Providing Motivation and Job Satisfaction

Aim : on completion of this workshop, each participant should be able to:



from within - drive to excel; can be encouraged and developed, but not instilled

Job satisfaction

- the pleasure derived from a job well done, from knowing that what you do is appreciated, valuable to someone

What Motivates People?

Taylor and Scientific Management - Victorian work ethic (late l9th Century) - work is essential, usually hard and/or boring, not well paid and most people work for bosses - if you are late or unproductive, you get fired. In the early days of the Industrial Revolution - and in some parts of the world still - workers were regarded as expendable resources; management's sole aim was to increase productivity. Taylor analysed time and motion, broke jobs down into small parts, and devised quicker and better methods; piece rates were worked out and workers achieving the standard were rewarded. Some companies today, publish sales figures as motivators.


Mayo and the Hawthorne Studies - human relations as the prime motivator (1927-1932). Realised that physical surroundings affected output, that workers worked harder just because someone took an interest in what they were doing [when varying the lighting and other factors with a test group, he found that productivity increased with both the test and a control group] >>>>

interpersonal relationships and informal work groups affect output; communication, group norms and values are directly related; worker participation, type of supervision, morale and satisfaction are all important


Maslow and basic needs (1940s & 50s ) - broader view extending beyond the work place. Proposed a hierarchy of needs - the lowest level needs are dominant till satisfied:

  • physiological (food, shelter, sex)
  • safety (insurance, security, protection from harm)
  • love (peer groups, recreation, affection, acceptance)
  • esteem (achievement, status, self-respect, recognition)
  • self-actualisation (creativity, growth, achieving one's potential,

Lower level needs are met by eg, pay, contracts, unions, working conditions; higher level by relations with self, family, workmates and peers. To many people, peer group pressure is important, as are group norms; many look to work to satisfy only the lower levels, and look to social life away from work for the higher levels. 70% go to work simply for the money?

Fixed or variable order of filling ? Peoples' priorities change, even from day to day; some people see higher level needs as more important than lower levels - is there a difference here between managers and other employees? - and lower level needs will become important if they are threatened - eg, by 'downsizing' etc.

Variation according to time and place? Priorities will change and vary according to race, culture, country, region, environmental conditions [employment statistics, interest rates ....]

Theory is not supported by valid evidence but is easy to understand. Ask yourself how many people are impressed [motivated] by being given badges, titles, dedicated carparking spaces, photos in company newsletters ..... How many put all their energies into their part-time hobbies and interests, can't wait to get home from work to do the gardening, woodworking ...... If people are going to spend as much time at work as they do, why can't they be instilled with as much enthusiasm for it as they are for these other things? Do managers have a responsibility to try to so enthuse them?


Herzberg and Two Factor Theory - satisfiers, or motivators [M]; and dissatisfiers, or hygiene factors: [H]

M - achievement, advancement, recognition, responsibility and work itself

H - company policy and administration, supervision, interpersonal relations &working conditions.

Maintaining satisfactory hygiene factors will not necessarily motivate people - but it will stop them being dissatisfied! However, there is not necessarily a relationship between satisfaction and productivity - can find your job satisfying without really doing very much! Also, when conditions are satisfactory, people attribute success to their own doing - when things are down, they look to management for the blame.


McGregor and Theory X and Y. Assumptions managers hold about basic nature of their employees:


Perhaps many managers subscibe to X personally, whilst publically espousing Y? Changing one's actions in line with Y is not necesarily going to lead to increased motivation


Expectancy and Equity theories

People act according to an expected outcome and the attractiveness of that outcome, and they believe that similar effort, performance etc should be met with similar rewards:

Attractiveness - considers unsatisfied needs & priority thereof - will outcome or reward match these needs? As noted wih Maslow - can vary from time to time: same reward will not always be so attractive as peoples' needs change.

Performance-reward - belief that performing in a certain way will lead to expected outcome

Effort-performance - perceived probability that given amount of effort will lead to performance.

Perceived balance between what employees put in and what they get out with regard to

others - similar jobs in same or different organisations - summed up as What's in it for me? Remember imputation - employees will not always perceive effort, performance, outcome and reward in the same light as the manager or supervisor:

system - how administration works, allocation of pay and bonuses, leave etc, level of supervision - what can you get away with? will effort be seen? are rewards justly applied?

self - current v past input/outcomes: if little effort produced result last time, why do more now? If I worked harder last time and was suitably rewarded, why not work harder now?

If perceived expectations not met or inequity is believed, people may:

  • choose different basis for comparison
  • distort own or others' behaviour re inputs or outcomes - ie, cause problems
  • leave organisation


What Can Managers Do?

First task is to examine your beliefs - are you a 9,9 manager, 5,5 or 1,1? What is your rôle with regard to company goals and employees' welfare? Do you know what motivates you? Then you can begin to assess what may motivate your staff - remembering that it will vary from one to another, and time to time.

Ensure you are getting job satisfaction and are motivated - example is a fine thing. Do your darg and assist others to do theirs. Darg is an old coalmining term which means that you can work hard and responsibly when unsupervised; coalminers used to work in teams on different shifts and share the pay for the amount of coal cut at the end of the week - you trusted your mates to work as hard on their shift as you did on yours.

Make sure there is free flowing communication in all directions and that the communications are understood. See Outline 20.

Apart from the requirements of workplace health and safety [hygiene factors], make sure that all staff are adequately trained for their jobs and know that they can be trained for the next job.

Vary approaches, vary the work, share goals, provide avenues for advancement. Allocate work rôles effectively, lead from in front - in short, read all these outlines and make yourself a confident manager! Providing job satisfaction and encouraging motivation are amongst the manager's most difficult tasks, but no one should be going to work for as long as people do, and getting nothing out of it but the pay. Good luck!



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