Before talking about the process of motivation, it is important to know what is motivation? The behavior of an individual is directed towards some goals by an inner drive which is called motivation. In fact the human behavior is energized, directed & sustained by the process of motivation. In the area of HRM the motivation is defined as the desire of an employee to perform his job in an excellent way or to exercise the full potential for performing the tasks assigned to the employee. The main characteristic of motivation is that it guides the human behavior towards objectives.
Motivation is important in acquisition & retaining of employees. The employees are linked with the organizational objectives through the glue of motivational tools. In addition to this, the creativity & performance of the employees are also enhanced through the motivational factor.
Process of Motivation
The process of motivation starts with the need which may be the perception of deficiency in an individual. For example, an employee in the organization considers the need for higher pay, more challenging work, for time off etc. These needs influence the thought processes of employee that directs him to satisfy the needs by adopting a particular pattern of action. In case the selected course of action of an employee leads him towards expected results in the form of reward than he will definitely be motivated by the similar reward to give the same performance in the future. On the other hand, if the anticipated rewards are not resulted by adopting a certain line of action, then the employee would not be likely to repeat his behavior. So the rewards of certain action, act as a feedback mechanism that supports the employee to evaluate the consequences when he is considering his future action.
Fundamental Phases – Process of Motivation
Following are the basic phases of the process of motivation.
- Need Identification
In the first phase of the process of motivation is the employee feels certain need that is unsatisfied & hence he identifies that need. Then the unfulfilled need stimulates the employee to search certain goal by creating tension in him. This tension acts as driving force for the accomplishment of the set goals which can satisfy the tension creating need.
- Exploring Ways to Fulfill the Need
In this phase of the process of motivation, different alternative ways are explored that can satisfy the unsatisfied need that is identified in the first phase. In fact the unsatisfied need stimulates the thought processes of the employee that direct him to adopt a certain course of action.
- Selecting Goals
In the third phase of the process of motivation, the goals are selected on the basis of identifying needs and alternative course of actions.
- Performance of Employee
In the fourth phase of Motivation Process, the identified need stimulates the employees perform in a certain way that has already been considered by him. So the employee performs certain course of action to the satisfaction of unsatisfied need.
- Rewards/Punishments as Consequences of Performance:
If the consequences of the particular course of action followed by an employee are in the form of rewards, then the employee would be motivated to perform the same level of efforts for acquisition of similar rewards in future. Whereas when the anticipated results of the actions of an employee lack the rewards, then he would not be willing to repeat his behavior in the future.
- Reassessment of Deficiencies of Need
When an employee feels satisfaction for his certain unsatisfied need through the rewards of a certain line of action, then he again reassesses any further unsatisfied need and resultantly the whole process is repeated again.
The Process of Motivation – Motivational Process Theories
The motivational theories answer the question that why one kind of job is motivating & satisfactory for the employees as compared to any other job. The managers must comprehend the motivational factors of the employees because motivated employees perform quite well than non-motivated ones. Following are the theories of motivation that are helpful to understand the motivation of employees.
- Maslow’s Need Hierarchy
This theory of motivation is presented by the Abraham Maslow, who organized the major human needs into five categories in a hierarchal manner. According to Maslow, people tend to satisfy these organized needs in some specific order which means that the lower level need is fulfilled first then the next upper level need is considered. These organized needs are given below in an ascending order.
- Physiological (related to water , food & shelter)
- Safety & Security ( related to protection against deprivation & theft)
- Social (related to affection, belonging, friendship & love)
- Ego ( related to freedom, achievement, independence, recognition, status & self-esteem)
- Self-Actualization (related to the realization of the full potential about one’s self)
According to this theory, the lower level need is satisfied first before going towards the satisfaction of higher level need. Furthermore, when a certain need is satisfied then that need cannot be regarded as the powerful motivator. The theory of Maslow is not much realistic & it has certain drawbacks, but there are three main contributions that are provided through his theory. These contributions are as follows.
01- The influential categories of needs are identified by the Maslow that can be helpful for the managers in the organizations to utilize them as positive reinforces.
02- Through this theory two normal levels of needs are identified which are lower level needs and higher level needs and lower level needs are satisfied first.
03- The importance of self-actualization 7 personal growth is presented to the managers of the organizations by the theory of Maslow.
- Existence Relatedness Growth Theory (ERG)
This theory is presented by Alderfer who point out three main needs of humans which are as follow.
Existence needs have resemblance with the physiological needs & some components of the security needs of Maslow theory. The relatedness needs are the ones which are satisfied through personal interactions with others like self esteem from others and prestige etc. Finally the growth needs are also same as the needs of self-actualization & self esteem presented in the theory of Maslow.
- McGregor’s Theory X & Theory Y
This theory is presented by McGregor in which he explains two sub theories which are Theory X & Theory Y. The theory X explains that the employees in the organization are lazy & they are not interested in their jobs so they should be stimulated to perform their duties. On the other hand the theory Y shows opposite side, which is that the employees of the organization are creative, mature &n complex ones that are interested to perform their jobs. The McGregor explains that the employees of the organization show their talents & ingenuity in their work when they are placed under the right circumstances. Furthermore the employees of the organizations are provided with the freedom to enhance their talents & therefore they have the choice of selecting the methods for accomplishing their task which ultimately accomplish the goals of the organization. This theory explains that the needs of the employees should be aligned with the needs of the organization by the managers so that the employees can show better performance by regulating their own actions. This theory promotes further investigation in the area of motivation.
- Expectancy Theory
According to expectation theory, the employees motivate to exercise a specific level of efforts on the basis of three things which are as follows.
In other words expectancy is the function of above three things. Symbolically Motivation=E x I x V. “E” is referred to the expectancy of an employee that performance is resulted from his efforts. “I” is related to the relationship that is perceived between the standard performance and the acquiring reward. “V” is the value of the award that is perceived by the employee.
- Reinforcement Theory
The Law effect is formulated in 1911 by psychologist named Thorndike, which states that the behavior that leads towards positive results will be repeated again in the future. This law of behavior promotes the investigation on results of positive consequences which can motivate the behavior and are referred to as reinforces. In organizations the actions of the employees are attempted to be motivated. Following are the four basic consequences that can either discourage the behavior of employees or encourage it.
- Positive Reinforcement:
In this situation a valued consequence is applied to enhance the probability that the same behavior would be repeated in the future so that the similar consequence appears. Following are some of the examples of positive reinforces.
- Letters of recommendation
- Pay raises
- Favorable performance evaluations
Besides the above elements, the jobs should also be challenging, interesting & enriched so that employees feel joy to perform the tasks.
- Negative Reinforcement:
When an undesirable consequence is withheld or removed, negative reinforcement is employed. Following are the examples of negative reinforces that can be applied in the organizations.
- An employee is taken off the probation on the basis of his improved performance.
- Threatening memos can make employees to accomplish their goals.
When an aversive consequence is administered, punishment takes place. Examples of punishment include the following.
- Assigning of an unpleasant task
- Shouting at an employee
- Sending an employee back home without pay
There might be an involvement of threat of punishment in the negative reinforcement when the employee performs well this threat vanishes. But in punishment, the aversive consequences are actually delivered.
When a reinforcing consequence is failing to provide or it is withdrawn, extinction takes place. This decreases the motivation of the person and resultantly his certain behavior is eliminated or extinguished. Following are the examples of extinction.
- No compliment given on completing an effective task
- No thanks is shown in favor by someone
- Establishment of certain goals that is impossible to accomplish.
The good managers provide positive reinforcement to the employees that perform well in the organization and negative reinforcement to those ones who do not perform well. And even punishment & extinction are also given to the poor performing employees that show wrong behavior.
- Herzberg’s Two Factor Approach
In this theory the same needs of the Maslow are organized into two categories that are higher level needs and lower level needs. But the employee is more motivated when he is provided with the opportunity to fulfill his higher level need which is self-actualization & ego. According to Herzberg, the lower level needs are quite different motivator than higher level needs and it creates a bad effect when lower level needs are used as a motivational tool for the employees because the needs in the lower level are satisfied quickly.
- McClelland theory:
McClelland is also agreed with the Herzberg on the point that the higher level needs are more significant in the working environment. According to him the needs for power, affiliation & achievement are much more significant. He used a test called Thematic Appreciation Test to point out the needs for power, affiliation & achievement on an individual. The individuals that have higher achievement need is more motivated to perform challenging tasks & goals and prefer less to accomplish tasks that have lower chances of success. Also the simple and easy tasks are not taken by these individuals. The individuals who have higher needs of power love to take the jobs related to persuasion. While those persons who possess a high need for affiliation is motivated by development of warm & strong relationships.