For the managers of the companies that include a great number of employees it has always been a problem to find the optimal tools for motivation. Motivation is the psychological process that reinforces the individuals to perform the ability for higher level of doing work and to achieve some personal or organizational goals (Bruce & Pepitone, 1998). Motivating employees means providing productivity as for the more motivated employees are the more productive their work is. The problem of motivation has been discussed many times and various economists have already suggested the numerous ways of solving this problem. Nevertheless in every single company there are various conditions and factors that make this case unique and different from the others.
The problem of sufficient methods of motivation is getting more and more relevant in the recent times. This issue is put under the spotlight now because of its vital meaning for the developing of business and rising of the economy at all. As for supplying any good or service always involves participation of human labor to more or less extent, the employees’ role in product supplying must not be underestimated. As the result reinforcing better work is one of the purposes of successful management. For now, it is of great importance to research the problem of motivation of the employees and to find the appropriate tools for carrying out this research.
The major purpose of the present research is to investigate the issues that need to be taken into account when considering motivation of people at work, and to study motivation theories and apply them to real organization. In order to reach this goal, all the factors that influence the process of motivating and analyze how this process is being formed should be examined. The research of the present question includes the list of complex issues to be investigated and many surveys to be carried out. It is of no doubt very efficient to use the works of well-known economists that have studied the theory of motivation process. The major approaches of investigation of motivation-making theory belong to such experienced researchers as Maslow, Herzberg, Skinner, Adams, Vroom and some more. Guided by these approaches we will try to understand the essence of the psychological process of motivation and its impact on the organizational practice.
Let’s use a fictional company as an example for this research and call it “Department Store”. As the field of market in the represented case is more related to service and supplying consumer products than producing goods, the staff factor is of great importance here (Banks, 1997). The personnel are often facing customers in the store and subsequently are involved in the process of communication. Lower-motivated employees have much less interest in improving the level of work, and they naturally behave with much less personal intention that would cause the reducing interest of the customers to attend this particular store. On the contrary the higher is the employees’ motivation the better they perform themselves and as the result the work is better done, and the consumer is more satisfied. Therefore, the productivity of any company in general and of the present department store in particular is affected to a great extent by the level of motivation of the employees.
In the present case, this statement is of even more application because the staff is not involved in the process of producing goods the company provides. The quality of products the company sells does not depend on the personnel so the productivity in the present situation is measured not by the goods produced but by the products sold. Thus, the increased employees’ motivation would result in the increase of the whole sales of the company. As for the factors that influence motivation are constantly changing due to various conditions the employees’ motivation is considered to be one of the most complex functions of managers (Burns, 1959).
From the times of the first investigations in this field, it has been discovered that in the process of increasing motivation of workers both monetary and non-monetary items participate equally. The roles of both of these reinforcement techniques are important and make great parts of the sufficient motivation-making process (Banks, 1997). In this perspective, it is very important to not overestimate the role of monetary tools of motivation or underestimate the meaning of non-monetary ones. It is known from studies of the greatest theorists that monetary items are only functioning on the first stages of the motivation-making process. With the increase of employees’ income money reinforcement becomes less of a motivator, thus the increased salary could be efficient only in the beginning. Later on with the time the appeal of this money factor gets less vital for employees and loses its attractiveness, especially for the older employees.
The framework for the research of the current problem may be defined as the implementation of monetary and non-monetary items in the process of increasing the level of employees’ motivation and the development of methods of the motivation-making process. Outlining the main purpose of the current research we must set the goal clearly and follow it consistently. The current research question to be answered is defined as: What are the most efficient ways to increase the motivation of employees in a particular company? The most important task is to focus on the problem entirely and to point out the major steps of the research process. Like in any other research the main purpose of the present case would include several more specific objectives to follow. To point out these objectives we must turn again to the most well-known theorists and their studies in order to find out the key points of the problem and subsequently apply them to the current research (Trochim, 1999). The main issues in this research are the following.
Identifying and analyzing the reasons of the existing low motivation of employees. The first step to be taken is to recognize the essence of the problem. Carefully gathering and analyzing information on the problem of low motivation of employees will help us to realize its nature. On this stage of research, we will have to find the answers to several important questions. What are the causes of the situation? What was done wrong? What are main mistakes and disadvantages of the management concerning the employees’ motivation? What strategies should not have been used?
Realizing the factors that turned to be the bad motivators in the given company. As there does not exist any single universal factor that could motivate all the employees equally, the motivators vary widely depending on different kinds of conditions. Some motivation techniques may seem efficient for the first glance but fail to perform good results later. Hence, on this stage of the present research, the motivational factors that appeared to be bad motivators are to be identified in every case in order not to turn to these techniques again.
Discovering the factors that are the good motivators in the present company. This is the most important issue of the current research. Understanding what motivates the employees in the company makes the significant part of success. It is necessary to carry out this part of research carefully using all the known techniques, from reading of the appropriate literature to the face-to-face conversation with every employee personally. For every single employee, the motivational factors may vary, so the task is to identify these factors properly, including monetary and non-monetary items.
Applying the higher motivators to the employees of the company. After gathering and analyzing information on the process of motivation of the employees and identifying bad and good motivators, the next step is to implement the motivational factors that appeared to be good motivators for the employees.
These are the major techniques used in the motivation-making process. Understanding of these methods will help to motivate employees and this in turn will significantly increase the company’s overall performance. Let’s take a closer look on the background of these techniques and explore the major motivation theories.
All the motivation theories are divided into two main groups, such as psychological theories and models, and non-psychological theories. The two major theories in non-psychological category are Platonic theory of motivation and Machiavellianism. The first one appeals to Plato’s tripartite theory of soul that consists of three parts: spirit, reason, and appetite. The principal point of this theory is a suggestion that all these three parts of the soul have desires and these desires take different forms and may have different responses or results. As we can see, Plato’s theory is pretty uncertain and may hardly be applied to modern motivation-making process.
On the other hand, Machiavellianism is more applicable to the current situation as this theory argues that people are motivated to seek power and status above all. Today’s research interpret this argument in connection to people’s itch for money, and indicates that some people indeed put money and power above all the rest values.
Psychological theories and models are more diverse than non-psychological theories. The fundamental principle of most of psychological theories is that motivation can be divided into two types: internal (intrinsic) and external (extrinsic) motivations. Internal motivation refers to the idea that efficient performance depends on the interest or enjoyment of the task itself. On the other hand, external motivation consists in obtaining an outcome, and the best performance can be achieved by the desire to receive a reward.
There are a lot of different theories on the subject; however, I would like to focus more specifically on the theory of needs. In order to explore this topic, we will need to examine Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow, people are motivated by unsatisfied needs. These needs are:
• Physiology (hunger, sleep, thirst, etc.);
• Safety, security, shelter, health;
• Belongingness, love, friendship;
• Self-esteem, recognition, achievement;
This hierarchic pyramid represents the basic needs starting with the most important. This means that while physiological needs are not satisfied an individual will not be motivated to satisfy the higher levels of this pyramid. In other words, if a person has not slept for two days, he will not be interested in self-actualization until he rests. Maslow’s theory is one of the most researched and discussed in modern sociology and psychology. It is the most comprehensive and applicable motivation theory as it can be applied to different kinds of situations and still be urgent and explanatory.
In conclusion, I would like to say that motivation is a powerful tool of behavior control and thus, it requires exploration and understanding of all human beings. In terms of business, it is especially important to know the techniques of the motivation-making process as well-motivated employees work more efficiently. Managerial staff should take into account all the methods presented in this research when considering the motivation of the employees. The examined issues will help to understand the fundamental principles of the motivation-making process, and successfully implement them into the business.