Background Of Employee Motivation Management Essay

Employees’ motivation is “The heart of giving the people what they really want most from work” (Dell, 1988). The more you are able to provide what they want, the more you should expect what you really want, namely: productivity, quality, and service. Jones and George (2010) argue that employees’ motivation is as the “psychological forces that determine the direction of a person’s behaviour in an organisation, a person’s level of effort, and a person’s level of persistence.” The behavioural direction of a person is described as “the many possible behaviours that a person could engage in.” Effort indicates how hard people work. Persistence on the other hand refers to whether, when dealing with roadblocks and obstacles, employees keep trying or give up. When employees follow an effective and efficient direction, contribute in high levels of effort and are persistent, then high motivation occurs.

Maslow (1943) sets money at the lowest hierarchy level and shows that other needs work as better motivators to staff. Herzberg (1959) based on Maslow’s’ pyramid supports that money tends to have a motivating effect on employees that lasts only a short period of time (two-factor model of motivation). McGregor (2002) places money in his Theory X category and feels it is a poor motivator. Praise and recognition are placed in the Theory Y category and are considered stronger motivators than money.

Motivated employees always look for better ways to do a job.

Motivated employees are more quality oriented.

Motivated workers are more productive.

If money is the only reward that someone receives by doing his job right, this undoubtedly will have a negative reflect on the organisation. The employee will react each time by thinking of his pocket and ignore about the operations goals and the promotion of them. The rewards must have the form of influencing the employee to feel better concerning his/her achievements inside the company and from this success to feel as a part of this business and not as “just a worker” who simply gets paid for his/her services (Rollinson, 2004). Opportunities for job development, skills improvement, and job commitment are excellent examples of making an employee stop thinking of himself as just an employee and motivate him/her to start feeling as a real member of the company that he belongs too and perform better (Armstrong and Baron, 2004)

Several theories and definitions about the employees’ motivation exist, but all of them have a common principal: Managers must determine the needs of their employees within an organisation in order to make them happy when they work and by that to motivate them perform at high levels and more efficiently for the goals achievement of the organisation.

Employees’ contribution plays a vital role in the positive consequence and the progress of all the phases of an organisation. Either way, the relationship between the employees’ performance and the company’s outcome is of central significance (Ktenidis, (2003). Employees that lack of any significant motivation to perform well in their job and their job satisfaction is deprived, are slowing down any kind of outcome that the company produces (Ktenidis, 2007). For that reason, the ways in which employees’ motivation can be improved, is a matter of great significance.

The number of the companies (private companies) that we are going to use in our survey is twenty and the number of the people that we are going to select in each one of them is 12 (ten employees and two managers). The survey will take place in Greece. Through a non random technique we will first select the twenty companies separated in couples producing the same product. Each couple will be producing different kind of products, so in total we will be having ten company-couples producing different products. From those couples, the one part will have a good outcome and its employees will perform well and the other one left not so. From these companies and with methods that we are going to mention later, we will examine the ways that these companies and their managers have accomplished to improve their employees’ motivation.

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Two purposes framed this investigation.

To gain an in-depth understanding of the ways that employees’ motivation can be accomplished, and

To examine those ways and methods that companies and managers use to increase their employees’ motivation and by that their performance.

1.2 The nature Of This Thesis

The central thesis of this study will examine the knowledge and practices of managers inside a company in terms of how they confront with their employees behaviour and performance and the variety of ways they use to motivate them in order to make them perform better. Two threads of research will be examined: 1) ways of motivating the employees (a number of ways of approaching individuals with different character and different behaviour in order to make them work more efficiently), and 2) the impacts of these different approaches in the success of the company’s goals (improvement of the company’s performance in total and the contribution of the better performance of the employees to the success of the company’s targets).

Proceeding from the study’s purposes, the research will have the following objectives:

To examine managers’ role in the promotion procedure of different kind of motives inside a company, in order to increase the job satisfaction of the employees and make them perform better.

To examine the different tactics (encouraging and constructive or threatening and depended on fear) that are used for the success of the better performance.

To examine the distinction between experienced and non-experienced managers in this section.

Being supported both by theory and research, we can formulate the following three questions:

How many and which are the ways for employees motivation?

Which are the different approaches that can be used -depending on the occasion- in order to achieve the desirable outcome?

What training skills, experience and beliefs managers should have in order to use the appropriate methods each time to motivate their employees?

What are the differences between experienced and non-experienced managers as for the motivate practices they use when they try to motivate the staff?

1.3 Research Design within the Thesis

Initially, we will select the participant companies, the managers and the employees using a non random selection procedure. The sample selection will be based on companies’ differentiation (considering the products) and the manager’s capability according to their skills, experience and educational background. As for the employees, they have to be occupied in different areas of the company so they represent a broad spectrum of the activities that take place inside her. The research will use quantitative methodology, principally an experimental research approach which will examine through statistical methods, the knowledge, the difficulties, the strategies and techniques that the managers might confront in their efforts to motivate the staff.

Data sources will include a series of questionnaires and interviews with the managers and the employees which will take place at the companies, in order to understand and interpret their aims and attitudes towards what we call ‘motivation’. In order to collect the research data we will use the following questionnaires:

Motivation Based Questionnaire (we are reported to the employees).

Managers Account of the different perspectives and approaches for motivating people inside a company Questionnaire.

The design of the questions and the content of the questionnaires will be based on a pilot survey.

The thesis will evaluate the knowledge and methods used for motivating different level of employees among different companies and by experienced and non-experienced managers. Figure 1 represents how the research questions will be referred to the study’s two main purposes. Figure 2 represents the entire research, by presenting the connection between Purposes of the study, Research Questions, Conceptual Content and Data Collection.

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Figure 1 Representation of how the Research Questions address to the study’s two Major Purposes

Purposes of the study

To gain an in-depth understanding of the ways that employees’ motivation can be accomplished

To examine those ways and methods that companies and managers use to increase their employees’ motivation and by that their performance.

Research Questions

How many and which are the ways for employees motivation?

Which are the different approaches that can be used -depending on the occasion- in order to achieve the desirable outcome?

What training skills, experience and beliefs managers should have in order to use the appropriate methods each time to motivate their employees?

What are the differences between experienced and non-experienced managers as for the motivate practices they use when they try to motivate the staff?

Figure 2. Representation of the Entire research

Research Questions

1. How many and which are the ways for employees motivation?

2. Which are the different approaches that can be used -depending on the occasion- in order to achieve the desirable outcome?

3. What training skills, experience and beliefs managers should have in order to use the appropriate methods each time to motivate their employees?

4. What are the differences between experienced and non-experienced managers as for the motivate practices they use when they try to motivate the staff?

Purposes of the study

1. To gain an in-depth understanding of the ways that employees’ motivation can be accomplished

2. To examine those ways and methods that companies and managers use to increase their employees’ motivation and by that their performance.

Conceptual Content

1. Concepts and definitions about motivation.

2. Ways of motivating your employees.

3. Managers Motivating Skills.

4. Experiences and knowledge’s needed in becoming a good motivating leader.

Data Collection

Non Random selection

Questionnaires

Interview

Personal writing

Experimental research approach.

1.4 Ethical Issues within the thesis

There is a broad agenda of ethical issues concerning this research, mainly in terms associated to practice. According to Katranidis (2001), there are four significant ethical issues that need to be addressed in order to approach the research:

Respect of autonomy. The research ought to respect the documented aspect of participants about their involvement;

The beneficence. Inform them that their participation is benefit for the research;

Non malfeasance. Harm to research participants must be avoided;

Justice. Equal and justice selection of the sample. So as, the information of the research to be confidant;

There are issues of validity and accountability that are raised when an enquiry is founded upon a history of acquaintance and subliminal observation not available to an outsider. According to Frankfort-Nachmias and Nachmias (1992), there are two rights: the right to inquire and acquire knowledge and the right of individual study of participants to self-determination, confidentiality and dignity.

There are aspects of confidentiality and anonymity that any study should address. One very practical one is the concept that as researchers we have the duty of searching in various directions. We have to treat the sample properly and respectfully and protect the collection of the data. Furthermore, in studies that the participants are great companies and managers, we must take permission from authorized persons of those companies and from the managers and the employees themselves for getting them involved in our investigation.

Moreover, Plummer (1983) suggests that the researcher has to respect the anonymity by replacing the addresses, the dates of birth and names with pseudonyms. Furthermore, participants who are involved in the research must agree to the principles before the work begins and they must be aware of their rights in the process. Finally, concerning the whole elements that will be collected, they should be published with accuracy and impartiality.

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1.5 The Contribution of this Thesis

The results of this study are going to demonstrate significant improvements on the ways used for the employees’ motivation. Moreover, the research will indicate that sometimes the personal relationships that are created between the managers and the employees overcome every other effort to motivate the staff (i.e. better salary, job development, threatening the job security etc). Eventually we will realize that time is the best ally that can motivate all the employees to work harder.

However, we will realize that when the managers are promoting an encouraging and supporting attitude towards their employees, they create a suitable frame that provides the opportunity to their employees to experience success and creates a positive attitude towards the working process to encourage their additional efforts.

An important issue in the investigation will be that in some cases intensive ways of motivational techniques -even sometimes negatives approaches like threatening the job security of an employee-, may be required. Managers without specific experience, will be often those who averse using behavioural approaches out of concern. These approaches may be too mechanistic and fail to foster employees’ natural development and working motivation. The good results -in terms of motivation approaches- will be that by practicing in a variety of ways, managers and employees will be more fulfilled. Those are the key-characteristics that ensure the process of building knowledge and getting better to any kind of approach (in our case the motivational approach).

Thus, this study will not only attempt to highlight the ways in which the employees’ motivation in a private sector can be improved, but also will provide further insights on the following aspects: Firstly, it will be necessary for the managers to be trained on issues concerning different motivating approaches. Secondly, the research will show that managers with a master level and a relative experience have better knowledge in motivating their staff, related to those who don’t. Finally, the data gathered from this research will provide an important analysis for academic purposes, as well as for every company that is interested to investigate ways of improving the motives of its staff.

1.6 Delimitations of, and Definitions of the terms used within this Thesis.

The sample of this study will be twenty private, medium-size companies settled in Athens- Greece. The sample of the employees (as we have previous mentioned) of each company is going to be twelve people (ten employees and two managers). Half of the managers will have a master’s qualification and previous experience, in contrast to the other half who will not have experience on the subject. As for the employees, they must belong to different departments of the company so the sample could be characterized as representative.

In an ideal research, in order to have the best results, we should sample the entire population. In reality, though, it is impossible to sample the whole population, due to our budget, time and feasibility. In our proposed research, we will try to select a sample group of managers and employees that will be representative of the whole population, concerning their knowledge’s and their experiences. Our study’s overall results have to be applicable and generalized, to form coherent interpretations in similar situations, for the sake of our research. Of course, we should not expect our generalizations to operate the same way in each circumstance.

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