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Motivating Employees

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Motivating Employees

While working as a manager in an organization, his job is to make sure that the employees are doing their jobs and they are doing it in the most productive way. But employees are not machines that we could just program their task in their brain and they will do it automatically, they require motivation to actually do their job properly. This is easier said then done, to understand the ways of motivating people we first need to understand human nature, which is the fundamental nature and substance of humans (wikipedia, human nature). Various philosophers have come out with different theories trying to explain the human nature and how to motivate them. These philosophers include Douglas Mcgregor with his “Theory X, Theory Y”, and then there is Frederick Herzberg with the “two factor motivation hygiene theory”. Next would be Abraham Maslow with the “hierarchy of needs”, then there is David McClelland and the “achievement motivation”. Lastly there is “Equity Theory” by John Stacy Adams. In the seminar we looked at a situation that the manager Mike Stanhope, the manufacturing director of a medium sized pharmaceutical firm is having problems motivating his employees to contribute their greatest output to their job. And I believe that if we look at all of these four philosophers’ ideas, he should be able to decide which idea would be the best on motivating his employees.

Firstly we would examine the “Theory X, Theory Y” by Douglas Mcgregor, his theory on human motivation which gave two sides on how to interpret human nature. It is divided into X and Y. Firstly “Theory X” assumes that humans are born lazy and would avoid work as much as possible (Accel-team, Mcgregor). And the manager of this company with runs this theory would have to supervise the employees on doing everything. And Douglas also believes that employees that fall into the theory X category would dislike work, so they have to be threatened to contribute fully into their job, and also management should be “tough”, so the employees would follow the principles that are set before hand, and those who violates it would be punished. And lastly the managing director would not give the staff the opportunity to be creative, so that everyone would behave the expected way (Accel, Mcgregor). So in general Theory X uses the hard way of managing, and for the manager all employees are lazy and must be supervised. The On the other hand Theory Y is a completely opposite way of interpreting staffs; it is giving a positive message that shows people in nature are good and hardworking. It believes that if the job is creative and interesting, the staff would be motivated by themselves and need not to be forced. And also an average man would learn new things and would also seek responsibilities (Accel, Mcgregor). This makes the managers that run this theory to be more open to new ideas and since the employees are given respect and valued, they are more likely to be motivated. These two theories critically examined the human nature, but the hold back is that some of the employees fit in one of the category that is opposite of the one the manager is using, and resulting they could not be motivated.

Secondly we examine the Herzberg theory, which is the “two theory motivation hygiene theory”. This theory is conducted where the employees were asked about their working environment and what motivates them to give their full performance. And he found that there are two elements that create job satisfaction and dissatisfaction, and it was the motivator that made the job satisfying and the hygiene factor that made it dissatisfying. Firstly the hygiene element would be the job environment, which mainly comprise with physiological needs, and those include the company itself, job status, salary, status, etc. and these are just the basic requirements that gives the employee satisfaction in their job (Accel, Herzberg), but these do not motivate the employee to give full contribution to their jobs. So there are the motivating factors, which take account of the human psychological needs, and those include achievement, reorganization to their work and most important is job interest. These factors actually motivate the employee to do their job. The company managers have to satisfy all of the elements so that there will be no complaints from the workers. Most managers would just satisfy the hygiene factor in the work place, but lack of motivating factors, so resulting less contribution from the staff. The ideal work place would be fulfilling the hygiene factor but also throw in also some motivating factors in the job, such as making the task more challenging, or giving more incentives to employees. But sometimes employees have different needs to motivate people and the company would not be able to satisfy everybody’s need, thus making the job for the manager harder to comply with his entire employee.


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