The human capital of an enterprise is its most valuable asset (High-performance). Due to the importance of human resources to the firm it is imperative for companies to get the most out of its employees. A way to ensure the production of the workers is optimized is by motivating the employees…
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The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze the effects of motivation in the workplace. The employees responsible for maintaining a workforce motivated are the managerial staff. The manager is also accountable for the overall performance of the workforce and the company as a whole. There are different techniques that managers can utilize to motivate the staff. A technique that can be used to motivate workers is reinforcement. Reinforcement is the administration of a consequence as a result of a behavior (Schermerhorn, et al.). The use of reinforcement can help increase the persistence of a worker. Two conditioning theories associated with reinforcement are classical conditioning and operating conditioning. Classical conditioning is a form of learning that takes place due the presence of stimuli that manipulates behavior. Giving a dog a steak after an action is an example of classical conditioning. In human beings an example of stimuli at work is seeing the boss smile. Operant conditioning differs from classical conditioning in that it manipulates the consequences. Managers can use positive reinforcement to increase the likelihood of an employee repeating a behavior. An employee can also be influenced not to commit certain behaviors by imposing negative reinforcement consequences such as punishment. Content theories of motivation deal with an attempt to satisfy individual needs. A popular content theory that managers can use to motivate the staff is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is composed of a pyramid of five needs. The five needs of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization (Cherry). The physiological need deals with the need for biological maintenance including food, water, and substance. A manager can ensure this need is met by giving the workers a lunch hour, two fifteen minutes breaks during the shift, and as many bathroom breaks as needed. Safety has to do with the need for security and protection. Hiring a security guard to secure the work premises is a way to comply with the worker’s security need. The social need is associated with love, affection and sense of belongingness. A manager can help comply with the social need in a company by fostering a work environment of collaboration and teamwork. The esteem need deals with the need for respect, prestige, recognition, competence, and mastery. A good manager can comply with this need by promoting from within and by creating a code of ethics at the firm. Self-actualization is the highest order need of the pyramid. This need is associated with desire for fulfillment and to be able to expand and use a person’s abilities. Managers can help fulfill that need by offering training and development opportunities to its employees. A process theory of motivation that can help managers inspire their workers is equity theory. According to equity theory an individual’s motivation level is correlated to his perception of equity, fairness and justice practiced by the management (Managementstudyguide). When an employee feels there is an injustice in his level of pay in comparison with other employees with the same level of experience and job position the worker will react adversely to the situation. The perceived injustice will cause the employee to lose motivation and perform poorly. A manager can comply with the implications of equity theory by working with the human resource department to analyze the salary scales of
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