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Motivational theories Essay

Maslows Theory is based on the belief that we are motivated by needs and the theory states we must satisfy basic needs in order to concentrate on the higher priorities. And only when the basic needs are met can we move on to the next steps 1. Pysiological – All individuals needs to eat, sleep and drink as a priority 2. Safety – WE all need to feel safe in our homes and the working environment and managers can play a lead role in ensuring we care safe at work 3. Belonging – We need to feel loved and belonging both at home with our families but also in our work place 4. Esteem – Once the 3 basic need are met we look for confidence and respect from others especially in our work place 5. Self Actualization – Top of the pile! We have energy and mentality to thinks, problem solve and use our skills to the the best of its ability

Maslows theory tends to be very simple, rather easy to follow and makes sense as it cover basic needs that maybe somewhat forgotton about. If making a new start then Maslow theory is ideal as it is very basic and starts from the bottom of all our needs

Herzbergs Theory

Hersbergs theory is some what different to Maslows theories in being it concentrates on 2 factors and are all work related though Maslows theory starts with basic needs in life 1. Hygiene factors – are Disatisfiers and the less we have to worry about the more we be motivated. Factors such as Quality of supervision, company policies, job security will all have an impact on staff motivation and this would certainly be the case with the council as they have the ability to dissatisfy 2. Motivation Factors – such as Promotion opportunities, recognition Achievment and responsibility will satisfy all staff without a doubt as they can stimulate. These factor all realte to the work itself and how an employee performs it. Overall the Herzberg theory Herzbergs theory show that fixing problems within the work place related to Hygiene factor may narrow down job dis satisfaction but won’t necessarily improve a workers job satisfaction. To improve job satisfaction you must address the motivational factors and press on them ie: giving recognition to staff and showing staff a sense of achievement for what they do.

Vroom expectancy motivation theory

Whereas Maslow and Herzberg look at the relationship between internal needs and the resulting effort expended to fulfil them, Vroom’s expectancy theory separates effort (which arises from motivation), performance, and outcomes. Vroom’s expectancy theory assumes that behaviour results from conscious choices among alternatives whose purpose it is to maximize pleasure and to minimize pain. Vroom realized that an employee’s performance is based on individual factors such as personality, skills, knowledge, experience and abilities. He stated that effort, performance and motivation are linked in a person’s motivation. He uses the variables Expectancy, Instrumentality and Valence to account for this.

Expectancy Is the belief that increased effort will lead to increased performance i.e. if I work harder then this will be better. This is affected by such things as: Having the right resources available (e.g. raw materials, time) Instrumentality

is the belief that if you perform well that a valued outcome will be received. The degree to which a first level outcome will lead to the second level outcome. i.e. if I do a good job, there is something in it for me. This is affected by such things as: Clear understanding of the relationship between performance and outcomes – e.g. the rules of the reward ‘game’ Trust in the people who will take the decisions on who gets what outcome

Valence Is the importance that the individual places upon the expected outcome. For the valence to be positive, the person must prefer attaining the outcome to not attaining it. For example, if someone is mainly motivated by money, he or she might not value offers of additional time off. The three elements are important behind choosing one element over another because they are clearly defined: effort-performance expectancy (E>P expectancy) and performance-outcome expectancy (P>O expectancy). E>P expectancy: our assessment of the probability that our efforts will lead to the required performance level. P>O expectancy: our assessment of the probability that our successful performance will lead to certain outcomes.

At first glance expectancy theory would seem most applicable to a traditional-attitude work situation where how motivated the employee is depends on whether they want the reward on offer for doing a good job and whether they believe more effort will lead to that reward. However, it could equally apply to any situation where someone does something because they expect a certain outcome. Thus, Vroom’s expectancy theory of motivation is not about self-interest in rewards but about the associations people make towards expected outcomes and the contribution they feel they can make towards those outcomes.

McGregor Theory X & Theory Y

McGregor developed two theories of ‘human behaviour’ at work: Theory and X and Theory Y. He did not imply that workers would be one type or the other. Rather, he saw the two theories as two extremes – with a whole spectrum of possible behaviours in between.

Theory X workers could be described as follows: – Individuals who dislike work and avoid it where possible – Individuals who lack ambition, dislike responsibility and prefer to be led – Individuals who desire security

The management implications for Theory X workers were that, to achieve organisational objectives, our Business would need to impose a management system of coercion, control and punishment. Theory Y workers were characterised by McGregor as:

– Consider effort at work as just like rest or play – Ordinary people who do not dislike work. Depending on the working conditions, work could be considered a source of satisfaction or punishment – Individuals who seek responsibility (if they are motivated)

The management implications for Theory X workers are that, to achieve organisational objectives, rewards of varying kinds are likely to be the most popular motivator. The challenge for management with Theory Y workers is to create a working environment (or culture) where workers can show and develop their creativity. (www.tutor2u.com)

Maccobys Theory of Motivation Michael Maccoby suggests that in order to motivate staff, leaders should employ an appropriate mix of the 4 Rs: Responsibilities, Relationships, Rewards, Reasons. Responsibilities People are motivated when their responsibilities are meaningful and engage the abilities and values. For example our caring staff are motivated by helping others like teaching and mentoring. And our craftsmen are motivated by the challenge to produce high quality products.

Relationships People are motivated by good relationships with bosses, work colleagues and customers. Someone who is caring is motivated if they have the chance to help colleagues and customers. Also a strong team of colleagues who have a strong bond will be motivated to keep the bond strong.


Apreciation and recognition are the kinds of rewards that strengthen motivating relationships. Rewards such as Bonuses, recognition, promotion will all motivate an employee to try their best and push for results. This is also the case when people are painf fair wages and good benefits to make a good job.


Reasons can be the most powerful motivator of all. Why are we doing the job over and over again? What is the point of it? If workers have a good explained reason on why they are doing what they are doing then they will be motivated to carry on. For Example workers doing assembly line work during World War II were highly motivated as it was there contribution to the War effort and the aim of winning the war.

Evaluate the Usefullness of one motivational Theory for Managers As above you can see all of the theories show different ways in which motivation can be achieved and all have their pro’s and con’s. During this time of change I feel that MaCobys theory of motivation would definitely be of use to all Managers in motivating our staff. Let me explain why: The for R’s are in my turn very easy to understand for Managers and staff, Responsibilities, relationships, rewards and reason are all very simple terms.


First and forth most it is of vital importance that our staff know their responsibilities. Have the jobs changed? Have working conditions changed? How can we get bring the best out in our staff. The time is right to evaluate responsibilities, alternate jobs and give staff more of different roles responsibilities. Managers need to show that they are willing to develop all staff. Teach new skills and give them the responsibility to bring the best out in them.

Relationships Team bonding is essential during this time of change. Managers need to concentrate on building good strong relationships with there staff so that they can build trust and a sense of security. It is also important that Line Managers keep the relationship of the team of individuals strong and a need to identify any rifts or issues. During this time, new staff will be bought in, existing staff may leave or be moved or transferred so the manager must keep in constant contact with the staff and ensure that the communication amongst staff is strong.

Rewards Managers need the opportunity to reward staff for their efforts. The chance of promotion to a higher vacant position will certainly motivate the staff but of course this can not always be the case so recognition for the services provided by staff will certainly go along way. The annual Council forum is an excellent way of achieving this as is provides recognition and rewards for staff who have been committed to the Council, staff who have a good absence record and also staff who have achieved a major goal in the work force on a under graduate qualification.

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