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Punishment And Extinction Reinforcement Business Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 2351 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Although there are several theories given by different authors about motivation which a manager should keep in mind while carrying out their professional role. These theories of motivation can be further divided into two categories: ‘process’ theories of motivation and ‘content’ theories of motivation.

Content theories deals with “what” motivates people at work and it is concerned with individual needs and goals, whereas process theories deals with the process of motivation and is concerned with “how” motivation occurs.

Under ‘Content theories’ of motivation there are several important theories such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, Herzberg’s two factor theory, Alderfer’s ERG theory & Mc Clelland’s theory of needs. And under ‘Process theories’ some important theories are: Vroom’s process theory of motivation, goal setting theory of motivation and Adam’s equity theory.

First we will illustrate some content theories: Abraham Maslow (1954) gave content theory of motivation , after his research he has identified that there are five levels of individual of motivation; first level is physiological needs where he needs basic things like air , water and food for motivation , then comes second level where he needs his personal security , health and safety against accidents ,when he passes through this level he enters to third level where he need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance ; it is about relationships , families and friendship, after that fourth level comes where he wants to be recognized for his work and respected by other employees and then the final level comes where self actualization needs exist ( he want to do something creative and no other factors motivates them any further). ( Simplypsychology, 2007)

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Another Important Content theory is  McClelland’s theory of needs. In his theory he identified three important needs for employees at work. First need is need for Achievement, Higher achievers usually like to do work individually they want to learn how to do things by their selves, they want to take responsibilities, they like to do challenging tasks. They are always willing to take risks and never leave things on chance such people usually in most of the times are not motivated with monetary rewards unless they are of the same level of their performance. They feel confident when they receive feedback from their seniors and improve themselves by the experience and mistakes they have done in past. (Deguara, 2001). And the last need is need for the power in simple words it means have authority to control over others. Some people do not like to be controlled they want to do things in their own way and do not like to work under someone.

Fredick herberg’s gave two factor theory in which he said his theory divides satisfaction of job and motivation into two factors which are known as motivation factors and hygiene factors, he in his theory said motivation factors such as achievement, recognition in organization, his job itself, responsibilities, the possibility of getting promotions create motivation in an employee. Other factors are hygiene factors which are good relationship with co-workers, good and save environment of work, proper office equipment, salary and socialization, they do not cause motivation but if these hygiene factors are not present or fulfilled they may create de-motivation that can lead to downfall for an organization. (Ruthankoon, 2003).

Now we will discuss about some “Process theories of motivation”. First we will discuss Vroom’s theory of motivation. In his theory he considered three factors which causes motivation in employees which are valence, expectancy and instrumentality. Valance refers to value of the reward for the employee, expectancy refers to the level of confidence the employee has for the possibility of achieving the target and instrumentality refers to the perception of employees as whether they will get what they are expecting even it has been promised by manager. Vroom says that all these factors are connected with each other like a chain and all must be satisfied for an employee to become motivated. Managers must asses that weather employee can do the job, is he getting a fair reward according to his performance and is that reward meaning full to him/her. If any of these factors are missing then there will be no motivation.

Reinforcement theory is also an important Process theory. Author states that there are four main factors of this theory: Positive, Negative, Punishment and Extinction reinforcement. Positive reinforcement should be given when the employee has really worked hard and contributed in the company’s interest so he must be rewarded in order to motivate him, so in future he may do better than the previous performance. Negative reinforcement should be given when an employee do not work hard may be due to some problems from the organization and which leads the organization to make loss, so the manager should help the employee to eliminate his problems, so he may not cause further losses to organization. Punishment reinforcement occurs when an employee has caused an organization to suffer a great loss due to his negligence, Organization should give him punishment so in future he may be careful to repeat the mistake again (example: deduct his salary or wages). And the Last one is Extinction reinforcement, it occurs when employee do not work for the interest of the company and besides it, has contributed in the heavy loss to the company. Then that employee must be fired or extinct from the organization. (Edublogs, 2006).

Johm Staccy Adams after his great research gave his equity theory in 1963. He said employees expect to be treated fairly in the workplace. If the employee working better than other employees and giving exceptional performance but not being rewarded equivalently, they will feel undervalued. Adam categorized work effort as input and on the other hand rewards and benefits as outputs. He stated that if the employee’s outputs are lesser or not equal to the input which they have made can cause de-motivation. Employees may also compare their own inputs and outputs with other employees in order to assess that whether they are being fairly treated or not (employees often make such comparison with the similar level of employees). (Smallbiz, 2012)

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Now we will talk about how in practical managers can use these theories to motivate the staff at work. First if we talk about maslow’s hierarchy theory (content theory); by the use of it managers can judge themselves that at which level employees falls in and then can motivate him according to their needs. Other than this it can also help managers to Appropriate salaries to the workers, provide them job security and good environment of work, organize social events so employees can get close to each other , form teams and promote team working, Some employees do not want to work the same all the time so give them challenging task to complete.

Vroom’s expectancy theory (process theory) can also contribute in motivating an employee: by ensuring that where a employee can achieve the expected performance or not, employees which have given exceptional performance should be rewarded with specific reward so they do not feel that they are unfairly treated, see where a reward which an employee will get after achieving the target is equitable to the performance which he had given.

Nowadays for many employees monetary rewards are not only motivation, Besides this there are other factors too that can help in motivation of staff such as: providing the staff a safe, secure and healthy environment where he can do his work with relaxation and with a piece of mind. Managers should also give a proper guidance before giving them the work so they may understand what they have to do and how to do? And on other side when the work is completed the managers should give them feedback about their work that how well they have done in it? And what can they do to improve it in a better way. Managers should conduct meetings in which they can discuss the problems of each other and find ways to resolve them. Social activities can also contribute in motivation of staff , so organizations should spend in social activities by this they can create good relation among the staff and they can share with each other easily and can help out each others, treat them with respect, give them recognition for their exceptional performance if they have done any, form teams where employees can perform job together , working in a team also creates synergy (when two forces combine to together and the result is higher then than normal outcome it is called synergy), other than that Ensure that there must be a balance between the reward and the performance which an employee has made because if there is no balance it can also create de-motivation, that can be very dangerous for an organization. In organizations if there is a high level of de-motivation it can lead to high employee turnover, decrease in efficiency and profit may become losses in future. Other than that create friendly environment so the employees can share with the managers without any fear, send them abroad for trips to other countries and giving them extra holidays if they have done some extra ordinary work.

Redesigning Job of employee is also an effective way to motivate the employees. Managers can redesign the job of employees in following ways: Job enlargement, Job enrichment and Job rotation. Job enlargement is a technique in which the number of tasks for the employee is increased but the tasks will be related. It may result in greater flexibility of employee. It is considered as horizontal restructuring of the job. Job enrichment means to increase the level of responsibilities of an employee so he may feel responsible. It is considered as vertical restructuring of the job and the last one is Job rotation, in this technique employee is moved from one different job to another. There are several advantages of this process: some employees feel good when more responsibilities are given to them, some employees may like to do challenging job to prove themselves but on the other hand there are some disadvantages of this process too like some people are too lazy to do things, some do not want change at all and some do not know how to do new things or tasks.

Managers can also use Performance related pay to motivate the employees. Some examples of PRP are: Offering the employees piece work pay, by giving them payment on the each unit of output, this is oldest form of performance related pay and is still used in some local Government direct service organizations, By offering them bonus or share options based on the contribution of them towards the organization’s profit, can offer them percentage of commission on sales basis, By offering them extra payment of the work which they have done efficiently within time. PRP have advantages both to employees and employers such as: employees can monitor their own performance, by and large employees get reward in cash, the reward may lead to job satisfaction for employee, it is mediated that by receiving bonus and incentives employees get more motivated to their work, mass production of the company can may be increased, less supervision may be required, employees who are being rewarded may lead to Job satisfaction, by PRP managers can motivate the employees to attain the objective of company. Now on the other hand It can also have disadvantages like There may be conflict about how the performance is measured and whether an employee has done enough to be rewarded or not, It can encourage unhealthy rivalry between managers, There is much doubt about whether PRP actually does anything to motivate employees, This may be because the performance element is usually only a small percentage of total pay, there are many cases in which monetary rewards are not sufficient for workers and does not motivate them any further.(Online)

In summary it can be said that in today’s world motivation has become mainly important for organization and companies of all sizes that want to achieve their goals in a competitive marketplace. Top performers of an organization consistently provide high quality work and maintain a optimum level of production and always ready for all kind of challenges. Motivated employees will retain a high level of innovation too. On the other hand de-motivated employees can be really catastrophic for a company. So a manager should be very careful in such matters and be aware different techniques and apply different theories to motivate them. One cannot be certain or sure that one certain method or theory will give the best result because people in different organizations are different from each others like their morals and needs cannot be similar same as each other so they cannot be motivated in specific same way. So it is the responsibility of managers to understand the nature of their employees and understand their expectations then they should apply theoretical and methodical ways to motivate them. Motivation of employees can lead the company to operate smoothly and effectively. If we get it in a simply way we can say that “Failure of employee’s performance means failure of organization’s performance”. The importance of motivation is often under-estimated and it’s the least understood knowledge area among people who hold vital leadership roles within an organization. It’s a very important matter to see over, managers should be seriously concerned with this matter and should always give their best of create such environment in an organization which motivates an employee to give their best efforts in all matters of performance and the success of the company.


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