Many theories came along to show the importance of motivation. Motivators are the things that drive the employees to achieve; de-motivators are the opposite and would lead to deterioration on the job-level. Performance is directly affected by motivation, thus, a performance appraisal should be done where the manager measures the performance of an employee and acts accordingly. Motivation is the key to success in any given task or job. If not met, failure will most probably be the result. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the demotivators, the motivators of employees at work and the effect of these factors on employees’ performance thus organizational performance and the positive correlation between both latter concepts.
Abraham Maslow once said, “If I were dropped out of a plane into the ocean and told the nearest land was a thousand miles away, I’d still swim. And I’d despise the one who gave up.” The drive for him to reach the land is a combination of ability, willingness, and motivation. Likewise in any organization, there is always a drive for employees to achieve. The heart of this drive that leads to positive organizational performance and thus success is motivation; it is this desire to achieve. Motivating employees is when the employer gets them to “want” to do what he/she knows should be done. It is also the third key performance indicator of Human Resources. The main assets of an organization are the employees; if not satisfied and motivated then progress and success are close to impossible. Thus, it is a conductive synergy; if dissatisfaction occurs employees would dock, procrastinate, sabotage the company, increase absenteeism, or even petition.
Motivation could be of two kinds: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is based on the desire for external rewards, such as gaining approval of others, earning money, winning prizes… etc. Usually extrinsic motivation tends to be more commonly needed among people who have low or poor self-confidence or those who lack internal goals. The internal goals or the inner desire to do something or gain knowledge in something is what intrinsic motivation is based on. People who are led by intrinsic motivation are those who know what their goals are and are aligned with what they value most.
Due to the highly competitive era that we live in, managers need to consider behavioral management theories to increase employees’ retention and increase organizational effectiveness. After the classical school of management came the behavioral school to speak out on the name of employees’ satisfaction and stated that they are driven by motivation and one could not possibly give them the job and ask them to yield good performance. According to Hawthorne’s theory, a study was conducted on employees’ performance in dim and bright light. Results were the same because in both cases they were given recognition and attention. According to McGregor, a manager should follow his “Theory Y” which states that people are good by nature and that they are ambitious and self-motivated. A theory Y manager believes that people will do well at work if they were given the right conditions. They are the managers that usually create the climate of trust that will lead to the development of the human resource aspect in an organization. Following that came Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that divided the human needs into five categories: physiological, safety, social, self-esteem, and self-actualization.
The first three are the lower level needs and the latter two are the higher level needs. Physiological needs are first and the most important; they are the basic requirements for the survival and function of humans and are met by having a hygienic environment at work. Safety needs are those concerning the security of the employment, resources, body, family… etc. These needs are satisfied by having a sealed contract at work. Humans constantly need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their social groups. Thus Maslow proposed the third level of needs: the social needs. The self-esteem needs as the name suggests, it is the need for confidence, achievement, and respect by and to others. Self-actualization which is the utmost level is met after mastering all prior needs one after another. It is portrayed as Maslow describes this level as the desire to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most that one can be. Another theory is the expectancy theory which states that motivation is a function of expectancy, instrumentality, and value. The employee should know that the job or the task is not a “mission impossible”; moreover, he/she should also know that there is a means to achieving it and if so will be awarded in a valuable way. After the managers apply those behavioral theories into the workplace, the organization tends to become more productive. Performance therefore needs to be measured in a process called performance appraisal. It is one of the periodic HR’s duties in which the employee is examined and evaluated, objectively and constructively. Based on the results, which the employee should know by giving him/her feedback, key areas of improvement or praise are shed light on.
Therefore, the manager will know who to promote, demote, train or even fire. There are three major steps in the performance appraisal process: identification, measurement, and management. With identification, the behaviors necessary for successful performance are determined. Measurement involves choosing the appropriate instrument for appraisal and assessing performance. Management, which is the ultimate goal, is the reinforcing of good performance and the correction of poor performance.
What are the motivators and de-motivators? How do they affect performance and how they are measured? The answers will be further discussed in the literature review.
Demotivators at Work
What does really motivate employees?
How can we boost employee’s morale?
What can we do to increase the performance and the productivity of our employees? How can we know if the way our employees are doing things is right and doing the right things? ….. And the list continues. We could really spend a day just talking about the concerns of organizations when it comes to securing its continuity in this ever-growing competitive environment. The key to success is definitely in the way we run our employees in such a manner to boost their morale and keep them motivated to excel in their jobs for it has as major positive impact on increasing productivity. When we talk motivation, we need first to align what demotivates the employees.
Demotivators are those nagging, daily occurrences that frustrate employees and cause them to reduce, either consciously or unconsciously, the amount of productive energy they use in their jobs. Demotivators are draining the life out of employees everywhere, undermining morale and wasting the most valuable resource we have – human talent and creativity. Demotivators can be a single factor or a group of factors that affect that employee’s morale and cause him to underperform. Not only do demotivators trigger negative emotions, but they also elicit negative behaviors – such as withholding effort, absenteeism, tardiness, extended breaks, criticizing management, theft, conflict, and even violence, vandalism and sabotage. First, we are going to consider “Micromanagement” as a demotivator: Employees have different needs, different expectations, and different ambitions. Following Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the physiological, safety and belongingness are the most important needs that must be secured first to any employee. Only after his basic needs are met, will he focus on realizing his self esteem and his self actualization, thus he will go the extra mile to perform effectively in order to achieve now his growing needs for achievement and for power. Micromanagement limits the employee’s motivation and his potential growth, and also affects his morale eventually.
He will feel that he‘s not getting recognition and room to grow professionally. Some managers apply the theory X type of management, being autocratic, never trusting their employees, nor delegating them: hands on, central and formal management are some examples. Any employee under these conditions will not sense a feeling of belonging to the organization, nor will he feel responsible to work effectively or to improve his performance. At the end of the day, he doesn’t see any potential to grow out of his current position, or that his efforts will be appreciated as the credit would go to his managers. “Hazy Job Profiles” is another demotivator that is very frequent in many organizations: Absence of a clear job description, absence of a realistic reachable goal, absence of a clear target, absence of performance appraisal and a regular evaluation telling an employee where he stands and what areas he needs to improve, are all classic reasons that define the hazy and unclear job profile that negatively affects the employee’s behavior. An employee needs to know what is expected from him, what his responsibilities are, what areas he is accountable for, his reporting authority and who reports to him. All these are important for him to know how he will be judged and on what basis he will be evaluated and assessed. Even though some organizations do not spend enough time on setting the job profile, it is an essential part to be well prepared by the HRM to give the employee the kick he needs to evaluate and advance in his career. “Unclear expectations” represent another demotivator that must be taken into consideration.
In fact, without realizing it, management often communicates wrong messages, or fails to communicate clearly what’s required of the employees. They ask them to maximize production, emphasize on quality, customer satisfaction, limit the interaction time with customers, work faster, then work safer, etc… All these messages can be misleading to employees and they fail to target what is really important or to prioritize their tasks. Thus, communication is the game in everything. The result is that they lose time and energy on wrong or unneeded tasks, and they accomplish wrong results that would lead them consequently to frustration, demotivation and disinterest in the job. Let’s consider now the “Work Environment” as a demotivator: In any organization, it is highly important to check the internal environment, the external environment and the global environment. If the subject company has a poor working conditions and a not so pleasant environment, this would kill the natural abilities of people to perform. Will they feel relaxed to perform? The answer is no because they will be too busy securing basic needs, again physiological and safety needs.
The absence of team work means that employees will be looking to establish their own interests over those of the company. It is important to generate a healthy environment, and a positive competition among employees, the sort that would push for team work, creativity and new ideas, not job docking or demotivation. Politics causes a suffocating environment that kills the natural abilities of the people to perform. It is difficult to fight at every step and do things which you know is must for the growth of the company. A company will cease to exist when its employees favor their own interests to those of the company. Managers here are bound to integrate the employees in the discussions, and involve them to a certain extent in the decision making. Moving to the “Absence of Recognition”, we all look to achieve, we all look for power and we all want to fit in and belong whether socially or professionally. We do it in order to feel secured, satisfied and self content.
We also do it because we look forward to enhance our self-esteem and realize our self-actualization. We also do it because we expect to be rewarded for our efforts afterwards. Every employee expects something in return when he achieves outstanding results. The reward can either be monetary, a reward system, or anything positive. Not receiving any recognition for something that we really worked hard on can be, and will be frustrating. Sometimes, an employee would appreciate a “thank you” or “well done” or “good job” from his superiors in front of a group of a few people. This will mean a lot to him and will boost his morale and entice him to maintain his performance or push it a little further. Some companies just fail to realize that this is cheapest and most efficient form to keep the employees happy and motivated. “Workload” can also be considered to be a demotivator: Most companies are nowadays applying the downsizing policies to be able to reduce their costs and maintain their position in the market. It is off course a hard decision on any organization to decide to lay off some of its employees. Such a decision will not only have its toll on the employee himself, but it will also affect his health, his family, his colleagues and the company itself. As a matter of fact, the company will then have to redistribute the work on one or two other employees who will handle the relative tasks in addition to their current tasks.
The result is too much work to complete with so little time, which leaves no possibility for the employee to explore his natural abilities, or to learn new skills. He will no longer be motivated to work, nor will he focus on achieving high results or performing effectively, as all he will care about now is how to finish the workload on time, and how he will cope with the extra work. Now, how can the “Salary” be a demotivator? A job should provide the minimum expected income to lead a normal life and be able to answer the important needs of a human being to live in dignity and live decently. This is the most prevalent reason but sometimes it seems that no one is happy with what they get. If the employee’s salary levels within and outside the company is not at par and good performance is not adequately compensated, the employee will first not be motivated to work, no more then he will be motivated to perform his tasks correctly and effectively. Thus, overall performance is affected. “Organizational Culture” may also demotivate employees. Employees look to fit the organizational culture and to be in harmony with their supervisors. Being friendly with workers, offering assistance and help, how managers treat their teams, existence of healthy competition, type of language people use, the way of doing things, etc…
These are some of many factors that can reflect the company’s culture and environment. If the environment is not pleasant, the employee will be demotivated. He will not be in the mood to work, nor will he communicate with his colleagues to get the job done if it requires assistance. He will not look to achieve if his relation with his supervisors is not so great, for he thinks they will get the credit, whereas he will not advance in his career. If an employee is not happy he cannot work hard, and if he dreads to go to work every day, his productivity will soon or later on drop dramatically. “Organizational Policies” represent a major issue when talking about demotivators. Each company has its own policies but sometimes they are too many for the employee to grasp. The company also has to abide by the local environment policies that include those enforced by the government. Example of policies may include but they are not restricted by: Policies for women, Special situations, Conduct, Etc… These policies impact the life of employees and their working atmosphere, and can prove to be demotivating once they don’t take into consideration the humanitarian view. You may not weigh it much, but people who have to travel a lot or cover a big of distance to their office know the importance of this factor in their lives.
Therefore, “Distance” is another demotivator. The balance of life between home and office seem to evaporate in thin air. All travel and no time for themselves demotivates them to the core. Some “Meetings” can be unproductive and can be time consuming and exhausting for employees, with no results to be seen. They see it as a waste of time and energy, and it leaves them demotivated. Moreover, “Hypocrisy” usually involves superior comments or promises, followed by contradictory behavior. Many organizations say one thing and do another – leaving employees feeling angry, frustrated and betrayed. “Change” may also pose a challenge and is an important factor to maintain as well as to achieve organizational success. Companies need to unfreeze the status quo, run changes then refreeze the situation again, and that’s a very important cycle to be respected because constant change is extremely disruptive. Sometimes it can unplanned, badly communicated and poorly envisioned.
Employees have already a lot on their back to worry still about unnecessary and unproductive changes. Many changes leave the employees feeling down, as they have to abide by what the management decides is right for now. “Hiding Information” from employees is demotivating. It can be interpreted as mistrust or a threat when the data is not communicated, leading sometimes to incoherent and incompatible efforts that are not aligned with the management vision and plan. When we don’t involve employees in what’s happening or why a certain decision has been taken, they will not be motivated to work nor will they feel responsible or accountable for achieving the required tasks. Let’s treat the issue from the “Low Quality Standards” perspective: Poor-quality work does not only include the cost of replacement, scrap and dissatisfied customers. It also includes the terribly demotivating impact on employees. Most employees look forward to achieve a work of high quality. It makes them feel good and satisfied on a personal level. However, due to growing competition and time and costs constraints some companies are prioritizing short production goals, thus lowering the quality standards.
The result is that either the customers are left dissatisfied or the employees are left demotivated because they are involved in goal setting and process improvement. Both have devastating repercussions on the company. Why not to speak a little bit about “Favoritism”? Actually, Favoring one employee over another is very common in organizations due to stereotyping or the look like me effect when managers and supervisors usually falls in. When the least favored employee gets good results, the recognition is almost absent, but if he makes the smallest mistake the punishment is tough. The opposite happens with the favored employee, and his mistakes go sometimes unnoticed and unpunished. The rest of the employees will notice and feel discrepancies, which will lead them to demotivation. slide 5 of 13
From another point of view, “The Absence of a Benefit Package” or the existence of a weak one can be demotivating for employees when they compare themselves to what other employees are being offered in different companies.slide 6 of 13 1111111slide 8 of 13
Finally, “Violence and Harassment” can demotivate employees at work. There are different types of harassments at the workplace: sexual, racial, personal, bullying, age harassment and disabled harassment. Issues like these can threaten the safe working environment that companies strive to insure. When employees don’t feel safe, they will not perform and they will start absenting, docking the job, etc… which will affect the overall organizational performance. Adding to that the fact that such issues can lead the organization to court shall any of the employees decide to file a lawsuit case? What a bad toll that would have on the organization’s reputation and rank in the society and marketplace?
Motivators at Work
Employee motivation is a continuing challenge at work. It doesn’t only guarantee that work is done in time but it also ensures that quality of work is not compromised. Employees want to earn reasonable salary to support themselves and their families. Money is the only inducement as for nobody works for free; no other incentive or motivational technique comes even close to it with respect to its influential value (Sara et al, 2004). It has been known as a chief source of satisfying people’s needs. It has the power to attract and retain individuals. However, it doesn’t motivate; it only activates employees to do the minimum that is required in their job descriptions. Frederick Herzberg, the Behavioral theorist who conducted studies on worker motivation in the 1950’s and developed the Motivation-Hygiene theory of worker satisfaction and dissatisfaction, concluded that hygiene factors such as salary or pay can prevent dissatisfaction, but they do not motivate employees.
According to Herzberg, hygiene factors work primarily as demotivators if they are not sufficient. As for the motivators, he believed that responsibility, recognition, achievement and advancement increase satisfaction and motivate people towards a greater effort and performance. Herzberg like many other behavioral theorists was influenced by the Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs concept. The theory of Herzberg has shed the light on the importance of the intrinsic aspects of a job and their ability to motivate employees. It also generated the concept of job enrichment. He believed that removing some of the control over employees, giving them additional authority, increasing their personal responsibility and freedom in their own work and encouraging them to take on new and more difficult tasks would enrich their job and positively motivate them. In addition, studies have shown that giving employees more responsibility and letting them feel a greater ownership in the business make them more motivated to work harder and make the business succeed. Non-monetary incentives such as recognition can be as successful, and sometimes more successful, than monetary based plans.
According to Maurer (2001) recognition is an essential factor in enhancing employee job satisfaction and work motivation which is directly associated to organizational achievement (Jun et al., 2006). This type of incentive works well with people who are intrinsically motivated. It can be achieved by simply asking employees for their opinions on specific issues or ideas. Such a criterion makes them feel that their opinion matters and is valued thus giving them an important role within the company. Recognition also includes acknowledging employees performance which in fact is really high on the list of employee needs for motivation. Managers should associate recognition in return with monetary gifts. Although employees would prefer money, but sometimes they might also appreciate praise, a verbal or a written “Thank you”. Appreciation is another form of non-monetary incentive. Even though its effectiveness isn’t stressed enough however it has a significant impact on employees. Employees would appreciate being involved directly with their immediate supervisors.
The daily interaction builds good relationships. Discussing and sharing different points of view and ideas assist employees in getting involved thus motivated. And in return involved employees will start working beyond what is required from them in their job description and go the extra mile for the business. Furthermore the quality time spent with employees can be a huge enabler for understanding their current motivators. This relationship is the only and the most important factor in employees’ retention. Recent surveys have also found that flexible work arrangements improve employees’ motivation and retain them. In addition, having a clear staffing structure in the business with a scope for career development can expand both engagement and motivation. Likewise having a bonus or commission structure and creating a “Familial” atmosphere, in which everybody is treated fairly, can also maximize employees’ motivation and productivity. Similarly, as the proverb says “With great power comes more responsibility”, empowering employees to take responsibility for their own job and distributing leadership across all the levels in an organization can encourage, motivate and engage them with their tasks, especially if they can be left to work autonomously. David McClelland, like Maslow, also believed that people develop various needs throughout their life experiences. However, the only difference between McClelland’s theory and Maslow’s is that it assumed that different people have different patterns of needs.
McClelland’s theory focused on the need for achievement which is the desire to do something better than it has been done before, the need for power which is the desire to control, influence, or be responsible for other people and the need for affiliation, which is the desire to maintain close and friendly personal relationships. According to McClelland, employees have all these needs to some extent but with different intensities. The relative strength of each need affects what will motivate each person. Managers through their daily interaction with employees can understand their behavior and the kind of motivation that best works. For example, employees with a strong need for achievement are more motivated by success than by money while employees with a strong need for power seek out advancement and responsibility whereas employees with a strong need for affiliation give ambition a back seat in exchange for approval and acceptance. Similarly, Vroom’s “Expectancy–Valence” theory suggested that people are most motivated to seek achievable and worthy results.
Meaning that, the strength of motivation is a function of the perceived value of the outcome and the perceived probability that the behavior will result in the outcome. Moreover studies have shown that making work more interesting to employees will make them give it their full attention and enthusiasm. This can be achieved by job rotation, enlargement, and enrichment. Job rotation gives employees more variety by moving from job to job and giving them the opportunity to learn new skills through cross-training. Job enlargement also assumes job variety by adding more duties to the job which in return makes it more satisfying and motivating. Job enrichment as explained by Herzberg gives employees more responsibility to make decisions and more recognition for good performance. Most of these motivation theories have one thing in common: Managers must consider individual differences while designing rewards. They should always keep in mind that what motivates one person may not motivate another. So they need to offer a variety of rewards and fairly distribute them to avoid discrimination.
Linking Motivation to Performance
In order for us to study the implications of employees’ motivation on the organizational performance, it would be essential for us to start by defining the organizational performance and effectiveness terminology. Researchers do not agree on a specific definition for organizational performance. In fact, they look to it from different perspectives and they might adopt divergent views in defining it. Moreover, some of them have already created business models in an effort from them to explain and highlight this broad pillar concept in today’s business World. However, the grounds for defining the organizational performance and effectiveness are common among the majority of researchers. According to Mary et al, (1996), organizational performance is the ability of a company to attain its goals and objectives by the use of its resources. It is the maximum utility and efforts of the essential constituents of an organization in achieving the organizational goals and it reflects these constituents’ satisfaction in the input-output transformation process, as seen by Matthew et al, (2005).
Finally, organizational performance is deemed to be “the process of locating targets and attaining them proficiently in spirited and energetic surroundings” (Constant.D, 2001). But, the breakneck challenge remains in creating such “energetic” surroundings in nowadays business environment in an attempt to reach the highest levels of motivation. Several studies conducted around the World and in different organizations assert that a positive relationship exists between the organizational performance and employees’ motivation. Thus, it becomes incontestable that when an organization tries to increase its employees’ satisfaction by motivating them, it will be increasing their performance and their effectiveness in achieving the organizational objectives set by the corporate level of management. And this is again verified by Matthew.J. et al, (2009), who consider the maximization of profits to be the fruit of a higher level of effectiveness and efficiency among workers in the business set, generated by satisfaction, delight and internal motivation. Many organizations, even unintentionally, found themselves enjoying a higher performance and effectiveness by increasing their employees’ degree of motivation.
Many researches were conducted in an attempt to explain the nature of the relationship between the Human Resources Management (HRM) practices and the organizational performance. In a study realized by Paul, A.K., & Anantharaman, R.N. (2003) and titled “Impact of people management practices on organizational performance”, the authors see that it is crucial for employees to be motivated, satisfied and committed in order for them to bring value and significantly contribute in the success of their organizations. Therefore, this reflects the indirect link between HRM policies and organizational performance through HRM output. On the other hand, controls (size, capital intensity, union intensity) which are all subtitles under the HRM policies section, may influence directly the organizational performance according to another study conducted by Huselid (1995). Thus, taking into consideration these studies, it is now clear that the HRM policies enjoy a duplicate relationship with the organizational performance (direct and indirect relationship), as they include motivation. And here, we should not forget to underline the importance of employees’ retention, one of the major Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in the HR of every organization, in establishing the coherence of this relationship.
If a company is unable to retain its internal customers (employees), then it will encounter difficulties in capitalizing on its human asset. Thus, it is important to set employees’ retention as an indispensable condition to be satisfied before discussing the implications of motivation on performance. In addition to that, it is important to shed light on the fact that organizational performance is a function of a multitude of variables that must be taken into consideration when measuring overall performance. A. Katou (2008) suggests that the performance is the big framework under which concepts such as effectiveness, efficiency, development, satisfaction, innovation and quality fall. And since these concepts are the basic components of organizational performance, thus it becomes steady that each one of them is directly related to performance.
Therefore, anything that might positively affect any of these concepts might also be positively reflected on performance itself. Thus, when measuring the increase in organizational performance due to motivation, it becomes vital to take in consideration positive implication of motivation on each of these concepts. A high organizational performance might result due to a higher level of effectiveness achieved in top management positions when setting the appropriate goals and objectives and communicating these objectives to all levels and departments within the organization. And motivation, once found among top managers, it will play a major role in increasing the effectiveness of these managers in setting the appropriate goals to reach. A motivated manager will put the interest of the whole organization as a priority and will work hard with his subordinates to achieve them. In a similar context, the Behavioral School of Management suggests that employees are more likely to express a high sense of motivation when they work with a motivated manager (Hawthorne studies).
Staying within Katou’s study (2008) frame, motivation is directly related to efficiency, which constitutes the ability of firm to meet its objectives using the least amount of resources. Motivated employees are more likely to consider the costs that their organization incurs to achieve the expected goals and objectives. So, they think about squeezing the costs as a way to increase their revenues and profits, leading to a maximum efficiency and performance. Moving to the development, it is essential to say that an organization must always conduct a SWOT analysis, watching both its internal and external environment. Consequently, it must analyze any opportunity looming and try its best to make out of it the most profit it could. Thus, motivation here is essential key to performance since it leads to a proactive workforce that constantly analyzes the external environment for any opportunity, and that permanently trying to predict the future. Hence, motivation turned out to be responsible of the subsequent future of an organization in addition to its ulterior prosperity. Finally, adhering to Katou’s research (2008), motivation is at the root of every step forward in the innovation concept. Definitely, a demotivated workforce will soon suffer from the routine of the daily work and will never think of finding new ways in achieving the organizational objectives or manufacturing a product and so on and so forth.
Thus, a huge role is attributed to motivation in this direction. And once motivation and innovation meet, a positive synergy is created among workers at all levels of management, driving the whole organization to realize and achieve high quality and standards in serving its customers, either by providing high quality products or offering high quality services in the business environment. This would definitely drive us to talk about the competitive advantage that high quality and innovation would both create within the organization itself, leading to outperforming competitors and to the generation of core competencies that provide the organization with the power to overcome any threat imposed by the presence of any competitor.
Thus, the outcome is a higher performance due essentially to motivation. In a recent study by Nicu Ioana Elena (2011), a motivated workforce will also ensure, in addition to all of the previous consequences discussed above, a better assumption of responsibilities in the organization leading to higher levels of performance. She also affirms in her study that organizations in which employees are motivated are more likely to witness small absenteeism rates, very low personnel fluctuations, a negligible Procrastination rate (Fatigue, Stress), and frivolous percentages of Sabotage and Docking among its employees, all of them associated with burnout that leads to modest levels of organizational performance. Finally, motivating employees might show to be of a certain intrinsic value to the organization itself. In fact, when an organization takes care of its employees, constantly trains and develops them and motivates them to work harder and achieve organizational goals in the most effective and efficient way, they would feel that they are treated as valuable assets in the company and they would feel the importance accorded to them by their supervisors.
Thus, they will adopt a positive attitude towards the organization they work at, and this will be reflected by a better organizational reputation which may in a way or another have its own indirect implications on the organizational performance and on the way the organization is seen by competitors or other factors or players in the business environment. This point should be definitely treated in the light of the close working relationships that might unite employees from different organizations. A final point we would like to consider is the equity v/s inequity perception among employees. Usually, in the business framework, employees tend permanently to compare themselves to other employees in the same organization (Internal Equity), or in other organizations (External Equity). An employee who intuits a perception of inequity compared to one of his colleagues might face the situation with a fight, fright or flight reaction. And these reactions may increase the employees’ turnover rate, hence reducing the organizational performance. However, motivation is the only remedy in this case, reducing inequity perceptions (Internal & External) among employees, contributing in employees’ retention and therefore increasing the overall organizational performance.
Conclusion and Recommendations
After we have discussed all of the factors affecting the employees’ performance in the work environment, either positively or negatively, and after having already examined the positive correlation between employees’ motivation and employee’s performance at work by showing the positive results and outcomes that may procure a motivated workforce to the organization, it becomes inarguable that focusing on employees’ motivation as a way to increase organizational behavior is vital in insuring the organization success and continuity. In fact, a lot of organizations nowadays consider enhancing the HR practices and orienting all of their HR efforts towards achieving a higher level of motivation among employees as important as any other financial or strategic business planning. Actually, employees represent the internal customers of the organizations and their importance to the organization is as equal as the importance of normal customers. Thus, they should be taken care of and they should be treated the same way an organization treats its customers.
This issue has become a very hot topic in recent business and research studies as a considerable number of companies went out of business because of lack of motivation among employees in certain industries where motivation does really count. In addition to that, business planning has noticed a new trend, including a major consideration of employees’ motivation as a key factor leading to success. For instance, entrepreneurs are becoming more and more aware of employees’ motivation and they are including in their plans effective steps to implement in order to increase the level of motivation, even before starting the business. And this shows the relevance of such an issue in nowadays business world. Moreover, since reaching a high level of performance in the organization is the common primary goal of the different functional departments, starting with the finance department and not ending with the marketing and sales departments, it becomes wiser to think of centering all the efforts towards increasing motivation as a way to achieve a higher level of performance, or even making it the common primary goal to reach among all of these functional departments.
However, many questions can be addressed in this regard as motivation is relative to each employee and is a function of a multitude of cultural and societal variables. Therefore, it is not easy to achieve motivation among every individual element of the workforce and it is also not easy to reach perfection in realizing that task. Eventhough high motivational levels among employees might be reachable, it is almost impossible for executives in an organization to reach a level at which they can say: “Thank God our organization is blessed with a perfectly motivated workforce”. This may be witnessed due to the different human, psychological, social and cultural backgrounds of employees. Finally, another factor that may pose a challenge is the ability of the HR personnel to manage the issue between theoretical and practical discrepancies regarding motivation as nothing can be perfectly applied, and everything is subject to change due to an infinite number of reasons that deserve further research and study.
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