Motivation theories were for a long time used in the field of psychology, especially in counseling and behavior change practices. A lot of achievements have been made in the use of motivational theories in the field of psychology.
We will write a custom Essay on Motivational Strategies specifically for you
301 certified writers online
In the recent times, motivational theories have been heavily integrated into the field of business and general management. This is because organizations depend on their employees as the chief assets in the attainment of organizational goals (Mckenna, 2000).
Therefore, motivation has become an indispensable tool in management due to the emerging challenges in management. These challenges include stiff competition and a volatile business environment (Beck, 2004).
Motivation theories, as applied in business, are used during the motivation of employees in order to enhance employee delivery and thus leading to performance improvement.
Also, in business, motivational theories have helped many organizations to focus the efforts of the workers on the real goals of the business as they perform their duties.
There are many theories of motivation that are applied in different ways, and in different business organizations. However, they end up serving the same function, which is establishing a motivated workforce for improved performance and productivity (Gitman & McDaniel, 2009).
This paper discusses how motivation has been applied at the place of work and goes further to explain the impact that this has had on productivity. The discussion focuses on business organizations.
Therefore, the focus will be on the efforts of the organizations to motivate their employees and the outcomes of motivation in the organization.
Motivational Strategies in Business Firms
In business organizations, business ideas and strategies are often invented. These ideas have to be translated into reality that is depicted in business outcomes. This is done by the workforce of the organization.
Inspiration encourages the hatching of new ideas, but for these ideas to be tamed and implemented, motivation of the workforce is needed.
Motivation ensures that workers put significant effort in their duties so that the business ideas that result from inspiration become successful. Several motivational strategies can be applied in business operations so as to excite employees (Wiley, 1997).
One of the strongest motivational strategies that have been found to work well for business organizations is the maintenance of open communication among employees, and between employees and management.
Employees of an organization need to have a feeling that they count in the organization and that their ideas are taken into account by their managers.
When this happens, the employees will feel more inclusive. They thus become more responsible as in the aspect of ownership is instilled through open communication (Gaspar, 2006).
Get your first paper with 15% OFF
A strategy that accompanies good communication and is embedded in communication is feedback. When it is well utilized, it bears more results than even financial rewards as these rewards are easily forgotten when the money has been used by the beneficiary.
Frequent availing of positive feedback to employees accompanied by a team oriented environment makes a big difference in shaping the behavior of employees.
It makes employees have the sense of value in the company, and thus the commitment level of employees to the company goes up. Positive feedback communication is molded as a culture in the organization.
One company that has been utilizing this for quite some time is Tejas Securities Group Incorporated. This strategy has helped the company to maintain its staff for a long time and in expanding the activities of the company (Fielding, 2012).
In a business, the most important motivational strategy is rewards. Workers will only be motivated by the success of the company when they are rewarded as a result of the success. Rewards can be in the form of material or in financial terms.
The employees will always work hard to avoid failure as they know that if they fail, they will lose on rewards. This stems from having been rewarded previously.
The employees increase their efforts when there are considerable rewards that are associated to success. A good example can be seen in the quarterly sales bonuses within a business. Salesmen show significant commitment to the sales function when there are high bonuses attached to a certain percentage of sales quotas (Mckenna, 2000).
Employee empowerment also goes a step further in employee motivation. The management of most business organizations has acknowledged the importance for each employee of their companies to have a strong grasp of their tasks as concerning their job in the company.
Empowerment is a motivational strategy that gives power and authority to employees to manage themselves in their line of duty while in business. Empowerment aims to cut down the level of employee supervision. The principle of empowerment resonates from a psychological perspective.
This perspective asserts that when people feel free in attending to a certain task, they become composed and will thus accomplish the task in a furnished way. Close supervision of employees causes panic and fear of doing the work badly, and this result in poor work.
However, empowerment is attained when employees are fully trained and have shown that they have mastered their work and that they can accomplish their roles without a lot of dependency.
Employees who show an initiative, a strong desire to diversify their duties and become efficient in their jobs are left to perform their duties independently. Empowerment is accompanied by thorough training (Gaspar, 2006).
Motivational Theories and Application in Business Organizations
There are very many behavioral theories that have been used to motivate employees and other stakeholders of organizations. They include Maslow’s theory of motivation; goal setting and activation; affect perseverance; and consistency, cognitive evolution, control, and drive reactance theories among many other theories (Mckenna, 2000).
There are many theories that explain how employees can be motivated. However, there is one motivational theory that has gained wide usage in the day to day life. This is the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory.
It is a theory that aims at shaping behavior. This theory has been applied in many business strategies by different business firms, especially in human resources management.
The theory has had a wide use in the motivation of employees and customers when it is used in marketing functions of companies. The theory classifies the needs of people from the simplest to the most complex. According to the theory, the behaviors and actions of people are shaped by their needs. Therefore, the fulfilling of the needs of people leads to a positive change in behavior (Madura, 2007).
This theory has meaningful considerations in organizational management. It gives insights into the best means through which organizations can motivate their employees, customers, vendors and clients.
Business managers utilize the theory to devise creative ways of motivating workers. This is done by looking at how employee needs relates to job design, and the compensation scheme of the organization. Business leaders, in most cases, use the strength of the psychological needs of employees.
This is done by providing wages that are enough to enable employees meet their basic needs. Safety and security needs are met through the provision of job security, a safe working environment, and retirement among other benefits. Social needs are met by way of developing team work in the organization which makes employees feel as being part of the broader organization.
In the development of products, companies ensure that they develop products that address the requirements of customers. For instance, companies will strive to produce goods that are on fashion and or whose taste is valued by customers at that time.
The fashion industry is commonly associated with this in which case psychological needs self esteem and actualization play a key role in determining buying patterns. Also, companies try to diversify their products so that they can meet different needs of consumers. The more needs the product can meet, the higher number of customers the company is likely to gain (Madura, 2007).
The other theory that enjoys wide usage is the goal setting theory. The theory of goal setting has had a wide usage in industrial, as well as organizational psychology. Goal setting is a management practice that gives the organization a pivoting point for its operations.
Goal setting itself is a process that entails the establishment of the level of performance. This ensures that desired business outcomes can be obtained.
When employees realize that their current performance is not leading to the achievement of the desired goals, they get motivated to step up their efforts or rather adopt a new strategy that will enable them attain the stipulated goals.
In most cases, goal setting emanates from the discontentment with the prevailing performance levels in the organization (Mckenna, 2000).
Through goal setting, structures are laid down to direct the behavior and action of employees towards performance improvement. Acceptance of goals is a big milestone in performance improvement.
The management sets and explains these goals to the employees. The employees become motivated in the performance of their duties once they accept these goals.
The management makes the employees have self-efficacy and importance. Importance is offered by way of availing all the machinery that will be needed in attaining the goals. Inspirational mentorship and good leadership help in instilling the act of self-efficacy in employees. Progress in goal attainment is achieved through feedback (Gitman & McDaniel, 2009).
As discussed earlier, feedback motivates employees by way of making them feel that they are adding value to the organization. In the case of goal attainment, feedback will help employees to know the amount or level of progress that has been made as they continue implementing programs.
When employees realize that they have made much progress, they will be motivated to increase their input so as to ensure that the goal has been accomplished.
On the other hand, when little progress is reported, the employees will not want to show or display any act of failure due to self-efficacy. Therefore, they will employ all possible tactics to ensure that they finish the task (Gitman & McDaniel, 2009).
An example of organizations that apply the theory of goal setting in all levels of operations is the General Electric Company. The company has marked the idea that underlies the goal setting theory.
The company ensures that their goals are part of the organizational mission and vision. Their set goals touch on all the aspects organizational operations. The goals are regularly reviewed, and improvements are enhanced so as to ease goal attainment (Redmond, 2012).
Beck, R.C. (2004). Motivation: Theories and principles. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Education.
Fielding, R.L. (2012). Employee Motivation Strategies: Effective Solutions That Could Yield Maximum Profits. Web.
Gaspar, J.E. (2006). Introduction to business. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Gitman, L.J. & McDaniel, C.D. (2009). The future of business: The essentials. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Madura, J. (2007). Introduction to business. Mason, OH: Thompson/South-Western.
Mckenna, E. (2000). Business psychology and Organizational Behavior. A Student’s Handbook. Third Edition. Philadelphia: Psychology Press Ltd.
Redmond, B.F. (2012). Goal Setting Theory. Retrieved from: https://wikispaces.psu.edu/display/PSYCH484/6.+Goal+Setting+Theory
Wiley, C. (1997). What motivates employees according to over 40 years of motivation surveys, International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 18 Iss: 3, pp.263 – 280.