Motivation is a strong force. Employees are driven through encouragement and reward to achieve challenging goals. They can also be driven to be dishonest when they experience unfairness or are threatened by unobtainable goals (Robbins & Judge, 2018). Employee motivation has always been a main issue for organization managers and leaders. Employees who are unmotivated are likely to spend little to no effort in their work, avoid the workplace as much as possible, performing a lousy job or producing low quality work, and leave their companies if given the chance to. On the contrary, employees who feel motivated carry out their work to the best of their ability and are likely to be productive, innovative, persistent, and have a sense of direction, turning out high quality work that they willingly take on to attain their goals (Ganta, 2014).
Motivation is one of the most frequently researched topics in organizational behavior, and it still remains a problem and a struggle within organizations to this day. In one conducted survey, 69 percent of employees reported wasting time at their jobs every day, and almost a quarter said they waste between 30 and 60 minutes each day (Robbins & Judge, 2018). Unmotivated/motivated employees have a significant impact on the productivity, retention and performance of an organization.
Organizations strive to be successful. Therefore, despite companies’ size or market, they aim to retain the best employees, who recognize their important role and influence on organizational effectiveness. By understanding the theories, needs, values and expectations that motivation emerges from, organizations must learn how to overcome employee motivation challenges by creating a solid and definite relationship with its employees and direct them towards task attainment (Ol Dobre, 2013).
Reasons for the Problem
There are multiple theories, factors, frame work and models as well as how a job is structured that influence motivation and effort within individuals (Robbins ; Judge, 2018).
Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the most well known theory of motivation that has received wide recognition and was validated by some research. This theory hypothesizes that there are five levels of needs for humans. These needs are Physiological, Safety-security, Social belongingness, Esteem, and Self-actualization. Each level of need becomes dominant once another level is satisfied (Robbins & Judge, 2018). According to Maslow, employees have different needs and expectations, and you wouldn’t be able to motivate someone with positive feedback, which is an esteem factor, if their basic work stability or job security isn’t met.
Self-determination and efficacy
An example of a motivational reason is an employee’s self-determination. When an employee feels like they have no control or autonomy over their work. This means that an employee does not enjoy their job anymore and thinks that doing a task is an obligation rather than an activity that is done with their own choice, it causes an employee to become demotivated to do their job (Robbins ; judge, 2018). Another intrinsic reason is ones self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is a person’s belief that they are capable of successfully performing a task. An employee’s sense of capability affects their perception, accomplishment and motivation. Employees with low self-efficacy tend to set comparatively low goals for themselves and may exert less effort when learning and achieving complicated tasks, because they are uncertain if their attempts will lead to success and are likely to give up when problems arise (Lunenburg, 2011).
People have perceptions about the way they are treated in comparison to others. Individuals are not only concerned with the amount of rewards they receive for their efforts, but are also concerned with the amount of what others receive as well. They reflect on how much effort and input they have expended and compare that to their outcomes such as salary levels, promotions, acknowledgment, etc. When there is unfairness in their input-outcome ratio relative to others, tension is created and individuals are demotivated. This tension yields the bases for motivation, as people aim for what they perceive as equity and fairness (Muogbo, 2013).
Training and communication is crucial to an organization. If an employee feels that management is not communicating in an orderly manner, it demotivates them to improve their performance at their job and diminishes their teamwork and spirit, which is very imperative for a smooth functioning in an organization (Rajhans, 2012). The absence of teamwork means that employees will be looking to institute their own interests over the company and would cause a decrease an employee’s innovation.
Employees have trouble being motivated when they have weak expectations of a given outcome. People feel motivated to do their job when they expect to be rewarded in return for their achievements. Individuals demotivated when they do not believe that the level of effort they put in their jobs will lead to a good performance appraisal or organizational rewards such as good feedback, promotions, salaries or awards that would satisfy their personal goals. This leads to employees doing the bare minimum that is only necessary to get by and do not really put in the work (Robbins & Judge, 2018).
Effects of the Problem
Motivation is a huge influence on the direction and persistence of action. Employers who do not have good communication with their employees to facilitate them to identify themselves with their work and with the organization lead to lack of motivation, which may cause low morale, low performance and productivity (Rajhans, 2012). De-motivators drain employees, decreasing their morale and wasting human creativity, which is a valuable resource in organizations.
Unmotivated employees, who do not have a sense of accomplishment and achievement and do not expect rewards for their efforts for instance, develop negative attitudes in the workplace. Thereby, decreasing their drive for performance and productivity (Ganta, 2014). Similarly, demotivation caused by lack of communication from management and staff members discourages and weakens relationships with members of the organization, affecting employee motivation and leads to minimum productivity (Rajhans, 2012).