Motivation is an inner energy that directs an individual towards sustaining a certain behavior. Different individuals have different motivators for any given assignment. Some are motivated to work for money and material gains while others work for leisure. When an employer increases the motivation level of the workers the amount of work being done increases which in turn leads to an increased output.
There are three major theories concerning the motivation of employees: Reinforcements, needs and cognitive theories
The Reinforcements theory
Reinforcement theory operates on the assumption that behavior is shaped by the consequences aimed to be reinforced. The desired behavior should either be repeated through positive reinforcement (rewards) that can be achieved through praise, approval or even money. Reinforcement can as well be aimed at stopping repetition of negative behavior. This type of reinforcement is called negative reinforcement. Though punishment the tendency to do certain unwanted things is weakened. Continued punishment creates hostility within the workplace resulting to poor morale and the job output decrease, the action being punished is only suppressed and chances are it may be repeated later.
Reinforcement theory is thus preferred over punishment as a managerial policy simply because the secret behind any motivation is aimed at achieving certain wanted behaviors.
The Need theory
The need theory suggest that people work so as to satisfy their needs either their basic needs or other needs within the society they live in. Maslow suggested that people have needs that should be satisfied in hierarchy starting with lower needs towards the higher needs.
The desire to achieve and even move up within any organization becomes the motivation for workers to excel within the respective fields, thus the Maslow’s theory is the best in the workplace.
The needs theory should not be viewed as a means of satisfying individuals personal.
The Equity theory
The equity theory suggests that workers within an organization should be treated equitably. If workers are being treated fairly, their motivation is raised and even easily maintained and the work output is expected rise.
On the contrary incase workers are not treated fairly and equally, they loose work morale and turn their attention towards ways that can reduce the inequality gap instead of working.
The theory suggests that individual’s educational qualification, experience and effort towards a certain job must have a direct correlation with the salary and other benefits and even it should be equally challenging. If workers compare with others in similar job and with similar income then the equity brings about job satisfaction.
The equity theory centers on equity-inequity among worker so as to either motivate or de-motivate workers.
In conclusion it’s very hard to full motivate all the workers in the workplace since every individual his own unique reasons that cause dissatisfaction but employer must strive to provide a good working environment by having clear job level and genuine promotion procedures for any exemplary performance exhibited by any work in any level.
Champion, D.J.2003. Administration of Criminal Justice: Structure, Function and Process. ( 3rd Edition) Texas. Prentice-Hall.