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Friday, July 13, 2012

Motivational Tools

Some of the most important motivational tools have been discussed below. 

Ø  Management by Objective (MBO) – Management by objectives emphasizes participatively set goals that are tangible, verifiable, and measurable. Four ingredients common to MBO programs are: goal specificity, participative decision-making, an explicit time period, and performance feedback (Robbins, 2003).
Ø  Goal specificity – The objectives in MBO should be concise statements of expected accomplishments.
Ø  Participative decision making – The manager and employee jointly choose the goals and agree on how they will be measured. An explicit time period – Each objective has a specific time period in which it is to be completed.
Ø  Performance feedback – Continuous feedback on progress toward goals is provided so that workers can monitor and correct their own actions.

MBO and Goal-Setting Theory is closely linked. Goal-setting theory proposes that tangible goals result in a higher level of individual performance than do easy goals. Feedback on one’s performance leads to higher performance. MBO also directly advocates specific goals and feedback, implies that goals must be perceived as feasible and is most effective when the goals are difficult enough to require stretching.

Employee Recognition Programs

Employee recognition programs consist of personal attention, expressing interest, approval, and appreciation for a job well done. They can take numerous forms. Employee Recognition Programs has close link with Reinforcement Theory. Both the concept advocate that rewarding a behavior with recognition would lead to its repetition. Recognition can take many forms, such as, personally congratulating an employee, sending a handwritten note or an e-mail message or declaring the employee as a valuable contributor to the organizational objective.

Employee Involvement Programme

Employee involvement includes, participative management, workplace democracy, empowerment, and employee ownership. Employees’ involvement in the decision making would positively affect them and by increasing their autonomy and control over their work lives, employees will become more motivated, more committed to the organization, more productive, and more satisfied with their jobs.

Some forms of employee involvement have been discussed here: participative management, representative participation, quality circles, and employee stock ownership plans.

Participative management

Participative management is a process where subordinates share a significant degree of decision-making power with their immediate supervisors. The manager involves subordinates in decision making, consults with them about their views of the situation, asks for their suggestions, considers those suggestions in making a decision, and sometimes lets the subordinates make the decisions themselves.

The logic behind participative management is:

a) Managers often do not know everything their employees do.
b) Better decisions
c) Increased commitment to decisions
d) Intrinsically rewarding employees makes their jobs more interesting and meaningful.

The two most common forms of participative management are:
a) Works councils – They are groups of nominated or elected employees who must be consulted when management makes decisions. .
b) Board representatives – they are employees who sit on a company’s board of directors and represent the interests of the firm’s employees.

Quality circles (QC):

Quality Circles consists of a work group of eight to ten employees and supervisors who have a shared area of responsibility. Quality circles are small groups of employees who work voluntarily on company time to address quality-related problems such as quality control, cost reduction, production planning and techniques and even product design.

Key components of QC are (Robbins, 2003):

Ø  They meet regularly on company time to discuss their quality problems, investigate causes of the problems, recommend solutions, and take corrective actions
Ø  They take over the responsibility for solving quality problems and they generate and evaluate their own feedback.

Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs):

Perhaps the ultimate reward to workers is for them, to own part of the organization. Employee stock ownership plans are company-established benefit plans in which employees acquire stock as part of their benefits. ESOPs have the potential to increase employee job satisfaction and work motivation.

Reward Systems

Organizations can offer two types of rewards

1. Extrinsic Rewards: Extrinsic rewards are rewards received from the environment surrounding the context of the work. It includes direct compensation, indirect compensation and non-financial rewards. In terms of compensation systems, these rewards fall into two subcategories:

a) Pay and promotions and
b) Other benefits

The latter includes:

Ø  Legally required benefits, such as unemployment compensation, disability insurance or Medicare benefits.
Ø  Security benefits such as a retirement plan and life insurance.
Ø  Compensation for time not worked like vacations and sick leave.

2. Intrinsic Rewards: Intrinsic rewards are those that individuals receive for themselves. They include rewards associated with the job itself, such as challenging assignments, responsibility, autonomy and opportunities for growth. They are largely a result of the worker's satisfaction with his or her job. It is the pleasure or value one receives from the context of a work task. Thus, intrinsic rewards include more intangible types of things, such as feelings of competence, completion, or self-actualization.

Effective reward systems combine both types of rewards and so include wages, benefits and other incentives. The old saying "one man's food is another man's poison" certainly applies to rewards. What one employee views as highly desirable, another finds superfluous. Therefore any reward may not get the desired result; however, where selection has been done diligently, the benefits to the organization by way of higher worker motivation should be impressive.

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