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Motivation Cases in a Pharmacy Department Essay


Motivation refers to factors that make an employee pursue tasks and goals. In particular, motivation determines the behavior and actions of an employee in certain ways. Motivation can either be extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation relates to external factors that make an employee fulfill tasks and goals. In most cases, external factors are rewards or punishment. Punishment can motivate employees to perform tasks so that they avoid punishment.

Rewards also ensure that employees who act based on outlined guidelines receive rewards. On the contrary, intrinsic motivation refers to factors within employees. Employees become intrinsically motivated when the work they perform is satisfying, enjoyable, and fulfilling. This paper analyzes motivation cases in relation to employees who work in a pharmacy department. The paper adopts motivation models such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Alderfer’s ERG model, as well as the McClelland’s achievement and acquired needs theory.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory is based on the assumption that each person has needs arranged in terms of hierarchy. Needs should be satisfied from the base of the pyramid to the top. The most basic needs are those found at the base of the pyramid. Physiological subsistence is the most basic need of a person followed by needs in relation to social circles such that a person can pursue talent, thereby leading to self-actualization (Brown & Cullen, 2006).

However, when a person experiences unfulfilled needs in the lower base of the pyramid, they cannot meet needs high up in the pyramid. The pyramid contains needs in relation to physiological needs, safety, belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization. When physiological and safety needs are not met or satisfied, then a person feels the deficit, thereby leading to a stifled development of an individual (Hayashi Jr, 2015).

In the motivation case, pharmacist M lacks proper climate in which he/she can develop the fullest potential. The manager embarrasses pharmacist M in front of colleagues thereby leading to low levels of motivation. Managers should understand that job recognition is a critical need that should be met so that an employee feels motivated to achieve their full potential. For the three years pharmacist M has worked at the department, it is clear that the employer has met deficiency needs in terms of proper wages.

Besides, a safe environment does not exist. Safety as a need should not be viewed in terms of hazards alone. A safe environment motivates employees. Unsafe factors such as ridicule that cause embarrassment do not motivate employees to perform to their full potential. Failure to guarantee a proper climate in which pharmacist M can perform is likely to lead to low job satisfaction and withdrawal from the organization. Pharmacist M may have good remuneration that covers all physiological needs. However, when job satisfaction and job recognition are not achieved, they become less motivated to work to their full potential.

Pharmacist A is less motivated because of lack of training. The manager has also not guaranteed a proper climate in which pharmacist A can train so that they perform duties and tasks. Non cooperative employees during training sessions, as well as laziness during training, have affected the ability of pharmacist M to achieve full potential. As a result, being ignored by colleagues, anger, and complaints in case of mistakes are factors that cause low levels of motivation. The failure to guarantee quality training needs by the management leads to poor performance by pharmacist M.

In relation to pharmacist B, the management does not provide equal remuneration so that employees feel motivated to work. Discrimination against local employees is a clear indication that the pharmacy department does not consider esteem needs. Poor remuneration means that even when employees can meet physiological needs, they feel discriminated since foreigners receive high levels of remuneration.

Pharmacist C, despite showing high levels of efficiency and great skills in the performance of tasks, does not benefit from a non-cooperative work environment. A perfect environment is not available in which pharmacist C can develop to full potential. As a result, lack of cooperation from other employee’s means that frustration contributes to low performance as well as low job satisfaction levels.

Alderfer’s ERG model

The ERG model as developed by Alderfer’s in 1969 condenses all five human needs as outlined in Maslow’s needs theory into three categories: Existence, Relatedness, and Growth. Existence needs involve all material and physiological desires further; relatedness needs involve social and external esteem (Arnolds & Boshoff, 2002). Relationships with co-workers and employers should be favorable so that a climate is created which enables employees to perform to full potential.

In particular, relatedness needs involve an assumption that employees should be recognized so that they feel part of the organization. Regarding growth needs, each person needs internal esteem as well as self-actualization. Internal esteem and self-actualization enables a person to be creative and productive so that they progress towards the ideal self. Growth needs should be viewed in relation to desires to be creative and productive so that an employee completes meaningful tasks (Arnolds & Boshoff, 2002).

In the case of pharmacist B, discrimination in the workplace shows a lack of relatedness needs. Pharmacist B requires an environment where employees can be viewed as members of a group or a unit. Discrimination in terms of salary means that pharmacist B cannot feel secure as part of the team. In the case of pharmacist C, non-cooperative colleagues even when there are high levels of efficiency reflects a lack of relatedness needs. In particular, poor relationship are affecting pharmacist C concerning the ability to feel part of the group and the department.

Pharmacist C, despite showing high levels of efficiency and great skills in the performance of tasks, does not benefit from a non-cooperative work environment. A proper climate lacks in which pharmacist C can develop to full potential. As a result, lack of cooperation from other employees means that frustration contributes to low performance as well as low job satisfaction levels.

Pharmacist ‘A’ feels ignored. In particular, growth needs are not available at the workplace. Lack of employee training so that productivity is achieved means that an employee cannot grow. As a result, lack of growth leads to low levels of motivation. Pharmacist A’s desires to be creative and productive have been affected by poor training policies whereby employees do not cooperate or demonstrate high levels of laziness.

In the case of pharmacist M, embarrassing her in front of colleagues means that job recognition as part of relatedness needs cannot be achieved in the organization. Pharmacist M lacks social and external esteem since the manager embarrasses her in front of colleagues. Relationships at the pharmacy department cannot be developed so that all employees and co-workers feel part of a family or group. The department should guarantee job recognition so that pharmacist M does not show low levels of energy and willingness to perform duties.

The ERG model categorizes needs in terms of concreteness. The most concrete needs that should be satisfied first are Existence needs. Relatedness needs depend on the relationship formed among employees. It should be noted that existence needs are more concrete than relatedness needs. In terms of growth needs, the management should consider the uniqueness of each person so that their specific needs are met within the workplace. Managers should be concerned about identifying factors that cause frustration among employees. In most cases, frustration arises because of poor relationships among employees as well as poor job recognition. Frustration affects creativity and productivity levels among employees.

McClelland were achievement and acquired needs theory

McClelland introduces the concept of acquired needs theory. In particular, a person’s needs are acquired over time. Also, needs depend on experiences in life. McClelland describes three motivational needs such as n-ach achievement motivation, n-pow authority/power motivation, and n-affil- affiliation motivation (Arnolds & Boshoff, 2003).

The n-pow motivation relates to employees motivated by authority. Authority as a driver for motivation enables employees to be influential, productive, and creative so that their impact is felt within the organization. Leadership and application of ideals are necessary so that employees prevail. Further, factors such as prestige and status enable an employee to perform to their full potential (Arnolds & Boshoff, 2003).

The n-affil motivation refers to the necessity of relationships at the workplace. Cooperation and friendly relationships are necessary so that employees perform to their full potential. Harmony among employees as well as the need to feel accepted within the workplace is necessary for improved levels of motivation (Arnolds & Boshoff, 2003).

Pharmacist C can be described as the n-affil employees who depend on friendly relationships to perform duties. Lack of cooperation at the workplace affects the ability of pharmacist C to achieve efficiency in job performance. Reports that pharmacist C is not cooperative and unwilling to assist colleagues is not true since they have not been allowed to present their side of the story. Furthermore, pharmacist C would prefer an environment whereby interaction with colleagues leads to friendly relationships so that they can take minimum risks and reduce the level of errors when performing duties.

Pharmacist B is an n-ach person who is motivated to achieve high levels of production and creativity. However, discrimination in terms of remuneration affects productivity levels. Pharmacist B has already pledged that he will work at the minimum for the amount of money paid by the department. In such cases, the department needs to reduce any discrimination arising from remuneration.

Pharmacist A lacks training so that he/she becomes a high achiever. As an n-ach person, pharmacist A cannot engage in challenging projects and reachable goals since training at the pharmacy department lacks cooperation among employees. Laziness as a factor that affects training also prohibits pharmacist A from completing assigned tasks. In the end, pharmacist A feels less motivated to work. In the case of pharmacist M, n-affil motivation applies. Lack of job recognition since the manager embarrasses pharmacist M in front of colleagues means that a cooperative environment cannot be achieved. Employees with high levels of affiliation are motivated to perform to their full potential. Managers should not engage in any activity likely to cause embarrassment of employees.

Motivation in Pharmacy Practice

Pharmacy as a practice requires the need to acquire practical counseling skills so that patients achieve positive health outcomes. Accreditation systems such as the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) focus on communication skills so that pharmacists can improve the health and wellness of patients. Based on accreditation goals and objectives, pharmacy students should possess patient-centered care competencies. Also, pharmacy as a practice needs students who can apply therapeutic principles, use evidence-based research, as well as consider other factors that influence therapeutic outcomes (Freeman, 2012).

Pharmacy as a practice also demands that practitioners manage health care resources while consulting the patient and the medical team so that therapeutic outcomes, necessary medication, and distribution of resources can be achieved. As a result, skills for effective communication cannot be ignored by students of pharmacy willing to meet full potential at the workplace. Every level of patient contact needs certain skills so that practitioners engage in effective communication and service to patients (Holdford & Lovelace-Elmore, 2001).

Despite the importance of patient-centered counseling skills as part of pharmacy practice, most students coming out of colleges do not possess necessary skills that guarantee quality services at the workplace. In most cases, pharmacy students coming out of colleges and university have general communication skills with no focus on pharmacy setting. Such students become less motivated to perform to their full potential when they realize that there are skill gaps so that they function efficiently. The role of pharmacy departments is to assist students with skill gaps so that they undertake necessary training that guarantee quality service delivery (Varunki, Katajavuori, & Postareff, 2015).

Patient counseling depends on settings under which counseling takes place. In addition, patient counseling in pharmacy as a practice depends on skills and philosophy of pharmacists. It should be noted that advanced pharmacy practice experiences are based on programmatic outcomes. As a result, skill gaps lead to challenges about an inability of practitioners to deliver consistent and comprehensive training so that pharmacists develop necessary counseling skills (Wells, Jones, & Jones, 2013).

In the past, pharmacists focused on the product while neglecting the need to concentrate on the patient. Pharmacy as a practice has identified the need for staff development in pharmacy so that growth and professional development become part of the practice (Freeman, 2012). Professional growth and belief structure of each pharmacist is necessary so that quality services are provided to the patients. Pharmacy as a practice also considers facilitation of development and refinement of practice, beliefs, value systems, as well as competency in critical skills necessary for better service delivery to patients.

According to Holdford and Lovelace-Elmore (2001), growth and development regarding staff require an understanding that employees need to adopt patient-centered approaches to service delivery. Skills necessary for decision making, motivation, and communication have become relevant to pharmacists. In modern practice, decision making, motivation, and communication have become part of proficiencies required as part of pharmacist skills, education and training.

Currently, pharmacists have an obligation to think and act differently. Past approaches to pharmacy depended on accountability and responsibility to physicians, nurses, and their employers (Holdford & Lovelace-Elmore, 2001). Pharmacists traditionally provided a discrete and limited range of services. In the current practice, pharmacists are expected to be productive members of patient care teams.

In particular, pharmacists have recognized the need to think as peer physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers. Experiential education has also become a key aspect of career progression in pharmacy. A focus on clinical trials continues to inform development and training of pharmacists who can acclimatize to modern work environments (Varunki et al., 2015). As a result, new opportunities exist that enable pharmacists to expand scope and responsibilities in the healthcare system. Pharmacists, therefore, have a role in motivating, inspiring, and training the next generation of pharmacists.

Managers and employers should motivate pharmacists and potential practitioners so that they acquire necessary skills based on current trends in the profession (Wells et al., 2013). Also, employers must inspire new employees so that they view pharmacy as a profession of choice. Management practices that do not encourage pharmacists are likely to cause poor service delivery. As a result, training the next generation of employees in the pharmacy profession should be a top priority for all managers and employers.

Although most students taking pharmacy courses are motivated and enthusiastic about future career progress, some students should be given guidance and leadership so that they become ideal employees of choice to employers. New hires need encouragement so that they are motivated by their experiences and outcomes while performing duties within the guidelines of the organization and the profession. Skills supported by practice, training, and motivation by employers ensure that pharmacists work in a rewarding atmosphere that guarantees quality service delivery.

Collaboration among all professionals is also necessary so that new practitioners achieve appropriate guidance that guarantees a credible profession. In particular, communication and collaboration ensure that practitioners collaborate so that intervention measures adopted meet professional guidelines. Community settings are also necessary so that pharmacists obtain experiences in serving communities and local societies. Practical knowledge must never be neglected since the employee achieves an opportunity to apply knowledge already learned in the classroom.


Provision of physiological needs alone is not a guarantee that an employee feels motivated in the workplace. Employers should ensure that work environments focus on the development of relationships so that employees achieve their full potential. The achievement of duties by the employees reflects in the growth of the company as a whole in terms of profits. Inadequate employee training is another factor that should not be allowed since it brings negative energy to the company. This reflects negatively in the quality and growth of the company. Career growth is part of the intrinsic motivation that enables employees to be satisfied. Further, discrimination regarding remuneration should not be allowed to cause divisions within the workplace. This can be addressed by remunerating the employees fairly.


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Wells, H., Jones, A., & Jones, S. C. (2013). Teaching reluctant students: using the principles and techniques of motivational interviewing to foster better student–teacher interactions. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 51(2), 175–184.

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