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Motivation and High Performance

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This paper will address how motivation and high performance are related. Motivation and the level of performance in conjunction with other factors are closely related. A good manager knows the importance of motivation to have employees perform their job duties to the best of their abilities. Most people perform much better if they are motivated. So, what is motivation? As described in our text book, "Management Fundamentals: Concepts, Applications, Skills Development" by Lussier, motivation is the desire to satisfy an unsatisfied need. From the view of a business, this would mean that motivation describes the willingness to achieve organizational objectives. The text states that the performance formula is made of three performance factors which are Ability + Motivation + Resources. This paper will explain how a company could use the three performance factors to change the attitude and motivation of its employees to increase performance.

Motivation and High Performance

Our text states that three performance factors make up the performance formula as follows: Performance = Ability + Motivation + Resources. (Lussier, 2009) This implies that all three factors together could result in an employee's maximum performance. The text further describes that a need or a want usually motivates a certain behavior. Employees that are satisfied with their job, usually perform much better. In order to be satisfied, employees have to be given some kind of motivation. More and more business managers have learned and realized that motivating employees will contribute to the employees' higher performance as well as satisfaction. In this paper I will describe how a company could use these three performance factors to increase performance and productivity.

I have worked for companies were employee motivation seemed to be very low and was reflected negatively on the completion of many projects. Some of them did not have any type of recognition for their employees if they had done an excellent job or contributed over and above what was required. It was easy to see that this could be a reason for the moral of the employees to go down. In some companies many projects barely came in on budget and only some were done within the required time frame. Not only did productivity go down, but it seemed harder to win any job proposals, which does have an impact on the companies as a whole. What most employers want is from their employees, is for them to change their behavior to improve the productivity and performance of a business. Employees have to understand that a change of behavior is needed to get positive results. (DeNisi, 2011)

One of these companies started asking its employees what kind of changes they would like to see and what could possibly be a motivator for them to enjoy doing their job and to bring up moral in order to increase performance and productivity. The result of the gathered information was rather unexpected. An overall tally was proving that motivators alone were not going to fix the problem. The problem was actually coming from different areas. Many employees thought that their qualifications were not used to the fullest of their abilities and therefore no longer challenging. They were bored and unsatisfied with their jobs. Others felt like they were not doing what their job description implied they should be doing. Some employees stated that the company did not have the availability of the right tools or that the tools were outdated and no longer be efficient to complete any job in a timely manner and to client satisfaction. Complaints included outdated software, unavailable software, unavailability of technical support, and other short coming of needed tools. The final complaint from many employees was that they did not feel to be appreciated for the work they were doing. There were no recognitions on a job well done and without any recognition, there was no motivation.


The first action I would take is to consider the abilities of each employee. For this, the employees job descriptions and the employees abilities have to be evaluated. If an employee's job or role is not correctly identified, it needs to be addresses. (Tims & Bakker, 2010) Some of the research revealed that some of the employees were no longer doing tasks they were originally hired for. Some employees were required to do tasks that they were not qualified for and other employees were doing tasks they were overqualified for. If the level of employee performance is unacceptable, the company needs to determine why.

First, the task needs to be analyzed. The managers and the company have to understand the task an employee has to do to complete a task successfully. In some cases the task demand or environment has to be redesigned. Management might have to ask themselves if they have hired the right person to do the design. It is important that the employees have the abilities and skills to perform the necessary task successfully. In some cases training, development and practice might be necessary. An employee might have the abilities, but may still need additional skills and or practice to complete a task and perform at his or her best. (Harbour, 2012) This explained why some of the employees struggled to complete their jobs in a certain time frame. On the other side, the overqualified employees were not challenged enough. They completed all required work quickly and without being challenged they eventually lost their motivation. Other factors were that employees who needed guidance were left without much supervision. The interaction between managers and their employees started to suffer and dialogues and communication ceased.

Lack of ability is very much associated with performance problems. During my research I came across these five ways to overcome performance issues that are associated with the lack of ability: Resupply, Retrain, Refit, Reassign and Release. (Aggarwal, 2010)

To address this problem and to work on helping employees feel better about them, I would use some of these key words to identify the abilities of the employees. Starting with "Resupply" I would ensure that the employees have all the materials and the resources they need to perform their job and complete it to the best of their abilities.



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