It is obvious that people work to earn money for their living and various needs. However, finance is not the only aspect that affects the mentioned issues and regulates career choices, job satisfaction, and happiness of a worker in general. This paper investigates the actual factors that guide different workers in terms of motivation and results in their job satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The analysis compares and contrasts theoretical information obtained on lectures and the results of the three interviews of the representatives of different professions and companies. The comparison pursues the goal of supporting or opposing the theoretical premises and the four key motivation theories that describe psychological patterns of workers behavior. It suggests that the revealed actual reflections of the workers approve the validity of the discussed theoretical basis. Moreover, it proposes strategies that allow employee managers successfully regulating mixed-motivation groups of employees. The analysis is useful both for the specialists in the theoretical domain of organizational behavior and the personnel working in human resource management.
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What Motivates Employees at Work
As a result of 30-minute length interviewing, the current research obtained opinions of different workers regarding the sources their motivation, relation towards their job and working environment and other factors. Further analysis includes the responses of N., a woman of the age 30 working as a graphic designer, K., a man of the age 45, an electric engineer and A., a man of the age 35, analyst of an advertising company. Thus, N. is a creative individual that values the artistic freedom that is a necessary factor perceived by her as an intensifier of creativity. She is single and driven by the motive to create and materialize her abstract ideas in different projects. Despite her new job offers high wages, N. considers that money is not that important for creative projects and places it after workplace management and her individual will to take challenging projects that enhance her skills. She quit her last job because the managers were imposing strict rules of her actions, which resulted in loss of a creative passion and conflicts with colleagues. She characterizes her current workplace positively because initially, she had an agreement with the managers that she had complete responsibility for her sphere of work. The example of N. approves the theoretical basis that workers are motivated by self-management, the need for personal achievements and development through a challenge.
Characterizing K., one should say that he is a hard-working person driven by the motive to earn the money for his family. He has a wife and two children aged 15, so K. is interested in their education. Besides, he gives a financial support to his mother that is a retired woman with a chronic disease. K. characterizes his working environment positively; he is in close friendship with his colleagues because they have been working for the same company more than 10 years. He rarely has any conflicts with the personnel because he is a skilled specialist with a good reputation. Moreover, K. values his company for its payment and the attitude towards workers because the administration supports them with different bonuses such as free vacation trips for workers families. Therefore, such workers as K. approve that financial aspect is one of the strongest when characterizing a workplace. At the same time, he is the only interviewee that has the strongest organizational commitment and changed his workplace only once.
The last interviewee to characterize is A., who is a single person with a moderately-paid job that offers a wide range of trips. He enjoys his work because it offers a vast variety of social connections, self-management, and an exclusive work at his company. Apparently, he is the only worker occupying this position, which us why he is valued by the staff. However, he perceives a sense of detachment from his co-workers at other departments because he often travels to different cities and countries alone. Nevertheless, he enjoys the feeling of autonomy and the fact that the company fully covers his trip expenses. A. is unlikely to change his company because, despite he is moderately paid, he enjoys the feeling of an exclusive person that his company offers. Consequently, the position of this individual supports the theoretical premises that workers enjoy autonomy and self-management as well as non-financial benefits of their workplaces. Thus, his company stimulated his motivation by means of delegating him an exclusive role and covering his trip expenses.
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Actual Cases of Employees Motivation
The information obtained at the phase of the interviewing allows stating that despite the interviewees tend to follow different motivational patterns at their workplaces their behavior validates different theoretical models of motivation. Thus, N. is guided by a feeling of self-responsibility and self-management, independence, and update through the challenge of the work. Despite being a single woman with a well-paid job, N. is not driven by the pursuit of a big wage, but wants her job to allow her freedom for creativity. Instead, financial reward of the job is one of the most critical for K., who has a family to care for. In this sense, wages and company benefits are the two factors that produce a good impact on his family and cause his strong organizational commitment. Moreover, he is attached to his co-working friends and his work is a stress-reliever from different problems in the family. Despite having autonomy as a competent specialist, K. does not focus on this factor, which contrasts him with the younger individuals. Lastly, A. fully enjoys his complete autonomy and self-guidance having almost no connection with his co-workers and sees the motivation in his exclusive position in contrast with them. His attention is drawn to the world more than into his company, which, to some extent, is the cause of his occupation. Nevertheless, he is committed to his company because it offers him more benefits than its counterparts. Therefore, among the three interviewees, N. and A. are engaged by their activity whereas N. and K. are emotionally connected to their co-workers.
Furthermore, according to motivation expectancy theory, N. is driven by the expectancy of actualizing ones talent whereas K. expects purely material benefits. In contrast, A. sees no correlation between the proportion of his efforts and the degree of obtained rewards, which is the result of his meaning for the organization. This is expected by the fact that A. feels that he has already reached the top level of his productivity and exceeding it would not meet his expectation of rewards. Considering the goal-setting theory, N. is constantly driven by the goals, which she perceives as individual challenges and bears a complete responsibility for their completion. At the same time, K. is more focused on the social aspect of his work and his goals are regular activities that pose no interest. Similarly, A. completes his goals with moderate performance because they are comparatively easy for him. This fact supports the postulate of a goal-setting theory that easy and moderate difficulty of the goals results in easy and moderate task performance correspondingly. Next, according to equity theory, every worker has ones own constituents of inputs and outputs. For instance, for N. inputs are effort and experience and output is the growth of skill and expertise. For K. the major input is his experience and outputs are payment and benefits. A. claims that his inputs are education and experience and outputs are status and perks. Lastly, when characterizing the workers through the framework of psychological empowerment theory, all of them are guided by various factors. Thus, interviewees responses demonstrate that N. is empowered by self-determination and competence, K. is motivated by the feeling of ones competence whereas A. motivation source is a combination of meaningfulness, self-determination, and impact. Therefore, having these results, one may create a strategy for managing a group of individuals that consists of the workers of this type.
Mixed-Motivation Employee Group Management
The performed interview and analysis of its results demonstrated that motivation of all the three interviewees is stimulated by different factors. It the case these individuals constitute a single group of workers, there is a need for adequate strategies capable of motivating each worker. Experts identify motivation as a set of energetic forces that originates both within and outside an employee, initiates work-related effort, and determines its direction, intensity, and persistence. Consequently, a proper motivating strategy should unite the revealed factors about each employee in a framework that allows each employee benefiting from ones participation in an organization and be motivated for productive work. Creating it, one of the aspects to start with is the formulation of a vision statement that allows each worker seeing a concrete goal or a set of goals of the organization. For instance, it is possible for all individuals to be working at a company that produces some equipment, furniture or machinery. In this case, the vision statement of the company may be We aspire for creating stylish, safe and comfortable equipment/furniture/machinery that enhances the quality of life of our customers. The accent of this vision statement is on such aspects as style, comfort, safety, convenience, which are the constituents of the workers motivation pattern. As a consequence, each individual would interpret the statement in ones own way putting it through the framework of ones professional occupation. Therefore, N. would be focused on the aspects of style and convenience, K. obliged to control the safety of the production line aspects. Similarly, A. would be intrigued by the perspective of communicating with customers, partners and attracting new stakeholders assuring the companys growth.
Furthermore, it is critical to address such components as individual rewards, benefits, obstacles for productive work, decision-making and other. The aspect that unites the three individuals in this sense is the need for self-determination of their duties. Therefore, the best solution for them would be initial goal-setting of the projects with the control of different phases of their work. This model resembles laissez-faire management style, which is suitable for the experts of the organization and gives them a sense of psychological empowerment. At the same time, it is advised to control the activity of A. more strictly in order to restrain his possible attempts of being superior to others. This is necessary because in the case an employee aspires to be not just an expert, but the best in ones sphere, he or she may restrain the progress of ones co-workers. Similarly, the manager of this group should introduce a number of perks and benefits, which should be available for free selection. This approach would allow the single workers obtaining an individual support such as free professional education courses or a family support such as financially covered family vacation once a year. This feature would allow attracting the workers and intensifying their organizational commitment making them happier because of being a part of an employee-benefiting company. Furthermore, it is critical to create a team of co-workers through imprinting the models of trust, justice, and ethics. This would lead to the increase of their reputation among each other, influence their promotion and acceptance by other stakeholders of an organization. More than that, the feeling of trust and support by the colleagues would serve as a stress and strain-relieving factor making the workspace more attractive to workers. One should not forget about the aspect of payment, which should cover the actual needs of the employees. At the same time, according to motivation expectancy theory, it is important to create a system of direct promotion and reward of the workers that perform better. This is important because it makes the organization to progress and serves as an additional motivator despite the enlisted positive factors of the working environment. As a consequence, the described model allows transforming a workplace from a group of separate individuals into a team that is motivated by both corporate and individual goals. Therefore, the application of motivation expectancy, goal-setting, equity and psychological empowerment theories allow merging workers with different motivation triggers into a team of collaborative co-workers motivated for individual and corporate progress.
In conclusion, the performed interview, analysis and mixed-motivation employee group management strategy approve the validity of motivation expectancy, goal-setting, equity and psychological empowerment theories. The factors, exposed during interviews, demonstrate that the motivation of different workers is based on their individual perception of job performance, organizational commitment, job satisfaction, stress, trust, learning and decision making. For instance, single workers prefer independence, self-management and individual benefits aspiring for individual challenges in the organizational activities. At the same time, workers that have a family are focused more on the financial aspect of work as well as other benefits. At the same time, the last type of individuals demonstrates the highest degree of organizational commitment. The application of the four motivation theories allowed integrating this knowledge and finding the patterns that may be successfully validated at their united and the shared workplace. The given interviews also demonstrate that HR managers should practice individual approaches to their workers in order to create a vision statement and working policies that allow creating a team. As a consequence, the application of the discussed motivation theories made it possible to create a relevant model of the motivation of workers driven by different motivation factors.
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