Motivation/Reward System

Essay 1: Motivation/Reward System by Blake P. Rodabaugh EDD 9100 CRN 35455 Leadership Seminar Nova Southeastern University January 15, 2012 Essay 1: Motivation/Reward System Employee motivation seems to be at the core of what defines leadership or more importantly a leader. The success or failure of an organization is dependent upon the ability of those in leadership positions and roles to motivate and inspire the members of the organization to high levels of performance.

Leaders that are effective have the ability to increase the level of job engagement and organizational commitment on the part of employees. Particularly in the field of education, highly qualified and motivated faculty members are critical to the economic and academic success of the organization. Without them the organization at best stumbles along at a mediocre level and at worst fails (Siddique & Khan, 2011). There are two types of rewards when dealing with motivational factors of staff, extrinsic and intrinsic.

Extrinsic motivation is that which comes from outside of the individual such as money, promotion, coercion, grades, or the fear of punitive action. Intrinsic motivation is that which comes from within the individual through a feeling of enjoyment, pleasure, or interest in the task at hand. In investigating the type of reward system to be implemented whether extrinsic or intrinsic it becomes apparent that neither is the answer in itself. As with many aspects of leadership there appears to be no one style that works best all the times but rather is situational as to need.

Extrinsic reward has been connected strongly with the encouragement of innovative behavior on the part of employees. This however needs to be taken on in moderation as there is a tendency for excessive motivation of an extrinsic nature to actually depress innovative behavior through the erosion of self motivation. Intrinsic motivation through the application of empowerment, development of human capital, recognition of accomplishment, learning and training support has shown to have a strong impact upon the level of employee innovation.

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When the two approaches are combined in a situation where extrinsic motivation is added to the aforementioned types of intrinsic motivation, the positive effects are amplified. The intrinsic aspects prevent the over-erosion effects often produced by extrinsic motivation. Thus, as with so much of leadership a combination of approaches is stronger than a single approach (Zhou, Zhang, & Montoro-Sanchez, 2011). A study designed to investigate the motivational factors that were of the greatest importance to faculty members in higher education found that there was a desire for a mix of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards.

Results demonstrated that while employee compensation and the overall benefits package were of significant importance to faculty members there was an expressed need for non-monetary rewards as well. Key were concepts of empowerment, positive and supportive work environment, recognition, training, involvement in the decision making process, and a sense of value from the organization. Crucial to the successful implementation of this is clear and open communication between faculty and those participating in all roles of supervision (Rasheed, Aslam, & Sarwar, 2010).

An additional view of the concept of motivation is through the application of equity theory. Through this lens motivation of individuals is dependent upon how they view their ratio of outcomes to inputs in comparison to their perception of the outcomes and inputs of their peers in the workplace. This then serves as the basis for the individual to judge whether or not they are being treated fairly in the workplace. They may perceive a situation of either under or over reward, with those workers perceiving an under-reward taking action to restore perceived equity.

Typically this action resolves into either a reduction of effort on the part of the employee or a request for greater rewards. Typically, the end result of this being that, if the employee is unable to achieve a perception of equity through either a reduction of input or an increase in rewards, they will eventually change employment (Skiba & Rosenberg, 2011). Professor Edgar Schein of MIT’s Sloan School of Management emphasizes a need for behavioral change to take place at all levels of an organization if it is to be successful in the creation of a strong organizational culture.

According to Professor Schein it is important to have more than an empowering process in place. Organizations need to have everyone at all levels of the organization actively working together to establish behaviors that lead to an environment in which equal partnerships and mutually helping relationships are the order of business (Kleiner & vonPost, 2011). A Brazilian study of nine administrative units, composed of three factories, two bank branches, a university, and a municipal office focused on the impact of wages upon motivation and employee job satisfaction.

The results of this study were in opposition to several others in that the administrative offices with the lowest wages displayed the greatest amount of employee job satisfaction and overall motivation due to intrinsic factors present in the work environment. In opposition to this the offices with the highest wages showed the lowest level of overall satisfaction and motivation. In total there were 458 respondents of which 252 were male and 206 female.

In all instances of this study correlations were apparent with respect to perceptions of satisfaction and motivation in connection with leadership’s attitude towards staff in areas other than extrinsic (Pinto, 2011). Analysis of the Writer’s Workplace At the writer’s place of employment there really does not exist any real system of positive motivation and rewards beyond that expressed in the contract signed at the beginning of employment. Some might equate it to a system which utilizes a carrot and a stick except that there is no carrot.

Overall leadership and organizational culture is reflective of leadership neglect with the occasional out lashing of reactionary and punitive actions on the part of senior administration towards staff. The culture is one that reinforces a perception that unless you are among the chosen ones, the inner circle, that the best you can do is to hole up in your classroom and not draw attention to yourself. Senior administration sees itself as enlightened and visionary. Staff sees it overall as untrustworthy, arbitrary, reactionary, and punitive.

The next step down from the most senior of administrators is seen overall as clueless, out of touch and somewhat delusional in a benign way. Middle level administration and leadership is viewed as having their heart in the right place but with very little power or influence to shape things in a more positive direction. Overall the motivation and rewards system is dysfunctional at best, unless you happen to be one of the chosen ones. What is needed is a system wide change similar to that proposed by Professor Schein in which observation, inquiry, and leverage are applied.

This would entail observation of the manner in which employees at all levels of the organization behave, inquiring or deducing the manner in which they think or believe, and then applying the leverage. The leverage in this instance is small incremental behavioral changes that lead the organization as a whole to think and act differently. The impact and role of management in this process is critical as the various subcultures within an organization exist within all levels and facets of the organization including the various levels of leadership (Kleiner & vonPost, 2011).

References Kleiner, A. , & vonPost, R. (2011, January 19). A corporate climate of mutual help. Strategy & Business. Retrieved January 21, 2012 from http://www. strategybusiness. com/article/11102? pg=all&tid=27782251 Pinto, E. P. (2011). The influence of wage on motivation and satisfaction. The International Business & Economics Research Journal, 10(9), 81-91. Rasheed, M. I. , Aslam, H. D. , & Sarwar, S. (2010). Motivational issues for teachers in higher education: A critical case of IUB. Journal of Management Research, 2(2), 1-23. Siddique, A. , & Khan, M. (2011).

Impact of academic leadership on facultys motivation, and organizational effectiveness in higher education system. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(8), 184-191. Skiba, M. , & Rosenberg, S. (2011). The disutility of equity theory in contemporary management practice. The Journal of Business and Economic Studies, 17(2), 1-19,97-98. Zhou, Y. , Zhang, Y. , & Montoro-Sanchez, A. (2011). Utilitarianism or romanticism: The effect of rewards on employees innovative behaviour. International Journal of Manpower, 32(1), 81-98. doi:10. 1108/01437721111121242

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