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Motivational Strategies: Achieving Optimum Performance Essay

1948 words - 8 pages

The changing needs of today’s employees and the rising costs of retraining and replacing key employees are driving the need for more creative motivational strategies. Management must strive to get the best possible results from their staff using strategies that will develop a commitment to excellence and also to the success of the company. Successful companies use a variety of popular strategies. It is very common to see several different motivational strategies, which may be derived from separate theories, working together at the same time.
Theories of Motivation
In order to discuss the many motivational strategies employed in today’s business environment, we have to understand ...view middle of the document...

Finally, Reinforcement Perspectives centers on the use of rewards and punishments as motivators and de-motivators (Griffin, 2006, p.336). This perspective can be related to operant conditioning, a behaviorist theory popularized by clinical psychologist B.F. Skinner. Skinner theorized that human behavior is motivated by external stimuli (rewards and punishments) (Strickler, 2006). According to Skinner, operant conditioning is the continuous shaping of a behavior by using a “reinforcer” or stimulus that follows a response that increases the likeliness of the behavior recurring (Pervin & John, 2001, p.362). These reinforcers can ultimately be motivators or de-motivators.
Different Strategies at Work
Companies must attract quality personnel, cultivate high productivity with low absenteeism, maintain a positive working environment, provide effective training and problem-solving techniques, and strive to retain key people. Successful managers use strategies from all three of the basic perspectives in order to accommodate the wide variety of employee needs. For instance, most people work to fill basic human needs as outlined in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This falls under the theories included in Content Perspectives. At the same time people are also motivated by the rewards of a job included in the theories of Reinforcement Perspectives. This motivation usually emerges as a result of what they expect to receive due to the effort they expend doing their job. This is known as the expectancy theory and is part of the Process Perspective. While there are many theories, it is important to note that these motivating factors can work together to create the commitment from employees that will enhance the overall synergy of an organization.
Popular Motivational Strategies
Businesses and organizations depend on management to use a variety of motivational strategies to inspire their employees to meet the company’s goals. Some of the most common strategies include empowerment and participation, alternative forms of work arrangements, various forms of performance-based reward systems (Griffin, 2006, p.340) and training and career development.
Empowerment and Participation
Empowerment and participation is especially important as a motivating factor for a variety of reasons. Employees are skillful at making decisions that are related to the type of work they do on a regular basis. This element makes them a valuable asset to management. As the “experts” in the area in which they work, employees can provide valuable input that may enhance management’s decision-making and overall company development. The rewarding experience of taking part in making a decision, executing it, and then seeing the positive consequences that follow can help to satisfy one’s need for achievement, provide recognition, while also enhancing their self-esteem (Griffin, 2006, p.338). In an empowered organization, employees feel responsible beyond their...

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