Free Essay

Motivation and Reinforcement Theory

In: Business and Management

Submitted By absantos1989
Words 6966
Pages 28
Ropes Paper – Motivation and Reinforcement Theory
Kaitlin Frank
Organizational Behavior
December 14, 2011

What Can’t Be Cured Must Be Obscured
Summary
Motivation is what drives people to get something done faster, work harder and accomplish a goal. It is what drives people to do things that they normally would not do. Motivation can extend to any aspect of ones life and drives virtually every decision and action a person takes. People use motivation to overcome an obstacle or for self-improvement and fulfillment. It is very useful in the workplace to make the organization be successful by keeping the workforce motivated, happy and engaged.
Motivation can come in many different forms. Typically, motivation involves incentives—rewarding people after they have accomplished something. Since this reward is desirable, the employee with do whatever it takes to get that reward. Rewards can come in either positive or negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is rewarding a good behavior in order to encourage that behavior to continue. This could be giving an employee a raise, a bonus, promotion, recognition, extra vacation time and so forth. Just as rewards can be given for a job well done, punishment can be used as a motivator to change a particular behavior and discourage it from continuing. Negative reinforcement is a negative reaction to a behavior—implementing a punishment when that behavior is done and removing it when the behavior stops. Negative reinforcement would be extending working hours, requiring early or late meetings past the usual “go home time,” the removal of something pleasurable in the work environment and such. Decision-making and motivation are closely related because people will decide a behavior based on their motivation to do so. A person is motivated to wake up at 5a.m. every morning because they want to compete in a marathon. The decision to wake up so early is motivated by their desire to run a marathon and the satisfaction that comes from completing it.
The expectancy theory is based on desired outcomes contingent upon higher performance—“What I need to do to get this.” There are various levels to the expectancy theory with the first one being effort performance expectancy. In this one, workers have the capability and the opportunity to perform. They have an understanding of what is considered acceptable and the resources necessary to complete it. Instrumentality of performance is determining what behaviors are instrumental to exhibit for the reward, based upon the values and culture of the organization. This involves a clear understanding of the organization and learning what behaviors they want and reward. Performance-reward expectancy are the rewards a person expects to get at various levels of performance. Reward-cost balance is where the person determines if the rewards are worth the extra effort—a cost analysis approach.
Managerial decision-making determines what is best for the organization as a whole and not just one individual person. These decision-makers must acknowledge all possible alternatives and look at the long-term effects of such decisions. There are three uncontrollable events: certainty, risk and uncertainty. With certainty, it is known what the outcome will be with a particular decision. Risk means that there is a certain percentage assigned to one outcome verses another outcome occurring. And as the name implies, with uncertainty the possible outcomes are completely unknown. In the real world, managers make decisions using the principle of bounded rationality. Since the full implications of a decision can never truly be known, decisions are made when they meet a certain standard of “good enough” within the minds of the decision-makers.
Workplace Implications
Learning how to motivate the workforce is a challenge to every manager. Good managers learn how to motivate their employees and that leads to organizational success and profitability. Motivation is a powerful tool since people can be motivated to accomplish virtually anything. The challenge for managers is determining what motivates each person, which requires time and effort. But once this is known, managers can individually motivate each employee, ensuring the most productive staff. There is a delicate balance involved with motivation—it is an art. The rewards must be appropriate and fair to the entire workforce. One employee can not be rewarded with an iPad for completing a project before deadline while another person receives a candy bar. This is an extreme example, but illustrates the notion that there must be equality. Employees need motivation even to take a job. The organization must determine the level of reward they will give for those who work for them such as starting salary, health insurance, retirement fund, bonuses, hours. Employees will determine what rewards are enough to motivate them to be hired, perform and excel.
My Experience
I am motivated mostly by praise since I am such a people pleaser. In most of my jobs, I was either motivated because of the pay or because of the satisfaction I received from hearing I was doing a good job. When I expected to be praised by my employer and it did not happen, that was very discouraging and I was not as motivated at work. When I hear that I am doing well and getting good reviews, it motivates me to work harder and impress my employer more. This is definitely the easiest and cheapest method of motivating and would be ideal for managers to have only employees who just required some praise. However, other rewards can be very motivating. Besides recognition, money is a huge motivator.

Doin’ What Comes Natcherly
Summary
Motivated behaviors are those directed towards the achievement of a specific goal. This goal should strive to fulfill both the organization’s need as well as the individuals. Companies are most effective when their workforce has the same values as the organization. Management should strive to align the goals of both the organization and individual so that by achieving the organization’s goals, people will also achieve their personal goals. This can pose a challenge since implementation of this practice is difficult. Positive reinforcement builds the behavior desired by the company to reward the good behavior and encourage that it continues. Reward is associated with this positive reinforcement. Punishment is associated with the use of negative reinforcement. The punishment continues until the behavior has stopped. Motivation has two problems. First, management does not, will not, or cannot apply what they know. In most jobs, there is no link between goal-directed behavior and monetary incentives. Secondly, humans have unique capabilities that enable us to analyze the context for which the behaviors are rewarded. The motives of the reward giver or punishing agent are responded to rather than the incentive program. Another problem with management is that they reward one behavior in the belief they are also rewarding another behavior. It is important to be very specific as to which behavior is being rewarded.
Workplace Implications
Managers need to be very explicit when they motivate as to which exact behavior they are motivating and thus encouraging. Managers also have to be sure that the reward is motivating enough. Many times the reward will be intriguing, but is not worth the extra effort to accomplish the goal that is sought to be motivated to accomplish. The value of the reward offered needs to be equivalent to the benefit of accomplishing the goal. Both positive and negative reinforcement are needed within the work place and can be seen in every organization. Successful companies have determined what behaviors lead to profitability and therefore, those are the behaviors that will be motivated. Positive motivation is typically the most commonly used; however, negative reinforcement is sometimes needed for employees or a group of employees that are not accomplishing their task. Each technique has their place and is a powerful tool for managers to use.
My Experience
I’ve noticed that motivation also comes from within—a person’s natural drive to achieve more and not get lazy. And sometimes it is difficult to determine what exactly motivates a person. I’ve been in college classes were I was motivated to work hard in a particular class and then other classes where I was desperate to find some motivation to get something accomplished. In school, motivation comes from the requirement to meet deadlines. The reward is receiving a good grade and then having a high grade point average. The punishment is missing the deadline and receiving a bad grade. Finding motivation can be unique to the particular situation that motivation is needed for.

Fair Day’s Work
Summary
No one knows how to do a job better than the people that do it every day. Ted has a new education program, Procedures Improvement Program (PIP), that was aimed at learning how to work smarter than work harder. A fair’s day work is learning how to get the job done, without killing yourself trying to do it the way it is necessarily taught. Stanley goes to the packing department to see if this method was really true. Ginny Szekely, an experienced packer, was training a new employee. Ginny explains to the new employee how to hold and twist in order to pack easier. However, Ginny advised the new employee that when management, the Methods Engineer, comes around you do procedures his way. Ginny understood the concept of working smarter because she learned short-cuts to the job that allowed her to enjoy work, not get burned out and still produce the level of pieces required.
Workplace Implications:
This is how processes work on the floor. Despite an organization’s standards or policies on how to get work done, people that do the work every single day are going to find short-cuts in order to make the work more bearable and easier on themselves. It is human nature to look for ways to streamline work and lessen the work load so that it is more enjoyable. Very few people will stay in a position where they exhaust themselves in hard labor for eight hours, every day. It is realistic to expect the workforce to work smarter, not harder. Companies could even learn from the tactics used by these employees that find ways to make the work easier. Working smarter implies streamlining operations and learning what movements/tasks are required. This could be very useful information for managers to know in order to make the whole department more efficient. Working smarter is beneficial for an organization as well because it will lower employee turn over rates because they won’t be burning themselves out every day at work. Work should be enjoyable, so if a person is in a job with tedious, difficult labor, it would be very wise for them to find ways to make it easier on themselves, which they will definitely do. No one knows the operations of a department better than the people who work it every day. A fair days work is not always measured by the quantity of tasks completed, but by the quality of those tasks. Working at a pace that is tolerable and sustainable long-term will bring a higher quality and meaning to the work that is done, as compared to rushing all day, producing a low-quality product and being miserable as well.
My Experience:
The job I had in high school was essentially a grunt position where I would file, shred, do special assignments, mail out the company Christmas cards and so forth. I would be given boxes of papers that needed to be shred and when I was first hired and “trained” for the job, I was told that when shredding the papers, I should only put three papers into the machine at a time. Clearly, with all of the shredding they would give me to do, there was no way I could only put three papers into the shredder at a time—I would be there for ever! I learned that the shredder could handle a much bigger stack than just three pages. I was able to stick approximately ten pages into the shredder and was able to get the task done much faster.

Piano Player
Summary
Stanley hears his friend Ben yelling, “I won’t do it! I will not do it.” Jimmie, who works with Ben, is very upset because these stopwatch men were critiquing his work and telling him how he should be working and running the machines. The engineers were acting as though they knew how to do the job better than Jimmie. They were upset that the machines were not being used the way they had been designed for them to be run. Jimmie knew how to work the machines better than the engineers because it uses the machines every day! Jimmie even learned how to salvage hundred-dollar Expandrium castings; Jimmie learned how to work smarter, not harder. Ben understood Jimmie’s methods, and understood Jimmie’s frustrations in being criticized by the machines makers when he was the machines operator. Ben agreed that the line workers should do the work in the manner they want to, rather than the method the engineers wanted.
Workplace Implications
Companies will consistently implement procedures without consulting the advice of the workforce; they do not ask the employees ways their jobs could be improved or how to create a better working environment for them. This is a slippery line for managers to walk for them to direct employees on how to do a task which they have never done. Often times corporate employees do not know what the line workers do to keep the business operating. When changes are placed into the system, employees will get frustrated because the people that make these changes do not know how it will alter the entire work flow or create an extra burden for them. Even when changes are made that are in an effort of improving the processes, unless the actual process workers are consulted, there is no guarantee that a change made in good faith will truly be beneficial. In order for employees to embrace changes made in their work flow, they must understand how this change is beneficial to the work they are doing and the purpose behind this task. Understanding the why of a job is extremely important for efficient operations. Managers should seek to have a collaborative relationship with their workforce, which works to keep employees engaged, production high and costs down.
My Experience
Like with the shredding, I had to learn how to get the job done and not waste time following a procedure that was put into place to discourage people into putting a huge stack into the shredder. I had to learn how to speed up the process though, otherwise I would have no other time to get the filing done or the computer assignments completed. Most of the time, employers do not check on the methods of getting the work completed, they just want it to get done. My employer never came to watch me and see that I was only putting three pages in the shredder at a time. But what they were more impressed with was my ability to get multiple assignments done during only a few hours at work. And that was all that mattered.

Am I Invisible?
Summary
Lesley is an new and ambitious sales person who has had a very successful first year, landing the regions biggest Expandrium sale of the year. She thinks that she has done great. When it is time for her review from Kerry, she has high hopes that he will be exceedingly impressed and complimentary. However, when Kerry presents his review on Lesley he started mentioning the most minor issues such as how Lesley could have spent less on mileage, dining and hotel fare. He complained that Lesley could’ve saved money by staying on the outskirts of town rather than in the city. He questioned whether she was taking the shortest route on her trips since her mileage exceeded by 15%. He also suggested that she eat at less expensive restaurants. Lesley left the meeting feeling completely crushed because she thought she was doing well and expected to get a good review, but instead she got a terrible review. Lesley finds out from the other workers eventually that Kerry in fact really likes Lesley and thinks she is doing a great job; however, that opinion is never voiced to Lesley.
Workplace Implications
Managers need to make sure that they communicate their feelings regarding the work their employees are doing. Nothing is more frustrating than working hard at work and never receiving the recognition for that work. When employees go too long without that recognition, their productivity decreases, they no longer enjoy work and are no longer engaged in their contribution to the company. This can not only affect the individuals work but also have a negative effect on the whole atmosphere of the department. Managers can be quick to point out all of the negatives in an employees performance and never address what they did well. Focusing purely on all of the actions that they are doing wrong and how they could be better, it is also essential to recognize what they are doing that is great. Pointing out flaws can quickly discourage an employee rather than motivate them to improve. Kerry in this story, lacked the “human touch” to know how to communicate effectively with his employees and therefore utilize their talents to the fullest extent. Lesley was shocked to know that Kerry actually liked her! This is a frustrating position to be in for an employee because they need to know that their work matters and is being recognized. Managers need to be very conscientious in communicating to their employees how they are doing. Not only mentioning where there could be improvement, but also balancing out that negative with a positive, like all the things they are doing well. In the situation with Lesley, she would’ve left her review with a much better feeling if Kerry would’ve praised her on her accomplishments during the year and landing that large sale first, before he brought of the discrepancies in her mileage reports or suggesting she ate somewhere not as expensive. Then Lesley would’ve looked at those negatives as constructive improvement rather than pure criticism. It is all about how the situation is approached and not focusing purely on the negatives. People need to be appreciated and recognized for their work, no matter what. This ensures a healthy working environment and satisfied employees.
My Experience
I worked for a teacher in college that lacked that “human touch.” I worked long hours and would usually be the last one to leave the department yet I never received much recognition or praise from the work I was doing. It became frustrating because I just wanted him to notice and say something about how he appreciated my commitment to finishing the projects he assigned for that day, even if it was past the time I was scheduled to work. I would’ve much preferred working for someone that gave me the recognition I wanted to hear because that would’ve been motivation to continue that behavior and keep working so diligently.
Back to the Drawing Board
Summary
This story discusses the difference of dispersed responsibility and deferred responsibility. A prototype aircraft structure was overweight by fifteen tons and Ted was frustrated because there was no one person to blame since at each process of the total manufacturing, each department had passed a product that was overweight by a few pounds. However when all of the overweight parts were put together, the whole structure was a whopping 15 tons overweight! Yet no department wanted to take responsibility for their action. The workers at the mill were so use to doing things the way they had always been done that the suggestion of trying it out a new way wasn’t popular because there was no insurance that it would work and be a good product. Once the workers were told there was no guarantee using the new method, no one had interest in trying it out. Therefore, the employees stick to the old methods, even though the item may be a few pounds overweight.
Workplace Implications
Diffused responsibility is a philosophy that the old way works, so why change it? The new way may fail and that is a risk too great to take. The problem with diffused responsibility is that one big problem is created by numerous little problems from numerous people, so who is to blame? The fault can not be placed on any one single person or department . In deferred responsibility, by the time the problem is known, the person responsible for the problem may be gone or the item has moved on to a different department and there is no way to track back the issue to the person responsible. Deferred responsibility takes the outlook that “it’ll be someone else’s problem.” This can pose a real problem for managers in controlling quality and when a situation like this occurs, a product 15 tons overweight, managers have to figure out how they can establish some accountability and make sure this does not happen again. Some decisions are made in the spur of the moment, with a short-term focus, yet this is not necessarily good in the long-term. In a large organization, it can be difficult to find the person to hold responsible for a product that has been made poorly. It is typical for departments to shift the responsibility and blame on another department rather than coming together to solve the problem. People, by human nature, look to find a scapegoat to take the heat off of them. This not only creates tension and rivalry among departments, but it decreases the quality of the product, slows production time and generally creates problems throughout the whole manufacturing process.
My Experience
I have found myself guilty of exhibiting deferred responsibility in situations and not worrying about the problem because, soon it would not be my issue to take care of. When I graduated from college, I was working in the business department as like the departments secretary. There was still so many projects that needed to be completed: excel spreadsheets over test scores to start, organization of the binders, finishing other projects and so forth. My mindset at the end of the year right before graduation was just the excitement to be done with school and how I could not wait to leave. So most of those projects I never completed and did not really want to finish because my turn was down and it would be the secretary for next year’s problem to deal with, not mine. It’s easy to look for someone else to shift responsibility on when you no longer want it.

Rite of Passage
Summary
Stanley would walk 50 feet from his car to the front office door every day. When he noticed a back door to the office that would lead him straight to his car, he wanted to use it. Stanley was informed that he could not use that door. Only the men that were on “Mr. Franklyn’s list” could use that door, and Stanley was in fact, not on the list. This frustrated Stanley that such obvious favoritism was being shown to certain employees. Stanley continued to make that long walk to his car for months. Finally when it was time for Stanley’s review, Mr. Franklyn was impressed and realized how hard Stanley had been working. As Stanley was leaving the office, Mr. Franklyn told him that he was now on the list and could use the back door to leave work that day. Stanley felt honored and proud that he had made the list and became one of “Mr. Franklyn’s boys.”
Workplace Implications
In an organization, there are a lot of perks that long time employees are privy too that new employees are not. They have exhibited their loyalty to the organization and therefore can enjoy the benefits that come with such. This may include where they are allowed to park, length of lunch period, first dibs of requesting certain holidays off and so on. This can even be seen with employees that are close to their boss. Employees that are close to their boss or supervisor definitely have special privileges and are held to a lower work standard than other employees, especially other employees that the boss or supervisor does not like. It is very common to see workplace favoritism and there is usually not much that can be done about it. In the situation with Mr. Franklyn’s list, the list served a purpose of motivating employees to become one of “Mr. Franklyn’s boys.” In the situation with Stanley, it worked. Stanley was irritated when he first learned of the list and the segregation of certain employees. However, when Stanley made the list, he felt honored and proud. This created a sense of loyalty to Mr. Franklyn in Stanley because he was “in” with the boss and looked at in a different light than the other employees.
This can be a useful technique to use with employees in the right situation, but certainly in not all situations. Since it was Mr. Franklyn’s company, he had the ability to have such an obvious favorites list. Yet in other businesses, such favoritism could create resentment and even a backlash among other employees that are excluded, especially if it is a large organization. Favoritism can be seen within every department, but a sign of a good boss is showing complete fairness to all employees. Equality gains respect my the employees who will realize that the boss is fair and thus abide by any decisions made by that boss. Of course a little favoritism can be shown, but not as obvious as with Mr. Franklyn’s list. Such blatant favoritism is walking a fine line…
My Experience
I had a piano teacher in grade school that showed obvious favoritism to another student who I knew, who was my classmate and very good friend. Both of us had been playing the piano for years and were at the same level of skill. However, this teacher kept assigning me songs to play from this lower-level book. When it was time for another piano lesson after a week had passed, I would’ve memorized the song she had assigned and be able to play it perfectly. Clearly I needed more of a challenge in order to grow and become a better player. My friend on the other hand, was assigned songs in higher-level books and she began to progress faster than I did. After two years of this same situation, I finally switched piano teachers because the teacher was showing such bias in assigning songs to my friend, who had been a student with this teacher since she started playing whereas I had just joined. Seeing that favoritism though, definitely left a bitter taste in my mouth.

Sunrise Service
Summary
Ben is in charge of a project to make sure that it is completed and done on time. Each department that is involved in the project keep blaming each other as to why they can not start and are falling behind pace. Ben could not get the departments to communicate and work with each other. He decided to schedule 6:30a.m. meetings every morning with all of the departments in order to get them working together. Everyone complained about the early mornings, but after a few weeks, the project was moving as scheduled, the departments were communicating and there was real progress. Ben decided that they did not need the early meetings anymore, as long as everyone kept on task and completed their portion of the project as scheduled.

Workplace Implications
This story illustrates the use of negative reinforcement as a way of motivating people to change a particular behavior. This type of motivation can be very effective as compared to the tradition since of motivation being a reward, something positive. Motivating with an incentive can be challenging since everyone is motivated by different things. Where one person is motivated to work harder with the incentive of a bonus, another person is motivated by leaving work early one day. Other forms of incentives include extra vacation days, food, office party or even a mere pat on the back. Yet, still others are not motivated by incentives. Negative reinforcement can sometimes be more powerful than positive reinforcement because people will always change to get rid of something they do not like. People will not always change or work harder in order to receive the reward. It either does not interest them or its not worth the extra energy to work harder. Thus, positive motivation can be a tricky issue. Negative reinforcement usually has more consistent outcomes.
It is also important for the manager to be aware of his behavior during this time of negative reinforcement. If a manager is imposing this requirement on his staff to be at 6:30a.m. meetings, it is essential for them to be there on time for the meetings and show their commitment. Employees will gain respect for the manager that does this and it also makes the negative reinforcement easier to swallow when everyone is in the same boat. If Mr. Franklyn did not go to the early morning meetings, the motivation technique definitely would not have been as effective or successful. It takes commitment of the whole team, manager and staff, to be dedicated to what it takes to get a project done, even if it is something rather undesirable.
My Experience
I had a manager once who could only motivate one of my co-workers by threats and negative reinforcement. I am the type of person who can be motivated by the praise of my employer. Because I am such a people pleasure, a simple pat on the back is very effective for me. Other people, like my co-worker, hear praise from their employer for doing a great job and then think that there is no need to give any effort because they are already doing well. People interpret things differently. Thus, my manager learned that the only way to keep this co-worker performing was to give playful threats like, “If you don’t get in there and clean the kitchen, you’ll get a shorter lunch period for the week!” Now of course these threats were more playful than serious, but my manager always spoke to this co-worker in the fashion that he was going to get punished if he did not do his job. I think the particular motivation technique used on employees should be tailored to each specific person. Once a manager gets to know the personality of their employees, they will be able to determine which method, positive or negative reinforcement, will be most effective.

Who Could Have Known?
Summary
Kerry is telling Pat how he was “once a millionaire—several times over.” Kerry explains how he started a business of producing certain prototypes and how the company ran into significant financial problems. Kerry was unaware of the significant process flaws that were occurring that was losing the company money. When Kerry did find out, he decided that he was going to give his field managers some added motivation to not continue to lose money. Kerry called all of the field managers together and told them that “the next man who reports a loss from the field doesn’t have to bother coming back for his paycheck, because it’s his last. . . Produce or else!” At first, there were no reported losses. Everything looked fine until hidden expenses showed up and staff was losing 15 percent on each job. Before Kerry knew it, his 2 million dollar company was worthless.
Workplace Implications
Feedback is vital and at the center of effective operations and company success. Kerry’s error was threatening to fire his employees if they told him bad news. This did not mean that there was no longer bad news, the employees just did not disclose that information to Kerry in fear of losing their job. Kerry exhibited a “kill the messenger” type of management style, which is extremely debilitating to an organization or team trying to communicate together. Feedback, whether good or bad, needs to be open and constant between team members, both management and the staff. Feedback is so crucial because it exposes the weaknesses that management is not usually privy to. It is the people in the factories, on the floors, making the sales calls that know what is working and what is not. They are the only ones that can notify management on what needs to be fixed or foreseeable problems. Kerry would have indeed been a millionaire if he would have had open communication and collaboration with his employees. And no matter what the feedback is, good or bad, that he would be able to handle it and make the company stronger for it.
It is wise of managers to establish a close relationship with an employee where that employee is comfortable communicating openly with them regarding any issues occurring in the department. Managers stay one step ahead when they have allies within their workforce that will notify them of issues to be dealt with before they get bigger and more people are involved. Managers of a department are usually one of the last to be informed of any problems, since most people are fearful of what will happen to them if management knows the problem. But when a manager has employees that keep them informed and up-to-date, managers can lead better and more effectively and be proactive in solving issues within the department or organization.
People like to report only the good things that are happening, especially to a boss. No one is going to tell the employer all of their short-comings and everything they did wrong. Employees want to share only pleasant information. Yet in order to be a good leader, there needs to be knowledge of the good and the bad. There is no way to get better if there is no indication anything is wrong. According to Kerry, he thought the company was performing and reaching financial stability based on the assumption that his employees were not telling him anything negative, therefore everything must be positive when in fact, that was not the case at all. Managers need to be careful the impression they send to their employees when they do not have good news to share. Bad news is merely opportunities for improvements and that is how managers should look at them: as areas of opportunity, not failure. With insider employees being the “eyes and ears” for management and just feeling comfortable to walk into their office and inform them of issues, managers are setting the foundation for success.
My Experience
A spent some time following a director who explained this philosophy of having employees comfortable to share information with him. Since he is typically in meetings, making phone calls, answering e-mails and so on, he does not have the inside knowledge of how his employees are operating. He has established good relationships with a few of his employees who will now come into his office and tell him if there was an issue that day, problems with an employee, or a defect in the flow of their operations. Thus, this director finds out about a problem before any one else and then can make the decision on how to deal with it. Proactively handing problems in this manner is more efficient than doing damage control after an issue has blown up.

Made to Measure
Summary
Kerry is frustrated because he is bogged down with all of these new programs designed to measure results of his employees. Kerry had so many reports to do that he lost the time to actually spend with his employees. In report, “Subordinate Readiness and Intermediate Milestone Program,” Kerry had no way to measure his employees readiness when he was no able to observe their behavior and progress on a consistent basis. Kerry had forty-two reports to complete in a one month period, limiting the amount of time he could spend with his employees. He felt that his first hand knowledge of how the business and his subordinates were performing was compromised.
Workplace Implications
In this changing business world, it is not enough to just do a good job. That good job must be measured and determined how to become an amazing job. Measuring success and a commitment to continuously improve are the focus of businesses today. While this is a great focus, sometimes it can have a negative effect. It is very common in the business world to see the leaders of an organization become so disengaged and removed from their departments. Managers can lose sight of what is actually happening on the units because they are always busy in meetings or making reports. Programs to improve sales management and effectiveness can do just the opposite. Most of the time, these reports are filled in with “estimates” and not actual data. They become more of a burden to the workforce that has to complete them. There purpose is not explained to the workforce either, who then sees no value in adding “another thing to do.” While these reports are designed to measure performance, rarely are they an accurate account of performance.
Before a new report is implemented, there must be an analysis as to the value added by this extra activity. The problem occurs in the design of the reports. The people who design the report are not usually the people that have to complete the report. The people that complete the report might be looking for a way to impress their superiors and move up the company faster by designing a program to measure company success. While this may sound great to management, the actual use of these reports are slim. They become an extra hassle to the workforce who answers them generically and as fast as possible to just get the report completed; therefore, their results are invalid. A clear understanding of how a particular report will be of use and add value to the organization’s purpose is essential for the proper implementation and analysis of these reports.
My Experience
At the hospital, I have seen all of the reports nurses are required to complete. These reports are designed to ensure patient safety; however, sometimes there is little actual value in these reports. Nurses main complaint is the continuous addition of new job requirements and things they must do. There is always additions without the removal of responsibilities; continuous job enlargement. While some of these added responsibilities go with the changing nature of healthcare, others are rather pointless. The addition of reports and ways to measure success are only felt in the field by the workforce. New reports for nurses to complete should only be those that add value. Also, the purpose of such reports must be clearly understood by the nurses in order for them to make it a priority to complete the reports and follow them correctly.

Spend It…Burn it
Summary
Ben and Kerry receive an order to build a product using a particular method that is more expensive than the method Ben and Kerry typically do. They do not understand why they should do the manufacturing as requested when it is so much more expensive and unnecessary. Dr. Faust sheds some light on the situation for Ben and Kerry and explains to them why so much money needed to be spent. Some the organization received a specified lump sum of money every year by the government, if they do not use all of that money by the end of the year, it will be assumed that they do not need that extra money and thus, they would lose a portion of the funding. If the organization did not overspend in the current year, they would not receive enough money for their budget the next year.
Workplace Implications
In order for the organization to grow in this story, it needed to overspend. Overspending shows that more funds are required to get the product manufactured, the service rendered, etc. However, as in this illustration, company leaders will assume that this amount of money is essential for that department to have in their budge because it was all used, when in fact that much money is not required. Managers must be aware of what is exactly done with the budgeted money in order to ensure that the funds are appropriately being used and not wasted, as in this story, in order to give the perception that the department is growing. That money could be used for another need within the organization and while funds never like to be taken away, they do need to be properly distributed to various departments according to their need level. It is managements job to be aware of this and where money is being essentially wasted.
My Experience
I have not been in any organization where overspending was an issue and they needed to use up extra money. I am sure it would be a nice feeling! At the hospital, most departments use up their budget every year and ask for a budget increase every year. The departments know that if they do have any extra money left over at the end of the year, that money will be taken and transferred to another department and then their budget will be decreased for the next year. Thus, in order to receive more money, or even to keep the allotted funds they currently receive, department leaders know that their funds must be completely exhausted by the time budget season rolls around again. It is all about managing perceptions.…...

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Motivation Theories

...Chapter 1: Introduction to Employee Motivation 1.1. Introduction An issue which usually generates a great deal of attention from most managers, administrators and those involved in Human Resources Management is the issue of how to successfully motivate employee. While it is true that aspects like staff recruitment, controlling, managing, leading, and many more are of great importance to the success of an organization, Employee Motivation is generally considered a core element in running a successful business. 1.2. Statement of the Problem This paper attempts to discover the most important theories and approaches behind employee motivation, present different types of motivation, discuss their importance and provide recommendations and solutions to solving problems of de-motivated or unmotivated employees. 1.3. The Nature and Importance of Motivation Managers and scholars alike have long been inspired in attempting to find out why some employees tend to work harder than others. The study of motivation helps managers understand this variance in performance. Furthermore, knowledge of what motivates people allows managers to take ‘constructive steps’ to improve their employees’ work performance[1]. Before understanding the different types of motivation, we need to examine closely the nature of motivation. The term motivation derives from the Latin word movere, meaning, ‘to move’. This means that no one can understand a person’s motivation until that person ‘behaves or......

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Theories of Motivation

... Theories of Motivation Abstract Motivation is the enthusiasm that one possesses in order to complete a certain task, action or desired outcome. If one lacks motivation the likelihood of a prolific product or outcome is unlikely. In education, two forms of motivation are focused on in being pertinent to student learning: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Examining the five theories of motivation: self-determination theory, attribution theory, expectancy-value theory, social-cognitive theory, and the goal-orientation theory gives educators an insight into various factors that influence the motivation or seemingly “lack of” motivation in everyday students. Educators are made aware of techniques they can use and those to avoid helping to influence each student’s academic motivation constructively. Realizing that motivation does not solely come from the student, but that other variables, controllable and uncontrollable, influence the academic motivation of the typical learner will allow educators, parents and the community to ignite an inexhaustible motivation in “all” students. Theories of Motivation Education for all students, regardless of their abilities, is a constant, increasing concern in our nation. Standards have been put in place for “all” students to achieve, despite learning disabilities, special needs, personal interests, backgrounds, or confidence/motivation levels. Many students are labeled as being unmotivated about learning...

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Motivation and Theories

...and Differences Edith Woodard Walden University Dr. Chappell PSYC-5240-1 Human Motivation March 13, 2012 Motivational Similarities and Differences 1. Motivational Similarities and Differences Human behavior is something that has become the focus of research all over the world. Everyone who is anyone wants to know what causes us as human beings “to do what we do, and to act the way we act.” Some say that “motivation is also a desire operating on the will and causing it to act.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2010, p.810). It is also considered to be “the primary driver of our behavior.” In times past “motivated behavior has also been studied as a rational attempt to achieve a specific articulated (or accessible) end or purpose, rather than as an attempt to fulfill an underlying emotionally-charged desire.” (Thrash & Elliot, 2001). “Most researchers believe that motivational theories explain the three interrelated aspects of human behavior which is the choice of a particular action, persistence with it and the effort expended on it, leaving it up to motivational psychologists to attest to these findings.” And to us motivation explains the why of our actions, and addresses the innermost parts of us which are our desires, or those buttons that are sometimes pushed that gives us that driving force to tackle things head on or maybe even act out of character. Our motivations say to us that we can make it especially when others tell us that we won’t, which......

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Motivation Theory

...McGregor’s X,Y Theory of Motivation In his 1960 management book, The Human Side of Enterprise, Douglas McGregor made his mark on the history of organizational management and motivational psychology when he proposed the two theories by which managers perceive employee motivation. He referred to these opposing motivational methods as Theory X and Theory Y management. Each assumes that the manager's role is to organize resources, including people, to best benefit the company. However, beyond this commonality, they're quite dissimilar. Theory X Management According to McGregor, Theory X leadership assumes the following: • Work is inherently distasteful to most people, and they will attempt to avoid work whenever possible. • Most people are not ambitious, have little desire for responsibility, and prefer to be directed. • Most people have little aptitude for creativity in solving organizational problems. • Motivation occurs only at the physiological and security levels of Maslow's Needs Hierarchy. • Most people are self-centered. As a result, they must be closely controlled and often coerced to achieve organizational objectives • Most people resist change. • Most people are gullible and unintelligent. Essentially, theory x assumes that the primary source of most employee motivation is monetary, with security as a strong second. The Hard Approach and Soft Approach Under Theory X, management approaches to motivation range from a......

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Motivation Theories

... Life Span Perspective Malisa Morris PSY/375 October 2, 2013 Mr. Amanze Ihedioha Life Span Perspective Life Span Development is a concept of understanding why people grow and change over a period of time. Human Development begins at birth and throughout all of life. People of all ages, all over creation, change at some point and time. Scientifically, the human body is designed to experience change. Human growth development has several perspectives and characteristics to explain lifespan. The following essay will explore five developmental perspectives and explore two theories of life span development. These perspectives include; Multidirectional, Multicontextual, Multicultural, Multidisciplinary, and Plasticity lifespan development. Explanations will also explain how heredity and the environment interact to produce individual differences in human development. Life Span Perspective Developing human beings of every age, culture, and experiences demonstrate to us what is widespread as well as what is distinctive. Some periods of life are life-threatening and complex at times, yet the interaction between the environment and family is always evident. Differences among people are not essentially necessary, although some people mistakenly assume that their own path is best for everyone. Change is ongoing, and dynamic throughout the entire life span. Life span development occurs in several directions. These perceptions are Multidirectional, Multicontextual, Multicultural,......

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Theories of Motivation

...Motivation is the force that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. It is what causes us to take action, whether to grab a snack to reduce hunger or enroll in college to earn a degree. The forces that lie beneath motivation can be biological, social, emotional or cognitive in nature. Researchers have developed a number of different theories to explain motivation. Each individual theory tends to be rather limited in scope. However, by looking at the key ideas behind each theory, you can gain a better understanding of motivation as a whole. Instinct Theory of Motivation Poncho/Digital Vision/Getty Images According to instinct theories, people are motivated to behave in certain ways because they are evolutionarily programmed to do so. An example of this in the animal world is seasonal migration. These animals do not learn to do this, it is instead an inborn pattern of behavior. William James created a list of human instincts that included such things as attachment, play, shame, anger, fear, shyness, modesty and love. The main problem with this theory is that it did not really explain behavior, it just described it. By the 1920s, instinct theories were pushed aside in favor of other motivational theories, but contemporary evolutionary psychologists still study the influence of genetics and heredity on human behavior. Incentive Theory of Motivation The incentive theory suggests that people are motivated to do things because of external rewards. For......

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Motivation Theory

...MOTIVATION AND MOTIVATION THEORY  The term motivation is derived from the Latin word movere, meaning "to move." Motivation can be broadly defined as the forces acting on or within a person that cause the arousal, direction, and persistence of goal-directed, voluntary effort. Motivation theory is thus concerned with the processes that explain why and how human behavior is activated. The broad rubric of motivation and motivation theory is one of the most frequently studied and written-about topics in the organizational sciences, and is considered one of the most important areas of study in the field of organizational behavior. Despite the magnitude of the effort that has been devoted to the study of motivation, there is no single theory of motivation that is universally accepted. The lack of a unified theory of motivation reflects both the complexity of the construct and the diverse backgrounds and aims of those who study it. To delineate these crucial points, it is illuminating to consider the development of motivation and motivation theory as the objects of scientific inquiry. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT Early explanations of motivation focused on instincts. Psychologists writing in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries suggested that human beings were basically programmed to behave in certain ways, depending upon the behavioral cues to which they were exposed. Sigmund Freud, for example, argued that the most powerful determinants of individual behavior were......

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Goal Setting Theory vs Reinforcement

...Encore "Reinforcement" in Behavior Theory William N. Schoenfeld Queens College, City University of New York, and Cornell University Medical College In its Pavlovian context, "reinforcement" was actually a descriptive term for the functional relation between an unconditional and a conditional stimulus. When it was adopted into operant conditioning, "reinforcement" became the central concept and the key operation, but with new qualifications, new referents, and new expectations. Some behavior theorists believed that "reinforcers" comprise a special and limited class of stimuli or events, and they speculated about what the essential "nature of reinforcement" might be. It is now known that any stimulus can serve a reinforcing function, with due recognition of such parameters as subject species characteristics, stimulus intensity, sensory modality, and schedule of application. This paper comments on these developments from the standpoint of reflex behavior theory. From its modest beginnings in behavior science, the term "reinforcement" has come to play a central role in modern behavior theory. Like so many others in psychology, the verb "to reinforce," and its cognate nouns and adjectives, were an importation from common usage in which they had seen broad service: reinforced concrete; reinforcing a conclusion; reinforcing a fence; and so on. In acquiring their new dignity in science, they have also acquired some status adjectives like "positive" and "negative."......

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Motivation Theories

... SOCIAL EXCHANGE AND EQUITY THEORY Social exchange and equity theory revolve around the balance between efforts and rewards in organizations. The individual-organization exchange relationship addresses the contributions and demands that each party makes in the relationship. A. Demands and Contributions 1. Demands Needs form the basis for the expectations or demands placed on organizations by individuals. Organizations express demands on individuals through job expectations, mission statements, and performance feedback. 2. Contributions Contributions are the basis for satisfying the demands expressed by the other party in the relationship. Individual contributions include knowledge, skills, abilities, and professional contacts. Organizational contributions include status, benefits, income, and affiliation. B. Adams’s Theory of Inequity Adams's developed a theory of social exchange that analyzes inequity in the workplace. Specifically, inequity is the situation in which a person perceives he or she is receiving less than he or she is giving, or is giving less than he or she is receiving. Individuals calculate an inputoutcome ratio for themselves and compare it with an inputoutcome ratio for another person. If the ratios are not equivalent, perceived inequity results. C. The Resolution of Inequity Individuals seek to resolve inequity because it produces tension. The seven......

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Theories of Motivation

...Theories of Motivation In the workforce today, there are many different viewpoints behind what motivates workers in their respective job functions. The work of Frederick Taylor, Abraham Maslow, David McClelland, and Frederick Herzberg have some of the most popular theories behind the motivation of workers and have been developed over the course of the past 100 years or so. However, it should be noted that all four of these respective theoretical approaches do not reach the same conclusions. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the views and theories of the four individuals mentioned above and to compare and contrast some of the similarities and differences as it pertains to the theories of motivation. The first theory of motivation that will be examined is the work of Frederick Taylor. Taylor put forward the idea that workers are motivated mainly by pay and financial income. His Theory of Scientific Management argued that workers need to be closely supervised because they do not naturally enjoy work. He argued that managers should break down production into a series of small tasks and that workers should then be given appropriate training and tools so they can work as efficiently as possible on one task at a time. Workers should be paid based off the number of items they produce in a set period of time. As a result workers are encouraged to work hard and maximize their productivity which equals a higher pay (Rue & Byars, 2014). Taylor's methods were widely......

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Motivation Theory

...Motivation How important is pay for motivating workers? Motivation Studies Findings: * Pay and benefits are important in encouraging staff to work well * most important: work enjoyment, work challenges and recognition Points to think about * why do you think that pay and bonuses are not the most important factor for all workers? * explain why “loyalty” and “working harder” are important to a business * why do you think “recognition” is important to many workers? is it important to you? Motivation The intrinsic and extrinsic factors that stimulate people to take action that lead to achieving a goal. Intrinsic motivation Comes from within satisfaction derived from working on and completing a task. Extrinsic motivation Comes from outside external rewards associated with working on a task (pay and recognition). Indicators of poor staff motivation Unmotivated or demotivated staff will not perform effectively, offering only the minimum of what is expected. This will impact productivity levels and the competitiveness of the business. Signs will include: * absenteeism * lateness * poor performance * accidents * labour turnover * grievances * poor response rate Motivation theories Content theories Individuals are motivated by the desire to fulfil their inner needs. They focus on the human needs that energise and direct behaviour and how managers can create conditions that allow workers to satisfy......

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Motivation Theory

...literature review As pointed by Vroom [1964], motivation is derived from the Latin word “movere”, which means “to move”. It is an internal force, dependent on an individual’s needs which derive him/her to achieve. Shulze and Steyn [2003] affirmed that in order to understand people’s behavior at work, managers or supervisors must be aware of the concept of needs or motives, which will help ‘move’ their staffs to act. According to Robbins [2001], motivation is a need-satisfying process which means that when an individual’s needs are satisfied or motivated by certain factors, the individual will exert superior effort toward attaining organizational goals. People primarily do what they do to meet their needs or wants. Understanding that people are motivated by self-interest is the key to understanding motivation. Theories of motivation can be divided to explain the behavior and attitude of employees. These include content theories, based on the assumption that people have individual needs which motivate their actions, and theorists such as Maslow [1954], McClelland [1961], Herzberg [1966] and Alderfer [1969] are renowned for their works in this field. In contrast to content theories, process theories identified relations among variables which make up motivation and involve works from Heider [1958], Vroom [1964], Adams [1965], Locke [1976], and Lawler [1973]. In addition, reinforcement theory [B.F.Skinner, 1938] that proposes the consequences of the behaviors that motivate the...

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Theories of Motivation

...Islands Tobacco (SITCO), uses theories of motivation to motivate his staff to achieve these goals and objectives of the BAT Group. 2.0 How the Manager attracts and retains his employees to work with his organization A Manager must always be equipped with ways of how to attract and retain employees in his or her organisation. The Manager must not always think that employees are attracted to only making money. They must also consider the feelings of employees and see them as complete human beings. According to an internet article titled “Loyal following: Treat employees fairly and they’ll stay”, people will be attracted and remain in an organisation if they feel that they are treated fairly at work and they experience a feeling of belonging and being cared for, rather than just being considered as an employee number. One of the main ways the General Manager (GM) retains his employees is by applying a reinforcement theory technique called positive reinforcement. According to a management study website, positive reinforcement involves giving a positive response when an individual shows positive and required behaviour. For example, immediately praising an employee for turning up to work on time. This increases the chances of positive behaviour happening again from the employee. Positive reinforcement stimulates the occurrence of a particular behaviour. It must also be said that the more spontaneous or ‘out of the blue’ the reward is, the greater reinforcement value or the......

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Theories of Motivation

...Chapter 5Theories of Motivation LEARNING OBJECTIVES After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following: 1. Understand the role of motivation in determining employee performance. 2. Classify the basic needs of employees. 3. Describe how fairness perceptions are determined and consequences of these perceptions. 4. Understand the importance of rewards and punishments. 5. Apply motivation theories to analyze performance problems. What inspires employees to provide excellent service, market a company’s products effectively, or achieve the goals set for them? Answering this question is of utmost importance if we are to understand and manage the work behavior of our peers, subordinates, and even supervisors. Put a different way, if someone is not performing well, what could be the reason? Job performance is viewed as a function of three factors and is expressed with the equation below. [1] According to this equation, motivation, ability, and environment are the major influences over employee performance. Performance is a function of the interaction between an individual’s motivation, ability, and environment. Motivation is one of the forces that lead to performance. Motivation is defined as the desire to achieve a goal or a certain performance level, leading to goal-directed behavior. When we refer to someone as being motivated, we mean that the person is trying hard to accomplish a certain task. Motivation is clearly important if someone is to perform......

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Reinforcement Versus Goal Theory

...Reinforcement versus Goal Theory Lorraine Patterson OMM 625 Learning Organizations & Effectiveness Professor Renee Hill January 30, 2012 According to Edwin Locke the goal setting theory is a tool used for motivation. The theory states that goal setting is linked to task performance. The goal states “specifically challenging employees while using feedback will contribute to a higher and better performance while completing a task.”(Pane, S) The idea of working towards an accomplishment of a goal is a primary source of job motivation. Following successful performance, individuals gain confidence and will set higher goals. Research suggest that difficult goals will create a high level of performance than having to work on easy goals that, for which the challenges will allow an employee to feel that they did their best. Goal setting theory is broken down in the following manner. Managers must be specific and clear, as well as realistic yet challenging. Appropriate feedback of results directs employee to behave and contribute to a better performance. Feedback will gain reputation will develop clarification of a goal as well as regulate difficulties. (Sayer, S) Employee participation of setting goals is more acceptable and lead to more involvement. According to Sameed Sayer, the advantages of Goal Setting theory are as follows: * Goal setting theory is a technique used to raise incentives for......

Words: 713 - Pages: 3