
package is seen to be fair (or equitable) in relation to the
remuneration packages received by the other workers for their efforts.
There are many different methods of payment that a business can choose
from, each of which can have different effects on the level of
motivation of the workforce. The main methods are:
1. Time-rate (‘flat rate’) schemes.
This payment method involves the employee receiving a basic rate of
pay per time period that he works (e.g. £5 per hour, £50 per day, £400
per week). The pay is not related to output or productivity.
Any time that the employee works above the agreed number of hours per
week may make him eligible for overtime payments, often at ‘time and a
half’ (e.g. £7.50 per hour instead of £5 per hour).
2. Piece-rate schemes.
This payment method involves the employee receiving an amount of money
per unit (or per ‘piece’) that he produces. Therefore his pay is
directly linked to his productivity level.
However, it is possible that...