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“Employee Motivation: application and implications”


Dr. Michael Oyelere

In the news…
Third of employers see growth in presenteeism, CIPD
 Problem of sick staff coming into work increases
for fifth year in a row

 One in three employers have reported an increase in

staff coming to work while they are ill, the CIPD
Absence Management Survey 2015, has revealed.
(CIPD, 2017)
Learning Objectives
 Evaluate the underlying concept of motivation
 A critical review of the categories of motivation
 Critique the applicability and implications of some
motivation theories
 Review the implications of motivation theories
Elements of Motivation

 Motivation is the processes that account for an

individual’s intensity, direction, and persistence of effort
toward attaining a goal.

(Robbins & Judge, 2015)

Theories of motivation
 Motivation theories has been classified into two, namely: Content and
Process theories of motivation

 Content theories focus on the goals to which we aspire. They reveal the
content of our motives, i.e. things within a person that energize, direct,
sustain and stop behaviour e.g. Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, Alderfer’s ERG,
Herzbergs' Two Factor, McClellands Need for Achievement and Affiliation and

 Process theories focus on how we make choices with respect to desired goals.
It give us a cognitive decision-making role in selecting the goals and the means
by which to pursue them e.g. equity theory, expectancy theory, Goal-setting
theory and reinforcement.
(Huczynski & Buchanan, 2009)
Application and implications of content
theories of motivation (1)
 Content theories focus on individual needs in explaining job satisfaction,
behaviour and reward systems. The basis is that individual needs trigger a
behavioural response.
 These suggest the following:
 Specific needs trigger desired behaviours.
 Implications: How do we identify these needs?
 Meaningful rewards help individuals satisfy needs.
 Implications: How can we understand these needs to maximize motivational impact?
 Offering appropriate rewards can optimize performance.
 Implications: How can we ensure that the rewards we offer are appropriate?
 The needs of an individual will not necessarily repeat themselves in a
regular pattern: People change because of experiences, life events, aging
and other factors.
 Implications: How can we design and use available tools (motivational theories) to satisfy
changing needs?
(Beardwell & Claydon, 2014).
Application and implications of process
theories of motivation (2)
 Process theories are concerned with the cognitive antecedents that go into
motivation or effort and the way they relate to one another.
 These suggest the following:
 Establishing goals to direct behaviour is an important part of a motivational
 Implication: who and how do we decide the goals that will produce the desired outcomes?
 Motivational theory should be perceived as equitable and deliver desirable outcomes
the individual has an expectation of achieving.
 Implication: in a subjective environment, how do you measure equitability?

(Luthans, 2011)
Implications for today’s Managers (1)
 Make sure extrinsic rewards for employees are not viewed as coercive, but
instead provide information about competence and relatedness.

 Consider goal-setting theory, as clear and difficult goals often lead to higher
levels of employee productivity.

 Consider reinforcement theory regarding quality and quantity of work,

persistence of effort, absenteeism, tardiness, and accident rates.

 Consult equity theory to help understand productivity, satisfaction, absence,

and turnover variables.

 Expectancy theory also offers a powerful explanation of performance variables

such as employee productivity, absenteeism, and turnover.


Implications for today’s Managers (2)
 Recognize individual differences.
 Spend the time necessary to understand what’s important to each employee.
 Design jobs to align with individual needs and maximize their motivation potential.

 Use goals and feedback.

 You should give employees firm, specific goals, and they should get feedback on how well they
are faring in pursuit of those goals.

 Allow employees to participate in decisions that affect them.

 Employees can contribute to setting work goals, choosing their own benefits packages, and
solving productivity and quality problems.

 Link rewards to performance.

 Rewards should be contingent on performance, and employees must perceive the link between
the two.

 Check the system for equity.

 Employees should perceive that experience, skills, abilities, effort, and other obvious inputs
explain differences in performance and hence in pay, job assignments, and other obvious
What to remember

 HR decision occur in all organisations

 Managing work and people
 P = f(A,M,O)

- Individuals perform when they have...

- Ability (Knowledge and skills)
- Motivation
- Opportunity

(Boxall and Purcell, 2008)

What to remember

• P = f(A,M,O)...

• This equation is a useful way of indicating that no one knows the precise
relationships among ability, motivation and opportunity.

• There is no exact formula here but we know that all three factors are involved
in creating employee performance.

• Similarly, motivated workers with good abilities cannot achieve much if critical
resources or organisational support are lacking.

(Boxall and Purcell, 2008)

Beardwell, J., & Claydon, T. (2014). Human resource management: a contemporary
approach. Pearson Education.
Boxall, P., & Purcell, J. (2000). Strategic human resource management: where have we
come from and where should we be going? International Journal of Management
Reviews, (2), 183-203.
Boxall, P., & Purcell, J. (2008). Strategy and human resource management. Basingstoke:
Palgrave Macmillan
Huczynski, A., & Buchanan, D. A. (2009). Organizational behaviour. Harlow: Financial
Times Prentice Hall,
CIPD, (2017). Third of employers see growth in presenteeism, CIPD reveals. People
Management. CIPD
Luthans, F. (2011). Organizational Behavior an Evidence-based approach. McGraw-Hill
Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2015). Organizational behavior. Upper Saddle River: Pearson
Prentice Hall
Thank you

Any questions?