Respond in 700 to 1,050 words to the questions that follow the case application. Include a short discussion about the opinions of the team on the practices of the two businesses. How would you and your team members respond if you worked in this type of environment? Would either of the practices work in health care organizations? Explain.
chapter 16 Motivating Employees
Let’s Get Real:
Meet the Manager
Retail Store Manager
You’ll be hearing more from this real manager throughout the chapter.
I am a retail clothing store manager for Dots, LLC. I am responsible for leading, motivating, and coaching a team of approximately 10 employees. I am focused on customer service and sales results.
BEST PART OF MY JOB:
The relationships that I have built with customers and staff members. I am amazed by the many follow-up visits and phone calls I receive from past staff members and customers. Many have expressed their gratitude for what I have taught them about management, sales, and fashion.
WORST PART OF MY JOB:
The feeling of defeat when my team and I do not meet our sales goal. Achieving our sales goal can be difficult. The key is to motivate team members with incentives that keep them pushing to achieve the goal.
BEST MANAGEMENT ADVICE EVER RECEIVED:
Be a leader and not a boss. It is important to set the tone for your expectations and lead by example. This advice has made me successful.
Define motivation. page 430
Compare and contrast early theories of motivation. page 431
Compare and contrast contemporary theories of motivation. page 435
Discuss current issues in motivation. page 445
A Manager’s Dilemma
Ministers. Customers. Embassies. These are the interesting “names” given to employees, customers, and retailers at gourmet tea company Republic of Tea.1 Like many companies, big and small, Republic of Tea struggled through the economic recession. As the crisis intensified, “CEO Ron Rubin sat in his office and asked himself, What more can we do to help our ministers?” The answer was as unexpected as the question that prompted it.
Within weeks, the company rolled out a program called “Healthy Ministry, dedicated to improving the health, physical fitness and well-being of its 100 employees.” At the company’s Novato, California, headquarters and its Nashville, Illinois, warehouse, employees now have access to a full-time nutritionist, on-site health screenings, and a $500 credit that can be used for gym memberships or health plans such as Weight Watchers. With a workday walking program, employees are encouraged to take 10- to 15-minute walks. Some might consider Rubin’s ideas silly, but he believes that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business. Although Ron Rubin has tried to make Republic of Tea a better place to work for his employees during a challenging period, what other things could he do?
What Would You Do?
Successful managers, like Ron Rubin, understand that what motivates them personally may have little or no effect on others. Just because you’re motivated by being part of a cohesive work team, don’t assume everyone is. Or just because you’re motivated by your job doesn’t mean that everyone is. Effective managers who get employees to put forth maximum effort know how and why those employees are motivated and tailor motivational practices to satisfy their needs and wants.
What Is Motivation?
According to LinkedIn Corporation, a Web site that provides networking for more than 65 million professionals, “ninja” has far outpaced the growth of other trendy job titles.2 Although most individuals using that title are computer programmers—who attack writing code like a ninja, with tons of tools available to do battle—the term also has been used to describe expertise in everything from customer service to furniture movers. For instance, in Salt Lake City, one business owner sells the services of “ninja workers” who will do everything from hauling junk to personal security to house-sitting. And at Bonobos, Inc., a New York City start-up that makes and sells men’s apparel online, customer-service employees are also called ninjas. Why would a job title matter to employees? Many people, especially the young and young-at-heart, like vivid and unusual titles that celebrate their hard work. And ninja, like other popular job titles before it (guru, evangelist, or even sandwich artist) shows employees that their efforts aren’t plain and ordinary, but are appreciated.
Would you ever have thought that a job title might be motivating? Have you ever thought about to how to motivate someone? It’s an important topic in management and researchers have long been interested in it.3 All managers need to be able to motivate their employees, which first requires understanding what motivation is. Let’s begin by pointing out what motivation is not. Why? Because many people incorrectly view motivation as a personal trait; that is, they think some people are motivated and others aren’t. Our knowledge of motivation tells us that we can’t label people that way because individuals differ in motivational drive and their overall motivation varies from situation to situation. For instance, you’re probably more motivated in some classes than in others.
Motivation refers to the process by which a person’s efforts are energized, directed, and sustained toward attaining a goal.4 This definition has three key elements: energy, direction, and persistence.5
The process by which a person’s efforts are energized, directed, and sustained toward attaining a goal
The energy element is a measure of intensity, drive, and vigor. A motivated person puts forth effort and works hard. However, the quality of the effort must be considered as well as its intensity. High levels of effort don’t necessarily lead to favorable job performance unless the effort is channeled in a direction that benefits the organization. Effort that’s directed toward, and consistent with, organizational goals is the kind of effort we want from employees. Finally, motivation includes a persistence dimension. We want employees to persist in putting forth effort to achieve those goals.
Motivating high levels of employee performance is an important organizational concern and managers keep looking for answers. For instance, a Gallup poll found that a large majority of U.S. employees—some 73 percent—are not excited about their work. As the researchers stated, “These employees have essentially ‘checked out.’ They’re sleepwalking through their workday, putting time, but not energy or passion, into their work.”6 It’s no wonder then that both managers and academics want to understand and explain employee motivation.
Let’s Get Real
Motivating employees is important because it contributes to positive team morale.
Early Theories of Motivation
Compare and contrast early theories of motivation.
We begin by looking at four early motivation theories: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, McGregor’s theories X and Y, Herzberg’s two-factor theory, and McClelland’s three-needs theory. Although more valid explanations of motivation have been developed, these early theories are important because they represent the foundation from which contemporary motivation theories were developed and because many practicing managers still use them.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory
Intel managers understand employee needs and their impact on motivation. The company helps satisfy the social needs of its young workforce in Vietnam, where more than half of the population is under the age of 25. Intel provides opportunities for its young employees, who love American culture, to have fun with their coworkers during work breaks as ways to satisfy their needs for belongingness and friendship. Recognizing that its employees are eager to learn western ways of doing business and have a strong drive for self-development and achievement, Intel offers them training programs for personal growth and career development to satisfy their esteem and self-actualization needs.
Having a car to get to work is a necessity for many workers. When two crucial employees of Vurv Technology in Jacksonville, Florida, had trouble getting to work, owner Derek Mercer decided to buy two inexpensive used cars for the employees. He said, “I felt that they were good employees and a valuable asset to the company.” One of the employees who got one of the cars said, “It wasn’t the nicest car. It wasn’t the prettiest car. But boy did my overwhelming feeling of dread go from that to enlightenment. The 80-hour weeks we worked after that never meant anything. It was give and take. I was giving and the company was definitely giving back.”7 Derek Mercer understands employee needs and their impact on motivation. The first motivation theory we’re going to look at addresses employee needs.
The best-known theory of motivation is probably Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory.8 Maslow was a psychologist who proposed that within every person is a hierarchy of five needs:
hierarchy of needs theory
Maslow’s theory that human needs—physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization—form a sort of hierarchy
1. Physiological needs: A person’s needs for food, drink, shelter, sex, and other physical requirements.
A person’s needs for food, drink, shelter, sexual satisfaction, and other physical needs
2. Safety needs: A person’s needs for security and protection from physical and emotional harm, as well as assurance that physical needs will continue to be met.
A person’s needs for security and protection from physical and emotional harm
3. Social needs: A person’s needs for affection, belongingness, acceptance, and friendship.
A person’s needs for affection, belongingness, acceptance, and friendship
4. Esteem needs: A person’s needs for internal esteem factors such as self-respect, autonomy, and achievement and external esteem factors such as status, recognition, and attention.
A person’s needs for internal factors such as self-respect, autonomy, and achievement, and external factors such as status, recognition, and attention
5. Self-actualization needs: A person’s needs for growth, achieving one’s potential, and self-fulfillment; the drive to become what one is capable of becoming.
A person’s need to become what he or she is capable of becoming.
Maslow argued that each level in the needs hierarchy must be substantially satisfied before the next need becomes dominant. An individual moves up the needs hierarchy from one level to the next. (See Exhibit 16-1.) In addition, Maslow separated the five needs into higher and lower levels. Physiological and safety needs were considered lower-order needs; social, esteem, and self-actualization needs were considered higher-order needs. Lower-order needs are predominantly satisfied externally while higher-order needs are satisfied internally.
How does Maslow’s theory explain motivation? Managers using Maslow’s hierarchy to motivate employees do things to satisfy employees’ needs. But the theory also says that once a need is substantially satisfied, an individual is no longer motivated to satisfy that need. Therefore, to motivate someone, you need to understand what need level that person is on in the hierarchy and focus on satisfying needs at or above that level.
Maslow’s need theory was widely recognized during the 1960s and 1970s, especially among practicing managers, probably because it was intuitively logical and easy to understand. But Maslow provided no empirical support for his theory, and several studies that sought to validate it could not.9
McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y
Andy Grove, cofounder of Intel Corporation and now a senior advisor to the company, was known for being open with his employees. However, he was also known for his tendency to yell. Intel’s current CEO, Paul Otellini said, “When Andy was yelling at you, it wasn’t because he didn’t care about you. He was yelling at you because he wanted you to do better.”10 Although managers like Andy Grove want their employees to do better, that approach might not have been the best way to motivate employees as McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y suggest.
EXHIBIT 16-1 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Source: Abraham H. Maslow, Robert D. Frager, Robert D., and James Fadiman, Motivation and Personality, 3rd Edition, © 1987. Adapted by permission of Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Douglas McGregor is best known for proposing two assumptions about human nature: Theory X and Theory Y.11 Very simply, Theory X is a negative view of people that assumes workers have little ambition, dislike work, want to avoid responsibility, and need to be closely controlled to work effectively. Theory Y is a positive view that assumes employees enjoy work, seek out and accept responsibility, and exercise self-direction. McGregor believed that Theory Y assumptions should guide management practice and proposed that participation in decision making, responsible and challenging jobs, and good group relations would maximize employee motivation.
The assumption that employees dislike work, are lazy, avoid responsibility, and must be coerced to perform
The assumption that employees are creative, enjoy work, seek responsibility, and can exercise self-direction
Unfortunately, no evidence confirms that either set of assumptions is valid or that being a Theory Y manager is the only way to motivate employees. For instance, Jen-Hsun Huang, founder of Nvidia Corporation, an innovative and successful microchip manufacturer, has been known to use both reassuring hugs and tough love in motivating employees. But he has little tolerance for screw-ups. “In one legendary meeting, he’s said to have ripped into a project team for its tendency to repeat mistakes. ‘Do you suck?’ he asked the stunned employees. ‘Because if you suck, just get up and say you suck.’”12 His message, delivered in classic Theory X style, was that if you need help, ask for it. It’s a harsh approach, but in this case, it worked.
Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory
EXHIBIT 16-2 Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory
Source: Based on F. Herzberg, B. Mausner, and B. B. Snyderman, The Motivation to Work (New York: John Wiley, 1959).
Frederick Herzberg’s two-factor theory (also called motivation-hygiene theory) proposes that intrinsic factors are related to job satisfaction, while extrinsic factors are associated with job dissatisfaction.13 Herzberg wanted to know when people felt exceptionally good (satisfied) or bad (dissatisfied) about their jobs. (These findings are shown in Exhibit 16-2.) He concluded that the replies people gave when they felt good about their jobs were significantly different from the replies they gave when they felt badly. Certain characteristics were consistently related to job satisfaction (factors on the left side of the exhibit), and others to job dissatisfaction (factors on the right side). When people felt good about their work, they tended to cite intrinsic factors arising from the job itself such as achievement, recognition, and responsibility. On the other hand, when they were dissatisfied, they tended to cite extrinsic factors arising from the job context such as company policy and administration, supervision, interpersonal relationships, and working conditions.
two-factor theory (motivation-hygiene theory)
The motivation theory that intrinsic factors are related to job satisfaction and motivation, whereas extrinsic factors are associated with job dissatisfaction
EXHIBIT 16-3 Contrasting Views of Satisfaction–Dissatisfaction
In addition, Herzberg believed that the data suggested that the opposite of satisfaction was not dissatisfaction, as traditionally had been believed. Removing dissatisfying characteristics from a job would not necessarily make that job more satisfying (or motivating). As shown in Exhibit 16-3, Herzberg proposed that a dual continuum existed: The opposite of “satisfaction” is “no satisfaction,” and the opposite of “dissatisfaction” is “no dissatisfaction.”
Again, Herzberg believed that the factors that led to job satisfaction were separate and distinct from those that led to job dissatisfaction. Therefore, managers who sought to eliminate factors that created job dissatisfaction could keep people from being dissatisfied but not necessarily motivate them. The extrinsic factors that create job dissatisfaction were called hygiene factors. When these factors are adequate, people won’t be dissatisfied, but they won’t be satisfied (or motivated) either. To motivate people, Herzberg suggested emphasizing motivators, the intrinsic factors having to do with the job itself.
Factors that eliminate job dissatisfaction, but don’t motivate
Factors that increase job satisfaction and motivation
Herzberg’s theory enjoyed wide popularity from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, despite criticisms of his procedures and methodology. Although some critics said his theory was too simplistic, it has influenced how we currently design jobs, especially when it comes to job enrichment, which we’ll discuss at a later point in this chapter.
David McClelland and his associates proposed the three-needs theory, which says there are three acquired (not innate) needs that are major motives in work.14 These three needs include the need for achievement (nAch), which is the drive to succeed and excel in relation to a set of standards; the need for power (nPow), which is the need to make others behave in a way that they would not have behaved otherwise; and the need for affiliation (nAff), which is the desire for friendly and close interpersonal relationships. Of these three needs, the need for achievement has been researched the most.
The motivation theory that says three acquired (not innate) needs—achievement, power, and affiliation—are major motives in work
need for achievement (nAch)
The drive to succeed and excel in relation to a set of standards
need for power (nPow)
The need to make others behave in a way that they would not have behaved otherwise
need for affiliation (nAff)
The desire for friendly and close interpersonal relationships
People with a high need for achievement are striving for personal achievement rather than for the trappings and rewards of success. They have a desire to do something better or more efficiently than it’s been done before.15 They prefer jobs that offer personal responsibility for finding solutions to problems, in which they can receive rapid and unambiguous feedback on their performance in order to tell whether they’re improving, and in which they can set moderately challenging goals. High achievers avoid what they perceive to be very easy or very difficult tasks. Also, a high need to achieve doesn’t necessarily lead to being a good manager, especially in large organizations. That’s because high achievers focus on their own accomplishments, while good managers emphasize helping others accomplish their goals.16 McClelland showed that employees can be trained to stimulate their achievement need by being in situations where they have personal responsibility, feedback, and moderate risks.17
The other two needs in this theory haven’t been researched as extensively as the need for achievement. However, we do know that the best managers tend to be high in the need for power and low in the need for affiliation.18
EXHIBIT 16-4 TAT Pictures
All three of these needs can be measured by using a projective test (known as the Thematic Apperception Test or TAT) in which respondents react to a set of pictures. Each picture is briefly shown to a person who writes a story based on the picture. (See Exhibit 16-4 for some examples.) Trained interpreters then determine the individual’s levels of nAch, nPow, and nAff from the stories written.
Contemporary Theories of Motivation
Compare and contrast contemporary theories of motivation.
The theories we look at in this section represent current explanations of employee motivation. Although these theories may not be as well known as those we just discussed, they are supported by research.19 These contemporary motivation approaches include goal-setting theory, reinforcement theory, job design theory, equity theory, expectancy theory, and high-involvement work practices.
At Wyeth’s research division, executive vice president Robert Ruffolo established challenging new product quotas for the company’s scientists in an attempt to bring more efficiency to the innovation process. And he made bonuses contingent on meeting those goals.20 Before a big assignment or major class project presentation, has a teacher ever encouraged you to “Just do your best”? What does that vague statement, “do your best,” mean? Would your performance on a class project have been higher had that teacher said you needed to score a 93 percent to keep your A in the class? Research on goal-setting theory addresses these issues, and the findings, as you’ll see, are impressive in terms of the effect that goal specificity, challenge, and feedback have on performance.22
His privately held software company (the world’s largest) has made Fortune magazine’s list of “Best Companies to Work For” for all 13 years that it’s been published.21 “He” is John Goodnight, CEO and co-founder of Cary, North Carolina—based SAS. Goodnight has always believed in taking care of his employees. His company’s approach to giving employees flexibility and perks is “so legendary that even Google uses SAS as a model.” Goodnight fashioned SAS’s culture around the idea of “trust between our employees and the company.” And employees love it! Annual turnover is a low 2 percent and the company is highly profitable. There’s something to be said for recognizing that your employees are your most important asset!
Research provides substantial support for goal-setting theory, which says that specific goals increase performance and that difficult goals, when accepted, result in higher performance than do easy goals. What does goal-setting theory tell us?
First, working toward a goal is a major source of job motivation. Studies on goal setting have demonstrated that specific and challenging goals are superior motivating forces.23 Such goals produce a higher output than does the generalized goal of “do your best.” The specificity of the goal itself acts as an internal stimulus. For instance, when a sales rep commits to making eight sales calls daily, this intention gives him a specific goal to try to attain.
It’s not a contradiction that goal-setting theory says that motivation is maximized by difficult goals, whereas achievement motivation (from three-needs theory) is stimulated by moderately challenging goals.24 First, goal-setting theory deals with people in general, whereas the conclusions on achievement motivation are based on people who have a high nAch. Given that no more than 10 to 20 percent of North Americans are high achievers (a proportion that’s likely lower in underdeveloped countries), difficult goals are still recommended for the majority of employees. Second, the conclusions of goal-setting theory apply to those who accept and are committed to the goals. Difficult goals will lead to higher performance only if they are accepted.
Next, will employees try harder if they have the opportunity to participate in the setting of goals? Not always. In some cases, participatively set goals elicit superior performance; in other cases, individuals performed best when their manager assigned goals. However, participation is probably preferable to assigning goals when employees might resist accepting difficult challenges.25
Finally, we know that people will do better if they get feedback on how well they’re progressing toward their goals because feedback helps identify discrepancies between what they have done and what they want to do. But all feedback isn’t equally effective. Self-generated feedback—where an employee monitors his or her own progress—has been shown to be a more powerful motivator than feedback coming from someone else.26
Three other contingencies besides feedback influence the goal-performance relationship: goal commitment, adequate self-efficacy, and national culture.
First, goal-setting theory assumes that an individual is committed to the goal. Commitment is most likely when goals are made public, when the individual has an internal locus of control, and when the goals are self-set rather than assigned.27
Next, self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief that he or she is capable of performing a task.28 The higher your self-efficacy, the more confidence you have in your ability to succeed in a task. So, in difficult situations, we find that people with low self-efficacy are likely to reduce their effort or give up altogether, whereas those with high self-efficacy will try harder to master the challenge.29 In addition, individuals with high self-efficacy seem to respond to negative feedback with increased effort and motivation, whereas those with low self-efficacy are likely to reduce their effort when given negative feedback.30
An individual’s belief that he or she is capable of performing a task
Finally, the value of goal-setting theory depends on the national culture. It’s well adapted to North American countries because its main ideas align reasonably well with those cultures. It assumes that subordinates will be reasonably independent (not a high score on power distance), that people will seek challenging goals (low in uncertainty avoidance), and that performance is considered important by both managers and subordinates (high in assertiveness). Don’t expect goal setting to lead to higher employee performance in countries where the cultural characteristics aren’t like this.
EXHIBIT 16-5 Goal-Setting Theory
Exhibit 16-5 summarizes the relationships among goals, motivation, and performance. Our overall conclusion is that the intention to work toward hard and specific goals is a powerful motivating force. Under the proper conditions, it can lead to higher performance. However, no evidence indicates that such goals are associated with increased job satisfaction.31
Reinforcement theory says that behavior is a function of its consequences. Those consequences that immediately follow a behavior and increase the probability that the behavior will be repeated are called reinforcers.
The theory that behavior is a function of its consequences
Consequences immediately following a behavior, which increase the probability that the behavior will be repeated
Reinforcement theory ignores factors such as goals, expectations, and needs. Instead, it focuses solely on what happens to a person when he or she does something. For instance, Walmart improved its bonus program for hourly employees. Employees who provide outstanding customer service get a cash bonus. And all Walmart hourly full- and part-time store employees are eligible for annual “My$hare” bonuses, which are allocated on store performance and distributed quarterly so that workers are rewarded more frequently.32 The company’s intent: keep the workforce motivated to meet goals by rewarding them when they did, thus reinforcing the behaviors.
In Chapter 14 we showed how managers use reinforcers to shape behavior, but the concept is also widely believed to explain motivation. According to B. F. Skinner, people will most likely engage in desired behaviors if they are rewarded for doing so. These rewards are most effective if they immediately follow a desired behavior; and behavior that isn’t rewarded, or is punished, is less likely to be repeated.33
Using reinforcement theory, managers can influence employees’ behavior by using positive reinforcers for actions that help the organization achieve its goals. And managers should ignore, not punish, undesirable behavior. Although punishment eliminates undesired behavior faster than nonreinforcement does, its effect is often temporary and may have unpleasant side effects including dysfunctional behavior such as workplace conflicts, absenteeism, and turnover. Although reinforcement is an important influence on work behavior, it isn’t the only explanation for differences in employee motivation.34
The proposition that specific goals increase performance and that difficult goals, when accepted, result in higher performance than do easy goals
Designing Motivating Jobs
It’s not unusual to find shop-floor workers at Cordis LLC’s San German, Puerto Rico, facility interacting directly with customers, especially if that employee has special skills or knowledge that could help come up with a solution to a customer’s problem.35 One company executive said, “Our sales guys often encourage this in specific situations because they don’t always have all the answers. If by doing this, we can better serve the customers, then we do it.” As this example shows, the tasks an employee performs in his or her job are often determined by different factors, such as providing customers what they need when they need it.
Because managers want to motivate individuals on the job, we need to look at ways to design motivating jobs. If you look closely at what an organization is and how it works, you’ll find that it’s composed of thousands of tasks. These tasks are, in turn, aggregated into jobs. We use the term job design to refer to the way tasks are combined to form complete jobs. The jobs that people perform in an organization should not evolve by chance. Managers should design jobs deliberately and thoughtfully to reflect the demands of the changing environment, the organization’s technology, and employees’ skills, abilities, and preferences.36 When jobs are designed like that, employees are motivated to work hard. Let’s look at some ways that managers can design motivating jobs.37
The way tasks are combined to form complete jobs
As we saw in the Management History Module and Chapter 10, job design historically has been to make jobs smaller and more specialized. It’s difficult to motivate employees when jobs are like this. An early effort at overcoming the drawbacks of job specialization involved horizontally expanding a job through increasing job scope—the number of different tasks required in a job and the frequency with which these tasks are repeated. For instance, a dental hygienist’s job could be enlarged so that in addition to cleaning teeth, he or she is pulling patients’ files, refiling them when finished, and sanitizing and storing instruments. This type of job design option is called job enlargement.
The number of different tasks required in a job and the frequency with which those tasks are repeated
The horizontal expansion of a job by increasing job scope
Most job enlargement efforts that focused solely on increasing the number of tasks don’t seem to work. As one employee who experienced such a job redesign said, “Before, I had one lousy job. Now, thanks to job enlargement, I have three lousy jobs!” However, research has shown that knowledge enlargement activities (expanding the scope of knowledge used in a job) lead to more job satisfaction, enhanced customer service, and fewer errors.38
Let’s Get Real
The hardest part of motivating employees is when an employee is dealing with a situation outside of work.
Another approach to job design is the vertical expansion of a job by adding planning and evaluating responsibilities—job enrichment. Job enrichment increases job depth, which is the degree of control employees have over their work. In other words, employees are empowered to assume some of the tasks typically done by their managers. Thus, an enriched job allows workers to do an entire activity with increased freedom, independence, and responsibility. In addition, workers get feedback so they can assess and correct their own performance. For instance, if our dental hygienist had an enriched job, he or she could, in addition to cleaning teeth, schedule appointments (planning) and follow up with clients (evaluating). Although job enrichment may improve the quality of work, employee motivation, and satisfaction, research evidence has been inconclusive as to its usefulness.39
The vertical expansion of a job by adding planning and evaluating responsibilities
The degree of control employees have over their work
job characteristics model.
Even though many organizations implemented job enlargement and job enrichment programs and experienced mixed results, neither approach provided an effective framework for managers to design motivating jobs. But the job characteristics model (JCM) does.40 It identifies five core job dimensions, their interrelationships, and their impact on employee productivity, motivation, and satisfaction. These five core job dimensions are:
job characteristics model (JCM)
A framework for analyzing and designing jobs that identifies five primary core job dimensions, their interrelationships, and their impact on outcomes
1. Skill variety, the degree to which a job requires a variety of activities so that an employee can use a number of different skills and talents.
The degree to which a job requires a variety of activities so that an employee can use a number of different skills and talents
2. Task identity, the degree to which a job requires completion of a whole and identifiable piece of work.
The degree to which a job requires completion of a whole and identifiable piece of work
3. Task significance, the degree to which a job has a substantial impact on the lives or work of other people.
The degree to which a job has a substantial impact on the lives or work of other people
4. Autonomy, the degree to which a job provides substantial freedom, independence, and discretion to the individual in scheduling the work and determining the procedures to be used in carrying it out.
The degree to which a job provides substantial freedom, independence, and discretion to the individual in scheduling work and determining the procedures to be used in carrying it out
5. Feedback, the degree to which doing work activities required by a job results in an individual obtaining direct and clear information about the effectiveness of his or her performance.
The degree to which carrying out work activities required by a job results in the individual’s obtaining direct and clear information about his or her performance effectiveness
The JCM is shown in Exhibit 16-6. Notice how the first three dimensions—skill variety, task identity, and task significance—combine to create meaningful work. In other words, if these three characteristics exist in a job, we can predict that the person will view his or her job as being important, valuable, and worthwhile. Notice, too, that jobs that possess autonomy give the jobholder a feeling of personal responsibility for the results and that if a job provides feedback, the employee will know how effectively he or she is performing.
EXHIBIT 16-6 Job Characteristics Model
Source: J. R. Hackman and J. L. Suttle (eds.), Improving Life at Work (Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, 1977). With permission of authors.
The JCM suggests that employees are likely to be motivated when they learn (knowledge of results through feedback) that they personally (experienced responsibility through autonomy of work) performed well on tasks that they care about (experienced meaningfulness through skill variety, task identity, or task significance).41 The more a job is designed around these three elements, the greater the employee’s motivation, performance, and satisfaction and the lower his or her absenteeism and likelihood of resigning. As the model shows, the links between the job dimensions and the outcomes are moderated by the strength of the individual’s growth need (the person’s desire for self-esteem and self-actualization). Individuals with a high growth need are more likely to experience the critical psychological states and respond positively when their jobs include the core dimensions than are low-growth need individuals. This distinction may explain the mixed results with job enrichment: Individuals with low growth need aren’t likely to achieve high performance or satisfaction by having their jobs enriched.
EXHIBIT 16-7 Guidelines for Job Redesign
Source: J. R. Hackman and J. L. Suttle (eds.), Improving Life at Work (Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, 1977). With permission of authors.
The JCM provides specific guidance to managers for job design. (See Exhibit 16-7.) These suggestions specify the types of changes that are most likely to lead to improvement in the five core job dimensions. You’ll notice that two suggestions incorporate job enlargement and job enrichment, although the other suggestions involve more than vertical and horizontal expansion of jobs.
1. Combine tasks. Put fragmented tasks back together to form a new, larger work module (job enlargement) to increase skill variety and task identity.
2. Create natural work units. Design tasks that form an identifiable and meaningful whole to increase employee “ownership” of the work. Encourage employees to view their work as meaningful and important rather than as irrelevant and boring.
3. Establish client (external or internal) relationships. Whenever possible, establish direct relationships between workers and their clients to increase skill variety, autonomy, and feedback.
4. Expand jobs vertically. Vertical expansion gives employees responsibilities and controls that were formerly reserved for managers, which can increase employee autonomy.
5. Open feedback channels. Direct feedback lets employees know how well they’re performing their jobs and whether their performance is improving or not.
Research into the JCM continues. For instance, one recent study looked at using job redesign efforts to change job characteristics and improve employee well-being.42 Another study examined psychological ownership—that is, a personal feeling of “mine-ness” or “our-ness”—and its role in the JCM.43
redesigning job design approaches. 44
Although the JCM has proven to be useful, it may not be totally appropriate for today’s jobs that are more service and knowledge-oriented. The nature of these jobs has also changed the tasks that employees do in those jobs. Two emerging viewpoints on job design are causing a rethink of the JCM and other standard approaches. Let’s take a look at each perspective.
The first perspective, the relational perspective of work design, focuses on how people’s tasks and jobs are increasingly based on social relationships. In jobs today, employees have more interactions and interdependence with coworkers and others both inside and outside the organization. In doing their job, employees rely more and more on those around them for information, advice, and assistance. So what does this mean for designing motivating jobs? It means that managers need to look at important components of those employee relationships such as access to and level of social support in an organization, types of interactions outside an organization, amount of task interdependence, and interpersonal feedback.
relational perspective of work design
An approach to job design that focuses on how people’s tasks and jobs are increasingly based on social relationships
The second perspective, the proactive perspective of work design, says that employees are taking the initiative to change how their work is performed. They’re much more involved in decisions and actions that affect their work. Important job design factors according to this perspective include autonomy (which is part of the JCM), amount of ambiguity and accountability, job complexity, level of stressors, and social or relationship context. Each of these has been shown to influence employee proactive behavior.
proactive perspective of work design
An approach to job design in which employees take the initiative to change how their work is performed
The Pfizer pharmaceutical sales reps shown here use a coffee shop with Internet access as their office to work on scheduling visits with physicians. As more and more physicians are relying on the Internet to find medical information, sales reps are taking a proactive approach to how their work is performed. They are enhancing their traditional face-to-face office meetings with doctors to include teleconferences, webcasts, and social media. By using digital technology, sales reps are able to provide doctors with the accurate, relevant, and timely information they need to make educated decisions that will best help their patients.
One stream of research that’s relevant to proactive work design is that on high-involvement work practices, which are work practices designed to elicit greater input or involvement from workers.45 The level of employee proactivity is believed to increase as employees become more involved in decisions that affect their work. Another term for this approach, which we discussed in an earlier chapter, is employee empowerment.
high-involvement work practices
Work practices designed to elicit greater input or involvement from workers
Do you ever wonder what kind of grade the person sitting next to you in class makes on a test or on a major class assignment? Most of us do! Being human, we tend to compare ourselves with others. If someone offered you $50,000 a year on your first job after graduating from college, you’d probably jump at the offer and report to work enthusiastic, ready to tackle whatever needed to be done, and certainly satisfied with your pay. How would you react, though, if you found out a month into the job that a coworker—another recent graduate, your age, with comparable grades from a comparable school, and with comparable work experience—was getting $55,000 a year? You’d probably be upset! Even though in absolute terms, $50,000 is a lot of money for a new graduate to make (and you know it!), that suddenly isn’t the issue. Now you see the issue as what you believe is fair—what is equitable. The term equity is related to the concept of fairness and equitable treatment compared with others who behave in similar ways. Evidence indicates that employees compare themselves to others and that inequities influence how much effort employees exert.46
Equity theory, developed by J. Stacey Adams, proposes that employees compare what they get from a job (outcomes) in relation to what they put into it (inputs), and then they compare their inputs—outcomes ratio with the inputs—outcomes ratios of relevant others (Exhibit 16-8). If an employee perceives her ratio to be equitable in comparison to those of relevant others, there’s no problem. However, if the ratio is inequitable, she views herself as underrewarded or overrewarded. When inequities occur, employees attempt to do something about it.47 The result might be lower or higher productivity, improved or reduced quality of output, increased absenteeism, or voluntary resignation.
The theory that an employee compares his or her job’s input—outcomes ratio with that of relevant others and then corrects any inequity
EXHIBIT 16-8 Equity Theory
Perceived Ratio Comparison a Employee’s Assessment
aPerson A is the employee, and person B is a relevant other or referent.
The referent—the other persons, systems, or selves individuals compare themselves against in order to assess equity—is an important variable in equity theory.48 Each of the three referent categories is important. The “persons” category includes other individuals with similar jobs in the same organization but also includes friends, neighbors, or professional associates. Based on what they hear at work or read about in newspapers or trade journals, employees compare their pay with that of others. The “system” category includes organizational pay policies, procedures, and allocation. The “self” category refers to inputs–outcomes ratios that are unique to the individual. It reflects past personal experiences and contacts and is influenced by criteria such as past jobs or family commitments.
The persons, systems, or selves against which individuals compare themselves to assess equity
Originally, equity theory focused on distributive justice, which is the perceived fairness of the amount and allocation of rewards among individuals. More recent research has focused on looking at issues of procedural justice, which is the perceived fairness of the process used to determine the distribution of rewards. This research shows that distributive justice has a greater influence on employee satisfaction than procedural justice, while procedural justice tends to affect an employee’s organizational commitment, trust in his or her boss, and intention to quit.49 What are the implications for managers? They should consider openly sharing information on how allocation decisions are made, follow consistent and unbiased procedures, and engage in similar practices to increase the perception of procedural justice. By increasing the perception of procedural justice, employees are likely to view their bosses and the organization as positive even if they’re dissatisfied with pay, promotions, and other personal outcomes.
Perceived fairness of the amount and allocation of rewards among individuals
Perceived fairness of the process used to determine the distribution of rewards
The most comprehensive explanation of how employees are motivated is Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory.50 Although the theory has its critics,51 most research evidence supports it.52
The theory that an individual tends to act in a certain way based on the expectation that the act will be followed by a given outcome and on the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual
Expectancy theory states that an individual tends to act in a certain way based on the expectation that the act will be followed by a given outcome and on the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual. It includes three variables or relationships (see Exhibit 16-9):
1. Expectancy or effort–performance linkage is the probability perceived by the individual that exerting a given amount of effort will lead to a certain level of performance.
EXHIBIT 16-9 Expectancy Model
2. Instrumentality or performance–reward linkage is the degree to which the individual believes that performing at a particular level is instrumental in attaining the desired outcome.
3. Valence or attractiveness of reward is the importance that the individual places on the potential outcome or reward that can be achieved on the job. Valence considers both the goals and needs of the individual.
This explanation of motivation might sound complicated, but it really isn’t. It can be summed up in the questions: How hard do I have to work to achieve a certain level of performance, and can I actually achieve that level? What reward will performing at that level of performance get me? How attractive is the reward to me, and does it help me achieve my own personal goals? Whether you are motivated to put forth effort (that is, to work hard) at any given time depends on your goals and your perception of whether a certain level of performance is necessary to attain those goals. Let’s look at an example. Your second author had a student many years ago who went to work for IBM as a sales rep. Her favorite work “reward” was having an IBM corporate jet fly into Springfield, Missouri, to pick up her best customers and her and take them for a weekend of golfing at some fun location. But to get that particular “reward,” she had to achieve at a certain level of performance, which involved exceeding her sales goals by a specified percentage. How hard she was willing to work (that is, how motivated she was to put forth effort) was dependent on the level of performance that had to be met and the likelihood that if she achieved at that level of performance she would receive that reward. Because she “valued” that reward, she always worked hard to exceed her sales goals. And the performance–reward linkage was clear because her hard work and performance achievements were always rewarded by the company with the reward she valued (access to the corporate jet).
The key to expectancy theory is understanding an individual’s goal and the linkage between effort and performance, between performance and rewards, and finally, between rewards and individual goal satisfaction. It emphasizes payoffs, or rewards. As a result, we have to believe that the rewards an organization is offering align with what the individual wants. Expectancy theory recognizes that no universal principle explains what motivates individuals and thus stresses that managers understand why employees view certain outcomes as attractive or unattractive. After all, we want to reward individuals with those things they value positively. Also, expectancy theory emphasizes expected behaviors. Do employees know what is expected of them and how they’ll be evaluated? Finally, the theory is concerned with perceptions. Reality is irrelevant. An individual’s own perceptions of performance, reward, and goal outcomes, not the outcomes themselves, will determine his or her motivation (level of effort).
Integrating Contemporary Theories of Motivation
Many of the ideas underlying the contemporary motivation theories are complementary, and you’ll understand better how to motivate people if you see how the theories fit together.53 Exhibit 16-10 presents a model that integrates much of what we know about motivation. Its basic foundation is the expectancy model. Let’s work through the model, starting on the left.
The individual effort box has an arrow leading into it. This arrow flows from the individual’s goals. Consistent with goal-setting theory, this goals–effort link is meant to illustrate that goals direct behavior. Expectancy theory predicts that an employee will exert a high level of effort if he or she perceives a strong relationship between effort and performance, performance and rewards, and rewards and satisfaction of personal goals. Each of these relationships is, in turn, influenced by certain factors. You can see from the model that the level of individual performance is determined not only by the level of individual effort but also by the individual’s ability to perform and by whether the organization has a fair and objective performance evaluation system. The performance–reward relationship will be strong if the individual perceives that performance (rather than seniority, personal favorites, or some other criterion) is what is rewarded. The final link in expectancy theory is the rewards–goal relationship. The traditional need theories come into play at this point. Motivation would be high to the degree that the rewards an individual received for his or her high performance satisfied the dominant needs consistent with his or her individual goals.
EXHIBIT 16-10 Integrating Contemporary Theories of Motivation
A closer look at the model also shows that it considers the achievement–need, reinforcement, equity, and JCM theories. The high achiever isn’t motivated by the organization’s assessment of his or her performance or organizational rewards; hence the jump from effort to individual goals for those with a high nAch. Remember that high achievers are internally driven as long as the jobs they’re doing provide them with personal responsibility, feedback, and moderate risks. They’re not concerned with the effort–performance, performance–reward, or rewards–goals linkages.
Reinforcement theory is seen in the model by recognizing that the organization’s rewards reinforce the individual’s performance. If managers have designed a reward system that is seen by employees as “paying off” for good performance, the rewards will reinforce and encourage continued good performance. Rewards also play a key part in equity theory. Individuals will compare the rewards (outcomes) they have received from the inputs or efforts they made with the inputs–outcomes ratio of relevant others. If inequities exist, the effort expended may be influenced.
Finally, the JCM is seen in this integrative model. Task characteristics (job design) influence job motivation at two places. First, jobs that are designed around the five job dimensions are likely to lead to higher actual job performance because the individual’s motivation will be stimulated by the job itself—that is, they will increase the linkage between effort and performance. Second, jobs that are designed around the five job dimensions also increase an employee’s control over key elements in his or her work. Therefore, jobs that offer autonomy, feedback, and similar task characteristics help to satisfy the individual goals of employees who desire greater control over their work.
Current Issues in Motivation
Discuss current issues in motivation.
After Vincent Stevens’s church ran an experiment in which 10 members were each given $100 to help their communities, some used it as seed capital to raise thousands more. As a partner in a Bellevue, Washington, accounting firm, he wondered what would happen if he tried the same thing with his employees. To find out, his company launched Caring, Serving, and Giving, a program that lets employees apply for grants of up to $500 to fund community service projects. By empowering employees to use the seed money as they saw fit, they were motivated to make the best use of it. Another benefit that was realized was a boost in employee morale.54
Understanding and predicting employee motivation is one of the most popular areas in management research. We’ve introduced you to several motivation theories. However, even the contemporary theories of employee motivation are influenced by some significant workplace issues—motivating in tough economic circumstances, managing cross-cultural challenges, motivating unique groups of workers, and designing appropriate rewards programs.
Motivating in Tough Economic Circumstances
Zappos, the quirky Las Vegas–based online shoe retailer (now a part of Amazon.com), has always had a reputation for being a fun place to work.55 However, during the economic recession, it, like many companies, had to cut staff—124 employees in total. CEO Tony Hsieh wanted to get out the news fast to lessen the stress for his employees. So he announced the layoff in an e-mail, on his blog, and on his Twitter account. Although some might think these are terrible ways to communicate that kind of news, most employees thanked him for being so open and so honest. The company also took good care of those being laid off. Laid-off employees with less than two years of service were paid through the end of the year. Longer-tenured employees got four weeks for every year of service. All got six months of continued paid health coverage and, at the request of the employees, got to keep their 40 percent merchandise discount through the Christmas season. Zappos had always been a model of how to nurture employees in good times, now it showed how to treat employees in bad times.
The economic recession of the last few years was difficult for many organizations, especially when it came to their employees. Layoffs, tight budgets, minimal or no pay raises, benefit cuts, no bonuses, long hours doing the work of those who had been laid off—this was the reality that many employees faced. As conditions deteriorated, employee confidence, optimism, and job engagement plummeted as well. As you can imagine, it wasn’t an easy thing for managers to keep employees motivated under such challenging circumstances.
Managers came to realize that in an uncertain economy, they had to be creative in keeping their employees’ efforts energized, directed, and sustained toward achieving goals. They were forced to look at ways to motivate employees that didn’t involve money or that were relatively inexpensive.56 So they relied on actions such as holding meetings with employees to keep the lines of communication open and to get their input on issues; establishing a common goal, such as maintaining excellent customer service, to keep everyone focused; creating a community feel so employees could see that managers cared about them and their work; and giving employees opportunities to continue to learn and grow. And, of course, an encouraging word always went a long way.
Managing Cross-Cultural Motivational Challenges
Scores of employees at Denmark’s largest brewer, Carlsberg A/S, walked off their jobs in protest after the company tightened rules on workplace drinking and removed beer coolers from work sites.57 Now that’s a motivational challenge you don’t often see in U.S. workplaces!
In an uncertain economy and with less money to spend on raises and health benefits, companies are setting up vegetable and herb gardens as a creative, easy, and relatively inexpensive way to motivate employees, improve their health, and help them save money on their food bills. In company gardens, employees can work, take home what they harvest, and share extra produce with their local food bank. Some firms use their gardens for team-building exercises such as constructing tomato trellises together, and others incorporate them into their health and wellness programs. Shown here are employees of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care planting chard starts in raised beds at their company garden.
In today’s global business environment, managers can’t automatically assume that motivational programs that work in one geographic location are going to work in others. Most current motivation theories were developed in the United States by Americans and about Americans.58 Maybe the most blatant pro-American characteristic in these theories is the strong emphasis on individualism and achievement. For instance, both goal-setting and expectancy theories emphasize goal accomplishment as well as rational and individual thought. Let’s look at the motivation theories to see their level of cross-cultural transferability.
Maslow’s need hierarchy argues that people start at the physiological level and then move progressively up the hierarchy in order. This hierarchy, if it has any application at all, aligns with American culture. In countries like Japan, Greece, and Mexico, where uncertainty avoidance characteristics are strong, security needs would be the foundational layer of the need hierarchy. Countries that score high on nurturing characteristics—Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, and Finland—would have social needs as their foundational level.59 We would predict, for instance, that group work will be more motivating when the country’s culture scores high on the nurturing criterion.
Another motivation concept that clearly has an American bias is the achievement need. The view that a high achievement need acts as an internal motivator presupposes two cultural characteristics—a willingness to accept a moderate degree of risk (which excludes countries with strong uncertainty avoidance characteristics) and a concern with performance (which applies almost singularly to countries with strong achievement characteristics). This combination is found in Anglo-American countries such as the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.60 On the other hand, these characteristics are relatively absent in countries such as Chile and Portugal.
Equity theory has a relatively strong following in the United States, which is not surprising given that U.S.-style reward systems are based on the assumption that workers are highly sensitive to equity in reward allocations. In the United States, equity is meant to closely link pay to performance. However, recent evidence suggests that in collectivist cultures, especially in the former socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe, employees expect rewards to reflect their individual needs as well as their performance.61 Moreover, consistent with a legacy of communism and centrally planned economies, employees exhibited a greater “entitlement” attitude—that is, they expected outcomes to be greater than their inputs.62 These findings suggest that U.S.-style pay practices may need to be modified in some countries in order to be perceived as fair by employees.
Another research study of more than 50,000 employees around the world examined two cultural characteristics from the GLOBE framework—individualism and masculinity—(see Chapter 3 for a discussion of these characteristics) in relation to motivation.63 The researchers found that in individualistic cultures such as the United States and Canada, individual initiative, individual freedom, and individual achievement are highly valued. In more collective cultures such as Iran, Peru, and China, however, employees may be less interested in receiving individual praise but place a greater emphasis on harmony, belonging, and consensus. They also found that in masculine (achievement/assertive) cultures such as Japan and Slovakia, the focus is on material success. Those work environments are designed to push employees hard and then reward top performers with high earnings. However, in more feminine (nurturing) cultures such as Sweden and the Netherlands, smaller wage gaps among employees are common, and employees are likely to have extensive quality-of-life benefits.
Despite these cross-cultural differences in motivation, some cross-cultural consistencies are evident. For instance, the desire for interesting work seems important to almost all workers, regardless of their national culture. In a study of seven countries, employees in Belgium, Britain, Israel, and the United States ranked “interesting work” number one among 11 work goals. It was ranked either second or third in Japan, the Netherlands, and Germany.64 Similarly, in a study comparing job-preference outcomes among graduate students in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Singapore, growth, achievement, and responsibility were rated the top three and had identical rankings.65 Both studies suggest some universality to the importance of intrinsic factors identified by Herzberg in his two-factor theory. Another recent study examining workplace motivation trends in Japan also seems to indicate that Herzberg’s model is applicable to Japanese employees.66
Motivating Unique Groups of Workers
At Deloitte, employees are allowed to “dial up” or “dial down” their job responsibilities to fit their personal and professional goals.67 The company’s program called Mass Career Customization has been a huge hit with its employees! In the first 12 months after it was rolled out, employee satisfaction with “overall career/life fit” rose by 25 percent. Also, the number of high-performing employees staying with Deloitte increased.
Motivating employees has never been easy! Employees come into organizations with different needs, personalities, skills, abilities, interests, and aptitudes. They have different expectations of their employers and different views of what they think their employer has a right to expect of them. And they vary widely in what they want from their jobs. For instance, some employees get more satisfaction out of their personal interests and pursuits and only want a weekly paycheck—nothing more. They’re not interested in making their work more challenging or interesting or in “winning” performance contests. Others derive a great deal of satisfaction in their jobs and are motivated to exert high levels of effort. Given these differences, how can managers do an effective job of motivating the unique groups of employees found in today’s workforce? One thing is to understand the motivational requirements of these groups including diverse employees, professionals, contingent workers, and low-skilled minimum-wage employees.
FUTURE VISION The Working World in 2020
Organizations have historically assumed that “one size fits all” when it comes to allocating rewards. Managers typically assumed that everyone wants more money and more vacation time. But as organizations become less bureaucratic and more capable of differentiating rewards, managers will be encouraged to differentiate rewards among employees as well as for individual employees over time.
Organizations control a vast number of potential rewards that employees might find appealing. A partial list would include increased base pay, bonuses, shortened workweeks, extended vacations, paid sabbaticals, flexible work hours, part-time employment, guaranteed job security, increased pension contributions, college tuition reimbursement, personal days off, help in purchasing a home, recognition awards, paid club memberships, and work-from-home options. In the future, most organizations will structure individual reward packages in ways that will maximize employee motivation.
motivating a diverse workforce.
To maximize motivation among today’s workforce, managers need to think in terms of flexibility. For instance, studies tell us that men place more importance on having autonomy in their jobs than do women. In contrast, the opportunity to learn, convenient and flexible work hours, and good interpersonal relations are more important to women.68 Having the opportunity to be independent and to be exposed to different experiences is important to Gen Y employees whereas older workers may be more interested in highly structured work opportunities.69 Managers need to recognize that what motivates a single mother with two dependent children who’s working full time to support her family may be very different from the needs of a single part-time employee or an older employee who is working only to supplement his or her retirement income. A diverse array of rewards is needed to motivate employees with such diverse needs. Many of the work–life balance programs (see Chapter 12) that organizations have implemented are a response to the varied needs of a diverse workforce. In addition, many organizations have developed flexible work arrangements—such as compressed workweeks, flextime, and job sharing, which we discussed in Chapter 11—that recognize different needs. Another job alternative that we also discussed earlier is telecommuting. However, keep in mind that not all employees embrace the idea of telecommuting. Some workers relish the informal interactions at work that satisfy their social needs as well as being a source of new ideas.
Do flexible work arrangements motivate employees? Although such arrangements might seem highly motivational, both positive and negative relationships have been found. For instance, a recent study that looked at the impact of telecommuting on job satisfaction found that job satisfaction initially increased as the extent of telecommuting increased, but as the number of hours spent telecommuting increased, job satisfaction started to level off, decreased slightly, and then stabilized.70
In contrast to a generation ago, the typical employee today is more likely to be a professional with a college degree than a blue-collar factory worker. What special concerns should managers be aware of when trying to motivate a team of engineers at Intel’s India Development Center, software designers at SAS Institute in North Carolina, or a group of consultants at Accenture in Singapore?
Professionals are different from nonprofessionals.71 They have a strong and long-term commitment to their field of expertise. To keep current in their field, they need to regularly update their knowledge, and because of their commitment to their profession they rarely define their workweek as 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week.
What motivates professionals? Money and promotions typically are low on their priority list. Why? They tend to be well paid and enjoy what they do. In contrast, job challenge tends to be ranked high. They like to tackle problems and find solutions. Their chief reward is the work itself. Professionals also value support. They want others to think that what they are working on is important. That may be true for all employees, but professionals tend to be focused on their work as their central life interest, whereas nonprofessionals typically have other interests outside of work that can compensate for needs not met on the job.
motivating contingent workers.
We discussed in Chapter 11 the increased number of contingent workers employed by organizations. There’s no simple solution for motivating these employees. For that small set of individuals who prefer the freedom of their temporary status, the lack of stability may not be an issue. In addition, temporariness might be preferred by highly compensated physicians, engineers, accountants, or financial planners who don’t want the demands of a full-time job. But these individuals are the exceptions. For the most part, temporary employees are not temporary by choice.
What will motivate involuntarily temporary employees? An obvious answer is the opportunity to become a permanent employee. In cases in which permanent employees are selected from a pool of temps, the temps will often work hard in hopes of becoming permanent. A less obvious answer is the opportunity for training. The ability of a temporary employee to find a new job is largely dependent on his or her skills. If an employee sees that the job he or she is doing can help develop marketable skills, then motivation is increased. From an equity standpoint, when temps work alongside permanent employees who earn more and get benefits too for doing the same job, the performance of temps is likely to suffer. Separating such employees or perhaps minimizing interdependence between them might help managers counteract potential problems.72
motivating low-skilled, minimum-wage employees.
Suppose that in your first managerial position after graduating, you’re responsible for managing a work group of low-skilled, minimum-wage employees. Offering more pay to these employees for high levels of performance is out of the question: your company just can’t afford it. In addition, these employees have limited education and skills. What are your motivational options at this point?
One trap we often fall into is thinking that people are motivated only by money. Although money is important as a motivator, it’s not the only reward that people seek and that managers can use. In motivating minimum-wage employees, managers might look at employee recognition programs. Many managers also recognize the power of praise although these “pats on the back” must be sincere and given for the right reasons.
Let’s Get Real
My biggest motivation challenge is motivating employees who do not want to be motivated.
Designing Appropriate Rewards Programs
Blue Cross of California, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, pays bonuses to doctors serving its health maintenance organization members based on patient satisfaction and other quality standards. FedEx’s drivers are motivated by a pay system that rewards them for timeliness and how much they deliver.73 Employee rewards programs play a powerful role in motivating appropriate employee behavior.
Within 24 hours after managers of the Heavy Duty Division of Springfield Remanufacturing Company (SRC) gather to discuss a multi-page financial document, every plant employee will have seen the same information. If the employees can meet shipment goals, they’ll all share in a large year-end bonus.74 Many organizations of various sizes involve their employees in workplace decisions by opening up the financial statements (the “books”). They share that information so that employees will be motivated to make better decisions about their work and better able to understand the implications of what they do, how they do it, and the ultimate impact on the bottom line. This approach is called open-book management and many organizations are using it.75 For instance, at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida, CEO George Mikitarian was struggling with the prospect of massive layoffs, facilities closing, and profits declining. So he turned to “town hall meetings” in which employees received updates on the financial condition of the hospital. He also told his employees that it would require their commitment to help find ways to reduce expenses and cut costs.76
A motivational approach in which an organization’s financial statements (the “books”) are shared with all employees
The goal of open-book management is to get employees to think like an owner by seeing the impact their decisions have on financial results. Since many employees don’t have the knowledge or background to understand the financials, they have to be taught how to read and understand the organization’s financial statements. Once employees have this knowledge, however, managers need to regularly share the numbers with them. By sharing this information, employees begin to see the link between their efforts, level of performance, and operational results.
by the numbers 77
percent of employees say that their colleagues are the ones who appreciate them the most at work.
percent of employees say that their relationship with their manager is important to their level of engagement.
percent of employees say that their employer doesn’t provide any forms of motivation.
percent of employees say that the perk they’d most like from their employer is free soda or water.
percent of employees say that verbal recognition is their most preferred form of recognition at work.
percent of employees say that the work itself is what makes going to work worthwhile.
percent of employees say they’re underpaid for the work they do.
employee recognition programs.
Employee recognition programs consist of personal attention and expressing interest, approval, and appreciation for a job well done.78 They can take numerous forms. For instance, Kelly Services introduced a new version of its points-based incentive system to better promote productivity and retention among its employees. The program, called Kelly Kudos, gives employees more choices of awards and allows them to accumulate points over a longer time period. It’s working. Participants generate three times more revenue and hours than employees not receiving points do.79 Nichols Foods, a British manufacturer, has a comprehensive recognition program. The main hallway in the production department is hung with “bragging boards” on which the accomplishments of employee teams are noted. Monthly awards are presented to people who have been nominated by peers for extraordinary effort on the job. And monthly award winners are eligible for further recognition at an off-site meeting for all employees.80 Most managers, however, use a far more informal approach. For example, when Julia Stewart, currently the president and CEO of IHOP International, was president of Applebee’s Restaurants, she would frequently leave sealed notes on the chairs of employees after everyone had gone home.81 These notes explained how important Stewart thought the person’s work was or how much she appreciated the completion of a project. Stewart also relied heavily on voice mail messages left after office hours to tell employees how appreciative she was for a job well done. And recognition doesn’t have to come only from managers. Some 35 percent of companies encourage coworkers to recognize peers for outstanding work efforts.82 For instance, managers at Yum Brands Inc. (the Kentucky-based parent of food chains Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut) were looking for ways to reduce employee turnover. They found a successful customer-service program involving peer recognition at KFC restaurants in Australia. Workers there spontaneously rewarded fellow workers with “Champs cards, an acronym for attributes such as cleanliness, hospitality, and accuracy.” Yum implemented the program in other restaurants around the world, and credits the peer recognition with reducing hourly employee turnover from 181 percent to 109 percent.83
employee recognition programs
Personal attention and expressing interest, approval, and appreciation for a job well done
A recent survey of organizations found that 84 percent had some type of program to recognize worker achievements.84 And do employees think these programs are important? You bet! In a survey conducted a few years ago, a wide range of employees was asked what they considered the most powerful workplace motivator. Their response? Recognition, recognition, and more recognition!85
Let’s Get Real
Guidelines for being a good motivator include:
• Lead by example.
• Have a positive attitude.
• Be able to recognize positive behaviors.
• Allow your team to be a part of the planning and problem-solving process.
Consistent with reinforcement theory, rewarding a behavior with recognition immediately following that behavior is likely to encourage its repetition. And recognition can take many forms. You can personally congratulate an employee in private for a good job. You can send a handwritten note or e-mail message acknowledging something positive that the employee has done. For employees with a strong need for social acceptance, you can publicly recognize accomplishments. To enhance group cohesiveness and motivation, you can celebrate team successes. For instance, you can do something as simple as throw a pizza party to celebrate a team’s accomplishments. During the economic recession, managers got quite creative in how they showed employees they were appreciated.86 For instance, employees at one company got to take home fresh vegetables from the company vegetable garden. In others, managers treated employees who really put forth efforts on a project to a special meal or movie tickets. Also, managers can show employees that no matter what his or her role may be, that their contributions matter. Some of these things may seem simple, but they can go a long way in showing employees they’re valued.
Here’s a survey statistic that may surprise you: 40 percent of employees see no clear link between performance and pay.87 So what are the companies where these employees work paying for? They’re obviously not clearly communicating performance expectations.88 Pay-for-performance programs are variable compensation plans that pay employees on the basis of some performance measure.89 Piece-rate pay plans, wage incentive plans, profit-sharing, and lump-sum bonuses are examples. What differentiates these forms of pay from more traditional compensation plans is that instead of paying a person for time on the job, pay is adjusted to reflect some performance measure. These performance measures might include such things as individual productivity, team or work group productivity, departmental productivity, or the overall organization’s profit performance.
Variable compensation plans that pay employees on the basis of some performance measure
Pay-for-performance is probably most compatible with expectancy theory. Individuals should perceive a strong relationship between their performance and the rewards they receive for motivation to be maximized. If rewards are allocated only on nonperformance factors—such as seniority, job title, or across-the-board pay raises—then employees are likely to reduce their efforts. From a motivation perspective, making some or all an employee’s pay conditional on some performance measure focuses his or her attention and effort toward that measure, then reinforces the continuation of the effort with a reward. If the employee’s team’s or organization’s performance declines, so does the reward. Thus, there’s an incentive to keep efforts and motivation strong.
Pay-for-performance programs are popular. Some 80 percent of large U.S. companies have some form of variable pay plan.90 These types of pay plans have also been tried in other countries such as Canada and Japan. About 30 percent of Canadian companies and 22 percent of Japanese companies have company-wide pay-for-performance plans.91
Do pay-for-performance programs work? For the most part, studies seem to indicate that they do. For instance, one study found that companies that used pay-for-performance programs performed better financially than those that did not.92 Another study showed that pay-for-performance programs with outcome-based incentives had a positive impact on sales, customer satisfaction, and profits.93 If an organization uses work teams, managers should consider group-based performance incentives that will reinforce team effort and commitment. But whether these programs are individual based or team based, managers need to ensure that they’re specific about the relationship between an individual’s pay and his or her expected level of appropriate performance. Employees must clearly understand exactly how performance—theirs and the organization’s—translates into dollars on their paychecks.94
Let’s Get Real: My Response to A Manager’s Dilemma, page 430
I would determine what motivates the employees to perform well by doing a survey. Based upon the survey results, I would create a contest with rewards that motivate the employees. I would also focus on rewarding great behavior. Everyone deserves to be rewarded for their hard work and effort toward achieving the goal. When companies award their employees, it proves to the employees that they are appreciated. Therefore, the employees will work harder and do better. If you take care of your team, the team will take care of you.
What Would You Do?
Retail Store Manager
CHAPTER 16 PREPARING FOR: Exams/Quizzes
CHAPTER SUMMARY by Learning Outcomes
LEARNING OUTCOME Define motivation. Motivation is the process by which a person’s efforts are energized, directed, and sustained toward attaining a goal. The energy element is a measure of intensity, drive, or vigor. The high level of effort needs to be directed in ways that help the organization achieve its goals. Employees must persist in putting forth effort to achieve those goals.
LEARNING OUTCOME Compare and contrast early theories of motivation. In Maslow’s hierarchy, individuals move up the hierarchy of five needs (physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization) as needs are substantially satisfied. A need that’s substantially satisfied no longer motivates. A Theory X manager believes that people don’t like to work or won’t seek out responsibility so they have to be threatened and coerced to work. A Theory Y manager assumes that people like to work and seek out responsibility, so they will exercise self-motivation and self-direction. Herzberg’s theory proposed that intrinsic factors associated with job satisfaction were what motivated people. Extrinsic factors associated with job dissatisfaction simply kept people from being dissatisfied. Three-needs theory proposed three acquired needs that are major motives in work: need for achievement, need for affiliation, and need for power.
LEARNING OUTCOME Compare and contrast contemporary theories of motivation. Goal-setting theory says that specific goals increase performance, and difficult goals, when accepted, result in higher performance than do easy goals. Important points in goal-setting theory include intention to work toward a goal as a major source of job motivation; specific hard goals that produce higher levels of output than generalized goals; participation in setting goals as preferable to assigning goals, but not always; feedback that guides and motivates behavior, especially self-generated feedback; and contingencies that affect goal setting—goal commitment, self-efficacy, and national culture. Reinforcement theory says that behavior is a function of its consequences. To motivate, use positive reinforcers to reinforce desirable behaviors. Ignore undesirable behavior rather than punishing it. Job enlargement involves horizontally expanding job scope by adding more tasks or increasing how many times the tasks are done. Job enrichment vertically expands job depth by giving employees more control over their work. The job characteristics model says five core job dimensions (skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback) are used to design motivating jobs. Another job design approach proposed looking at relational aspects and proactive aspects of jobs. Equity theory focuses on how employees compare their inputs–outcomes ratios to relevant others’ ratios. A perception of inequity will cause an employee to do something about it. Procedural justice has a greater influence on employee satisfaction than does distributive justice. Expectancy theory says that an individual tends to act in a certain way based on the expectation that the act will be followed by a desired outcome. Expectancy is the effort–performance linkage (how much effort do I need to exert to achieve a certain level of performance); instrumentality is the performance–reward linkage (achieving at a certain level of performance will get me a specific reward); and valence is the attractiveness of the reward (Is it the reward that I want?).
LEARNING OUTCOME Discuss current issues in motivation. Managers must cope with four current motivation issues: motivating in tough economic circumstances, managing cross-cultural challenges, motivating unique groups of workers, and designing appropriate rewards programs. During tough economic conditions, managers must look for creative ways to keep employees’ efforts energized, directed, and sustained toward achieving goals. Most motivational theories were developed in the United States and have a North American bias. Some theories (Maslow’s need hierarchy, achievement need, and equity theory) don’t work well for other cultures. However, the desire for interesting work seems important to all workers and Herzberg’s motivator (intrinsic) factors may be universal. Managers face challenges in motivating unique groups of workers. A diverse workforce is looking for flexibility. Professionals want job challenge and support, and are motivated by the work itself. Contingent workers want the opportunity to become permanent or to receive skills training. Recognition programs and sincere appreciation for work done can be used to motivate low-skilled, minimum-wage workers. Open-book management is when financial statements (the books) are shared with employees who have been taught what they mean. Employee recognition programs consist of personal attention, approval, and appreciation for a job well done. Pay-for-performance programs are variable compensation plans that pay employees on the basis of some performance measure.
To check your understanding of learning outcomes– go to mymanagementlab.com and try the chapter questions.
REVIEW AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
What is motivation? Explain the three key elements of motivation.
Describe each of the four early theories of motivation.
How do goal-setting, reinforcement, and equity theories explain employee motivation?
What are the different job design approaches to motivation?
Explain the three key linkages in expectancy theory and their role in motivation.
What economic and cross-cultural challenges do managers face when motivating employees?
What challenges do managers face in motivating today’s workforce?
Describe open book management, employee recognition, and pay-for-performance programs.
Most of us have to work for a living, and a job is a central part of our lives. So why do managers have to worry so much about employee motivation issues?
Can an individual be too motivated? Discuss.
PREPARING FOR: My Career
A cashier for a large chain bookstore in Manhattan is tired of the elaborate scripts she’s required to recite during every transaction.95 “It’s tedious to blurt out those little phrases and customers just look away.” And you’ve probably heard these scripted appeals if you’ve gone through a fast-food drive-through—would you like fries or a drink with that or would you like to make that a large? Retail workers today “get more micromanaging than Noah got from God” … all in an attempt to boost sales. What do you think of these techniques? Are they just simply annoying or do they contain some element of ethics? What ethical issues do you see in these attempts at efficiency and productivity? How could organizations ensure that such activities aren’t ethically questionable?
Developing Your Motivating Employees Skill
About the Skill
Because a simple, all-encompassing set of motivational guidelines is not available, the following suggestions draw on the essence of what we know about motivating employees.
Steps in Practicing the Skill
1. Recognize individual differences. Almost every contemporary motivation theory recognizes that employees are not homogeneous. They have different needs. They also differ in terms of attitudes, personality, and other important individual variables.
2. Match people to jobs. A great deal of evidence shows the motivational benefits of carefully matching people to jobs. People who lack the necessary skills to perform successfully will be at a disadvantage.
3. Use goals. You should ensure that employees have hard, specific goals and feedback on how well they’re doing in pursuit of those goals. In many cases, these goals should be participatively set.
4. Ensure that goals are perceived as attainable. Regardless of whether goals are actually attainable, employees who see goals as unattainable will reduce their effort. Be sure, therefore, that employees feel confident that increased efforts can lead to achieving performance goals.
5. Individualize rewards. Because employees have different needs, what acts as a reinforcer for one may not do so for another. Use your knowledge of employee differences to individualize the rewards over which you have control. Some of the more obvious rewards that you can allocate include pay, promotions, autonomy, and the opportunity to participate in goal setting and decision making.
6. Link rewards to performance. You need to make rewards contingent on performance. Rewarding factors other than performance will only reinforce the importance of those other factors. Key rewards such as pay increases and promotions should be given for the attainment of employees’ specific goals.
7. Check the system for equity. Employees should perceive that rewards or outcomes are equal to the inputs given. On a simplistic level, experience, ability, effort, and other obvious inputs should explain differences in pay, responsibility, and other obvious outcomes.
8. Don’t ignore money. It’s easy to get so caught up in setting goals, creating interesting jobs, and providing opportunities for participation that you forget that money is a major reason why most people work. Thus, the allocation of performance-based wage increases, piece-work bonuses, employee stock ownership plans, and other pay incentives are important in determining employee motivation.
List five criteria (for example, pay, recognition, challenging work, friendships, status, the opportunity to do new things, the opportunity to travel, and so forth) that would be most important to you in a job. Rank them by order of importance.
Break into small groups of three or four and compare your responses. What patterns, if any, did you find?
MY TURN TO BE A MANAGER
● A good habit to get into if you don’t already do it is goal-setting. Set goals for yourself using the suggestions from goal-setting theory. Write these down and keep them in a notebook. Track your progress toward achieving these goals.
● Describe a task that you’ve done recently for which you exerted a high level of effort. Explain your behavior, using any three of the motivation approaches described in this chapter.
● Pay attention to times when you’re highly motivated and times when you’re not as motivated. Write down a description of these. What accounts for the difference in your level of motivation?
● Interview three managers about how they motivate their employees. What have they found that works the best? Write up your findings in a report and be prepared to present it in class.
● Using the job characteristics model, redesign the following jobs to be more motivating: retail store sales associate, utility company meter reader, and checkout cashier at a discount store. In a written report, describe for each job at least two specific actions you would take for each of the five core job dimensions.
● Do some serious thinking about what you want from your job after graduation. Make a list of what’s important to you. Are you looking for a pleasant work environment, challenging work, flexible work hours, fun coworkers, or what? Discuss how you will discover whether a particular job will help you get those things.
● Steve’s and Mary’s recommended readings: Terry R. Bacon, What People Want (Davies-Black Publishing, 2006); Dennis W. Bakke, Joy at Work (PVG, 2005); Leon Martel, High Performers (Jossey-Bass, 2002); Jon R. Katzenbach, Peak Performance (Harvard Business School Press, 2000); and Steven Kerr (ed.), Ultimate Rewards: What Really Motivates People to Achieve (Harvard Business School Press, 1997).
● Find five different examples of employee recognition programs from organizations with which you’re familiar or from articles that you find. Write a report describing your examples and evaluating what you think about the various approaches.
● Find the Web site of Great Place to Work Institute [www.greatplacetowork.com]. What does the Institute say about what makes an organization a great place to work? Next, locate the lists of the Best Companies to Work For. Choose one company from each of the international lists. Now research that company and describe what it does that makes it a great place to work.
● In your own words, write down three things you learned in this chapter about being a good manager.
● Self-knowledge can be a powerful learning tool. Go to mymanagementlab.com and complete these self-assessment exercises: What Motivates Me? What Are My Dominant Needs? What Rewards Do I Value Most? What’s My View on the Nature of People? What’s My Job’s Motivating Potential? Do I Want an Enriched Job? How Confident Am I in My Ability to Succeed? What’s My Attitude Toward Achievement? Using the results of your assessments, identify personal strengths and weaknesses. What will you do to reinforce your strengths and improve your weaknesses?
CASE APPLICATION 1 Searching For?
It gets more than 3,000 applications a day.96 And it’s no wonder! With a massage every other week, onsite laundry, swimming pool and spa, free delicious all-you-can-eat gourmet meals, what more could an employee want? Sounds like an ideal job, doesn’t it? However, at Google, many people are demonstrating by their decisions to leave the company that all those perks (and these are just a few) aren’t enough to keep them there. As one analyst said, “Yes, Google’s making gobs of money. Yes, it’s full of smart people. Yes, it’s a wonderful place to work. So why are so many people leaving?”
Google has been in the top five list of “best companies to work for” by Fortune magazine for four years running and was number one on the list for two of those four years. But make no mistake. Google’s executives decided to offer all these fabulous perks for several reasons: to attract the best knowledge workers it can in an intensely competitive, cutthroat market; to help employees work long hours and not have to deal with time-consuming personal chores; to show employees they’re valued; and to have employees remain Googlers (the name used for employees) for many years. But a number of Googlers have jumped ship and given up these fantastic benefits to go out on their own.
Former Google vice president Adam Bosworth, who headed up the Google Health team, left the company to start his own Web-based consumer health service, Keas, Inc. The vision at Keas is to help people manage their health care online from staying healthy to recovering from an illness.
For instance, Sean Knapp and two colleagues, brothers Bismarck and Belsasar Lepe, came up with an idea on how to handle Web video. They left Google, or as one person put it, “expelled themselves from paradise to start their own company.” When the threesome left the company, Google really wanted them and their project to stay. Google offered them a “blank check.” But the trio realized they would do all the hard work and Google would own the product. So off they went, for the excitement of a start-up.
If this were an isolated occurrence, it would be easy to write off. But it’s not. Other talented Google employees have done the same thing. In fact, there are so many of them who have left that they’ve formed an informal alumni club of ex-Googlers turned entrepreneurs.
What’s it like to work at Google? (Hint: Go to Google’s Web site and click on About Google. Find the section on Jobs at Google and go from there.) What’s your assessment of the company’s work environment?
Google is doing a lot for its employees, but not enough to retain some talented employees. Using what you’ve learned from studying the various motivation theories, what does this situation tell you about employee motivation?
What do you think is Google’s biggest challenge in keeping employees motivated?
If you were managing a team of Google employees, how would you keep them motivated?
CASE APPLICATION 2 Best Practices at Best Buy
Do traditional workplaces reward long hours instead of efficient hours? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a workplace in which “people can do whatever they want, whenever they want, as long as the work gets done?” Well, that’s the approach that Best Buy is taking.97 And this radical workplace experiment, which obviously has many implications for employee motivation, has been an interesting and enlightening journey for the company.
In 2002, then CEO Brad Anderson (now the company’s vice chairman) introduced a carefully crafted program called ROWE—Results-Only Work Environment. ROWE was the inspiration of two HRM managers at Best Buy, Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, who had been given the task of taking a flexible work program that was in effect at corporate headquarters in Minnesota and developing it for everyone in the company. Ressler and Thompson said, “We realized that the flexible work program was successful as employee engagement was up, productivity was higher, but the problem was the participants were being viewed as ‘not working.’” And that was a common reaction from managers who didn’t really view flexible work employees as “really working because they aren’t in the office working traditional hours.” The two women set about to change that by creating a program in which “everyone would be evaluated solely on their results, not on how long they worked.”
The first thing to understand about ROWE is that it’s not about schedules. Instead, it’s about changing the work culture of an organization, which is infinitely more difficult than changing schedules. With Anderson’s blessing and support, they embarked on this journey to overhaul the company’s corporate workplace.
The first step in implementing ROWE was a culture audit at company headquarters, which helped them establish a baseline for how employees perceived their work environment. After four months, the audit was repeated. During this time, Best Buy executives were being educated about ROWE and what it was all about. Obviously, it was important to have their commitment to the program. The second phase involved explaining the ROWE philosophy to all the corporate employees and training managers on how to maintain control in a ROWE workplace. In the third phase, work unit teams were free to figure out how to implement the changes. Each team found a different way to keep the flexibility from spiraling into chaos. For instance, the public relations team got pagers to make sure someone was always available in an emergency. Some employees in the finance department used software that turns voice mail into e-mail files accessible from anywhere, making it easier for them to work at home. Four months after ROWE was implemented, Ressler and Thompson followed up with another culture check to see how everyone was doing.
So what’s the bottom line for Best Buy? Productivity jumped 41 percent and voluntary turnover fell to 8 percent from 12 percent. They also discovered that when employees’ engagement with their jobs increased, average annual sales increased 2 percent. And employees said that the freedom changed their lives. “They don’t know if they work fewer hours—they’ve stopped counting—but they are more productive.” As Ressler and Thompson stated, “Work isn’t a place you go—it’s something you do.”
Describe the elements of ROWE. What do you think might be the advantages and drawbacks of this program?
Using one or more motivation theories from the chapter, explain why you think ROWE works.
What might be the challenges for managers in motivating employees in a program like this?
Does this sound like something you would be comfortable with? Why or why not?
What’s your interpretation of the statement that “Work isn’t a place you go—it’s something you do”? Do you agree? Why or why not?