Monday, April 1, 2013

How Important is Motivation?

Jake Harlick
How Important is Motivation?
                The importance of Motivation in the workplace is sometimes an aspect that is overlooked by management. However this can be a huge mistake, because an unmotivated employee is an unproductive employee, which directly affects the business as a whole. Motivation is the energy within each employee that keeps him or her going through the day and helps them to excel in the workplace and provide value to the company. When an employee lacks this energetic force it can be contagious and bring a company down.

                The biggest aspect that motivation is affected by is employee well-being.  If the atmosphere of the company is one that creates unhealthy habits including excess stress and fatigue, the levels of motivation will suffer in accordance. Motivated employees are happy employees so it is crucial that management provide an environment that keeps spirits up in order for that motivational energy inside of each employee to stay fueled. From a dollars and cents prospective a lack of motivation will directly affect the bottom line revenue of a company. Employees will not go above and beyond to get the job done if they don’t feel the benefits associated with success warrant the effort. This will be reflected through to customers and they will look to take business elsewhere to a place where they feel their business is important to the company. 

                Motivation provides five key benefits to the workplace, it “puts human resources into action, improves level of efficiency of employees, leads to achievement of organizational goals, builds friendly relationship, leads to stability of work force” (Importance). These five benefits turn the company into a well-oiled machine, where employees get along, work together, and become a team that produces the results expected by management. Companies that do not achieve these benefits will find unmotivated workers who, “are likely to expend little effort in their jobs, avoid the workplace as much as possible, exit the organization if given the opportunity, and produce low quality work” (Amabile). These characteristics of unmotivated employees are the opposite of success and will cause a company to struggle mightily as they battle with the sluggish work force and uncooperative employees. “the ability to predict, understand, and influence motivation in the workplace has increased significantly as a result of the attention that has been given to all rather than only a few aspects of an employee’s motivation” (Work Motivation). This attention to detail shows good things going forward in that many companies are realizing the importance of motivation and are working hard to provide their employees with an office that they look forward to coming to every day and a team of coworkers who they genuinely enjoy spending time with.

                In class we often talk about job satisfaction and how so many different things go into making somebody happy. We have found that having a good job doesn’t mean you’re going to be happy with it, and that being happy at home doesn’t always mean you’re happy at work. This being said, if you go to work every day motivated to do a better job than the day before it helps you wake up in the morning. Additionally motivation in the workplace can come from an outside source and not necessarily be provided solely by the employer. If you are a dedicated family person the simple motivation of providing a better life for your family may motivate you to do a good job. This type of attitude is contagious in the workplace and it is important for management to harness it and try to spread it from employee to employee. This type of atmosphere will get employees excited and push them to do a better job every day. 

                Students in the workplace now can use this as a way to evaluate where they want to work during college and post-graduation. If a current position offers an atmosphere that creates a lot of distaste for going to work every day and stress dealing with less than appealing coworkers then it probably is not a position that he or she should be looking to long term to create a good footing for a livelihood. Going into interviews and a job search students should be looking for somewhere they could see themselves enjoying going to work every day with a group of people that will help grow them as a professional through proper mentoring.

Works Cited

Work Motivation Theory and Research at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century
Annual Review of Psychology. Vol. 56: 485-516 (Volume publication date February 2005)
First published online as a Review in Advance on June 21, 2004
DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.142105


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