What is the best way to motivate employees to perform better - Essay Example

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The question of how to motivate employees for them to perform better has been the subject of research, from which two major schools of thought have emerged. One is that workers are motivated best by a system of external rewards (extrinsic motivators), such as monetary and…
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Motivating Employees to Perform Better The question of how to motivate employees for them to perform better has been the of research, from which two major schools of thought have emerged. One is that workers are motivated best by a system of external rewards (extrinsic motivators), such as monetary and non-monetary rewards (Lunenburg, 2011: p3). Monetary rewards are given by company representatives to employees in form of accrued vacation days, bonuses, pay checks, gift cards, compensation packages, or other things with cash value. Moreover, non-monetary rewards involve flexible working hours, job security, praise from management, and opportunities for advancement. The other school of thought is that workers are motivated to perform better by internal motivating factors, such as achievement, enjoyment, a sense of competence, and personal loyalty to employees, which are factors that drive employees to work better or harder (intrinsic motivation) (Linder, 1998: p6). What all have in common, however, is that whether external or internal, rewards play an essential role in job satisfaction for the employee.
When examining the internal factors that motivate employees, it has been found that the behaviour of employees is linked to attitudes and that the motivation for employees is not solely dependent on money (Lindner, 1998: p7). Internal factors of motivation consist of variables that are directly associated with the work of team members with such dimensions as challenging work environments, autonomy, and responsibility being closely linked with intrinsic motivation of employees. Indeed, interesting work has been identified as one of the most important internal factors of motivation, while having a sense of ownership concerning the work and output also acts as a major motivating factor. There is no clear agreement on where the responsibility for providing these set of motivating factors comes from, however. This is in line with Lindners (1998: p7) idea that these motivating factors differ within the organizational context that the employee works in.
Under a ‘rewards’ system, it is clear that it is up to the management to provide motivation for employees. Longenecker (2011: p11) states that managers are responsible for motivating employees to use their talents and energy more willingly by encouraging ownership through maintenance of productive relationships and developing trust with individual employees. Lindner (1998: p) also identifies managers as being responsible for motivating their employees, noting that they should ensure that the work is interesting for the employees. Lunenburg (2011: p4), on the other hand, argues that leaders are responsible for increasing their employees belief that valued rewards will be given for good performance, for example by linking the particular performance they want to rewards designed for that performance. Some of the ways leaders can do this is by defining the rewards that accrue from good performance, as well as by providing examples of past performance-based rewards and examples of employees rewarded for their good performance.
What the external and internal approaches have in common is that they can be verbal or symbolic in nature and do not have to be necessarily monetary-based. Moreover, external and internal rewards validate the employees sense of self-worth and self-efficacy by validating how they assess their importance to the organization. Either of the two rewards typically led to appreciation from the employee. As a result, it can be concluded from these studies that job satisfaction is essential to improving performance of employees and that this is best achieved through external and internal motivators.
Lindner, J. R. (1998). Understanding Employee Motivation. Journal of Extension, 36, 3, 5-13
Longenecker, C. (2011). How the best motivates workers. Industrial Management, 53 (1), 8-13.
Lunenburg, F. (2011). Expectancy Theory of Motivation: Motivating by Altering Expectations. International Journal of Management, Business, and Administration, 15 (1), 2-6. Read More
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