Why motivating employees is becoming increasingly challenging. The study of motivation is concerned basically, why people behave in a certain way or why people do what they do? Generally motivation can be described as the direction and persistence of action. However different items such as work environment or internal and external forces can influence the person’s choice of action. Managers face a significant challenge in finding ways to motivate their employees. Some employees can often if hard to get motivated for a job even after being employed.
Maybe because there is a day job duties repletion, work condition and etc. Below I discuss some of the most significant challenges in employee’s motivation: Money is one of the major variables of satisfaction and motivation, no doubt that employees will feel less motivated if they feel their compensation is not appropriate. Paying employees less will lead to dissatisfaction and of course dissatisfied employee is an unmotivated employee. However we have to consider individual differences in the motivation.
Employees have different needs and given reward do not motivate all individuals similarly. Managers should spend time necessary to understand what is important to each employee and the align goal, level of involvement and reward with individual needs. For example professionals and knowledge workers which highly trained with a college or university degree are more concerned with content of work rather than their place on the organization chart. Money and promotions typically are low on their priority list in contrast job challenge and having skill-development opportunities tend to rank high.
However motivating low skilled service workers which pay levels are often little above minimum wage such as retailing and fast food is different. Many employees working in low skilled service jobs feel that they do not get the respect they deserve from their employers. Unless pay and benefits are significantly increased, high dissatisfaction is probably inevitable in these jobs. Trying to understand the needs of such employees might help motivate them better. Motivating employees in a unionized workplace environment is another challenge.
For example unions have not been very receptive to pay for performance plans. They believe that differential pay to employees doing similar work can hurt corporation and lead to competition in the workplace. In other word in unionized companies providing opportunities for training and advancement and listening to employees concern all help in creating a more positive environment. On the other hand with todays globalized companies we have to consider motivation do not necessarily work equally through the world.
Reward practices in different countries are variable based on cultural differences. For example countries that put a high value on uncertainly avoidance prefer pay base on objective such as seniority. Countries that put a high value on individualism place more emphasis on an individual’s responsibility for performance that leads to rewards. Countries that put a high value on human orientation offer social benefits and programs that provide working family balance, such as childcare, maternity leave and etc.
Work conditions and environment is another motivation challenges. Changing the way workers are treated may boost productivity more than changing the way they are paid. An employee who feels his working conditions are unreasonable maybe unmotivated. If he feels completing a task would place him in a dangerous situation, he may not see the value doing or completing it. Other thing which could affect employee motivation is training. An employee being asked to do work which he is not qualified for or capable of doing can result in an unmotivated employee.
People are generally the most motivated when their jobs give them an opportunity to learn new skills and tasks that are performed and enable them to demonstrate competence. So no doubt having an open, safe and welcoming environment is one of the most important factors. Regulation of the hours of work is another condition. If an employee is working 60 hours a week instead of the standard 40 hours, he may feel unmotivated to show up or give a full effort knowing that he will give more work and expected to stay late to finish project. Multicultural Team is another challenge in motivation.
Nowadays most of the companies from big to small have multicultural team. People from diverse culture, background and beliefs. It’s clear we cannot motivate multicultural teams the same way we motivate teams with members all from same culture. Multicultural teams are differing from same culture teams in a variety of aspects. For example people from different culture have different communication style, working method and decision making practices. The expectations of team behavior vary among nationals and ethic cultures. In result managers in these companies have special challenges for motivation.
Managing and motivating employees who respect different cultures can be simultaneously exciting and challenging, provide supervisors and managers understand how culture differences inspire organizational excellence, at the same time, employers encounter challenges by separating employees instead of using management and motivation techniques that focus on common traits through the workforce. In these companies as a motivating factor, money is important but only to some extent. Usually After they start getting a fairly level of compensation for their input, money stop being the greatest motivator for most people.
Knowing the strength, weaknesses and performance history of each team member are very important. Some training such as multicultural awareness, team building and intercultural management workshop, motivate multicultural team members are very helpful but they must know why they are being trained. Result: All said and done working with a cross cultural team is significantly challenging as the manager must develop strategies to cope not only with differences but also motivate the team to be productive and efficient. Can a manager or supervisor “empower” an employee?
Generally managers used their power as the part of their interaction with employees. In today’s workplace, there is a movement toward sharing more power with employees by putting them in teams and also by making them responsible for some of the decisions regarding their jobs. Some managers believe that to empower people is a real part of leadership as opposed to management and they give examples of way empowerment can actually set people set free to do the jobs they are capable of and also allow them to do self-managing.
However managers have different concepts of empowerment, for example one group of executives believed that empowerment was about delegating decisions making within a set of clear boundaries. While another group believed that empowerment was a process of risk taking and personal growth. There is a lot of positive press on empowerment but much of the talk of empowerment, but much of the talk of empowerment, does not result in employees being empowered. Some managers have difficulties letting employees have more power.
But most of the managers agree that the employees should understand how their jobs fit into the organization and that they are able to make decisions regarding job action in light of the organization purpose and mission. Empowerment can offer a number of potential benefits throughout all levels of organization. Although there is a continuing debate about the real benefits of empowerment, there appears to be a general assumption motivated staff, quality customer service and improved profits.
However all the theories share a common assumption that workers are an untapped resource with knowledge and experience and an interest in becoming involved, and employers need do provide opportunities and structures for their involvement. It’s also assume that participative decision making is likely to lead to job satisfaction and better quality decision and that gains are available to employer (Increased Efficiency) and workers (Job satisfaction), in short an everyone win scenario.
According to Erstad, among the many fashionable management refers to the change strategy with the objective of improving both the individuals and the organization’s ability to act. From the context of articles especially in this area empowerment is a complex process. In order to be successful it requires a clear vision, a learning environment, both for management and employees, participation and implementation tools and techniques.