People’s attitude to work varies a lot i.e. in relation to the individuals’ personal experience and their overall perception of others (employers, colleagues) and how they are actually perceived by other people.
As emphasized by various key theorists (e.g. Frederick Taylor, Maslow, Douglas McGregor etc.) discussed in Behaviour At Work element 11.1, we (people) make assumption about other people based on our own experience in that, it is a way of making sense of relating to others.
We each set ourselves certain standards and expect other people to adhere to them, even though they may not share our views and have different standards for themselves.
Motivation is both individual and complex and there is a difference between what motivates people to perform above average and what leads to below average performance.
Douglas McGregor emphasized that managers make either theory X or Y assumptions about the way others behave.
Theory X assumption includes;
* an average human being inherently dislikes work and will avoid it if possible hence, these types of people must be coerced, controlled, directed or even threatened with punishment to get them to put in adequate effort at work.
* an average person prefers to be directed, wishes to avoid responsibility, has relatively little ambition and wants security above any other thing.
Theory Y assumptions on the other hand stresses that;
* people do not inherently dislike work and that the conditions of work reflects peoples satisfaction
* people will generally exercise self direction and self control in pursuit of the objective to which they are committed
* people mostly learn under proper conditions, not only to accept but to seek responsibility
* people are not being used by organisations to their full potential
* in order to obtain commitment from employees rewards should fulfill an individuals self actualization needs
Choosing either Theory X or Y has an overall effect on people, be it positive or negative i.e. there will be a tendency within an organisation for people to respond to the way they are managed thus, if employees feel that they are not being trusted, this may result in them behaving in a less trustworthy way.
PEOPLE’S ATTITUDE TOWARDS WORK (CONT.)
Due to the fact that there is a range of reasons why people behave differently in work situations, hence, it is unrealistic to make generalized assumption about individuals attitude to work i.e. reasons for performing better or worse than average.
Behaviour of each group is most likely to be unpredictable e.g. in the case of our Young business enterprise, GNVQ group A unlike group B spent a lot of time meeting despite the fact that there was conflict between individuals, thus we all had to put personal problems aside in order to achieve the same common goal which alternatively reflects on the successful trading carried out via high level of cooperation.
Peoples attitude in a particular organisation can be measured by implementing techniques such as;
* Preparation of questionnaires which is distributed to a certain number of selected individuals in a particular organisation.
(Ref. example of questionnaire which may be used by organisations – appendix 1)
* Face-to-face interviews – this refers to actually forming a one to one communication strategy which deals specifically with obtaining necessary information on employees general attitude towards their work and what motivates them to work harder and effectively.
Face-to-face interviews are mainly used to obtain a direct response from the people affected by each policy thus, generating a more realistic subjective view of the employees involved as opposed to making an assumption.
Some of the questions which can be included while carrying out an interview are as follows;
(1) Can you describe any job you have held where you were faced with problems and pressures which tested your ability to cope?
(2) Can you give me an example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree?
(3) What stimulates you in your work and how does this motivate you?
(4) Would you be willing to work in a position where you are expected to make decisions and how will you conduct yourself?
(5) How do you feel about the way you are managed by your superior and what will contribute to you working even better?
* Surveys – surveys takes different forms depending on the level of workers which are being examined.
It can also be seen as a combination of the methods mentioned above i.e. in generating more response so as to obtain an overall result i.e. a more factual information regarding employees, which can obviously be relied on.
(Ref. Example of a personnel performance indicator which can be used in highlighting peoples attitude to work – appendix 2)
(1) Would you consider yourself satisfied with the level of responsibility your job involves? Yes No
(2) What motivates you to work?
(3) How would you describe you working condition?
(4) Do you like working as a group ; individually ; or both 
(5) Would you like to be included in decision making or quality circle?
Yes No Don’t know
(6) What do you enjoy most in doing your job?
(7) Have you had any complaint in relation to your level of participation in your job?
If yes, how do you view this ……………………………………………………………………………..
(8) How well do you deal with criticism?
(9) Does criticism affect your overall performance?
(10) Would you consider yourself
Not easily motivated
FACTORS AFFECTING MOTIVATION
People’s level of motivation is affected by certain issues, which may lead to an extensive breakdown in communication within an organisation due to lack of cooperation between employees and employees or employees and employers.
These factors includes;
* Hierarchy of needs – this inter relates to Maslow’s theory of human behaviour i.e. that individuals have five level of needs which they sought to satisfy.
The human needs as established by Maslow states that the lowest of our needs include the basic physiological need for food, drink and shelter, once it is satisfied, individuals then needs to protect himself/herself against danger, threat and deprivation thereafter the levels of needs rise through social needs, need for self esteem and status to the need for self actualization.
This affects motivation on an individual basis i.e. an individual may focus on each step before actually moving towards self actualization thus, if he/she is not completely satisfy on any of the stages the person tends to struggle a lot in working to his/her best ability – this may not be the case for lots of other people.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
(the need to do the work we like)
(the need to feel worthy and respected)
(the need to be liked/loved and to be a member of a given group)
(the need to feel safe and secure)
(the need to stay alive, to eat, to drink, sleep and reproduce)
FACTORS AFFECTING MOTIVATION (CONT.)
* Job Satisfaction – this affects the way in which people feel about their work in terms of achievement or recognition from others, the work involved, level of responsibility, opportunities for advancement, company policy and administration, supervisions, salary, interpersonal relations and working conditions.
In the case where these are not dealt with in a constructive manner, it may give rise to a high level of dissatisfaction at work which may in turn lead to persistent lateness or absenteeism, below average performance and real or imagined illness on the part of workers i.e. due to a downfall in level of motivation.
* Challenge – if the work involved is not challenging enough for certain employees, it may lead to low staff morale that is, workers may not feel the need to give the job their absolute best.
On the other hand, if the job is too broad compared to a relatively low number of employees, it may also have the same negative effect in motivating the workers.
* Motivators such as: reward, training, promotion etc.
If these motivators lacks in an organisation, workers tend to feel that their needs are not being catered for, hence, developing a negative attitude towards employers which alternatively affect the level of work which is put into the organisation i.e. workers in this situation will only work because they feel the need to work not because they want to work.
However, in order to get employees fully involved, various kinds of motivators e.g. shared ownership, cash bonuses etc. should be introduced to commend hard working employees thus, serving as a source of motivation in that people actually perform better when they are willing to work so as to meet a certain target rather than employers forcing work on them because they have to.
* Career Development – this proves vital in maintaining or improving the level of staff motivation in that, people like to think that their hard work will pay off well as opposed to go unrecognized thus, if there is an opportunity for career development, workers tend to perform well so as to develop their individual skills and at the same time climb up the management ladder.
In a situation where it is the opposite, it may lead to a wide spread low morale amongst employees.
* Level of Expectancy – this may have an overall effect on an individual’s attitude towards work i.e. in relation to the expectancy theory developed by Victor Vroom, for example, an individual may respond in a positive way to a high level of expectancy from employers while another employee of the same calibre breakdown under pressure thus, it all boils down to an individual’s desire for something in relation to the person’s estimation of how likely it can be achieved.
MOTIVATORS APPROPRIATE FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE
As established by Frederick Taylor (1947) “what the workforce want from their employers beyond anything else is high wages and what employers want from their workforce most of all is low labour costs” – the existence or absence of these two elements forms the basis for either a good or bad management.
The major factors which makes people feel satisfied with their job and motivates individuals to work effectively includes; high level of achievement, recognition, opportunities for advancement and responsibility as well as the actual content of the work which is being carried out.
On the other hand, factors which affects employees adversely and which lead to high level of dissatisfaction with their individual tasks include negative company policy, low level of salary and benefits, interpersonal relations and the overall working conditions (as described earlier).
The following motivators are required so as to encourage individuals to work harder thus, enhancing the workers individual performance;
* Autonomy – this refers to the amount of freedom and discretion an individual can exercise over a certain job, this gives the worker a higher level of responsibility providing that the person wants and can cope with the responsibility.
This will boost an individual’s self-reliance thus, being able to meet target more effectively.
Although some people prefer jobs with low level of responsibility, this is often common when people have a highly complex and demanding life outside work.
However they are not likely to be high achievers.
* Praise – workers generally feel the need to be praised for hard work hence, serving as a motivator in encouraging the particular worker to keep doing a specific task to his/her best ability.
Praise actually has an overall effect on the quality and quantity of goods and services produced, so therefore it is vital for employers to recognize and commend a high quality work.
MOTIVATORS APPROPRIATE FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE (CONT.)
Delegating – this motivates people to work harder in that, it also involves giving workers more responsibility for the tasks they carry out.
Delegating is used in a situation where by the particular job holds certain responsibilities, but additional responsibility is giving through delegation, this may help in providing more time for more important tasks, thus, helping in increasing an individuals’ job satisfaction.
Reluctant or poor delegation can be worse than no delegation at all, hence, this is why most employers tend to delegate trustworthy employees to carry out certain tasks.
Delegation also helps in meeting target, improving cooperation between staff and employer, and improving the quality and quantity of work carried out.
* Shared Ownership – shared ownership schemes proves to be very successful in motivating workers in that, employees handle tasks more efficiently due to the fact that they also have a stake in the company hence, people tend to work very well if there is some kind of benefit to derive from their hard work on the long run.
The introduction of shared ownership enhances general individual performance i.e. people tend to be self reliance thus, meeting targets, encouraging and maintaining good relationship with co-workers and employers which in turn helps in developing and delivering good quality of work (high standard) as well as improving the quantity of work achieved.
* Quality Circle – the implementation of quality circle serves as a motivator because it makes employees feel more involved in all the aspects of product development.
Quality circle is usually set up to tackle a particular project where quality improvement is necessary therefore, making it easy to recognize each team’s ability and alternatively rewarding individual teams for the level of work they put in improving the quality and the amount of goods actually produced.
EFFECTS OF MOTIVATORS ON INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE
In an event whereby employees’ needs are catered for promptly and effectively, organisations can benefit a great deal.
For instance, in order for quality circles to be successful, quality improvement programmes needs full commitment from employees.
The motivators discussed earlier helps in;
* enhancing employees commitment to a particular organisation thus, being more reliable in performing tasks individually as well as part of a team.
* boost loyalty – the level of employees loyalty will be improved if they are being treated with respect they deserve e.g. if employees are offered shared ownership of an organisation as a reward for hard work, the employee will be willing to stay loyal for a long period in that, the employee will be obliged to support the particular organisations’ internal and external activities i.e. outside and within the organisation.
On the whole, these motivators helps in providing opportunities for increased skills, flexible working and individual development.
Motivators also provide social companionship and a sense of pride in the overall working relationship in regards to achievements derived from motivating workers in the correct manner.
GAINING EMPLOYEE COOPERATION THROUGH MOTIVATION
It is essential that the reward strategy adopted by employers fulfills employees needs i.e. if motivation to work is to be maintained or increased, it is necessary that an individual is convinced that by putting in extra effort at work, his/her performance will be improved and that the reward he/she values will be forthcoming.
In order to gain employee cooperation, employers’ focus on motivating employees in various ways depending on the organisation involved, some of the methods used in achieving this are as follows;
* Job Security – by providing a secure job opportunity, workers will have the opportunity for career progression, therefore, they will feel motivated to work hard so as to get on.
A major example of this relates to the Japanese economy that is, because employers often offer a job for life to potential individuals thus, they tend to expect a high degree of loyalty from their workers as well as commitment to work to the very best of their ability.
* Merit Rating – this refers to recognizing an individuals’ performance and selecting personal qualities which an organisation believes to be important and assessing these qualities hence, giving the organisation an overall idea on how to reward individual performance effectively.
(Ref. Merit rating form – appendix 3)
* Appraisal – this is also used to pin point performance, appraisal is needed for assessing the performance of an individual in discharging specific responsibilities and/or the potential performance of the individual in other roles.
Appraisal often involves assessing both job performance and personality characteristics relevant to the particular job.
Performance appraisal is an extension and development of merit rating, it may or may not be used as a basis for increase in salary (performance related pay).
GAINING EMPLOYEE COOPERATION THROUGH MOTIVATION (CONT.)
An example of appraisal of an employee may take the form below;
Job Knowledge and Technical Ability Comments
Energy and Application Comments
Organizing Ability Comments
1. Reserved for employees whose distinguished performance is clearly obvious to all.
2. Seasoned employees whose performance is noticeable better than satisfactory.
4. Performance close to being satisfactory but needs further development.
5. Performance clearly below the accountability level required for a certain task or set of tasks (this may include newcomers).
6. Totally unsatisfactory
(Ref. Performance Appraisal by: T.L . Whisler and S.F . Harper, research and practice by: Holt, Rinehart and Winston)
GAINING EMPLOYEE COOPERATION THROUGH MOTIVATION (CONT.)
* Incentive Schemes – this may be used to gain cooperation due to the fact that it is a valuable motivator.
Incentive schemes means the payment to employees of a regular bonus related to productivity, this is designed to encourage employees to cooperate with management in raising productivity and the overall performance of the organisation.
This emphasizes the relationship between performance and payment, in that money remains a major motivator in enhancing growth in the level of work performed.
* Management By Objectives – this focuses on increasing workers performance by agreeing individual objectives with managers and measuring progress by the degree of attainment of the objectives i.e. management by objectives involves setting specific organizational objectives for a future time period.
This is a mutual setting of objectives between each position holder and his/her supervisor and the use of the objectives as standards for evaluating the employee’s performance.
MBOs are used in gaining cooperation in regards to employee and employer relationship that is, employees will respond a lot better to discussions rather than orders/commands.
POTENTIAL BENEFITS REGARDING GOOD COOPERATION
As established by Frank Herzberg (1968), increased job satisfaction will not always result in increased performance but nevertheless increasing the level of job satisfaction within an organisation has lots of advantages i.e. in relation to the organisation, the managers and each individual employee.
Potential benefits Potential benefits
to employees to management
* more interesting work Through better Through increased
* scope for development working methods motivation
* more autonomy
* companionship and team pride
* share in any benefits to employers
* better quality
* reduced absence
* lower turnover
* more flexibility
* higher productivity
* high level of commitment to the organisation
* improved industrial relations climate
* organisation growth
This table lays emphasis on – improving job design and work organisation to meet individual needs.
(Ref. The effective manager, book 4, open university, 1990)
POTENTIAL BENEFITS REGARDING GOOD COOPERATION (CONT.)
Benefits which are derived from successful communication between employers and employees includes;
* In a situation whereby employees are satisfied with the work they perform as well as their working environment, employees tend to identify more closely with the actual organisation.
* Employees who are committed to the organisation are likely to work harder towards organizational goals, seize opportunities, contribute new ideas and act as good public relations officers for their employer.
* Effective communication within an organisation will also give rise to less chance of industrial disputes in that, employees will have little or no dissatisfaction and the organisation as a whole can therefore expect to survive competition and prosper.
* If workers are highly motivated, managers will be able to expect better quality performance.
* The symptoms of dissatisfaction i.e. absenteeism and illness will be minimal or not present hence, the management will be able to discover that staff are willing and able to perform a range of tasks if their individual skills and abilities are fully developed.
On the long run, this benefit will lead to improved productivity and better quality service.
* If a person with certain skills and abilities finds his/her job suited to the qualities he/she possess, the work the individual participate in, will become more interesting and therefore less likely to produce stress or dissatisfaction.
* A job which involves various source of motivation i.e. providing an individual with a scope for development, this will be encouraging to the individual, hence, the particular person will then be able to focus on opportunities for improvement and advancement.
On the whole, the level of advantages of job satisfaction outweighs its disadvantages hence, in a situation whereby everybody works hand in hand with a view of a common interest i.e. putting aside personal differences, the organisation tend to survive on the long run – the young business enterprise group A is a perfect example to qualify this statement.
Motivation in Regards to Group Development
In order for people to get along well enough as a group so as to be able to benefit the business as a whole, motivators such as praise, autonomy, giving ideas, feedback and so on was implemented in that, for us to achieve each group development stage effectively before moving to the next important stage, it is vital for each group member to deal with the tasks given to the best of his/her ability.
* Praise – this was used indirectly at regular intervals, so as to show an appreciation for a good level of effort put in by each group member.
* Autonomy – enough opportunity was given to each group member to work on certain tasks as an individual thus, giving the person overall responsibility without too much questioning.
* Giving Ideas – each group member was involved in the initial brainstorm for the product ideas as well as designs to be produced and each and every idea brought forward was welcomed and discussed in further depth hence, making each group member feel as part of the business which alternatively led to intense commitment.
* Feedback – people need to know whether they are performing their jobs satisfactorily, they need praise for doing things well and they need help and advice if they are not performing up to standard, this is achieved through feedback during business meetings.
This is used to the advantage of the business venture, in that, people who are not pulling their weight (contributing) were told directly by group members to do so, thus, giving rise to people actually performing much better in some cases and no apparent change in other cases.
On the whole, the level of motivational skills applied to the business venture proves to be effective for the individuals within the group as well as in the general group development.