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Maslow hierarchy of needs theory

Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory states that people have a pyramid hierarchy of needs that they will
satisfy from bottom to top. Starting from mere physiological subsistence the Maslow hierarchy of needs
covers belonging to a social circle to pursuing your talent through self-actualization. Important to the
hierarchy of needs theory is that Maslow felt that unfulfilled needs lower on the ladder would inhibit the
person from climbing to the next step.
The pyramid of needs is divided into two categories: deficiency needs (physiological and safety) and growth
needs (belonging, self-esteem and self-actualisation). If the deficiency needs aren't satisfied, the person will
feel the deficit and this will stifle his or her development.

Maslow work situations
When Maslow's hierarchy of needs is applied to work situations, it implies that managers have the
responsibility, firstly, to make sure the deficiency needs are met. This means, in broad terms, a safe
environment and proper wages. Secondly, it implies creating a proper climate in which employees can
develop their fullest potential. Failure to do so would theoretically increase employee frustration and could
result in poorer performance, lower job satisfaction, and increased withdrawal from the organization.
For example, according to Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory job insecurity and the threat of layoffs, will
block the person from their higher growth needs. They might work harder to get security, but without
fulfilling their other needs. If security doesn't return they will fulfill their needs elsewhere or burn out.

How to satisfy employee's needs
The figure below shows some potential ways of satisfying employee needs according to Maslow's hierarchy
of needs theory. Some of these are easy and inexpensive to implement, others are hard and costly. Also,
the employees' needs may vary. However, if you manage to implement at least some of these strategies
you will be looked at as more considerate, supportive and interested in your people's welfare.





Vending machines

Drinking fountains



Wages and salaries

Fringe benefits

Retirement benefits

Medical benefits

wages are part of the deficiency needs. Giving financial bonuses is a different matter. In Maslow's hierarchy of needs model. and that people will feel unfulfilled in their need for safety until they have it. However. the way they are awarded is also important: if they aren't given in an . Provide job descriptions  Avoid abrupt changes  Solve employee's problems Physical  Working conditions  Heating and ventilation  Rest periods Belonging Encourage social interaction  Create team spirit  Facilitate outside social activities  Use periodic praise  Allow participation Self-esteem Design challenging jobs  Use praise and awards  Delegate responsibilities  Give training  Encourage participation Self-actualization Give training  Provide challenges  Encourage creativity Implications for financial incentives in Maslow's hierarchy of needs model In Maslow's hierarchy of needs model. That means that they serve as a measure of security. these can serve to fulfill the need for esteem.

growth needs are the least concrete in that their specific objectives depend on the uniqueness of each person. ERG motivation theory Alderfer Clayton P. Relatedness and Growth.. 3.g. 1. Finally. 2. Existence Needs Include all material and physiological desires (e. Relatedness needs are less concrete than existence needs. 2. clothing. Relationships between Alderfer's ERG theory concepts There are three relationships among the different categories in Alderfer's ERG theory: 1. to progress toward one's ideal self). Maslow's fourth and fifth levels. relationships with significant others like family. Even though the priority of these needs differ from person to person.g. and to complete meaningful tasks. physical love and affection). This also means to be recognized and feel secure as part of a group or family. Frustration-regression suggests that an already satisfied need can become active when a higher need . In Alderfer's ERG theory. and easiest to verify. a person may regress to lower level needs that appear easier to satisfy. they can work counterproductively as they will be seen as mere wages. Maslow's first two levels. Individuals move up the need hierarchy as a result of satisfying lower order needs. or not at all (if they don't really need the money). friends.atmosphere of praise but as a mere benefit for reaching a certain goal. which depend on a relationship between two or more people. This includes desires to be creative and productive. food. Relatedness Needs Encompass social and external esteem. co-workers and employers . Growth Needs Internal esteem and self actualization. this isn't necessarily so. safety. and as such only serve to satisfy someone's deficiency needs. Alberger's ERG theory prioritises in terms of the categories' concreteness. Maslow's third and fourth levels. these impel a person to make creative or productive effects on himself and the environment (e. satisfaction-progression plays an important part.. Existence needs are the most concrete. Frustration-regression If a higher level need remains unfulfilled. Satisfaction-progression Moving up to higher-level needs based on satisfied needs. The progression upward from relatedness satisfaction to growth desires does not presume the satisfaction of a person's existence needs. water. With Maslow. Alderfer's ERG theory from 1969 condenses Maslow's five human needs into three categories: Existence. air.

the desire to gratify a lesser need will be increased (i. relatedness needs can resurface as key motivators. the frustration in meeting high-order needs might lead a person to regress to a more concrete need category). 2. and for recognition by others... As you can see. it accounts for the "starving artist" who may place growth needs above existence ones).. . if a person is continually frustrated in his/her attempts to satisfy growth. If a relatively more significant need is not gratified. He proposed that an individual's specific needs are acquired over time and are shaped by one's life experiences.g. and socialize more with co-workers. He described three types of motivational need. a person may satisfy a need at hand. Implications for financial incentives in Alderfer's ERG model Financial incentives may satisfy the need for growth. in this theory financial incentives can only fulfill human needs indirectly. So even though you may provide financial incentives.cannot be satisfied. whether or not a previous need has been satisfied). if growth opportunities are not provided to employees. Satisfaction-strengthening Iteratively strengthening a current level of satisfied needs. steps can be taken to satisfy the frustrated needs until the employee is able to pursue growth again. For example. if your people's other needs aren't being met. The ERG motivation theory work situations On a work level. through their perceived value and effect on other people. this means that managers must recognize his employees' multiple simultaneous needs. Thus. In Alderfer's ERG model. 3. The frustration-regression principle impacts workplace motivation. McClelland achievement and acquired needs theory In his in his 1961 book 'The Achieving Society'. Alderfer's ERG theory allows the order of the needs to differ for different people (e. David McClelland expounds on his acquired-needs theory. A lower level need does not have to be gratified (i. If you can recognize these conditions early. Differences between ERG theory and Maslow's model Alderfer's ERG motivation theory differs from Maslow's theory in three ways: 1. they may regress to relatedness needs.e. Satisfaction-strengthening indicates that an already satisfied need can maintain satisfaction or strengthen lower level needs iteratively when it fails to gratify high-level needs. focusing exclusively on one need at a time will not motivate your people. according to Alderfer's ERG theory your workers will not be motivated.e. 3. A person's motivation and effectiveness in certain job functions are influenced by these three needs.

and has a need for friendly relationships and is motivated towards interaction with other people.achievement motivation The n-ach person is 'achievement motivated' and therefore seeks achievement. They tend to conform to the norms of their work group. and advancement in the job. A person's need for power can be one of two types .  n-affil .  n-pow . McClelland's acquired needs theory states that most people possess and exhibit a combination of these characteristics. This driver produces a need to be influential. The affiliation driver produces motivation and need to be liked and held in popular regard. achievers see the outcome as one of chance rather than one's own effort. Some people exhibit a strong bias to a particular motivational need. They need harmonious relationships with other people and need to feel accepted by other people. Achievers avoid low-risk situations because the easily attained success is not a genuine achievement. and while n-pow people are attracted to the leadership role. Managers with a high need for institutional power tend to be more effective than those with a high need for personal power. There is a strong need for feedback as to achievement and progress. Persons who need institutional power (also known as social power) want to organize the efforts of others to further the goals of the organization. People with a high need for achievement seek to excel and thus tend to avoid both low-risk and high-risk situations. There is a strong need to lead and for their ideas to prevail.affiliation motivation The n-affil person is 'affiliation motivated'. They perform well in customer service and client interaction situations. High n-ach individuals prefer work that has a moderate probability of success. Those who need personal power want to direct others. Mcclelland's achievement motivation theory suggests that a strong n-affil 'affiliation-motivation' undermines a manager's objectivity. n-ach . and that this affects a manager's decision-making capability. McClelland's motivation theory argues that n-ach people with strong 'achievement motivation' make the best leaders. and a need for a sense of accomplishment. effective and to make an impact. These people are team players. ideally a 50% chance. They prefer either to work alone or with other high achievers. they may not possess the required flexibility and people-centred skills. because of their need to be liked. High n-affil individuals prefer work that provides significant personal interaction.personal and institutional. which of course most people are not. McClelland's achievement motivation theory in work situations . although there can be a tendency to demand too much of their staff in the belief that they are all similarly and highly achievement-focused and results driven. and this need often is percieved as undesirable. and this motivational or needs 'mix' consequently affects their behaviour and working/managing style. There is also motivation and need towards increasing personal status and prestige. In high-risk projects.authority/power motivation The n-pow person is 'authority motivated'. attainment of realistic but challenging goals. A strong n-pow 'authority-motivation' will produce a determined work ethic and commitment to the organisation.

support from co-workers and colleagues.  High need for affiliation (n-affil) Employees with a high affiliation need perform best in a cooperative environment. Inputs This equity theory term ecompasses the quality and quantity of the employees contributions to his or her work. enthusiasm. skill. or work and pay. Typical inputs include time.McClelland's acquired needs are found to varying degrees in all workers and managers. and this mix of motivational needs characterises a person's or manager's style and behaviour.  High need for power (n-pow) Management should provide power seekers the opportunity to manage others. Stacey Adams equity theory John Stacey Adams' equity theory helps explain why pay and conditions alone do not determine motivation. Achievement-motivated (n-ach) people want feedback. Inputs are logically what we give or put into our work. personal sacrifice. ability. .  High need for achievement (n-ach) High achievers should be given challenging projects with reachable goals. commitment.. trust in superiors. it is an effective form of feedback. They should be provided frequent feedback. effort. people with low achievement motivation are more concerned about the environment. Employees seek to maintain equity between the inputs that they bring to a job and the outcomes that they receive from it against the perceived inputs and outcomes of others. People with high achievement motivation tend to be interested in the motivators (the job itself). flexibility. Rather.. Note that McClelland's acquired needs theory allows for the shaping of a person's needs. People with different needs are motivated differently. Outputs are everything we take out in return. and in the management and motivation others. adaptability. hard work. Relation of McClelland's achievement motivation theory to other theories McClelland's concept of achievement motivation is also related to Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory. The belief in equity theory is that people value fair treatment which causes them to be motivated to keep the fairness maintained within the relationships of their co-workers and the organization. loyalty. It also explains why giving one person a promotion or pay-rise can have a demotivating effect on others. tolerance.hence the use of the terms inputs and outputs. When people feel fairly or advantageously treated they are more likely to be motivated. both in terms of being motivated. determination. when they feel unfairly treated they are highly prone to feelings of disaffection and demotivation. are an over-simplification . On the other hand. training programs can be used to modify one's need profile. They want to know how well they are doing on their job. They want to know how people feel about them rather than how well they are doing. Words like efforts and rewards. While money is not an important motivator in itself.

expenses. and with it. which may result the employee not performing well at work anymore. reputation. that our ratio of inputs to outputs is less beneficial than the ratio enjoyed by referent others.which counts. Equity does not depend on our input-to-output ratio alone . an employee wants to feel that their contributions and work performance are being rewarded with their pay. This also explains why and how full-time employees will compare their situations and input-to-output ratios with part-time colleagues. esteem. if they learn for example that a colleague (or worse an entire group) is enjoying a better reward-to-effort ratio. depends on our comparison between our ratio and the ratio of others.. however it is the ratio of input-to-output . who very probably earn less. and yet with no change to their terms and working conditions can be made very unhappy and demotivated. which is the pivotal part of the theory.Outputs Outputs in equity theory are defined as the positive and negative consequences that an individual perceives a participant has incurred as a consequence of his/her relationship with another. Equity Theory explains why people can be happy and motivated by their situation one day. salary. According to equity theory. their personal motivation. in establishing their own personal sense of fairness or equity in their work situations. then so this will have a negative effect on the full-timer's sense of Equity. 'Referent' others are used to describe the reference points or people with whom we compare our own situation. then we become demotivated in relation to our job and employer. partners etc. is the main concern and therefore the cause of equity or inequity in most cases.. We form perceptions of what constitutes a fair ratio (a balance or trade) of inputs and outputs by comparing our own situation with other 'referents' (reference points or examples) in the market place as we see it. sense of achievement. Outputs can be both tangible and intangible. Typical outcomes are job security. Examples of equity theory at work In practice this helps to explain why people are so strongly affected by the situations (and views and gossip) of colleagues. In any position. Equity Theory adds a crucial additional perspective of comparison with 'referent' others (people we consider in a similar situation). employee benefits. Mechanisms Equity Theory consists of four proposed mechanisms for (de)motivation: . It's the subtle variables that also play an important role for the feeling of equity. however.. recognition. if an employee feels underpaid then it will result in the employee feeling hostile towards the organization and perhaps their co-workers. Just the idea of recognition for the job performance and the mere act of thanking the employee will cause a feeling of satisfaction and therefore help the employee feel worthwhile and have more outcomes. Perception of equity But Adams' Equity Theory is a far more complex and sophisticated motivational model than merely assessing effort (inputs) and reward (outputs). If we feel are that inputs are fairly rewarded by outputs (the fairness benchmark being subjectively perceived from market norms and other comparable references) then generally we are happier in our work and more motivated to continue inputting at the same level. It's all about the money Payment however. praise. and if the part-timer is perceived to enjoy a more advantageous ratio. stimuli.rewardto-effort . responsibility. If we feel. thanks.

The greater the inequity. the more distress people feel and the more they try to restore equity. The person who gets too little may feel angry or humiliated. efficiency. they become distressed. Systems of equity will evolve within groups. 2. Employees who perceive inequity will seek to reduce it. the more distress individuals feel. According to equity theory. Individuals who perceive that they are in an inequitable relationship attempt to eliminate their distress by restoring equity. a concept referred to as the "equity norm". Other people seek to improve the outputs by making claims or demands for more reward. Equity Theory in companies Equity Theory in business introduces the concept of social comparison. Individuals seek to maximize their outcomes (where outcomes are defined as rewards minus costs). . or seeking an alternative job. 2. whereby employees evaluate their own input/output ratios based on their comparison with the input/outcome ratios of other employees. Thus. either by distorting inputs and/or outcomes in their own minds ("cognitive distortion"). The only way groups can induce members to equitably behave is by making it more profitable to behave equitably than inequitably. Employees determine what their equitable return should be after comparing their inputs and outcomes with those of their coworkers (social comparison). groups will generally reward members who treat others equitably and generally punish (increase the cost for) members who treat others inequitably. both the person who gets "too much" and the person who gets "too little" feel distressed. productivity. and turnover. When individuals find themselves participating in inequitable relationships. recalcitrant or even disruptive. 3. Assumptions of Equity Theory applied to business The three primary assumptions applied to most business applications of Equity Theory can be summarized as follows: 1. The person who gets too much may feel guilt or shame. Some people reduce effort and application and become inwardly disgruntled. Employees expect a fair return for what they contribute to their jobs. directly altering inputs and/or outcomes. or leaving the organization. open hostility. and members will attempt to induce other members to accept and adhere to these systems. the theory has wide-reaching implications for employee morale. or outwardly difficult. resulting in demotivation. People respond to a feeling of inequity in different ways Generally the extent of demotivation is proportional to the perceived disparity with other people or inequity. but for some people just the smallest indication of negative disparity between their situation and other people's is enough to cause massive disappointment and a feeling of considerable injustice. or worse. The more inequitable the relationship. Thus. 4.1. Groups can maximize collective rewards by developing accepted systems for equitably apportioning rewards and costs among members.

Employees who perceive themselves as being in an inequitable situation will seek to reduce the inequity either by distorting inputs and/or outcomes in their own minds ("cognitive distortion").helps managers and policymakers to appreciate that while improving one person's terms and conditions can resolve that individual's demands (for a while).  Different employees ascribe personal values to inputs and outcomes. This means a working mother may accept lower monetary compensation in return for more flexible working hours. if the change is perceived by other people to upset the equity of their own situations then the solution can easily generate far more problems than it attempted to fix. It may be that he or she internalizes a sense of superiority and actually decrease his efforts. However.and especially its pivotal comparative aspect .  Employees are able to adjust for purchasing power and local market conditions. Thus a teacher from Alberta may accept lower compensation than his colleague in Toronto if his cost of living is different. Thus. etc . and thereby their employer.and crucially comparison feature more strongly in Equity Theory than in other earlier motivational models. there are limits to the balance of the scales of equity and employees can find excessive executive pay demotivating. Relation of Equity Theory to other theories The comparative aspect of Equity Theory provides a far more fluid and dynamic appreciation of motivation than typically arises in motivational theories and models based on individual circumstance alone. Equity Theory reminds us that people see themselves and crucially the way they are treated in terms of their surrounding environment. two employees of equal experience and qualification performing the same work for the same pay may have quite different perceptions of the fairness of the deal. team. Implications of Equity Theory for managers Understanding Equity Theory .3. system.  Staff perceptions of inputs and outcomes of themselves and others may be incorrect. There are similarities with Maslow and Herzberg in that the theory acknowledges that subtle and variable factors affect each individual's assessment and perception of their relationship with their work. by directly altering inputs and/or outputs.and so they must be managed and treated accordingly.  Although it may be acceptable for more senior staff to receive higher compensation. awareness and cognizance of the wider situation . Implications of Equity Theory for financial rewards . or by leaving the organization. and perceptions need to be managed effectively. However he may also adjust the values that he ascribes to his own personal inputs. while a teacher in a remote African village may accept a totally different pay structure. Equity Theory has several implications for business managers:  People measure the totals of their inputs and outcomes.  An employee who believes he is over-compensated may increase his effort.not in isolation .

As Herzberg's hygiene-motivators theory shows. as it can give quite an ego boost to the person administering it. it introduces the concept of movement vs. you kick yourself". It may be that he or she internalizes a sense of superiority and actually decrease his efforts. Herzberg's hygiene factors vs. an incentive. A reward. Herzberg wonders. you have negative physical KITA. It doesn't help to get anyone excited to get to work in the mornings though." (source: Institute for Scientific Information). these two feelings are not opposites of each other. The organisation doesn't have to kick you. a promotion… Many companies believe that these positive KITAs truly do motivate people. Secondly. What Herzberg sees as a true motivator is an engine inside a person that makes them keep going out of their own accord without needing a constant pull from the company. What's fascinating about this is that even things like human relations training and job participation don't intrinsically motivate people. compelling theories about motivation. they're not what today's workers are looking for in a job. An employee who believes he is over-compensated may increase his effort. This happens a lot. A Kick In The Ass. motivators 'How do you install a generator in an employee?'. And it "has produced more replications than any other research in the history of industrial and organizational psychology. They may create a pull. Hertzberg hygiene factors and motivators theory Herzberg's hygiene factors vs. there's negative psychological KITA. is seduction. there is positive KITA. It is the only motivational theory that splits out demotivating factors from true motivators. And they have a choice. Or they may feel undervalued because someone else did get one. more status. "It's the American Way. They may charge a person's battery. Herzberg's hygiene factors vs motivators theory first suggests that "the factors involved in producting job satisfaction (and motivation) are separate and distinct from the factors that lead to job dissatisfaction. comes in different forms. The literal kick up the buttocks and whiplashes may have helped build the pyramid. And then. motivators theory is one of the most empirical and in my opinion. this may seem strange but as Herzberg states. under the erroneous belief that it will motivate their employees. positive KITA makes employees party to their own downfall.People may feel guilty because they feel they don't deserve the bonus. he explains. according to Herzberg's hygiene factors vs motivators theory. Where negative KITA is truly a practice to be abhorred. However he may also adjust the values that he ascribes to his own personal inputs. a kind of "dog biscuit to wave in front of employees to get them to jump" (Herzberg). First off. and they perceive their inputs to be superior to the person that got the bonus. Hertzberg goes on to show the ways positive KITA is administered. Positive KITA. Staff perceptions of inputs and outcomes of themselves and others may be incorrect. This entails all kinds of emotional games and manipulations to make someone perform more. Hertzberg explains. There are limits to the balance of the scales of equity and employees can find excessive executive pay demotivating. and perceptions need to be managed effectively. they don't really. motivation. Herzberg hygiene factors: KITA Herzberg researched hundreds of employees and companies and determined that most companies use what he unceremoniously refers to as KITA." Semantically. but it will run flat again at some point of no real motivation is instilled. . It means any kind of quid pro quo that an organisation may use.

you'd like to hear some good news. Therefore. status.  Rotating the assignments of a number of jobs that need to be enriched. but not necessarily motivation. They are things like wage. co-worker relationships and supervisory style. responsibility. The other set of needs relates "to that unique human characteristic.) 4. So how do you enrich a job? I can imagine that after reading about all the ways people AREN'T motivated. Herzberg's motivation factors vs hygien factors theory advises to follow seven principles when vertically enriching jobs: Principle Motivators involved 1. here you go. division. The first set stems from our animal nature – "the built-in drive to avoid pain from the environment.  Adding another meaningless task to the existing one. hunger makes it necessary to earn money. in the industrial setting. Motivation factors are achievement. Granting additional authority to employees in their activity. Herzberg calls these hygiene (or KITA) factors. achievement and area. and growth needs). Removing some controls while retaining accountability Responsibility and personal achievement 2. which reduces the personal contribution rather than giving opportunities for growth.  Removing the most difficult parts of the assignment. job recognition Responsibility. the factors leading to job satisfaction are separate and distinct from those that lead to job dissatisfaction. Well. Responsibility. According to Herzberg. Some examples are:  Challenging the employee by increasing the amount of production expected.. and then money becomes a specific drive". company policies and administration. Giving a person a complete natural unit of work (module. achievement and . recognition. For example. the ability to achieve and.. The stimuli for the growth needs are tasks that induce growth. The stimuli inducing pain-avoidance behavior are found in the job environment. Job enrichment according to Herzberg's hygiene factors vs motivators theory Herzberg suggests that work be enriched (or 'vertically loaded') for true motivation to spark up. plus all the learned drives that become conditioned to the basic biological needs.Herzberg explains this by turning to the different sets of needs human beings have in a way that is very reminiscent of Maslow's as well as Anthony Robbins' division of needs into two categories (the personality needs. Increasing the accountability of individuals for own work Responsibility and recognition 3. This is different from horizontal job loading. through achievement. security. working conditions. advancement and the work itself. they are the job content. manager who seek to eliminate factors that create job dissatisfaction can bring about peace. to experience psychological growth".

Expectancy is the belief that increased effort will lead to increased performance i. Making periodic reports directly available to the workers themselves recognition Internal recognition rather than to supervisors 6.freedom 5. supervisor support. For the valence to be positive. He uses the variables Expectancy. Clear understanding of the relationship between performance and outcomes – e. The degree to which a first level outcome will lead to the second level outcome. Instrumentality and Valence to account for this. if I work harder then this will be better. he or she might not value offers of additional time off.e. . He stated that effort. and outcomes. the person must prefer attaining the outcome to not attaining it. the rules of the reward 'game' 2. growth and become experts advancement Vroom expectancy motivation theory Whereas Maslow and Herzberg look at the relationship between internal needs and the resulting effort expended to fulfil them. knowledge. Vroom realized that an employee's performance is based on individual factors such as personality.g. Introducing new and more difficult tasks not previously handled Growth and learning 7. time) 2. Having the right resources available (e. P>O expectancy: our assessment of the probability that our successful performance will lead to certain outcomes. or correct information on the job) Instrumentality is the belief that if you perform well that a valued outcome will be received.g. enabling them to Responsibility. For example. Vroom's expectancy theory separates effort (which arises from motivation). This is affected by such things as: 1. Vroom's expectancy theory assumes that behavior results from conscious choices among alternatives whose purpose it is to maximize pleasure and to minimize pain. experience and abilities.e. i. there is something in it for me. if someone is mainly motivated by money. performance. raw materials. if I do a good job.g. This is affected by such things as: 1. Having the necessary support to get the job done (e. Having the right skills to do the job 3. skills. 3. performance and motivation are linked in a person's motivation. The three elements are important behind choosing one element over another because they are clearly defined: effort-performance expectancy (E>P expectancy) and performance-outcome expectancy (P>O expectancy). Trust in the people who will take the decisions on who gets what outcome Transparency of the process that decides who gets what outcome Valence is the importance that the individual places upon the expected outcome. Assigning individual specific or specialized tasks. E>P expectancy: our assessment of the probability that our efforts will lead to the required performance level.

This model takes into account individual perceptions and thus personal histories. So if we got the same raise this year. but I think you put in a lot less effort. I think that the more effort I put into recycling the more paper I will recycle (expectancy). who assume that people are essentially all the same.Crucially. allowing a richness of response not obvious in Maslow or McClelland. Vroom's expectancy theory works on perceptions – so even if an employer thinks they have provided everything appropriate for motivation. Maslow could be used to describe which outcomes people are motivated by and Vroom to describe whether they will act based upon their experience and expectations. managers should engage in training to improve their capabilities and improve their belief that added effort will in fact lead to better performance. and I think that the more paper I recycle then less resources will be used (instrumentality) Thus. For example. it doesn't mean that someone won't perceive that it doesn't work for them. Managers also need to ensure that the rewards provided are deserved and wanted by the recipients. such as an increase in salary or benefits  These predicted organizational rewards are valued by the employee in question In order to enhance the performance-outcome tie. Expectancy theory: application to financial bonuses The implication of Vroom's expectancy theory is that people change their level of effort according to the value they place on the bonus they receive from the process and on their perception of the strength of the links between effort and outcome. and even if this works with most people in that organisation. In order to improve the effort-performance tie. Expectancy theory in companies Expectancy theory predicts that employees in an organization will be motivated when they believe that:  Putting in more effort will yield better job performance  Better job performance will lead to organizational rewards. Maslow). At first glance expectancy theory would seem most applicable to a traditional-attitude work situation where how motivated the employee is depends on whether they want the reward on offer for doing a good job and whether they believe more effort will lead to that reward. So. if someone perceives that any one of these is true: . Other theories don't allow for the same degree of individuality between people. Expectancy theory in comparison to the other motivation theories There is a useful link between Vroom's expectancy theory and Adam's Equity theory of motivation: namely that people will also compare outcomes for themselves with others. it could equally apply to any situation where someone does something because they expect a certain outcome. this theory suggests that I would scale back the effort I put in. Equity theory suggests that people will alter the level of effort they put in to make it fair compared to others according to their perceptions.g. I recycle paper because I think it's important to conserve resources and take a stand on environmental issues (valence). Vroom's expectancy theory of motivation is not about self-interest in rewards but about the associations people make towards expected outcomes and the contribution they feel they can make towards those outcomes. However. managers should use systems that tie rewards very closely to performance. Vroom's expectancy theory could also be overlaid over another theory (e.

then Vroom's expectancy theory suggests that this individual will not be motivated. whereas a challenging job enhances motivation. If we look at the needs theories and Herzberg's motivation factors. if no additional effort is needed. is based on the idea that the task itself is key to employee motivation. if a financial bonus is to be given. and does not occur just as a set of movements to be repeated. The second is to connect them emotionally to the customer of their outputs. On top of that. There need to be clear standards of achievement. This would include the ability to make changes and incorporate the learning you gain whilst doing the job. all three are required for positive motivation. i. This means a balance must be created. This is fundamental to intrinsic motivation. and feedback) which impact three critical psychological states (experienced meaningfulness. My increased performance will not increase my rewards 3. experienced responsibility for outcomes. something that you can relate to. Meaningfulness of work That labour has meaning to you. Specifically. thus giving further purpose to the work (e. the question is to what extent financial bonuses are really valued by people. 3. designed by Hackman and Oldham. My increased effort will not increase my performance 2.).1. Hackman and Oldham’s job characteristics theory proposes that high motivation is related to experiencing three psychological states whilst working: 1. none will be added. and knowledge of the actual results).g. that work is motivating in an of itself (as opposed to motivating only as a means to an end). task identity. The five core job characteristics can be combined to form a motivating potential score (MPS) for a job. For financial bonuses.. etc. I may only work on a production . This means that even if an organisation achieves two out of three. autonomy. a boring and monotonous job stifles motivation to perform well. absenteeism.. 2. which in turn enables them to learn from mistakes. money is just a small part of a much larger picture. it implies that people need to feel that their increased effort will be able to attain the level needed to get the bonus. which can be used as an index of how likely a job is to affect an employee's attitudes and behaviors. in turn influencing work outcomes (job satisfaction. Knowledge of outcomes This is important for two reasons. Job enrichment and job rotation are the two ways of adding variety and challenge. Or. Responsibility That you have been given the opportunity to be a success or failure at your job because sufficient freedom of action has given you. Hackman and Oldham job characteristics model The job characteristics model. Variety. task significance.e. work motivation. It states that there are five core job characteristics (skill variety. Firstly to provide the person knowledge on how successful their work has been. autonomy and decision authority are three ways of adding challenge to a job. I don't value the rewards on offer . between making it achievable and not making it too easy to achieve. that employees would still not be motivated.

Feedback can come from other people or the job itself. or am making some pointless item (e. to society or a group over and beyond the self. corporate give-away gifts). looking after someone or making something that will benefit someone else. It implies an employee awareness of how effective he/she is converting his/her effort into performance. o Task Significance Being able to identify the task as contributing to something wider. boring. and hence enabling more pride to be taken in the outcome of that work (e. 2.g.line. Knowing these critical job characteristics. For example.g. it is then possible to derive the key components of the design of a job and redesign it: 1. Assigning work to groups to increase the wholeness of the product produced and give a group to enhance significance 3. This is derived from: o Skill variety Using an appropriate variety of your skills and talents: too many might be overwhelming. too few. each of these critical states are derived from certain characteristics of the job: 1. This can be anything from production figures through to customer satisfaction scores. but I know that the food rations I produce are used to help people in disaster areas. independence and discretion to the individual in scheduling the work and in determining the procedures to be used in carrying it out) 3. as in the job provides substantial freedom. the theory goes. In turn. Responsibility Responsibility is derived from autonomy. The point is that the feedback offers information that once you know. Varying work to enable skill variety 2. Conversely I will be less motivated if I am only making a faceless owner wealthier. you can use to do things differently if you wish. the theory suggests that I will be more motivated if I am contributing to the whole firm’s bonus this year. if you just add one nut to one bolt in the same spot every time a washing machine goes past it is much less motivating than being the person responsible for the drum attachment and associated work area (even as part of a group). Knowledge of outcomes This comes from feedback. Meaningfulness of work The work must be experienced as meaningful (his/her contribution significantly affects the overall effectiveness of the organization). saving many lives). Delegate tasks to their lowest possible level to create autonomy and hence responsibility . o Task Identity Being able to identify with the work at hand as more whole and complete.

Connect people to the outcomes of their work and the customers that receive them so as to provide feedback for learning .4.