Motivation is the incentive to work; hence having a motivated workforce is vital for most businesses, since a highly motivated workforce can lead to higher rates of productivity, better quality output, and low rates of absenteeism and labour turnover. The main factors which, affect the motivation of workers are pay levels, job security, promotional prospects, responsibility, working conditions, fringe benefits, participation in decision-making and working in a team There are two basic theories of motivation, content theories and process theories.
Content theories deal with what actually motivates people, what needs to be satisfied in order for workers to be motivated. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is an example of a content theory. Process theories on the other hand deal with the though processes which affect the workforces behaviour. An example of this is staff at a company working on commission, e. g. their pay is directly affected by production or their sales. I hope to improve my understanding of the different theories and how these theories are applied in real world companies.
Abraham Maslow's theory of human motivation was published in 1943. He based his theory upon his belief that actualisation was the driving force of human personality. His theory is a five-tiered hierarchy of needs, and is as such; 1. ) Physiological needs – These are the basic needs to survive, food, shelter and warmth. 2. ) Security needs – These are the needs for job security, security from emotional and physical harm. 3. ) Affiliation needs – These are the needs for affection, belonging, acceptance and friendship. 4. ) Esteem needs – The need for self-respect and to gain the
respect of others 5. ) Self-actualisation – The need of a person to reach there full potential. Maslow believed that each level had to be fulfilled before the next level could be achieved, but once a level had been achieved that level no longer motivated, for example, hungry man may be desperate for food, but once he eats a good meal, the promise of food no longer motivates him. I believe since, this theory was written in the 1950's it is no longer as relevant, compared to when it was written, due to everybody's physiological needs are met, either by the government or by their job.
Security needs are met in today's world, due to the fact that people cannot be unfairly dismissed, hence so long as they do there work correctly they are secure in their job. So these two factors are no longer motivational. Other than two levels becoming obsolete, I believe Maslow's theory to be relevant to many companies in the business world, which in turn means that I believe Hertzberg's theory to be relevant to most companies in the business world. An example of a company to which Maslow's hierarchy of needs is indeed relevant, is Asda.
Physiological needs are provided by Asda, but as they are no longer a motivating factor, they are considered irrelevant, since if a person were to not have a job their physiological needs would be provided for by the government. At Asda job security is provided in that, personnel, if Asda deems them, to be inadequate workers, are given an informal warning, then three official warnings, then a weeks notice would be given if there's no improvement. The affiliation needs of people are fulfilled by each Asda employee being given a 'buddy', which whom, problems, qualms, etc can be privately and confidentially discussed.
The esteem needs of people are met by Asda having events such as an achievers lunch, at which, that month's best worker from each department is invited to a lunch together. There are also other things like an award for giving the best customer service each month, departmental competitions and employee's, if they have an idea to improve Asda, can 'tell Tony', this is a scheme which, allows all Asda employees to participate in the running of the company.