Motivation is the key, December 23, 2007, 2D.
that which arouses, directs, and sustains behavior. Understanding motivation is critical to managers
and those responsible for bringing about performance from others. Performance arises when people want to
perform a task and when people are able to perform the task. In other words, performance is a function of
motivation and abilityif either is missing, performance will not occur.
explanations for how things work and are derived using the principles of the scientific
method. Theories of motivation give
explanation to why people want to do things and come in two typescontent
theories and process theories.
focus on the things that energize and direct behavior that are internal to individuals. They focus on needs and how needs drive behavior. Maslows Need Hierarchy,
Alderfers ERG Theory, Herzbergs Two-Factor Theory, and McClellands
Learned Needs Theory describe that human behavior is driven by the desire to satisfy
personal needssuch as survival, safety, social, esteem, growth, achievement, and
power needs. Organizational designers and
policy makers can use content theories to create motivating work places through job
design, pay and compensation schemes, social structure policies, and through opportunities
for employee growth and development. Knowledge
of the content theories gives decision makers the power to establish long-run motivating
environments by fulfilling worker needs.
give explanation to short-run and individual performance.
These theories focus more on cognitive processes and conscious choices of
workers. Goal setting theory, reinforcement
theory, equity theory, and expectancy theory are some of the more popular process
theories. In these theories, individuals
consciously choose to act and willfully pursue courses of action because the decisions
make sense to them. Rewards that come from
performance, avoidance of unpleasant consequences that come with non-performance, actions
to maintain or restore equity with referent others, and confidence that performance can be
attained and that performance will be rewarded, form the foundations of these models. Process theories can be used to bring about
individual performance in the here and now. Getting
employees to speed up their productivity could be induced with rewards for success or
reprimands for non-compliance. Boosting a
workers belief that he or she can do the task at hand and that desirable rewards
will be returned for successful completion are other ways of applying process theories in
made up of peopleit is people who give them life and people who perform their work. Successfully guiding and directing workers to the
attainment of individual and group goals is a big part of a managers job. To most effectively do that, managers should be
aware of why people do the things that they do. Managers
should invest time learning and implementing the concepts of both content theories, with
their attention on the satisfaction of human needs, and cognitive-focused process
theories. Additional information about
these concepts is readily available on the web or it can be found in common management,
leadership, and organizational behavior textbooksor you can give me a call.