Design an Organization Motivation Plan
Within an organizational environment, the employees become satisfied with their job if their needs are fulfilled. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, individuals have different levels of expectations: psychological, safety, belonging, self-esteem and self-actualization (Lauby, 2005). In the working environment, this theory can be translated through identifying the various hierarchical needs that employees reached in their professional expectations ladder. As such, while some employees aspire to jobs that assure their existence (the psychological and safety needs), others can develop the need of belonging to a group, or can expect that their work to be recognized by their colleagues and superiors. At the highest level of the hierarchy, employees took to overcome themselves, pursuing their fulfillment through permanent creativity and self-motivation.
Knowing the needs level that the employees have reached, there can be designed an organization motivation plan to answer the diverse organizational needs. Addressing the specific organizational objective of motivating the employees for reducing the costs for developing the WooWoo widget, the motivation plan needs to be linked with this objective. In this case, the motivation plan should drive the employees towards maximizing their work, although the payment for their services will be less than expected.
Proposing career benefits is one strategy for motivating the employees. Developing career growth paths for the 50 employees from the organizations depending on their job profile and job performance, will influence them to be more motivated to deliver high quality work. Being driven towards achieving increased performances for obtaining boosted career benefits (including professional development), will generate high productivity among the employees.
Other than career benefits, employees who are in the higher ladder of hierarchical needs also require autonomy and increased responsibilities (Lauby, 2005). Listening to employees, valuing their opinions, treating them as consultants in the organizational matters might increase their motivation, as they feel important for the organization well-being. Moreover, allowing them increased autonomy and responsibility for their actions (that they will assume) means investing trust in the employees, which also, increases their motivation.
This strategy, of encouraging the employees to be more autonomous and responsible for their decisions, plus involving the employees in the decision making processes regarding the company’s welfare, are meant to generate high job satisfaction.
Reflecting at the motivation strategies that generate high quality work, high job satisfaction and low turnover and absenteeism, Kuk, Banning and Amey (2012) indicate that there is a combination of three factors that contribute to these outcomes:
- demonstrating the experienced meaningfulness of the job;
- allowing employees responsibility for their outcomes;
- presenting them the results of their work.
In WooWoo creator’s case, the top management would influence the employees to consider their work meaningful and experienced by presenting them the impact of their work. In other words, telling the employees that they are building a clone of a national widget that will be more popular because of its accessible prices and that everybody with an Android system will use it, will make the employees to understand that their job is meaningful. Allowing them to be responsible for their actions will make the employees feel more in control, acting as their own bosses, which increases their motivation, reducing the absenteeism or turnover, while also increasing their self-confidence. Finally, in presenting the employees the results of their high quality work, the management of the company can refer to the career benefits already mentioned, but also, to a commission from the total sells of the product in the first year, proportional with their quality of work. Naoum (2001) refers to the benefits coming as a result of the qualitative work as the psychological or financial results, which act as incentives for high productivity.
Methods to Motivate All Employees in the Organization
Applying a general motivation strategy within the entire organization with the purpose of motivating all its 50 employees implies addressing the common expectations of the employees. A team building or a brainstorming session might be required for understanding what are the most common expectations of the employees working for this company. The company’s managers cannot assume that all the employees want the same thing, meaning financial rewards, career opportunities or increased involvement in the company’s decision making processes. However, one of these aspects can prevail and for knowing exactly what aspect prevails in this specific organization, the needs of the employees must be identified during a team building or a brainstorming. If after the brainstorming it turns out that most of the employees are interested in their career development, than the first method to motivate all employees in the organization will be to invest in trainings and development programs. The training and development program for all the employees should address both the soft skills and the strong skills of the employees, in order for them to feel motivated. The purpose of the training and development program for the employees would be to develop their leadership abilities, making them suited to lead small teams, in case the company would need to grow after releasing its WooWoo widget. In this case, specific trainings of active listening and assertive communication, negotiation, inspiration, organization can be outcomes sought by all the employees within the company. For the hard skills development, however, the company’s management needs to draw specific training programs for the various job profiles available within the company.
The second method to motivate all employees in the organization is to propose financial rewards for their performances. Working on a low budget for developing the WooWoo widget can be demotivating and although training and developmental programs for investing in the employees’ career growth would be appreciated by the employees, the promise of financial rewards would contribute to motivating them in achieving high performances.
The career development motivation is ranked first, because the employees of this company are aware that their investment in their professional growth will increase their expertize, making them more valuable for the company after they will complete the needed trainings. As such, the employees bet on long-term benefits, assured by their improved skills and competences, which will guarantee higher salaries, increased autonomy and responsibility and job promotions, because of their increased expertise. The financial rewards are ranked as the second motivation method, because this is a short-term benefit, which will materialize only once, recognizing the work performances of the employees.
Three ways to Motivate Minimum Wage Service Worker
Although the service worker ranks in the basic levels in the organizational hierarchy, within the company that develops the WooWoo widget these workers have technical profiles and they are interested to grow professionally. While they would agree with the minimum wage, which assures them the psychological and the safety needs (food, drink, shelter, protection), the company needs to motivate these employees by providing them additional benefits.
Lauby (2005) presents Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory, which focuses on extrinsically motivated behaviors, wherein individuals are motivated to do their job well by material or social rewards, or on the contrary, by punishments. In the case of the analyzed organization, however, the purpose of motivation will not be to punish the employees, regardless of their organizational level. Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory would refer in this case to providing a pleasant and comfortable work place, with good, dynamic and helpful colleagues, plus effective supervision, which are the aspects that define the hygiene needs (Lauby, 2005). The company can motivate the service workers to deliver qualitative work for the minimum wage by allowing them work flexibility and physical training courses to keep them fit, plus the career development trainings, available for all the employees. This is one way in which the company can contribute to creating a pleasant workplace, with happy, motivated colleagues. Another way to motivate the minimum wage service worker, in relation to Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory would be to provide rewards for the job performance, such as small give-aways, or, for extra performances, even financial commissions. Having assertive but understanding supervisors is another way to motivate the minimum wage service workers. Providing clear directions and motivating critical and analytical reasoning of the service workers, would motivate them to deliver qualitative work for the minimum salary, knowing that their jobs are meaningful and that they have the support of their supervisors.
Relevance of the Individual Worker in Today’s Organizational Context
Individual worker can influence its colleagues and its group, shaping the organizational dynamics. In the formation and dynamics of group behavior and work teams, the individual worker can influence the stages of the group behavior development and the work teams. Strong personalities will absorb others, influencing them to develop similar behavior. On the other hand, if more than one personality outlines from the rest, there could appear conflicting estates and there can be formed informal conflicting groups. The formed groups pass through various forming phases: “forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning” (Franz, 2012, p. 49), and throughout all these stages, the individual who mostly outlined from the group will have the power to influence others, formally or informally, acting like a group leader. Individual worker can motivate or demotivate others through his or her attitude towards job and through his or her power in the group to which he/she belongs. Individual workers can use their expertize, persuasiveness, myths or symbols and organizational behavior rituals to legitimize their exercise of power (Kuh, 1988). Yet, the rest of the individual employees can confirm the power of one individual or not, by agreeing or disagreeing with his or her exercise of power. Having individual workers appreciating, respecting and embracing the organizational generates increased performance for the organization, as it can easily design organizational guidelines and objectives that will be embraced by the employees. In this context, having one individual worker exercising his or her power in his/her group towards delivering the key objectives of the company will facilitate the formation of group behavior. This outcome will enable the other employees to work alongside the individual worker who exercise power in his/her group, contributing to delivering increased organizational performances.
Franz, T.M. (2012) Group dynamics and team interventions. Understanding and improving team performance. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.
Kuk, L., Banning, L.H and Amey, M. (2010) Positioning student affairs for sustainable change. Virginia: Stylus Publishing, LLC.
Lauby, S.L. (2005) Motivating employees. Florida: ITM Group, Inc.
Naoum, S. (2001) People and organizational management in construction. London: Thomas Telford Ltd.