Motivation vs Employee Performance

This chapter examined relevant literature from works that have already been done on the topic. The literature review was structured in the following form: Introduction, motivation, the early theorists of motivation, and contemporary theorists of motivation.
Area of Study 1:

Motivation is defined as the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. Motivation is what causes us to act, whether it is getting a glass of water to reduce thirst or reading a book to gain knowledge. It involves the biological, emotional, social and cognitive forces that activate behavior. In everyday usage, the term motivation is frequently used to describe why a person does something. For example, you might say that a student is so motivated to get into a clinical psychology program that she spends every night studying.
Psychologists have proposed a number of different theories of motivation, including drive theory, instinct theory and humanistic theory. Motivation is the force that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. It is what causes us to take action, whether to grab a snack to reduce hunger or enroll in college to earn a degree. The forces that lie beneath motivation can be biological, social, emotional or cognitive in nature. Researchers have developed a number of different theories to explain motivation. Each individual theory tends to be rather limited in scope. However, by looking at the key ideas behind each theory, you can gain a better understanding of motivation as a whole.
1.1. Bonus
Bonus is the extra amount in money, bonds, or goods over what is normally due. The term is applied especially to payments to employees either for production in excess of the normal (wage incentive) or as a share of surplus profits. The wage incentive was designed during the late 19th cent. not only to increase production but to reward the more skillful and more energetic workers. The hourly or weekly wage was to be figured as payment for a standard rate of work, and the workers who exceeded that standard were to receive a bonus.
However, the system fell into disfavor with labor unions because rate cutting was often resorted to when bonuses became too high. Industrial engineers of the 1930s realized that definite standards of accomplishment and quality must be set to make wage incentives workable. Many firms have used an annual bonus plan for distributing abnormal profits to employees. The term is also applied to payments to former servicemen in addition to regular pensions and insurance.
1.2. Increment
Salary increments are often expressed as a percentage of an employee’s overall base pay. An increment usually represents a portion of what the employee earns per year. Employers use increments to increase or decrease base salaries or to award bonuses. Employees use them as a benchmark to either negotiate a pay increase or a starting salary with a new employer. When an employer offers a starting salary that is 5 percent below average, a potential employee might counter with a 5 percent increase. Public employees typically receive annual raises based on salary increments.
1.3. Better Facilities
Designing a workplace that provides opportunities for the broadest potential workforce makes good business sense. This allows employers to select the most qualified people from the largest possible applicant pool. It may also improve work efficiency, employee productivity, workplace safety and the quality of work. The workforce will likely represent a wide range of demographics and abilities. Most workers spend much of their time at the workplace.
Therefore, many design considerations for workplace facilities may be different than other types of built environments that are used by fewer people over shorter time periods. Job performance is best when the environment neither under-stimulates nor over-stimulates the employee. Lighting, the thermal environment and noise are the key environmental variables to consider. The most desirable levels of each will not only vary across work environments and people, but also will vary for different job requirements. It is therefore important for the designer to have a good understanding of the work requirements to design effective environments.
Area of Study 2: Employee performance
Employee performance is basically related performance appraisal in terms of and individual goals. Employee Performance means the level at which your employees are performing. Employee performance is more than just completing the “dreaded” annual review in order to get the annual bonus or pay increase. It is an ongoing activity with the ultimate goal of improving both individual and corporate performance.
Employees set their objectives for the upcoming review period; monitor their progress against those objectives, and develop the right set of skills and objectives for the future. Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results. Andrew Carnegie (1835 – 1919)
2.1. The appraisal process is made up of three stages:
Goal setting – set goals and objectives for the upcoming review period Evaluation – assess the employee’s performance against the established goals and objectives Improve performance and skill development – career planning, training, personal development, coaching, mentoring and more.
2.2. Why should an organization consider implementing an Employee Performance Management (EPM) solution? Automation – save time and money by automating this potentially labour intensive activity. Not only will organizations become more efficient, they will be able to improve on their HR reporting and analytics. Goal Alignment – the goals and objectives of the organization can be cascaded down to every level of the organization. Everyone in the organization will be working towards a common objective. Remote Workers- technology and the nature of the work force has made alternative working arrangements a reality. Employees no longer have to physically be in the office in order to do their job.
2.3. With an EMP solution, managers and employees can collaborate on their performance objectives.
Flexibility – EMP solutions can be configured to meet the unique needs of every organization. Competency Management – every organization has specific competencies that are important for the company, departments and roles that can easily be managed using EMP software. Talent Management – EPM is an important part of the Talent Management Process. It helps to identify known competencies for success, develop succession plans, pinpoint talent gaps, and establish compensation scales. The employee performance management solution allows organizations to manage their talent in order to maximize their human resources in order to gain a competitive advantage.
Motivation and Employee Performance
According to Dubin (2002), “Motivation is the complex of forces starting and keeping a person at work in an organization. Motivation is something that puts the person to action, and continues him in the course of action already initiated”. Motivation refers to the way a person is enthused at work to intensify his desire and willingness to use his energy for the achievement of organization’s objectives. It is something that moves a person into action and continues him in the course of action enthusiastically.
Motivation is a complex phenomenon, which is influenced by individual, cultural, ethnic and historical factors. Motivation can be defined as “a series of energizing forces that originate both within and beyond an individual’s self”. These forces determine the person’s behavior and therefore, influence his/her productivity (Jackson, 1995). According to De Cenzo et al,(1996), people who are motivated use a greater effort to perform a job than those who are not motivated. In other words this means that all thinkable factors of physical or psychological aspects that we interact with, leads to a reaction within our self or of the entire organization.
According to Latham and Ernest (2006) motivation was in the beginning of the 1900s thought only to be monetary. However, it was discovered during the 20th century that to motivate employees, there are more factors than just money. In their view, employees‟ satisfaction with their job is an important indicator for a good job performance and happy employees are productive. To them, motivation is a psychological factor and is affected by the workers‟ mental attitude and health. Therefore, in order to be motivated, a person needs to have certain basic needs fulfilled. If these needs are lacking, a person’s self-esteem and self-actualization cannot develop.
This could result in lack of interest to progress and develop, both professionally and personally. There are several theories of human needs, which are the foundation of motivation. CIPD‟s Reward Survey (2005a) reveals that human resource (HR) and line managers fail to develop reward strategies for their employees. Guest and Conway, (2005) established their suggestions on the basis of CIPD‟s survey on employee welfare and emotional convention that managers fail to motivate and improve the performance of people whom they manage.
The familiar notion that people leave managers, not organizations, suggests that the organizations concerned, were subjected to failure for holding managers responsible to understand their role in motivating people and to manage performance as effectively as they can. The biggest challenge for HR managers is to push line managers to manage and develop people.
According to Butkus and Green (1999), motivation is derived from the word “motivate”, means to move, push or persuade to act for satisfying a need. Baron (1983) defined motivation in his own right. He says that “motivation is a set of processes concerned with a kind of force that energizes behavior and directs it towards achieving some specific goals. Many writers have expressed motivation as goal directed behavior. This objective nature of motivation is also suggested by Kreitner and Kinicki (2001) put forward that motivation represents “those psychological processes that cause the stimulation, persistence of voluntary actions that are goal directed”.
A motivated person have the awareness of specific goals must be achieved in specific ways; therefore he/she directs its effort to achieve such goals (Nel et al., 2001). It means that motivated person is best fit for the goals that he/she wants to achieve, as he/she is fully aware of its assumptions. Therefore if the roles of managers are assumed to successfully guide employees towards the organizational agenda of achieving its objectives, then it is very important for them to educate and understand those psychological processes and undertakings that root cause the stimulation, direction of destination, determination and persistence of voluntary actions (Roberts, 2005). Mo (1992) differentiates between the terms „movement‟ and motivation‟.
Movement carries out the task for compensation, remuneration in humans mind to act, while the term motivation is stapled with total involvement of a person in its tasks to carry out with excitements and happiness. In simple words, movement compels a person to carry out tasks, while motivation is self-realized jubilant and pleasing act of carrying out specific tasks. The researcher emphasizes on motivation which is basis for the success because the person involved in it is very happy and voluntarily excited not for compensation. Motivation is reason for individuals‟ accomplishments to carry out the project (La Motta 1995).
There are many aspects of motivation in an organization; a person motivated by those aspects may not necessarily motivate another person, because there are many different factors that affect motivation for different level employees. On reaching the understanding and believing that people (employees) are naturally motivated, an organization simply provide the environment for their motivation to be enhanced and improved (Baron, 1983). It means that an organization is a better environment and working atmosphere provider, it only needs to believe that the people have the motivational behaviour. Lawler (2003) noted that different theories questioning why people prefer certain careers, why they seek particular rewards and why they feel satisfied or dissatisfied with their work and rewards.
These are some of the resonating questions that create so many assumptions and hypotheses to be researched. It is widely recognized in management circles, that motivation plays a role in keeping an employee performing his or her best in any task assigned. Assessing La Motta and Baron, views on the concept of motivation makes one wonder why incentives provided to workers did not yield intended purpose. This is as a result of dynamics of individual needs and humans can never be satisfy in that, when one need is catered for responded, the worker shifts to another need and this then becomes a challenge hence the call for further research on the issue of motivation.
An individual’s motivation is influenced by biological, intellectual, social and emotional factors. As such, motivation is a complex, not easily defined, intrinsic driving force that can also be influenced by external factors. Every employee has activities, events, people, and goals in his or her life that he or she finds motivating. So, motivation about some aspect of life exists in each person’s consciousness and actions. The trick for employers is to figure out how to inspire employee motivation at work. To create a work environment in which an employee is motivated about work, involves both intrinsically satisfying and extrinsically encouraging factors.
Employee motivation is the combination of fulfilling the employee’s needs and expectations from work and the workplace factors that enable employee motivation – or not. These variables make motivating employees challenging. Employers understand that they need to provide a work environment that creates motivation in people. But, many employers fail to understand the significance of motivation in accomplishing their mission and vision. Even when they understand the importance of motivation, they lack the skill and knowledge to provide a work environment that fosters employee motivation. Here are thoughts about encouraging and inspiring employee motivation at work.
3.1. Factors to Encourage Motivation
These are some of the factors that are present in a work environment that many employees find motivating. Management and leadership actions that empower employees, Transparent and regular communication about factors important to employees, Treating employees with respect, Providing regular employee recognition, Feedback and coaching from managers and leaders, Above industry-average benefits and compensation, Providing employee perks and company activities, and Positively managing employees within a success framework of goals, measurements, and clear expectations.
Every person has different reasons for working. The reasons for working are as individual as the person. But, we all work because we obtain something that we need from work. The something obtained from work impacts morale, employee motivation, and the quality of life. To create positive employee motivation, treat employees as if they matter – because employees matter. These ideas will help you fulfill what people want from work and create employee motivation.
3.2. What People Want From Work
Some people work for personal fulfillment; others work for love of what they do. Others work to accomplish goals and to feel as if they are contributing to something larger than themselves. The bottom line is that we all work for money and for reasons too individual to assign similarities to all workers. Learn more.
3.3. How to Demonstrate Respect at Work
Ask anyone in your workplace what treatment they most want at work. They will likely top their list with the desire to be treated with dignity and respect. You can demonstrate respect with simple, yet powerful actions. These ideas will help you avoid needless, insensitive, unmeant disrespect, too. Read more about respect.
3.4. Provide Feedback That Has an Impact
Make your feedback have the impact it deserves by the manner and approach you use to deliver feedback. Your feedback can make a difference to people if you can avoid a defensive response.
3.5. Top Ten Ways to Show Appreciation
You can tell your colleagues, coworkers and staff how much you value them and their contribution any day of the year. Trust me. No occasion is necessary. In fact, small surprises and tokens of your appreciation spread throughout the year help the people in your work life feel valued all year long.
3.6. Trust Rules: The Most Important Secret
Without it, you have nothing. Trust forms the foundation for effective communication, employee retention, and employee motivation and contribution of discretionary energy, the extra effort that people voluntarily invest in work. When trust is present, everything else is easier. Learn more.
3.7. Provide Motivational Employee Recognition
You can avoid the employee recognition traps that: single out one or a few employees who are mysteriously selected for the recognition; sap the morale of the many who failed to win, place, or even show; confuse people who meet the criteria yet were not selected; or sought votes or other personalized, subjective criteria to determine winners. Learn more.
3.7.1. Employee Recognition Rocks
Employee recognition is limited in most organizations. Employees complain about the lack of recognition regularly. Managers ask, “Why should I recognize or thank him? He’s just doing his job.” And, life at work is busy, busy, busy. These factors combine to create work places that fail to provide recognition for employees. Managers who prioritize employee recognition understand the power of recognition.
3.7.2. Top Ten Ways to Retain Your Great Employees
Key employee retention is critical to the long term health and success of your business. Managers readily agree that their role is key in retaining your best employees to ensure business success. If managers can cite this fact so well, why do many behave in ways that so frequently encourage great employees to quit their job? Here are ten more tips for employee retention.
3.7.3. Team Building and Delegation: How and When to Empower People Employee involvement is creating an environment in which people have an impact on decisions and actions that affect their jobs. Team building occurs when the manager knows when to tell, sell, consult, join, or delegate to staff. For employee involvement and empowerment, both team building and delegation rule. Learn more.
3.7.4. Build a Mentoring Culture
What does it take to develop people? More than writing “equal opportunity” into your organization’s mission statement. More than sending someone to a training class. More than hard work on the part of employees. What development does take is people who are willing to listen and help their colleagues. Development takes coaches, guides and advocates. People development needs mentors. Learn more.

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