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“Organisations are concerned with the development of their employees, with self-reflection, personal and business-related skills being highly sought after capabilities. Discuss how organisations may ensure they attract and retain a highly motivated workforce with appropriate skills who are keen to engage in further development. ” Different organisations operate in different markets, with different levels and types of skills required.
However, all employees need incentives/motivation to complete the job to the best of their ability, and this is why it is important organisations ensure they retain a motivated workforce who are keen to further their development with the organisation. “People are our most important asset”, … “All we have is our people”, are statements we increasingly hear, and statements which are all too often unsubstantiated by reality… he actuality of organizational life is that they do not feel they are treated as the most important assets” (Gratton:2010).
This therefore emphasizes the importance organisations have to place on motivating their workforce. “Work and private life in the new millennium will continue to revolve around the 12 human needs” (Farren:2000). The 12 human needs (Fig. 1) underpin what motivates humans; these can be categorised into two simple divisions, intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.
As explained by Mullins (2011), “extrinsic motivation is related to ‘tangible’ rewards such as salary, fringe benefits, security and working environment; such rewards are often out of the hands of line managers and are often determined by the Human Resource Department of the organisation. On the other hand, intrinsic motivation is related to the ‘psychological’ rewards such as the opportunity to use one’s ability, a sense of challenge and achievement and receiving appreciation; this type of motivation is usually determined by the behaviour and actions of managers.
For an organisation to retain a motivated workforce they must integrate intrinsic and extrinsic motivation techniques throughout the organisation, this is why organisations heavily rely on their HR department. “Human resource management is the process of acquiring, training, appraising and compensating. The basic idea behind strategic HRM is simple: in formulating HRM policies and activates, the manger’s aim must be to produce the employee skills … the company needs to achieve its strategic aims” (Dessler:2011).
The role of the HR department is indispensible and central to the success of any organisation, without a HR department organisations would implode. I believe one of the key roles in any organisation is the HRM manager(s). “One of their many roles includes carrying out an innovative role, by providing up-to-date information on current trends for better utilizing the company’s employees and motivating them to achieve the highest productivity” (Dessler:2011).
The HR manager often is at the core of strategic decisions about how to best motivate employees, there are many content and process theories about how to best motivate employees as discussed by Mullins (2011). “Content theories attempt to explain those specific thing that actually motivate the individual to work. These theories identify people’s needs and places emphasis on the nature of needs and what motivates” (Mullins:2011).
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model (1943) proposition is that people are wanting beings, they always want more, and what they want depends on what they already have (Maslow:1987) although it was never intended to be used in the workplace. Steers and Porter (1991) created an adaptation to the model that lists general rewards and organisational factors used to satisfy different needs. Figure 2 illustrates how Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is often represented as a pyramid, with the lower levels representing the more fundamental needs, and the upper levels representing the growth/being needs, and ultimately the need for self-actualization.
According to the theory, the higher needs do not become evident until the lower down needs are met. Fig. 3 Illustrates Steers And Porters (1991) adaptation to Maslow’s model and shows how the different levels of “needs” can be implemented to motivate employee’s within an organisation; for example Self-Actualisation need can be met by having a Challenging Job and a Social Need can be met by Friendly Supervision. Steers and Porters model (1991) adapted Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to be compatible in the workplace. However, organisations will still ace problems when applying it to a workforce; not all employees will necessarily satisfy their needs at work; they will often find areas that will be satisfied in their personal life which would mean managers need complete transparency and have complete access to their private lives. Employees may find this intrusive and this may have a negative impact on motivation. Another approach to motivation is Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory (1959) (Fig. 4); it is a content theory that combines Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivational factors.
Herzberg’s theory suggested there were two different sets of factors affecting motivation at work. One set of factors if absent or weak caused dissatisfaction. These related to the job environment / the context in which the job was performed and thus extrinsic to the job itself, e. g. level of pay. Herzberg labelled these as the Hygiene Factors. The second set of factors if present lead to feelings of satisfaction known as Intrinsic factors. These relate to the job itself, for example its complexity, or importance, which Herzberg named the Motivators Factors.
Herzberg (1959) “argues that both factors are equally important, but that good hygiene will only lead to average performance, preventing dissatisfaction, but not, by itself, creating motivation to work. To motivate the employee management must enrich the content of the work they ask them to do”. For example, create a greater level of responsibility through what you ask them to do, and the opportunity to learn new skills. In advocating making work more interesting, and improving the quality of the work experience for the individual, Herzberg believed you could maintain a highly motivated workforce.
Research has not established any strongly positive connection between satisfaction/motivation and performance. A satisfied worker is not necessarily a high producer, and a high producer is not necessarily a satisfied worker” (Armstrong: 2003). As there in no link between motivation and performance, it is essential for organisations to develop and retain their employees to maintain high productivity. Mullins (2011) “Without learning, individuals will not be able to cope with change and organisations will not survive.
Whatever the required skills or knowledge of an individual, the motivation and ability to learn is arguably of even greater importance. ” Although there is no positive connection between motivation and performance, there is a connection between motivation and the willingness to learn. Employees must feel motivated to want to develop themselves, this is why Herzberg’s and Maslow’s theories are essential for organisations as it enables them to motivate employees into wanting to develop their personal skills through training. The Purpose of training is to improve knowledge and skills and to change attitudes. It is one of the most important potential motivators. This can lead to many possible benefits for both individuals and the organisation” (Mullins:2010).
I believe that a combination of training and a motivational strategy is the key for organisations to get the best from their employees, I believe that having a strong training foundation at the heart of the organisations would also act as a strong pull factor for the organisations in attracting new employees. Training shouldn’t be done just for the sake of doing it. To ensure quantifiable results, it is essential to analyze what skills employees are lacking and what business results are desired” (insideindianabusiness. com:2012). Training is more important than ever, to achieve the best from your workforce it is imperative for organisations to have a core training policy to increase fundamental skills across the organisation.
According to Mullins (2011) “Training should be viewed as an investment in people and has become more important with the increasing pace of technological, structural and social change”. This has made it essential for companies to have a more specific training programme; organisations should implement a mixture of “On-the-job and Off-the-job training” (Dessler:2011) to keep employee’s motivated through a variety of different training techniques.
Dessler (2011) describes how a “mixture of On-the-job and Off-the-job training can improve job enrichment and therefore lead to increased job satisfaction and motivation in the workplace, whilst also improving the skills of the organisations employees”. On-the-job training takes place within the work place, this can include job rotation and coaching. This method of training is often applied with organisations with a low budget as it is proven to be very effective and costs very little. On the other hand, Off-the-job training is often very expensive however is argued to have a more powerful effect on employees.
It often involves employees taking time out from their normal job role and being introduced to a new environment which often enriches the employees personal satisfaction, again improving motivation. Off-the-job training has many different approaches, these include University programmes, role playing and external training/team bonding courses; organisations often see this as a more effective way to improve the skills of employees as the workforce are in direct contact with academics trained to improve skills and motivation.
Some benefits of training include “Increased confidence, motivation and commitment of staff, provide recognition, enhanced responsibility and the possibility of increased pay, give a feeling of personal satisfaction and achievement and broaden opportunities for career progression and finally to improve the quality of skills across the workforce” (Mullins:2010:Page 503) This is why I believe it is essential for the HR department to have an integrated training regime at the centre of the organisation, as it is proven to improve the quality of the workforce, improve the motivation and also improve retention of staff as morale within the organisation will be high. In my opinion the perceived culture of an organisations is the most important pull factor in attracting new employees, new employees are essential for an organisation to evolve as it brings in new ideas, concepts and cultures into the organisation.
The Japanese Culture as described by Armstrong (2003) suggests that if you “Trust people and treat them like adults, enthuse them y lively and imaginative leadership, develop and demonstrate an obsession for quality, make them feel they own the business, and your workforce will respond with total commitment. ” Japanese culture is envied across the globe. Japanese organisations tend to be some of the most committed workforces in the world, furthermore because motivation is so high, staff turnover is minimal this means their best employees are retained, meaning they retain their key innovators. Google are an example of an organisation that has implemented a Japanese culture and is one of the most sought after organisation to work for. ” We strive to maintain the open culture often associated with start-ups, in which everyone is a hands-on contributor and feels comfortable sharing ideas and opinions” (Google. com: 2012).
Google’s workforce consists of some of the most intelligent and highly skilled workers in the world, this in combination with Google’s culture provided a platform in which some of the most innovative developments in the 21st century have occurred. Google ensure their workforce is highly motivated by combining a combination of good Hygiene factors such as an inspiring working conditions “No two Google offices are the same, visitors to any office can expect to find a few common features: murals and decorations expressing local personality; … video games, pool tables and pianos; old fashioned whiteboards for spur-of-the-moment brainstorming” (Google. om:2012) and Motivating factors such as the nature of their work and personal time in which the employees can take time out of their day to peruse personal interests. Google shows how an organisation can effectively attract, maintain and develop their workforce by enforcing motivational theories, implementing a successful culture and having strong leadership this success is backed up by being the 2nd most valuable technological company in the world valued at $111. 5billion (siliconindia. com: 2012).
In conclusion, I feel that the most effective way an organisation can attract, maintain and develop their work force is through integrating motivational theories with an innovative culture. The perception of culture to potential employees in my eyes is the most important pull factor, until ou work for an organisation it is only the perception that has attracted you. This is why I feel companies that implement a Japanese type culture often attract some of the best new graduates and employees which will only benefit them in the long-term. Furthermore, I feel that although many motivational theories are dated and not up-to-date with current organisations, the fundamental aspects still remain retrospective of change. Implementing a combination of motivational techniques such as illustrated by Herzberg and Maslow will help an organisation to remain focused on putting the employees at the heart of their strategies as people are an organisations most important asset.
Also, having a successful training strategy throughout the organisation will help to eradicate skill gaps within the organisation and improve the fundamental personal and business skills desired by organisations. However, although all of the above areas need to be addressed to attract, retain and improve the workforce I believe the most important aspect to any organisation in doing this is to have a successful Human Resource Management department. The HRM department act as an innovate role for an organisations, they relay messages from the workforce to the management and help to make strategic decisions on how to improve the workforce and attract fresh new employees which is essential if the organisation wants to innovate in the long-term.
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