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" motivational stiategies


There are seven motivational strategies. Managers should understand the advantages and
disadvantages oI each.
How does a manager eIIectively motivate his workers? Does eIIectiveness vary Irom one
situation to another? From one person to another?
Stephen J. Carroll and Henry L. Tosi (Management Consultants and co-authors oI several
books on management) point out seven strategies that direct, maneuver and wield workers
into better work perIormance. The seven strategies listed below are in order oI eIIectiveness,
not in order oI Irequency used.
1.Team Work
SkillIul managers Iorm work groups when possible with the hope that peer pressure will
induce high levels oI perIormance. This is reported to be an eIIective means oI motivation
because individuals appear to be more concerned with living up to the expectations oI Iellow
workers rather than the expectations oI their bosses. Complexities arise when a group
conIorms to a level oI achievement rather than a high perIormance level, or when a particular
work setting makes it diIIicult to structure group activities.
2. Personal involvement
Workers who are allowed to set their own perIormance levels will usually try to meet their
own expectations. It is important to have the worker make a verbal commitment regarding
their anticipated achievement levels. Also, individuals and groups are most likely to attain
goals when they make a public commitment to do so. This may be due to the Iact that such
commitments are promises and most people view themselves as persons who keep their word.
The chieI problem with this strategy results Irom workers who maintain a low selI-image. At
this point, managers are Iaced with the problem oI motivating a worker to think positively
about himselI so his selI-image will correlate with high perIormance. On the whole, this s 3.
work Enhancement
With this method, managers structure jobs so the work provides IulIillment. The experiment
in job enrichment underway at the Saab-Volvo automobile plant in Sweden illustrates rather
nicely how job enrichment works. They use a team-assembly concept in which workers rotate
the tasks required Ior building an automobile. Basically, the entire group is responsible Ior
assembling the complete automobile. This is in contrast to the monotonous production system
which now characterizes auto manuIacturing in the United States.
One oI the diIIiculties with this type oI motivational strategy is that workers want to be
compensated adequately Ior the work they do. When employees are expected to perIorm more
complicated job skills, they expect increased compensation. When this does not happen, the
work may no longer oIIer an internal incentive.
4. Rewards
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This type oI planning is based on the behavior modiIication approach that workers will
increase or repeat the desired work perIormance iI they are given rewards. It is also hoped that
poor perIormance will be eradicated once the subordinate comprehends the relationship
between commendable perIormance and rewards.
Generally, the reward approach is successIul but it is not without its complications.
Individuals are unique and maintain diIIerent value systems. What may be considered
rewarding to one worker may be no incentive whatsoever to the next employee. Some people
preIer pay increases. Others seek promotions. Still others may desire new rugs on their oIIice
Iloors. Establishing meaningIul incentives Ior perIormance with individuals can be a diIIicult
task Ior a manager.
5. Mutual Exchange
Sometimes, managers promise special privileges Ior the exchange oI desired work
perIormance. A supervisor may allow a worker to leave work early iI he completes his task
Ior the day, or he may be allowed a day away Irom the job iI he Iinishes a required project
within a speciIied time.
Mutual exchange is a Irequently used strategy, but not necessarily the most eIIective.
Problems arise when the employee Ieels the exchange is out oI balance, or when he cannot
come to an agreement with his supervisor as to what would be a Iair exchange.
6. competitive measures
In this design, workers compete against others Ior certain bonuses or prizes. Banners, plaques,
vacations, and Iree dinners are examples oI some rewards oIIered. This strategy is oIten used
Ior sales incentives.
DiIIiculties emerge when managers design contests that do not oIIer a Iair opportunity to
achieve the speciIied goals. II the same individuals and groups consistently win the prizes due
to the contest design, interest in competing is likely to grow lukewarm Ior many oI the
workers. Also, competition does not promote a cooperative strategy and work perIormance
can actually be sabotaged due to the hostility that competition can trigger.
7. Punishment And Fear
Although Irequently used, the least eIIective method oI motivating a worker is with a negative
consequence, such as a verbal dressing-down, suspension, or the loss oI the job. Punishment
may achieve immediate results, but it does not accomplish internal motivation Ior several
reasons. First, adults are not inclined to remain in employment where they are threatened and
intimidated. Second, workers who are backed by a strong union may dissolve the threat with a
higher level oI authority. Third, scares and intimidation can create animosity toward a
superior and employees may respond with hostility and subversion. Another problem with the
Iear strategy is that it creates a punitive climate in which individuals are aIraid oI being
diIIerent Irom or oI oIIending others. This particular situation has a tendency to diminish
creativity and lead to intellectual stagnation.
It would appear the most eIIective motivational strategies demand the most time and concern
on the part oI the manager. Threatening a worker with punishment takes but a moment.
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Forming a cohesive work group with the team-building approach demands eIIort and hard
work. II a manager is concerned only with production and immediate results, he may choose
punishment and Iear. However, iI a superior is interested in perIormance levels, job
satisIaction, and the internal motivation oI his workers, it may beneIit him to use more
eIIective and demanding managerial strategies.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Gardner Publications, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning
trategy is eIIective, but it might demand a manager to reinIorce an employee's strengths Iirst.