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Unusual Motivation Techniques
Several theories of motivation outline the major initiatives and needs that should be considered by organizational leaders. Some of these theories are preferable than others especially when the targeted firms want to realize their potentials much faster. McGregor’s Theory Y treats work as something critical towards realizing business objectives. According to the theory, work should be natural and playful (Robertson, 2009b).
With increased empowerment and motivation, people will seek new roles and eventually realize their goals. Human beings tend to have diverse skills and competencies that can be used to address various organizational problems. Organizational leaders can use this theory to develop and empower their followers. By so doing, the employees will find it easier to focus on the most desirable goals (Robertson, 2009b).
The use of unusual techniques to motivate employees has become a common practice today. For example, corporations can provide insurance coverage to their employees’ pets. Some companies allow their workers to use scooters in their respective offices. These unusual practices have been observed to make work more pleasing and fantastic (Habib, 2011). Individuals whose pets are insured tend to support the goals of their respective companies. Such employees will work hard to deliver positive results. For example, the founder of Method Company uses impromptu dance parties in the office to motivate the targeted employees.
The use of these unusual strategies is closely matched with McGregor’s Theory Y. This theory promotes charismatic leadership whereby managers empower, guide, and address the unique needs of their followers. The model supports the use of efficient measures to motivate workers and make them more productive. Google Company allows its employees to pursue their personal goals while at the same time supporting the business’ strategy.
This approach has been observed to “develop the potential in different followers thus empowering them to deliver desirable results” (Robertson, 2009b, p. 135). The inclusion of new motivational practices has the potential to address the higher needs of different followers (Petrecca, 2011). These higher needs encourage employees to communicate with each other, address their problems, and eventually support the goals of their organizations. Experts believe strongly that the use of such strategies can make many corporations successful.
Abraham Maslow’s Needs
The motivational theory of Abraham Maslow uses a pyramid to arrange people’s basic needs hierarchically (Robertson, 2009a). The 5-step model identifies unique human needs that should be clearly understood by business leaders. According to the theorist, human needs can be grouped into “physiological safety, belonging, esteem, and self-actualization” (Robertson, 2009a, p. 121). Workers whose needs are met will deliver the best inputs and eventually realize their goals.
Modern leaders are embracing the use of non-conventional practices to motivate their followers. As mentioned earlier, such techniques have made it easier for many organizations to record positive outcomes. Such motivational strategies can be used to fulfill specific human needs.
Maslow’s model indicates that the basic needs of a person must be fulfilled first. When such needs are satisfied, the targeted individuals will focus on the other needs outlined by the theory. These motivational approaches do not satisfy a specific need in Abraham Maslow’s pyramid. These needs can “be subdivided into meta needs and basic needs” (Robertson, 2009a, p. 121). The meta-needs focus on specific opportunities that make it easier for an individual to grow. The needs focus on issues such as beauty, goodness, belonging, and unity. The use of unique motivational approaches can satisfy the meta-needs of different employees (Robertson, 2009a). The above motivational practices address the belonging, esteem, and self-actualization needs of the targeted followers.
It should be observed that the above techniques do not address the physiological needs of the workers. The physiological needs are critical and must be fulfilled before thinking of the others. These needs include water, security, food, and sleep. Companies must offer competitive salaries, improve safety in the working environment, and promote the idea of work-life balance (Alsop, 2010). These strategies will be relevant to supporting the basic or primary needs of the workers (Alsop, 2010). This fact explains why these non-conventional motivational strategies fail to satisfy the workers’ physiological needs. Organizational leaders should be aware of these needs and use the most desirable techniques to motivate their workers.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Traditional techniques of motivation such as the provision of better salaries and health insurance have made it easier for many corporations to achieve their goals. However, these techniques are not enough towards addressing the needs of the millennial generation (Alsop, 2010). Members of this generation have unique expectations, goals, and ideas that must be taken seriously. That being the case, the use of extra strategies will encourage these workers to maximize their inputs. Leadership has also changed significantly within the past two decades. These new techniques appear to be aligned with the concept of democratic leadership.
The other advantage of these techniques is that they reduce hierarchies in an organization. The horizontal managerial structure promotes new practices and decisions that can deliver quality results. Individuals whose meta-needs are satisfied will focus on new researches and eventually make their respective companies successful. Unlike the traditional methods of motivation, these new approaches promote diversity and engagement (Perkins & Arvinen-Muondo, 2013). The development creates a positive culture thus making it possible for many corporations to realize their business potentials.
On the other hand, leaders should take the most appropriate precautions whenever using these unusual techniques of motivation. This is the case because the methods can decrease the profitability of a company. For instance, individuals who use scooters in the office might go further to compete with each other. The practice will minimize the amount of time used to pursue the goals of the organization. The workers might find it hard to formulate and support new goals.
Some unusual methods of motivation can eventually become costly for an organization (Habib, 2011). For example, a company providing insurance cover for pets will have to incur numerous expenses. This is the case because the health needs of the workers should be put into consideration. Companies should, therefore, consider these issues before selecting the most appropriate motivational strategy for their workers (Perkins & Arvinen-Muondo, 2013).
The use of these methods is a revolutionary strategy capable of making many companies successful. The strategies empower and encourage more workers to focus on the best practices. Some firms such as Google have managed to become leaders in their respective markets. Companies using these approaches should combine them with other traditional techniques (Alsop, 2010). The disadvantages of the methods should be carefully understood before designing the most desirable motivational strategy. This combination will ensure more companies realize their business objectives and goals.
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Alsop, J. (2010). The last word. Workforce Management, 89(1), 50.
Perkins, S., & Arvinen-Muondo, R. (2013). Organizational behavior: people, process, work and human resources management. London, UK: Kogan Page.
Robertson, F. (2009a). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In M. Wright (Ed.), Gower handbook of internal communication (pp. 119-124). London, UK: Gower.
Robertson, F. (2009b). Management theories X, Y and Z. In M. Wright (Ed.), Gower handbook of internal communication (pp. 131-138). London, UK: Gower.
Habib, M. (2011). Foosball? Bah. Employees dangle offbeat incentives. The Globe and Mail. Web.
Petrecca, L. (2011). Quirky perks for workers: pet insurance, massages. USA Today. Web.