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A Discussion on the Importance of Motivation in an Employee's Performance

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The first section of my literature review will discuss why money is not a proper incentive for employee’s performance. By doing so, I aim to show audiences why other means should be utilized in these situations. The second portion of this literature review will be devoted to showing other mechanisms that will increase employee’s motivation and performance without the use of financial gains. Lastly, I would like to dedicate the final section of this review to showing audiences why these other methods are more realistic and the benefits they possess. Money cannot buy everything in a workplace, and that is what I hope to conclude with. By the end of this review, I hope to have learned a great deal, and teach others more about these issues.

Money is Not the Motivation

The use of money has been woven into the workplace for increases in production and performance alike. Monetary incentives are the number one tactic used when business’s want to get more from their workers. These incentives can come in various forms; however, these can become quite costly to business’s and are not the only mechanism that works. Money is not a proper motivational incentive because there are several negative consequences that follow it (Tang,1992).

Money by all means can motivate most individuals. But to those who have more than enough, this cannot be the only factor. The survey utilized in this study tested the importance of money incentives in the work place, and many realizations were found. Although many people enjoy pay increases and so forth, many employees enjoyed positive words just as much. This study indicates to us that money isn’t everything and should not be the only strategic force in recognition for a job well done. Most people who are very passionate about their positions, wanted to increase their performance for their own sake and the good of the companies as well. Money is in the eye of the beholder, and for some, these incentives just don’t work (Tang,1992).

According to Camerer, at al. : “The studies show that the effects of incentives are mixed and complicated. The extreme positions, that incentives make no difference at all, or always eliminate persistent irrationalities, are false. Organizing debate around those positions or using them to make editorial judgments is harmful and should stop(1). These incentives cannot be utilized for many individuals in the workplace. That is why business’s need to formulate other types of incentives to reach to many different workers (Camerer,at al., 1999).

On judgement or decision based tasks, incentives can severely hurt. Especially money incentives because they allocate hasty choices. Money as a motivation tends to bring out competition and the worst in people, these types of incentives can harm employees and companies alike. Sometimes incentives can also make no difference at all in the workplace. This is especially true for risky decision making. These incentives are not enough to make practical decision, especially for those with ethical principles (Camerer,at al., 1999).

Performance and motivation are dependent on several variables. Whether it be the individual, environment, or personal beliefs/passions. Incentives should vary if form and should not only include money. This review reveals to us that money can either hurt or enhance a business. Companies must be highly informed with these ideas, and conclude other motivational strategies to help increase performance (Camerer,at al., 1999).

As we can see from the research above. Money cannot be utilized as a proactive incentive. Most managers believe in the power that comes from offering monetary incentives to workers. These mechanisms are simply default in most companies. Although, sometimes these means are successful, they do not identify the real problems of the scenarios. This article claims that money offerings do not alter attitudes or underlie our behaviors. These are quick fixes to problems that often cause many other problems. Rewards do not enable strong commitments to the company, they are just temporary solutions. Even if they do increase performance, this performance captured is not consistent, and will be unlikely available next time around. (Kohn,1993).

Rewards are defined as manipulative in this article. It claims that both reward and punishment are two sides of the same coin. They are considered both to have punitive effects in the workplace. Monetary rewards can also have a negative effect on employees. It creates a competitive atmosphere in the workplace and can cause many issues that were not initially present. Once these rewards are eliminated, they are already expected by employees. It is likely that performance will decrease (Kohn,1993).

Alternatives to Monetary Incentives

Although money incentives can be highly effective, they also come with several complications and restrains on business’s. Which is why firms must construct alternative motivational strategies. One mechanism that been proven to work in employment settings is the enacting of goal setting. Each week or month, a firm will work towards a specific goal. When tasks are conducted, it aims focus on necessary changes. This motivates employees to work together to fix a certain goal or means (Latham,et al.,1979).

Compared to money incentives, goal setting can often cost companies little to nothing. Goal setting is especially effective when utilized to its full potential. This includes active participation, both of the employer and employees alike. Of course, without the specific conditions of this, even it can fail as money. Even some employers are not engaged in these tatics because they offer little incentive to them personally. Nonetheless, these methods have shown to be positive alternatives and should at least be tried (Latham,et al.,1979).

This article also presented highly valuable information regarding motivation of work members. This article starts out with the conclusion that pay raises or improving work conditions will not be enough to encourage workers to be productive. It does however conclude, that giving workers challenges is one way to motivate them to work. This works because workers become consumed in work and they either have the option to do the work, or lose their jobs. This is increasingly true in competitive business fields (Herzberg, 1986).

Often times, this work is easy persuaded unto those employed. However, even this solution has some circumstances in which it will not work. This is especially true when working conditions are not meeting employee expectation. In these cases, a firm list with improvements should be crafted by the entire team. This is one way that challenging work can be the complete makeup of the motivation within a firm (Herzberg, 1986).

We have viewed already two alternatives to money that are utilized to promote increased productivity. These were the utilization of goal setting and challenging work. Another noteworthy alternative to cash is utilization of praise in workplace settings. Employees love to be congratulated and recognized when their merits are good. Although this mechanism may seem a tad silly, it actually works (Nelson,1996).

In 1999, a survey was conducted by Mastery Works, Inc., 500 professionals were surveyed on what qualities would need to be present for them to continue working in their current jobs. One surprising discovery was that only some 30% listed wages. Most who were surveyed claimed they wanted to be praised in their work place. Who would have thought that something as simple as saying ‘good job’ would be highly satisfying to workers. The main reasoning for this is because very few jobs appreciate workers for outstanding work (Nelson,1996).

Amongst this suggestion, was a list of ten other alternative ways to enhance motivation in the workplace. Another suggestion that I found very fit was striving to create an open and fun work environment. Let’s face it, nobody really wants to work, but it is essential for life. However, a more fun environment would create motivation for workers. Work becomes a fun and exciting activity and promotes each employee to try their hardest. The last strategy that was listed was providing workers with a sense of ownership. Whether it’s the CEO, or an ordinary worker, they all contribute to the same goal. Workers who feel important will act important (Nelson,1996).

As we can see there are several ways that employees can be motivated in the workplace, not including monetary incentives. There has been a lot of research done on such issues, simply because businesses can’t afford pay incentives all the time. One interesting fact that I found in the course of this article being reviewed was that workers are motivated when they have sympathetic help with personal problems. This was found in research conducted in the span of 40 years and helped identify many motivational forces utilized in business. This survey included several relatable questions and is responsible for much of the information available on these topics (Kovach,1987).

The motivation of supervisors and workers is also different, which was revealed in this article. However, sometimes money can be the leading motivation for both. Most often managers and supervisors of the sort are only concerned with profits. This is because they own the business, and are the ones responsible for downfall. In some sense, it is easy to understand why they are concerned primarily with money. However, workers are generally not concerned with money as the primary motivation for work. Workers tend to want to be valued and appreciated and that is what makes their work experience a positive and motivational one (Kovach,1987).

Money Can’t Buy Everything

Although sometimes, money incentives are essentially. Because, let’s face it, money provides us the ability to live. However, as this article proclaims, there are many things that money can’t buy in the workplace. This is first shown to audiences with an example of voting. Candidates cannot simply pay to receive one’s vote, even though surely, many would take this offer. Just as votes cannot be bought, neither can workers. Something outside from money must convince some to work (Sandel,2012).

Another thing that money can’t buy is ethics or morals. Generally, the utilization of money complicates one’s moral beliefs. Money tends to drive people to lose all their ethics, because money is a powerful drug. In the workplace competition for money can make workers turn against each other and pursue their own investments. The utilization of money can hinder many negative effects. Money cannot buy ethics or morals and workers should not sellout to employers(Sandel,2012).

Often, many safety issues are not taken care of due to insufficient funds. Money may be able to purchase the necessary products, but cannot teach safety tips. This article observed how safety can be a very motivational component of performance. Workers desire to feel safe while they are working, this is especially true in factory type jobs. Monies that could go towards safety gear, is being spent on pay increases and other unnecessary expenses. I am certainly, not saying, by any means that employees should not be compensated, but most often the owners of these business’s keep a large portion of the profits and do not distribute them fairy. Money can’t buy safety training, and that is what is needed in many jobs (Griffin, Neal,2000).

When so many other issues are ignored, we can assume that money is not being spent wisely in a business. No one should fear performing at work, because many implications were enacted to fight against this. Much legislation was created for fair working conditions and so forth, workers have rights that should be upheld to the highest degree. Not only can workers be hurt under unsafe work conditions, but employers will be forced to compensate for any harm done. Money can’t buy proper safety or safety training. Money doesn’t have to be the only motivation for workers (Griffin, Neal,2000).

Extrinsic rewards such as money can harm intrinsic motivation. And money can’t replace the sensation of self-accomplishment. Extrinsic rewards are anything physical that can be given, such as money and other physical rewards. Prior to obtaining such rewards, workers worked for the sake of feeling proud of themselves. This article offered a good explanation for this concept. For instance, say you loved mowing lawns, but you never were paid for them. You simply did the work because you enjoyed it, but once money was offered, the brain reconstructs its thinking (Deci, 1971).

It is apparent that in the work field, that employees expect some sort of income. However, money incentives are an additive on yearly salaries. Which makes this fit in with this article. People can be motivated without money. People should be concerned with their work and want to make improvements naturally, this is in their blood. This is part of intrinsic value. Workers should not depend on money to motivate their practices (Deci, 1971).

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GradesFixer. (2018, July, 22) A Discussion on the Importance of Motivation in an Employee’s Performance. Retrived February 22, 2020, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-discussion-on-the-importance-of-motivation-in-an-employees-performance/
"A Discussion on the Importance of Motivation in an Employee’s Performance." GradesFixer, 22 Jul. 2018, https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-discussion-on-the-importance-of-motivation-in-an-employees-performance/. Accessed 22 February 2020.
GradesFixer. 2018. A Discussion on the Importance of Motivation in an Employee’s Performance., viewed 22 February 2020, <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-discussion-on-the-importance-of-motivation-in-an-employees-performance/>
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