There are many factors that motivate employees in today’s working environment.
Companies globally have been using different strategies and approach in order to improve employees’ motivation. However, it seems that the best motivator for employees is something that is indeed important in their lives. Furthermore, different people might have different values and approaches and, therefore, being able to understand employees’ needs and using appropriate motivating methods can help increase the level of motivation (Gleeson 2016).
Bernard in Stoner et al 1995 accords due recognition to the needs of workers saying that,”the ultimate test of organizational success is its ability to create values sufficient to compensate for the burdens imposed upon resources contributed. ”Bernard looks at workers in an organized endeavor, putting in time and efforts for personal, economic, and non-economic satisfaction. The question here is what strategies can be used to motivate workers?The following are strategies
Salary, Wages and Conditions of Services: To use salaries as a motivator effectively, personnel manages must consider four major components of a salary structures. These are the job rate, which relates to the importance the organization attaches to each job, payment, which encourages workers or groups by rewarding them according to their performance; personal or special allowances, associated with factors such as scarcity of particular skills or certain categories of information professionals or librarians, or with long service, and fringe benefits such as holidays with pay, pensions, and so on. It is also important to ensure that the prevailing pay in other library or information establishing is taken into consideration in determining the pay structure of their organization Bernard in Stoner et al. 1995.
Money: Akintoye 2000 asserts that money remains the most significant motivational strategy. As far back as 1911, Fredrick Taylor and his Scientific management associate describe money as the most important factor in motivating the industrial workers to achieve greater productivity, Taylor advocated the establishment of incentive wage systems as a means of stimulating workers to higher performance, commitment, and eventually satisfaction, Money possesses significant motivating power in as much as it symbolizes intangible goals like security, power, prestige, and a feeling of accomplishment and success. Katz, in Sinclair, et al (2005) demonstrates the motivational power of money through the process of job choice. He explains that money has the power to attract, retain, and motivate individuals toward higher performance. For instance, if a librarian or information professional has another job offer which has identical job characteristics with his current job, but greater financial reward, that worker would in all probability be motivated to accept the new job offer. Banjoko (1996) states that many managers use money to reward or punish workers. This is done through the process of rewarding employees for higher productivity by instilling fear of loss of job (e.g, Premature, retirement due to poor performance). The desire to be performed and earn enhanced pay may also motivate employees. Banjoko 1996.
According to Jan Ketil Arnulf’s article “Money as a Motivator” on Fudan University School of Management (2014), money is deemed to be the best motivator to any individual. Looking back to the historical time, it is money that caused huge differences between employees working in inhuman conditions in the early industrial revolution and the ones working in slave-conditions in the countryside. For those who take part in the “paid employee” system, the money means more than just itself; it also means freedom and prosperity. That is why many people trying to move to industrial regions with the hope to improving their lives and working conditions. With that prospect of salary, today many young people are still striving from poorer to better living conditions, from low to high education since they think it is the only way to ensure a prosperous future (Arnulf 2014). But is money the best and only motivator? Or are there any of motivators that have surpassed the money motivator? Considering from another perspective, we, as human beings, work for money, but also for many other things too, such as achievement, recognition, advancement, growth, responsibility, and the work itself (Herzberg 1987)
Staff Training: No matter how automated an organization may be, high productivity depends on the level of motivation and the effectiveness of the workforce. Staff training is an indispensable strategy for motivating workers.The organization must have good training program. This will give the information professional oppourtunities for self-improvement and development to meet the challenges and requirements of new techniques of performing a task Bernard in Stoner et al. (1995).
Information Availability and Communication: One way managers can stimulate motivation is to give relevant information on the consequences of their actions on others Olajide (2000). To this researcher it seems that there is no known organization in which people do not usually feel there should be improvement in the way departments communicate, cooperate and collaborate with one another, information availability brings to bear a powerful peer pressure, where two or more people running together will run faster than when running alone or running without awareness of the pace of the other runners. By sharing information, subordinates compete with one another. Studies on work motivation seem to confirm that it improves worker’s performance and satisfaction. For example, Brown and Sherperd (1997) examine the characteristics of the work of teacher librarians in four major categories: Knowledge base, technical skills, values and beliefs. He reports that they will succeed in meeting this challenge only if they are motivated by deeply-held values and beliefs regarding the development of a shared vision.Vinokur, Jayarantne and Chess (1994) examine agency-influenced work and employment conditions, and asses their impact on social workers’job satisfaction.
Some motivational issues were salary, fringe benefits, job security, physical surroundings and safety. Certain environmental and motivational factors are predictors of job satisfaction. While Covin(1998) shows that financial incentives will get people to do more of what they are doing, Silverthrone (1996) investigates motivated and managerial styles in the private and public sector. The results indicate that there is a little difference between the motivational needs of public and private sector employees, managers and non-managers.
Employee empowerment has been promoted as a way to increase motivation (Kaplan & Norton 1992, 1996). Empowerment gives employees a feeling of control, efficiency and impact. It creates a sense of freedom in making choices and the ways how to work, and work involvement; the feeling of responsibility and the ability to carry out work in a satisfactory manner; and the feeling of achievement when the task is accomplished within expectations and with desired outcomes. Many studies have shown that employees with high empowerment motivation have higher level of work motivation, which correspondingly results in better organizational productivity and performance (Thomas & Velthouse 1999; Koberg, Boss, Senjem & Goodman 1999) Achievement motivation is referred to as the need for achievement (Elliot & McGregor 1999). It is the need for success and indicates the wish of attaining excellence. Achievement may vary depending on different people. For example, it is the need for enjoyment and fulfillment to have a work-life balance, to feel engaged and satisfied with the work but still able to enjoy meaningful life to the fullest. Or it is simply about the impact their work has had on e.g. society and, environment. Feeling that you are making a difference, changing the world in a positive way, and making it a better place to live is really a powerful motivator (Jex &Britt 2008)
Advancement as a motivator indicates the opportunities of being promoted to higher position, having higher salary and more benefits in the company. Not all employees share the same advancement motivation, therefore understanding each employee’s needs and assisting them to reach the satisfied drivers is also a way to motivating employees (Lipman 2014)
Growth motivation is quite similar to advancement motivation since it is one of the motivators that helps retain the employees. However, the definition is broader and it is not only just about career promotion or better salary and benefits. Good employees are enthusiastic, eager, determined, and above all, ambitious. They are always looking for better opportunities to grow, to acquire more knowledge, to learn new skills, to widen their network, and to challenge themselves with differ positions. Providing and stimulating employees’ growth motivation is essential method of increasing the level of motivation (Lipman, 2014)
The work itself is also a contributor to employee motivation. There is a fact that an employee might absolutely love his or her job, is satisfied with the pay, and has good relationships with his/her colleagues, but still finds the work itself completely boring and uninspiring. A happy employee may stay, but if you really want to motivate the employees, create interesting work and let them engage with it. This means forming strong work cultures, encouraging creative thinking and innovation, and especially, avoiding unhealthy, unequal and impotent working environments (Landrum 2015)
Finally, whatever the job is and no matter what your position is, it is very important to an employee that his/her efforts are recognized. If an employee has been spending a lot of time working on a task, or is even just willing to help out the other co-workers, give them applause and show them your gratitude. It can be understood that it is not merely about giving praise. If the efforts of an employee are recognized, he/she will feel achievement and fulfillment and continue to excel in the work. However, it is crucial to consider that the recognition as a motivator may differ among employees as one might increase the work productivity after being recognized while one is the opposite. By working closely with employees, you may know how they react to recognition, thus being able to off a fitting way of appreciation (Healthfield 2017)
There are many factors that motivate employees in today’s working environment.