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Praise Motivates

Praise Motivates
Praise or recognition is a form of non-financial motivator that plays a crucial role in satisfying the ego needs of the organization workforce. Robbins (2011) is of the opinion that praise motivates the employees and can be very instrumental in employee motivation than the other incentives. Praise makes employees respond by trying to give the best of their abilities (Robbins, 2011). Praise is also important in the long term relationships between the employees and managers. Manager who praise and celebrate employees success at work tend to have motivated staff than unappreciative managers. Praise on the other has its counterpoints as illustrated by Robbins. Praise may tend to be paradoxical, not genuine, and may just come from people whom the employees try to please (Robbins, 2011). Praise can greatly influence the organizational behaviour of any organization. According to Robbins (2011), there are six dependent variables that influence organizational behaviour. These variables include absenteeism, turnover, deviant behaviour at the workplace, productivity, job satisfaction, and organizational citizenship behaviour (Robbins, 2011).
Praise motivates
There are many theories that support the view point that praise motivates. In his theory of Reinforcement, Skinner argues that there are two ways that an organization can motivate its employees. According to Skinner, positive reinforcement is a situation whereby organizations motivate employees through both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Companies give these incentives as a positive response to individual performance and behaviour. Praise can be a positive reinforcer of motivation if employees are going to be stimulated by it. Praise sufficiently fits in the in the reinforcement theory as it undoubtedly influences employee behaviour. However, Skinner also argues that organization at the same time can use negative reinforcement to remove undesirable consequences. This could be through demotions, punishments, penalties or transfers (Phillips & Gully, 2012).
The viewpoint also is also consistent with the theory X and Y as postulated by Douglas McGregor in exhibit 7.1 (Robbins, 2011). According to McGregor, managers who embrace theory X tend to have demotivated staff because of their perception that employee know what is expected of them and need no be coerced to perform their duties. Praise fits in this exhibit because manager that practice theory Y believe that employees needs when satisfied will influence there behaviour at the workplace hence positively impact on their motivation. Praise of recognition as an esteem factor is important in maximizing employee motivation.
The third theory of motivation was postulated by Herzberg in 1959. Herzberg identified two factors that are crucial in employee satisfaction. He identified Hygiene factors as those factors essential for employee motivation in an organization. Hygiene factors according Herzberg do not lead to long term employee satisfaction, but if absent within an organization it lead to dissatisfaction. Herzberg identified remuneration, job security, physical working conditions, employee status, work conditions, and fringe benefits as key Hygiene factors. In his second factors, Herzberg categorized praise or recognition, sense of achievement, work promotions, responsibility and meaningful work as motivational factors. Herzberg was of the opinion that Motivational factors are intrinsic satisfiers that result in positive satisfaction among the employees in an organization (Herzberg, Mausner & Snyderman, 2005). Praise is consistent with illustration in exhibit 7.2 by Robbins is one of the satisfying factor that led to extreme satisfaction in an organization
Organizations today are challenged by the issue of motivating their employees so that work performance can be guaranteed. Many organizations engage in planning and implementing of reward schemes with believe that the rewards will bring desired change in employee motivation (Woodruffe, 2006). Organizations assume that by offering these kinds of incentives will encourage employees and result in improved work performance. However, drawing the link between incentives and motivation of employees is a very complex thing to study (Woodruffe, 2006). The underlying question is therefore; can any substantial gain be achieved by pursuing incentives and rewards as the only way of motivating the employees? Though incentives stimulate employees to greater job action, it in itself cannot overall completely satisfy an individual. Besides incentives and monetary rewards there are other stimuli of motivation and performance. Employees may as well be motivated by recognition or rather praise from the management, job satisfaction and security, job promotion or other accomplishments (Woodruffe, 2006).
Praise as a motivator can play a crucial role in the overall motivation of an individual or group. In his article “Motivation: Try praise”, Nelson argues that praise can be a powerful tool in staff motivation. Nelson presents different ways in which the management can praise employees within the organization. Managers should make people part of their “to do” list through praising them. Nelson presents a scenario where a manager develops a habit of praising the employees on a weekly basis by close observance. The manager makes a list of employees who have outstanding achievements during the week and praises them. This result in employee motivation which in turn leads to efficient job performance (Nelson, 1996).
Organizations can also motivate employees through groups. Managers can start staff meetings by reading customer praise letter to the staff. Alternatively the managers can also create a “wall of fame” as a way of putting across organization appreciations to the staff for their achievements. According to Nelson, organizations can also have scrapbooks in which employee teams are recognized by their performances and accomplishments. This will ultimately result in employee motivation (Nelson, 1996).
Mariotti in his article “The power of praise” reveals that praise is the most important form of compensation that management can give to its employees. In his argument, Mariotti discusses that businesses in the modern world face many difficulties and the best way of motivating its workforces is by praise which doesn’t require any budgetary allocation. Mariotti recognizes that a highly motivated staff working together with energy and enthusiasm can be reinforced to work even harder through praise (Mariotti, 1997). From his experience with workers working for long hours, Mariotti reveals that praise is important in motivating groups of employees. Mariotti meets a group of demotivated workers and says thanks to them. This comes as a surprise to the workers who had not received any appreciation message for a long time from the company management. From a simple word “Thanks” the worker feel appreciated (Mariotti 1997).
According to Wiscombe, majority companies of cannot sustain the cash incentives as motivating factors to their employees. Wiscombe is of the idea that praise and recognition are cost-effective ways of motivating employees. Saying a word as “Good Job” to an employee is valuable in boosting employee morale hence increasing productivity (Wiscombe, 2002).
To further emphasize the importance of praise in motivation, Milne reveals that research carried out by Cameron and Pierce indicate that different rewards have different impacts on employee motivation. The study found out that praise or positive feedbacks leads to improved employee interest and work performance (Milne, 2007). Milne states that though salaries make people go to work, there are other factors that keep worker on jobs. Milne recognizes that paying attention to employees and thanking them for their job achievement cannot be underestimated. She is of the opinion that the simple verbal word of praise to employees is fundamentally powerful in motivating workers. Praise in this context plays an important role in the workers having a sense of self accomplishment which in turn makes them work extra hard towards achieving the set goals (Milne, 2007).
Praise is also inevitable in cultivating morale in students. According to Cook, praise as an intrinsic factor is very important in the overall performance of students in a learning set-up. Cook opines that praise is essential enabling students develop pride in their own accomplishments. Praise leaves students with high self esteem, confidence, and self enjoyment. This can only be achieved when both parents and teachers applause students academic achievements (Cook, 2003).
In his journal article, Alexander gives ten lo-cost strategies that employers can use to keep workers happy. Alexander acknowledges that besides the use monetary incentives as ways of motivating the workforce, employers can simply praise the employees for the job well done. Steve presents an example of managers who have used praise as a motivational tool. One manager agrees that employees need to be acknowledged “for having the right demeanour, answers, work process, and practices. Another manager also acknowledges the importance of praise by saying: “praise is always good as long as it is not overdone” (Alexander, 1998 p.91).
However, praise as a motivating factor has its own counterpoints (Robbins, 2009). Praise may turn out to be paradoxical when rottenly used. Furthermore, praise by managers whom employees work hard to please may be of no consequence. An employee may work hard to please the manager and not that he or she is motivated by the praise from the senior. Sometimes praise may not be genuine from the person giving it. By falsely giving praise to the employee and yet they do not need it may breed narcissism. Flattery praise by the managers seeking to appease employees tends to be worthless. Employees fail to be motivated by such kind of praise (Robbins, 2009).
Sometimes praise may be aggressive and may sound as sarcasm to the employee or a group of employees praised. In the true sense praise may mean trying to keep the workers in the same position. Employees may interpret the praise to mean the management is out to ensure that employees deserve not to be promoted. In such a circumstance praise leads to low morale and low motivation of workers (Changing Minds, 2012).
The systematic model of organizational behaviour manager must be compassionate and sensitive to the diverse needs of its workforce. Employees respond to these by embracing effectiveness in the performance of their duties. However, praise if not properly handled by the managers may be detrimental to group performance. According to Miller, praising a few employees within a team may create problems. Miller of the opinion that managers who publicly praise one employee so as to motivate others are likely to cause more problems. This kind of praise makes employees sense an element of favourism which can lead to low morale of other employees (Millar, n.d.).
Praise as intrinsic factors is important in influencing the behaviour of employees at the workplace. Praise extremely contributes to satisfaction of self esteem needs of individuals at the work and therefore should not be ignored by the manager when crafting organizational behaviour models. Praise is properly utilized has positive impact on employee productivity, organization citizenship behaviour, and job satisfaction of the employees. Furthermore, it helps reduce deviant behaviour of employees at the workplace, turnover and the level of absenteeism.

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