Motivating employees as a Manager

Posted: October 17th, 2013

Motivating employees as a Manager




Motivating employees as a Manager

Formerly, employees were regarded as parts of the input that produced goods and services. Efforts by scholars such as Elton Mayo who conducted the Hawthorne Studies transformed the perception held by most employers toward their staff (Sheridan, 2012). These studies discovered that employees were not motivated exclusively by monetary rewards but more by their attitudes (Sheridan, 2012). The Hawthorne Studies triggered the start of the human relations model in management, whereby the requirements and motivation among the workforce become the center of attention of managers.

The article ‘Understanding Employee Motivation’ by Lindner James analyzed the categorized significance of motivational factors among the staff at the Piketon Research Center at Ohio State University. The written explanatory study tackles nine motivating aspects in relation to employee motivation theories. The results of the investigation suggested that remarkable work description and excellent monetary rewards are vital in instilling higher motivation levels among employees. Lindner proposed the complete overhaul of the current reward techniques and an installation of carefully planned reward systems for instance non-monetary compensation, enrichment, promotions and job enlargement among other solutions.

The main objective of the study was to illustrate the significance of definite factors in motivating the staff at Piketon Research Center. Purposely, the investigation was intended to explain the categorized magnitude of the following motivational factors: help with individual problems, intriguing jobs, proper working environment, job security, advancement and development in the firm, appreciation for tasks completed and discipline. The other minor goal of the study was to contrast the outcomes of this study with the results from other study groups. Various instruments were useful in collecting the answers to employee motivation in Piketon.

Since the study was a descriptive survey, the population targeted was the staff at the Piketon Research Center. The sample size consisted of 25 employees and of this sample, about 23 participated which transformed into 92% participation rate (Rushing, 2010). Using a questionnaire to collect survey data, the participants’ opinion and attitudes towards the motivation standards could be recorded. The questionnaire requested participants to categorize the significance of the motivation factors within the workplace in the order of most important to least important. Content and face validity for the instruments were approved using two administrative employees from the same university. Before being employed in this particular study, the instrument was tested in three different situations within the university. In order to enforce confidentiality and validity, the questionnaires were filled out by the employees and deposited in a departmental mailbox that could only be accessed by the researchers (Rushing, 2010).

The study at Ohio State University had objectives that were quite similar to Hawthorne Study (Lindner, 2012). Various significant approaches that have contributed toward the understanding of employee motivation include Skinner’s reinforcement theory, Herzberg’s two- factor theory Maslow’s need-hierarchy theory, Adams’ equity theory and Vroom’s expectancy theory (Pulasinghage, 2010). According to Maslow (1973), employees’ needs can be lumped into five levels: physiological, security, communal, personality, and self- actualizing. Maslow reasoned that lower rank needs were more urgent and came first before the next secondary level need in motivating employees. Herzberg however classified motivation according to two factors: hygienes and motivators (Herzberg, 1966). Intrinsic or motivator factors for example accomplishments and acknowledgment resulted in increased job satisfaction. Extrinsic factors that were referred to as ‘hygienes’ for instance salaries and job security resulted in job discontent.


Herzberg, F. (1966). Work and the nature of man. Cleveland: World Pub. Co.

Lindner James R. (2012). Understanding Employee Motivation. The Journal of Extension. 36 (3). Retrieved from

Maslow, A. H. (1973). Dominance, self-esteem, self-actualization: germinal papers of A.H. Maslow. Monterey, Calif: Brooks/Cole Pub. Co.

Pulasinghage, C. (2010). Employee motivation: What factors motivate employees to work in Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO) in Sri Lanka: A study according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 5, 4, 197-211.

Rushing, H. (2010). Managing with the Power of Purpose: An organization’s objective can serve as a driving force in motivating employees. Hr Magazine, 55, 2, 69-72.

Sheridan, K. (2012). The virtual manager: Cutting-edge solutions for hiring, managing, motivating, and engaging mobile employees. Pompton Plains, N.J: Career Press.

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