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Prepared by: Tresha Samuda

Group: POM 4 (A)
For Tutor: Caryn Spencer

Date: March 22, 2010


Initially, employees were considered just another input into the production of goods and services.

According to Wilson (2005) research referred to as the Hawthorne Studies, conducted by Elton

Mayo from 1924 to 1932 changed this way of thinking about employees (as cited by Honore

2009). The Hawthorne study found employees are not motivated solely by money and that their

behavior is linked to their attitudes. This study began the human relations approach to

management, whereby the needs and motivation of employees became the primary focus of

managers/organizations. Similarly, studies carried out by psychologist Abraham Maslow (five

levels of needs; physiological, safety, social, ego, and self-actualizing) in 1943 showed that

lower level needs had to be satisfied before the higher level needs could be met. When all were

met, the organization would have an employee that was motivated and contributing to the


In this review the goal is to determine the benefits to the organization that ensures its

employees are motivated. Mork (2009), in her article “The Benefits of Employee Work

Motivation” identified five major benefits to an organization. They are as follows:

• Improved Productivity

• Higher Quality of Service or Product

• Monetary Savings

• Better Employee Retention Rates

• Pleasant Work Environment

To support Mork’s views, the content theories will be referenced, in an attempt to explain

those specific things that actually motivate employees at work. These theories are concerned

with identifying people’s needs and their relative strengths, and the goals they pursue in order to

satisfy these needs. The content theories of motivation to be looked at in this review include

Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs theory, McGregor’s Theory X and Y model, Victor Vroom’s

Expectancy Theory and Herzberg’s two-factor theory.

Employees are a company's livelihood. How they feel about the work they are doing and

the results received from that work directly impact an organization's performance and,

ultimately, its stability. According to Nohria et al (2008), “motivating employees begins with

recognizing that to do their best work, people must be in an environment that meets their basic

emotional drives to acquire, bond, comprehend, and defend.” For instance, if an organization's

employees are highly motivated and proactive, they will do whatever is necessary to achieve the

goals of the organization as well as keep track of industry performance to address any potential

challenges. This approach builds an organization's stability. An organization whose employees

have low motivation is completely vulnerable to both internal and external challenges because its

employees are not going the extra mile to maintain the organization's stability (Allison, 2006).

Forsyth (2006) suggests that when employees are motivated they carry out tasks more

efficiently, producing better products or services in less time. According to Kinni (1998, as cited

by Honore 2009) McGregor’s theory Y states that employees care about doing a good job and

need achievement and satisfaction from their work. Honore, (2009) also states that the most

successful, motivated and productive workforce is one that feels valued, supported and

challenged, with a clear direction and an understanding of the important role they play in the

achievement of company objectives. The time and effort the organization invests in ensuring its

team is successful will reap benefits when team members begin to demonstrate increased levels

of productivity and an ability to resolve complex issues.

On the other hand, unmotivated employees waste time surfing the Web and using e-mail

and instant messaging for personal benefit. They generally take longer to accomplish the tasks

assigned. In essence organizations that focus on keeping employees motivated will see improved


When employees are motivated, they invest time, effort and brain power into producing

the best products or services possible (Forsyth, 2006). They take pride in their work, meaning

they will give the company a better name out in the market simply by producing a superior

product. Vroom’s expectancy theory of motivation advocates that motivation of an individual

depends upon the individual's perception regarding his or her capability to do a particular job, the

reward associated with the accomplishment of the job, and the value placed on the reward. A

key point of the expectancy theory is that the more attractive the reward, the stronger the

perception will be. This is because of an expectation that the extra efforts will lead to reward. An

example that could be used to exemplify the expectancy theory is the Wallace Company, winner

of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1990 (as cited by Halepota

2005). The employees within the organization had sufficient authority to work on their own and

they were trained to improve quality. The reward for improvement was the Baldrige Award: the

workers were aware of value of reward, so this kept them motivated to continue working hard.

Unmotivated employees, on the other hand, will put in the bare minimum effort, resulting in poor

customer service, and low-quality products.

As it relates to monetary savings, improved productivity and higher quality services and

products equal monetary gains for the company. This opens up cash for improvements in the

company or to be used as benefits for employees.

Another benefit to the organization is better employee retention rates. A recent survey on

employee retention (eweek 2007) conducted and released February 15, 2007 by Deloitte

Consulting and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists showed that

employee retention increased to the second spot in terms of importance to the organization. In

the study it was reported that 75% of respondents identified the ability to attract, motivate and

retain talent as a top-five priority, up from 69% in 2006 and 56% in 2005. This growth was more

pronounced among respondents whose company revenues exceed $1 billion.

If employees are motivated, the organization will be able to retain more of them. Every time a

new employee is hired, there is a cost associated. The organization has to invest time in getting

that person up to speed on the job requirements, integrating that person into the workforce and

figuring out exactly how that new person can contribute (Ramlall, 2004). Existing employees

have a wealth of knowledge about the company and how things work. They are also already

accustomed to working with the other employees at the facility. By retaining employees, the

organization saves money and time.

Finally, the organization will benefit from ensuring its employees are in a pleasant work

environment. The organization has the responsibility of providing its staff with the necessary

tools for achieving both the individual and organizational goals. Creating a favorable working

climate that would encourage and enhance self-motivation (Skemp-Arlt, Toupence 2007).

Honore (2009), suggested that maintaining a healthy working environment, for example, can

improve an employee's productivity, and is sustainable. It is not always necessary for employers

to motivate around pay and bonuses, but employers should look at other aspects of the working

environment, such as personal progression and trust. These can be just as effective in motivating,

and without the cost.

Herzberg's theory describes motivation based on two factors: motivators and hygiene.

Motivators in this context consist of achievement, recognition, responsibility, and advancement.

They are intrinsic and related directly to the nature of the work and rewards attainable from work

performance. Hygienes on the other hand relates to working conditions. They are extrinsic and

are associated with the work environment (Guthrie et al, 1991).

The right environment throughout the organization has to be cultivated to ensure that

employees have sufficient trust and confidence in the management hierarchy. Enabling the right

environment to be established and nurtured requires, throughout all levels, an absolute belief in

and commitment to continuous improvement and development for both personal and business-

wide benefit. Additionally, motivated employees are happy employees. Better morale is

contagious; it leads to a pleasant work environment and better productivity. All this means a

better workday for everyone.

Motivation is essential for each and every organization because its helps in reducing

much of the frustration experienced on a day to day basis and it also creates a healthy work

environment. The word motivation stands for movement. All organizations should be interested

and concerned about how to enable people to perform tasks willingly and to the best of their

ability. Motivation is essential for any company because employees are assets of the company. It

is important for the growth of employees as well as growth of the organization. Motivated

employees are more productive and they help organizations survive. The organization should set

standards of excellence, provide workers with training that will enable them to meet these

standards, provide feedback on performance, and recognize them for their achievements and trust

and treat them with dignity and respect. In order to create a positive climate of motivation, the

organization must provide direct support to its workers and then provide psychological

nourishment to allow them to motivate themselves (Halepota, 2005).



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