How to Motivate Employees – Term Paper Example

The paper "How to Motivate Employees?" is an excellent example of a term paper on human resources. One of the most challenging activities of an organization in the workplace is on motivating employees. This involves how to do it in the actual setting while ensuring effectiveness and success. This paper tries to integrate motivational theories and their link with addressing people’s various needs. It is found that to motivate employees it must involve a specific move to unravel complex human behaviors. These behaviors should be understood from the point of view of finding how the environment affects the needs of an individual.
Furthermore, several theories of motivation can help define various human needs that may potentially help create certain behaviors. This only illustrates that it is easy to influence behaviors by understanding various human needs which can also be elaborated further using various theories of motivation.  
It is not easy to motivate people. This is a special task in an organization that requires significant understanding of complex human behavior which has an important link with people’s various needs. After all, it is about psychological and organizational construct (Stojkovic, Klofas & Kalinich, 2011).
For instance, humans are known to be after of experience and this is most would care on issues about what they feel. In other words, employers should make it a point to constantly motivate their employees by understanding what they feel at the workplace. For instance, appreciating them would increase the level of employees’ quality of experience within an organization and this would make them feel highly valued. This is the same thing happened at Deloitte where appreciation has become an essential motivating factor for employees as it potentially resulted in a positive response and desirable work behaviors (Nelson & Quick, 2011, p.151). Deloitte completely understood that this specific issue involves three basic elements - the individual, the job and the work environment.
In this paper, the proponent tries to establish the link between motivational theories and their ability to address various human needs which are related to people, job and environment. This paves the way for establishing the main point on how to motivate employees at the workplace.
Motivation theories
The presence of programs that aim at recognizing employees, “benefit packages and stock ownership plans” and many more is a proof that the internal and external needs of humans are primarily considered to be the motivating factors at the workplace which can be explained by the following theorists through their respective ideas (Nelson & Quick, 2011, p. 155).
Sigmund Freud from his psychoanalytic perspective pointed out that humans can be motivated by meeting their internal needs. This is ultimately agreed by Adam Smith who also believed that employee’s peak of productive output would happen if they are motivated by their self-interest. Frederick Taylor significantly elaborated that cooperation within the organization could be essentially caused by the division of profits which primarily his point on how to form a cooperative relationship and grow total profits. Furthermore, Abraham Maslow made this entire thing clear through classifying the physical, social and psychological needs of individuals which can range from lower to higher-order. This definitely has become the core foundation of Douglas McGregor in formulating two sets of assumptions about the hierarchy of needs of the people, which also simply illustrates what and how to motivate them. The need for achievement, affiliation, and power is the core concern of David McClelland’s need theory. This theory seems to be most likely explicating motivation as a product of acquired or learned needs in life – the basic products of human interaction with the environment. However, another important classical theory existed which substantially raised significant criticisms. Frederick Herzberg, the author of two-factor theory emphasized that individuals are faced with substantial work conditions that either would satisfy or dissatisfy them and this could be due to psychological growth, discomfort or pain. The problem with this theory, for instance, is its inability to classify some important issues to be hygiene or motivating factor, the probable influence of individual differences such as “age and sex, and intrinsic job process such as workflow” or standard operating procedure (Nelson & Quick, 2011, p.163).
In general, the above theories are mainly focused on understanding in great detail the importance of human behavior as people are exposed to different jobs, circumstances, and environment. For instance, they deal primarily on finding the basic response of individuals based on their needs when exposed to a certain environment, circumstances and so on. For example, an individual with a high level of financial needs may find it hard to cooperate with a team which may have a unanimous level of needs, such as teamwork, productivity, and self-fulfillment and so on, all of which could be apart from the former’s need. Therefore, it is not simply reasonable to focus only on one of the above theories as all of them may have important things to say on motivation at work at a highly complex level.
However, even though classical theories on motivation are still proven very important today, there are also new existing ideas that advanced companies are implementing. These theories involve a.) Eustress, strength, and hope; b.) Positive energy and full engagement; c.) Social exchange and equity theory; and d.) Expectancy theory (Nelson & Quick, 2011).
Like the classical theories of motivation, these ideas are still focused on the individual, job and environment. These theories primarily include the idea about social exchange process and cognitive process theory. In other words, what these theories have in common is the practicality of integrating other human concerns and needs which may not be totally addressed by the classical theories of motivation. For example, allowing employees to take a nap at work is a simple, yet a practical thing that could probably motivate them to perform their tasks efficiently or effectively.
There are different ways to motivate employees, and the ultimate way of finding how to do so is to understand people’s complex and existing needs, which could potentially reflect on their behaviors. These needs may be understood if certain desirable behaviors are acquired through the implementation and integration of motivational activities. The existence of good behaviors, therefore, is a significant indicator that the motivational move is effective or not in addressing various human’s needs. Thus, it is always important to look at the response of individuals on their environment. As simply stated earlier, the environment seems to have a very crucial role in understanding the basic responses of individuals to stimuli. At some point, this is evidently true because, from a psychological perspective, an individual is ultimately influenced by his environment (Feldman, 2003). Thus, internal and external needs are most likely to come out as results of this influence, which are clearly elaborated by various theories of motivations. Thus, it is important to motivate employees by understanding their specific needs that at some point may probably be the results of the actual events or circumstances within their environment.
How to motivate employees involves the specific move to unravel complex human behaviors. These behaviors need to be understood from the point of view of finding how the environment affects the needs of an individual. Furthermore, several theories of motivation can help define various human needs that may potentially help create certain behaviors. This only illustrates that it is easy to influence behaviors by understanding various human needs which can also be elaborated further using various theories of motivation.