When the Bells Toll
When she approaches the gate, she sees a young military soldier checking the identification badges of the drivers ahead of her. While she patiently waits her turn in line, the song “Reveille” begins to play across the loud speakers of the military base. Although, this ritual occurs every day around 7:30 a.m. to signal the beginning of the duty day all personnel must come to attention. While she sits in her car, she finds herself admiringly gazing at the red, white and blue flag waving in the wind while her heart pulsates. Upon completion of the song, she drives up to the gate and hands the security guard her identification badge. When she drives away to embark on her daily journey, both her and the security guard exclaim: Have a great day!
It is essential for all organizations to focus on motivation, especially in today’s rough economic times. All organizations need to maintain their competitive edge and focus on strategic planning and goals. Yet, on the other hand, how do organizations stay competitive and keep their employees motivated with shrinking budgets and shrinking workforces in a constant state of flux? Although there are many opposing motivational theories available, careful analysis suggests that a collaboration of motivational theories can be utilized to create a motivating work environment for the entire organization, even in the government.
The Human Factor
One of the most important resources an organization must place emphasis on is their human capital, or simply stated; their employees. Human capital defined is “the collective value of the capabilities, knowledge, skills, life experiences and motivation of an organizational workforce” (Mathis & Jackson, 2011). Basically, at the end of the day, employees are the lifeline of the organization; they can make or break it.
Even though the employees identified above come from two diverse occupational cultures (civilian versus military) they are essentially indifferent. Primarily, they both work for the same reason, to meet the needs of the war fighter by supporting the Air Force mission. Even so, what really motivates them to show up to work every day? Is it self-interest or self-sacrifice? Is it a sense of duty or a sense of loyalty? Is it compensation or monetary rewards? In reality, it could be any one of these factors or a combination of them.
Although there are many motivation theories around today earlier theories on employee motivation date back to the early 1950’s, which three well-known theorists focused on individual behavior and perceived needs. Although they are popular theories, critics have pointed out that employees are not only motivated with behavioral needs but other factors have to also be considered. Later in the 1980’s, theorist focused on systems-thinking and claim that motivation is based on unforeseen events within the system rather than individual behaviors and needs.
The first theory, Abraham Maslow’s...