Motivating employees for organisational progress

Thursday, 20 January 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Tharanga Thilakasiri

Employees who work for an organisation are definitely interested to see their work or effort being recognised and rewarded by the management accordingly. Consequently, to get the maximum results out of employees, employers have to motivate them.

What is motivation?

There are a number of definitions given by various personnel on motivation and some of them are given below. According to the definition given in www.businessdictionary.com, motivation has been described as internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested in and committed to a job, role, or subject and to exert persistent effort in attaining a goal (http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/motivation.html). However, according to the www.wikipedia.com, motivation is the driving force which causes us to achieve goals.

A number of world-renowned scholars such as Abraham Maslow, Douglas McGregor (theory X and theory Y), Elton Mayo and Frederick Herzberg (two-factor theory) commented on motivation and introduced a number of motivational theories which are still highly regarded and followed by many throughout the world. Yet it is believed that the most famous and recognised theory amongst them should be the theory introduced by the Abraham Maslow, i.e., Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

According to his theory, money is a motivator (at lower levels of this theory); however, in general it is accepted that money as a motivating factor alone will not last for long or motivate employees. At higher levels of the hierarchy, praise, respect, recognition, empowerment and a sense of belonging are far more powerful motivators than money.

However, in practice, some employees may prefer financial motivational methods while some may prefer nonfinancial motivational methods. Therefore, it is the ultimate duty of the employer to identify the most appropriate and suitable motivational method to encourage or stimulate employees’ enthusiasm in order to derive maximum results from respective employees to achieve organisational goals and eventually ultimate success as a business entity.

So, I would like to quote the following motivational proclamation from the former President of U.S.A, Bill Clinton: “Let us all take more responsibility, not only for ourselves and our families but for our communities and our country.”

The above statement of former President Clinton clearly emphasises how employers and employees should act in an organisation. Both employer and employees should think broadly and act accordingly. There must be a good cooperation between these two parties namely, employers and employees. Unless, there is no such cooperation existing in any organisation, they will not be able to realise their organisational goals and expected targets.

Consequently, how organisations can achieve success by realising its goals and targets? Certainly decision makers or the managers of business entities have to motivate their employees in a suitable manner. Therefore, it is vital to understand the benefits that an organisation derives from applying proper motivational methods and importance of motivation. Several such benefits of motivation can be discussed briefly as follows.

Benefits of proper motivation

  • Improve efficiency among employees: Motivating employees in a proper manner will certainly improve their efficiency in work, because they tend to feel that their efforts have been recognised and rewarded by the management. Hence, the organisation can enjoy the increase in productivity, reduction in cost of operation and improve overall organisational efficiency.
  • Motivated workers are more productive: As a result of efficiency and effectiveness of the properly motivated employees, they can perform their work in a much productive manner. Hence, this will enhance productivity at both individual level and organisation level as well. Also, it is accepted that motivated employees are more quality conscious than non-motivated employees.
  • Improving of relationships: Employee satisfaction is the key to achieving success. If you don’t have a satisfied workforce, you will not be able to achieve your organisational goals and to achieve maximum profits. However, if you can motivate your workforce by using various motivational methods such as monetary and non-monetary incentives and promotional opportunities, your employees will be motivated and you can reach what you wanted to achieve. Hence, this will lead to build a sound relationship between you and your employees. Therefore, you can enjoy the following benefits as well.

                     *Reduction in industrial disputes and unrests in employees

                      *Improve employee adoptability to change

                     * Increase productivity

  •     Maximum usage of human capital: Any organisation has various resources yet, the most important aspect of any business organisation is its human capital. Moreover, only satisfied employees can bring success to the organisation. Therefore, it is through motivation that the human resource can be stimulated to achieve company goals.
  •    Improve teamwork: If any organisation wants to progress towards development, it requires aligning its resources in a proper manner. Also, its workforce has to understand the company goals and work towards achieving them as a single unit. Here, organisational interest should be treated as the most important aspect rather than individual interests. Nevertheless, to fill that gap of individual interest vs company interest, we need motivation. Application of successful motivational methods will fill the said gap well and enable the firm to march forward successfully. Therefore, motivation encourages employees to think and act as a team and it promotes teamwork to achieve results.

Conclusion

As discussed earlier, it is understood that motivation can bring various benefits to an organisation. Managers should be willing and ready to learn how to motivate subordinates properly.

Though there are a number of motivation theories, one cannot state that one of them is the best method or solution, but it should be learning by experience. It also depends on how potent the manager is to handle the situation well. Therefore, it is the ultimate responsibility of the managers of business organisations to select and apply the best methods to motivate employees in order to realise organisational goals.

(Tharanga Thilakasiri M.B.A (International), AIMM, AIM (SL), ACPM, can be reached via thilaktharanga@gmail.com.)

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