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In What Ways Can an Understanding of Motivation Theory Contribute to Successful Organisational Working?

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Organisational achievements have been defined as a result of combined efforts of varying capabilities motivated to achieve a certain goal. Therefore, motivation itself is a major concern for a manager for his employees (Moorhead and Griffin, 1998).

Motivation is described as an emotion which a person possesses, generating within a person fervour and perseverance to overcome obstacles in following a route towards the completion of a particular task. Motivation is also dependant on the expectations and desire of people involved and the determination of bringing a positive change into one's business life. Motivations can be induced because of financial gains, inner satisfaction or an attempt to improving the social relationships relating to individual attitudes in a working environment (Draft, 1999).

According to author F.W Taylor, the most productive method of inducing motivation in an employee was to impart him with his greatest desire. In his opinion workers were always looking forward to an increase in their wages. Therefore he believed that economic necessities could be manipulated to motivate people. If a worker showed optimum performance, his salary could be increased as a reward for his hard work (Taylor, 1947).

In another example economic motivation was utilised where workers were paid in accordance with the item produced. The car industry in the early years of its establishment emphasised a lot on the quantity involving minimum variation in the task type. The same procedure of car assembly was to be done on and on. The company decided to grant workers with 'per piece rate' which resulted in the boom of the business by an increase in the production as expected by the company. But this approach squashed individual creativity and marred their individual needs for growth, encouragement or any concern to think for themselves. Time was of the essence, robbing the workers of any time that they could have for themselves. The company's growth was minimised and individual potential could not be utilised to maximum benefit (The Times 100, 2009).

Tesco, the biggest British retailer also a leader among the most successful retail outlets on 3 continents has increased its organisational performances capitalising on Taylor's logic of economic motivation. An 'Employee Reward Programme' was devised which offered 'financial reward packages' which included employee 'discount card', 'Christmas vouchers', 'slip vouchers' and after a year's service 'free shares' would be given. The employees therefore improved their performances with an aim of receiving these advantages (The Times 100, 2009).

There are also other motivational aspects that effect performances of employees. These aspects can be self determination to improve one's abilities, promotion reasons or a desire to benefit other people by serving them. There can be varying motivational aspects for any individual. It can involve career growth or it can involve time flexibility. E.g. employees at RBS, one of the leaders of financial institutions, have been facilitated with a particular benefit package known as 'Total reward'. This package has been created to address financial issues beyond salary needs. It offers privileges such as flexible working hours according to employer's needs and security as well as monetary benefits. The package entitles the employer for health and medical benefits, paid holidays, pension and private counsel services. Holiday allowance of about 25-30 days is granted to employees in whom they have the right to sell these days. The employees also are entitled to varying lifestyle advantages such as discounted shopping vouchers, childcare facilities and economical aiding packages such as mortgages, currency, exchange, personal loans and special staff discounted rates banking options (The Times 100, 2009)

However, a lot of options can be tried to increase the motivation level. Theories summarising these motivational strategies have been grouped into 2 basic groups: process theory and content theories (Schmerhorn, 2008).

Process theory centralises on cognitive processes determining any person's occupational level. Process theory analyses behavioural responses of an individual with respect to the environment. It includes observations of: stimulating behaviour, directing



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