3.6.4 Making human resource decisions: improving motivation and engagement


    3.6.4 Making human resource decisions: improving motivation and engagement

    The benefits of motivated and engaged employees

    Motivation = the desire and energy to be continually interested and committed to a job, role, or subject, or to make an effort to attain a particular goal


    Benefits of motivation to a business:

    • Improved productivity
    • Reduced costs
    • Improved reputation for the organisation
    • Improved likelihood of meeting objectives
    • Improved work ethic
    • Competitive advantage


    Motivation theories:

    • Taylor
    • Mayo
    • Hertzberg


    Taylor = workers are mainly motivated by pay

    Key features of Taylor’s motivational theory:

    • Workers do not naturally enjoy work and so need close supervision and control
    • Therefore managers should break down production into a series of small tasks
    • Workers should then be given appropriate training and tools so they can work as efficiently as possible on one set task
    • Workers are then paid according to the number of items they produce in a set period of time- piece-rate pay
    • As a result workers are encouraged to work hard and maximise their productivity
    • It links closely with an autocratic management styles as the managers take all the decisions and give the orders to people below them


    Mayo = workers are not just concerned with money but could be better motivated by having their social needs met whilst at work

    Key features of Mayo’s motivational theory:

    • Better communication between managers and workers
    • Greater manager involvement in employees working lives
    • Working in groups or teams
    • It closely fits in with a paternalistic style of management
    • Workers motivated by having social needs met
    • Managers should have greater involvement in employee’s working life


    Herzberg = hygiene factors and motivators are part of the two factor theory

    Key features of Herzberg’s motivational theory:

    • Motivators are more concerned with the actual job itself (e.g. how interesting the work is and how much opportunity it gives for extra responsibility, recognition and promotion)
    • Hygiene factors are factors which ‘surround the job’ rather than the job itself – for example a worker will only turn up to work if a business has provided a reasonable level of pay and safe working conditions but these factors will not make him work harder at his job once he is there.


    Methods used to improve the nature and content of the job:

    • Job enlargement – workers being given a greater variety of tasks to perform (not necessarily more challenging) which should make the work more interesting.
    • Job enrichment – involves workers being given a wider range of more complex and challenging tasks surrounding a complete unit of work. This should give a greater sense of achievement.
    • Empowerment means delegating more power to employees to make their own decisions


    Maslow = there is a hierarchy of needs of each employee

    Key features of Maslow’s motivational theory:

    • Workers are motivated by having each level of needs met in order as they move up the hierarchy
    • Levels of needs are: Physical, Security, Social, Self-esteem, Self-fulfilment
    • Workers must have lower level of needs fully met by firm before being motivated by next level


    How to improve employee engagement and motivation

    Financial methods of motivation:

    • Time-rate pay
    • Piece-rate pay
    • Commission
    • Other performance-related pay (including bonuses)
    • Shares and options
    • Benefits in kind (fringe benefits)
    • Pensions


    The value of theories of motivation

    A well-motivated workforce can provide the following advantages:

    • Better productivity (amount produced per employee). This can lead to lower unit costs of production and so enable a firm to sell its product at a lower price
    • Lower levels of absenteeism as the employees are content with their working lives
    • Lower levels of staff turnover (the number of employees leaving the business). This can lead to lower training and recruitment costs
    • Improved industrial relations with trade unions
    • Contented workers give the firm a good reputation so making it easier to recruit the best workers
    • Motivated employees are likely to improve product quality or customer service


    The use of financial methods of motivating employees

    Why pay is important:

    • It is an important cost for a firm (in some “labour-intensive” firms, payroll costs are over 50% of total costs)
    • People feel strongly about it
    • Pay is the subject of important business legislation (e.g. national minimum wage; equal opportunities)
    • It helps attract reliable employees with the skills the business needs for success
    • Pay also helps retain employees – rather than them leave and perhaps join a competitor
    • For most employees, the remuneration package is the most important part of a job – and certainly the most visible part of any job offer




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