Motivational Methods There are various motivational methods that are used in the workplace. There are three motivation theories; equity theory, expectancy theory, and goal-setting theory. In an organization, motivational methods are used to improve and prepare staff members for implementation of new policies. Motivational success depends on what methods are used and what the exact motivation is. One theory of motivation is equity theory. The essence of the theory is that perceived inequity is a motivating state—that is, when people believe that they have been inequitably treated in comparison to others, they will try to eliminate the discomfort and restore a sense of equity to the situation” (Lombardi, 2007, p. 284) . In an organization, not everyone will get along; there will be disagreements and even arguments. When a worker is dissatisfied with their job they will become less interested and invested in it. They will not work as hard as they once did which affects the team as a whole. A worker may even quit or be transferred if they perceive inequity (Lombardi, 2007, p. 84). A way for a supervisor to correct this situation is to communicate the intended value of rewards given, by doing so; the worker feels like it is less of a competition and will strive toward the goal of getting a raise or promotion. “Social science research suggests that people are most likely to internalize norms when they feel autonomous, competent, and related to others” (Bartlett, 2009, p. 1895). An important goal is for an employee to feel like they are an important part of the team. The expectancy theory is based on the question: “What determines the willingness of an individual to work hard at tasks important to the organization? (Lombardi, 2007, p. 284). If an organization is preparing for a change in policy, the supervisor must get their staff prepared for the change. In most cases, the workers feel fine with the policy they currently have and are reluctant for change because it disrupts work patterns for a while. The supervisor should let their team know of the importance of the change as well as take small steps to build up to the impending change. With the ever changing workforce characteristics such as age of the average worker, and workers waiting longer to retire, there is a great range of workers and with that, a greater range of needs. Changing workforce characteristic may impact the effectiveness of pay, reward, and recognition systems if demographic-based generational differences in the workforce translate into norms at expectations and motivation” (McGinley & Meese, 2011, p. 82). A way to motivate workers with this theory is for the supervisor to clearly link effort and performance, link performance to work outcomes, and choosing work outcomes valued by the individual” (Lombardi, 2007, p. 285). When an organization needs its departmental supervisors to prepare staff for change, the expectancy theory can be used to motivate workers.
For example, if a department is going under a new policy, the workers in that department will have to adapt, a way to ensure a smooth adaptation is for the supervisor to set goals and expectations that need to be reached as well as provide rewards for those who follow protocol on a regular basis and explain what the rewards are and their criteria beforehand. Positive reinforcement will increase the frequency of desirable behavior by making pleasant consequence contingent on its occurrence (Lombardi, 2007, p. 88). The goal-setting theory “is that task goals can be highly motivating if they are properly set and if they are well managed” (Lombardi, 2007, p. 285). For the goal-setting theory to work, supervisors and team members must work together to set the right goals in the right ways (Lombardi, 2007, p. 285). In the case of preparing for change, the goals should be to have a smooth transition, in order for this to happen, everyone must work together. It cannot be just one person pushing the others to reach a goal.
If the supervisor want to make their staff feel competent and capable of doing a good job they will have to “select workers with ability, train workers to use ability, support work efforts, and clarify performance jobs” (Lombardi, 2007, p. 286). When goals are specifically set there is a greater outcome for success. For example, in a wound care facility a goal for one worker is to complete inventory in 45 minutes twice a day; the worker will have a clear understanding of what is expected of them rather than the supervisor to tell the worker “get the inventory done today”.
Rewarding the accomplishment of a worker will reinforce good work ethic and ensure greater outcomes in the future. When an organization wants to make changes, it affects everyone, from the top to the bottom. In order for the changes to be implemented in an effective manner, motivation among staff is needed. Providing positive reinforcement when a task is continuously done correctly can ensure that the task will continue to be done correctly. Implementing any one of the three motivational methods discussed will make any change a smoother transition.
Keeping workers motivated to do their job will increase productivity and provide better outcomes for the organization. References Bartlett, K. T. (2009). Making good on good intentions: The critical role on motivation in reducing implicit workplace discrimination. Virginia Law Review, 95(8), 1893-1972. Lombardi, D. J. , Schermerhorn, J. R. , & Kramer, B. (2007). Health Care Management. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. McGinley, J. , & Meese, T. (2011, March). Intelligence Community Assessment: Generational differences in workplace motivation. American Intelligence Journal