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Employees are considered as one of the important aspects of an organization and motivating them improves their performance. There is a great challenge to managers and leaders in organizations because employees are seeking better environments which motivate them. High rate of employee turnover is being experienced in many organizations and there is need to focus on strategies of maintaining and retaining employees. Talent management is an important aspect that human resources managers should undertake to retain and maintain professionals. Motivation is an inward feeling that makes employees improve the quality of work done or decide to work in an organization for a longer period of time.
There is a wide range of literature covered to help management know employee motivators and how best such motivators can be found and applied. Therefore if the managers are able to realize the strategies that can motivate employees and the mode of carrying them out, then such an organization would be headed for success since the success of the organization entirely depends on how the employees perform. Monetary value is an important aspect in the employee motivation, though it’s not the only aspect that can motivate the employees. Hence, it is only by checking on all the motivating factors that the management can improve the performance of employees. Motivated people behave in a peculiar manner since there is an inward feeling that drives a motivated person to achieve goals. Since people have different needs, they require different motivators and satisfaction of these needs leads to satisfaction (Bruce and Pepitone, 1998).
Motivation theories
Abraham Maslow in his hierarchy of needs theory explained that human beings have five motivational needs which are achieved in a hierarchy. He identified psychological needs as the basic needs that people seek. Montana and Charnov (2008) found out that all human beings require physiological needs because these are the basic needs required for existence. Maslow explained the second item in the hierarchy as the safety needs. These needs relate to security and the tendency to avoid physical hazards. Social needs are the third in the hierarchy and they relate to the desire for affiliation. People tend to seek social acceptance after obtaining the first two needs in the hierarchy. Esteem needs explain the human nature to seek freedom and adequacy. Maslow explained that human beings have the desire to be appreciated. Esteem provides the confidence that their achievements are important and other people should appreciate them. Self actualization is the last item in the hierarchy. This hierarchy relates to self-actualization whereby human beings feel satisfied with all the achievements they have made in life. At this stage, people tend to be achieving the desires of their life. Maslow explained that the number of people at each stage reduce as the hierarchy rises. The first hierarchy has the highest concentration of people while the last hierarchy has the fewest number of individuals (Montana and Charnov, 2008).
Similar to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Clayton Alderfer developed his motivational theory. According to Kakabadse and Vinnicombe (2004), there are three factors developed by Alderfer: existence, relatedness and growth. Therefore, the theory was named as ERG Three-Factor theory. Physiological needs and safety needs developed by Maslow are similar to the existence needs explained by Alderfer. Relatedness needs are relevant to the safety needs and esteem needs as provided by Maslow. Alderfer was of the opinion that people have the desire to relate with other people in the society. Relatedness is a factor which is composed of the desire to seek safety and esteem. Growth needs are the third in the theory and these needs relate to self esteem and self- actualization needs identified by Maslow. People seek growth after achieving existence and relatedness needs (Kakabadse and Vinnicombe, 2004).
Hertzberg developed his motivational needs and identified five factors which motivate human beings. The five factors are achievement, recognition, attraction of work itself, responsibility and advancement. Miner (2007) explained that “job satisfaction is viewed as an outgrowth of achievement, recognition (verbal), the work itself (challenging, responsibility, and advancement (promotion)” (p. 48). Employees tend to improve their work when the five factors identified by Hertzberg are present at the workplace. Miner (2007) suggested that when managers provide the five motivational factors, employees are satisfied and they improve their performance. On the other hand, when these factors are not available at the place of work employees are dissatisfied and will tend to perform poorly (Miner, 2007).
Hertzberg identified the two categories of motivators as growth factors and hygiene factors. Growth factors or motivators relate to the motivational factors which create satisfaction among employees. These factors are achievement, recognition, and attraction to work, responsibility and advancement. On the contrary, motivational factors which create dissatisfaction among employees are called hygiene factors. Hygiene factors emanate from the human nature of avoiding deprivation either physically or socially. The hygiene factors relate to the company policies and administration, inter-personal relationship among people in an organization, supervisory activities, work conditions and salary. Miner (2007) described the employees seeking hygiene factors to be risk averse because they avoid any activity that may bring failure (Miner, 2007).
Theory X and Theory Y were developed by Douglas McGregor to explain the motivational behavior of employees at the workplace. Theory X assumes that employees are not motivated by work as they usually perceive work as unnecessary or evil. He explained that employees seek close supervision for them to work properly. In addition, workers require security at the workplace in order to improve their performance. Employees work better under conditions of punishments and threats. On the other hand, Theory Y explains that employees are motivated and are ready to work under minimal supervision. McGregor explained that Theory Y describes employees as individuals who are ready to achieve goals of the organization. Good performance at the work place, according to Cameron and Green (2004), is as a result of prevalence of Theory Y.
Bruce and Pepitone (1998) suggested that there are two categories of motivational factors: Intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic factors refer to the inner feeling that a person has about the place of work. Extrinsic factors are the external factors which motivate an employee. Extrinsic factors include rewards, promotion, and recognition among others. Employees work harder when their welfare is put into consideration by their managers. There are three C’s of intrinsic motivation provided by Bruce and Pepitone (1998): collaboration, content and choice. Collaboration refers to the inspiration to cooperate in the work place. This is an aspect of employee involvement in the decision making process where managers provide opportunities to their workers to contribute ideas about the operation of the organization. Content refers to the overall goals of an organization. Employees are motivated to work when they are made to realize that their work add value to the organization. When employees are provided the opportunity to take interest in their work they improve performance and contribute willingly to the organizational goals. Choice is the freedom to make decisions about the operations of the work provided to employees (Bruce & Pepitone, 1998).
The external/extrinsic factors which motivate a person to behave in a particular pattern consist of the environment within which a person is located. When the environment provides challenges a person is motivated to overcome the challenges. People are motivated by their colleagues. When the environment does not create challenges, a state of comfort prevails and a person does not seek new things which can change his/her behavior (Bogardus, 2009).
In an organization, the employees are motivated by various factors. Money has been said to be a motivator. However, many people have criticized this ideology by suggesting that people seek various things beyond monetary gains. The overall work environment determines the satisfaction levels of the workers. Motivation helps an individual overcome challenge when the going becomes tough. It is an aspect which encourages a person when there is little or no hope in a certain endeavor. The desire to change cultivates motivation in an individual and provides the ability to desire new things. Realizing the need for change is the initial step in achieving motivation (McClelland, 1987).
The management uses different strategies to motivate their employees by the use of different reward strategies. Reward incentives use both monetary and non-monetary strategies to improve the performance of the employees (Bogardus, 2009). The monetary rewards include promotions, increment in wages, paid leaves, and hospital allowances among others. The non-monetary rewards include thanksgiving for improvement in the workplace and recognition by the top management among others. The management encourages the workers to improve their performance when they create reward incentives within the organization. Reward incentives such as promotions and salary increment should be based on the quality of work done. Leadership within the management of the organization should be encouraged to enable the employees apply the suitable strategies. Managers need to be good leaders so that they can integrate all the needs of the employees as well as understanding the particular characteristics of the employees (Kotelnikov, 2001).
According to Bogardus (2009), employees are not only motivated by the wages they receive from the organizations but are also motivated by many other factors within the environment of the organization. Performance-related pay improves the quality of the work done by the employees. Money is a motivator and increase in wages improves the performance of the employees. This system provides incentives to the employees to work hard to increase the total amount earned. Workers are more productive when their wages are determined by the individual efforts. Performance related system encourages employees to improve the quality of work done and also motivates employees to increase their productivity. Promotions within the organizations are done on the performance of the employees to encourage them work effectively and efficiently (McClelland, 1987).
In a capitalistic economic system the employees (owners of the labor factor of production) and the managers (owners of capital) are rivals and each of the party aims at maximizing his benefits from the other. The employees aim at getting the highest amount of wages possible from the organization. The management aims at obtaining the maximum output from the employees. The two groups are always against each other and the initiatives to engage employees are just but methods of promoting the goals of the management. Most of the initiatives have no monetary benefits to the employees (Lawler III, Mohrman, Benson & Jossey-Bass, 2001).
            In an organization the employees have different personalities, attitudes, responsibilities and views. Employees require different motivation strategies to ensure they improve their performance and work for a long duration of time (Gómez & Crowther, 2007). Motivators increase the efficiency of employees. In addition to increasing productivity, motivation reduces employee turnover and eliminates counter-productive behavior. Improving the welfare of employees boosts their morale and increases their output. Dissatisfaction among the employees affects the performance of public companies and has an impact on the financial position of such organizations (Khan, 2003).
            Henry Fayol (1949) provided that the work of a manager is to plan, organize, control, direct and staff the various resources provided to him/her by the shareholders. A manager must ensure that all the goals and objectives of the organization are achieved by using appropriate strategies which motivate employees to accomplish the goals of the organization.
Fayol (1949) suggested that money is a motivator and can be used to change the behavior of employees. He suggested that remuneration packages provided to employees should be attractive to motivate them. To ensure there is a balance between remuneration policies and available resources, Fayol suggested that managers should create wage systems which coincides with the resources of an organization. As such, managers have an obligation to provide remuneration scales which motivate employees and at the same time the organization is not deprived off its ability to operate (Fayol, 1949).
Open and honest communication between managers and employees is required to create trust among all stakeholders of an organization. Micromanagement of employees is required especially where large number of employees is being controlled by a few managers. This provides opportunities of splitting and grouping employees according to how closely related they are with each other. Team building events should be established within the organization to promote understanding between all the parties. Additional ways of improving employee retention should be identified by the management since multinational organizations have special needs which require assessing needs of employees at different levels (Wiseman & Shuter, 1994).
As the current labor market becomes increasingly competitive and employee talent becomes a driving force for the organizations’ success, more and more organizations are putting tremendous effort to attract, develop and retain top talented employees. Business environment has become more competitive and human resource managers are required to focus on the welfare of their employees (Ackerman & Anderson, 2001). All organizations require talented workers to compete successfully in the business environment. Professionals require better wages since the demand for their services is high. To properly manage talent in an organization, managers should introduce better systems of motivating professionals to attract and retain them. Many people have attained excellent skills and desire to work in organizations which recognize their talents and help them develop their careers while working. The issue about talent management has been very hot due to the increasing rate of employee turnover in organizations (Ackerman & Anderson, 2001). In addition to better rewards, employees seek other aspects to become satisfied with the work environment such as appropriate training and joining welfare association among others.
Latest Ideas on Motivation Theory
In the modern organizational environment, leadership has been identified as a key motivational factor. Through leadership, managers are required to influence their subordinates to contribute to the goals of the organization willingly. Employees are motivated when their leaders are providing necessary support in their daily chores. Managers who interact with their employees are able to identify their needs. It is only through appropriate communication that employees and their managers come into consensus about the appropriate terms of employment (Bruce & Pepitone, 1998). Employee-centered leadership behavior contributes more to job satisfaction and improved performance compared to the job-centered leadership behavior. The roles of leaders and their subordinates need be clearly established to avoid conflicts in the performance of duties. Leaders should adapt to different situations since different circumstances face the organization. Leaders should manipulate followers to achieve specific goals. However, they should provide room for errors since the followers are human beings and have the probability of making errors (House, 1971).
To enhance their subordinates to become innovative and to produce commodities which are competitive in the market, managers are applying leadership strategies to create an entrepreneurial environment within the organization (Mintzberg, 1994). Managers are able to identify the needs of all stakeholders through motivation and integrate the resources of the organization to managerial decisions. As leaders, managers have an obligation to guide their employees towards achieving the goals of the organization.
Employees are motivated by different factors which may be categorized as monetary and non-monetary factors. Employee satisfaction requires an all round approach to improving their morale as well as creating an environment which is suitable for the achievement of goals of the organization. On the other hand, rewards are benefits that are accrued by employees in their workplace. There is a relationship between rewards systems implemented in an organization and the motivational strategies that are adopted by the managers. Employees are motivated by different factors and managers have the obligation to identify the best motivational factors to implement in their organizations. The morale of employees is affected by many factors and managers are concerned about effects of low employee morale on performance of their jobs.
Employee morale also affects their turnover rate in a certain organization. High employee turnover has a very high cost to the organization especially when recruiting new employees. In addition, there is a higher cost of productivity when employee turnover increases. According to Go2 Tourism HR Society (2010, para. 1), “compared to motivated employees, disengaged workers are less efficient, miss more workdays and cost organizations thousands of dollars in lost productivity. Keeping employee morale high is one of the best things you can do to instill loyalty and maintain productivity.” Employees are considered as one of the important aspects of an organization and improving their morale improves their performance. Management is transactional meaning that the subordinates do the things told by the manager because they have been promised a reward. The rewards take the form of salaries or wages offered to the employees (Greiner, 2004).
The increasing competition in the domestic and global markets requires the managers to focus on establishing strategies which will provide competitive advantage to the organization. Globalization has changed the business environment and managers are taking other options to manage resources to achieve competitive advantage and to maintain an integrated system between internal and external environments of an organization. Globalization has been accompanied by increase in competition in both domestic and global markets. This has forced managers to come up with better strategies to manage organizational resources to create competitive advantage as well as increase profitability against the highly competitive market environment. As globalization continues to take place in the global markets managers are required to adopt better strategies to manage their workers (Cooke, 2003). As market conditions continue to change, there is increasing need to come with better human resource management policies to maintain competitiveness in the global markets.
Labor market has experienced a lot of changes since many organizations operate in the global markets. Labor factor of production has become mobile and people can work in different countries. This has increased competition for skilled labor and there has been a great need to improve employee motivation. Reducing employee turnover in the current market conditions requires adopting better strategies when managing human resources. Employees become loyal to the organization when they are motivated to work. Different reward systems are accepted by different labor markets. Countries have regulated remuneration systems adopted by organizations operating within their jurisdiction. It is important for managers to understand the legal regulations established by different governments, especially when working in a multi-governmental environment (Bohlander & Snell, 2009).
Employees are motivated by monetary and non-monetary benefits. Motivation is the inner feeling that a worker develops to improve performance in the workplace. Rewards are the benefits that employees obtained from the organization. Labor markets have changed and managers should develop better strategies to improve employee motivation since competition has intensified with introduction of global markets. Employees improve their performance as the organization provides better rewards. Money has been identified as a motivator and can be used to change the attitude of employees towards the job. Satisfaction of employees requires adoption of an integrated approach when motivating. Both monetary and non-monetary rewards should be used to ensure overall job satisfaction. Reward incentives motivate the employees to improve their performance, thus there is a positive relationship between rewards and employee motivation.

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