The Knowledge of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Sources of Motivation Improve Employee Performance

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According to page 92 of the ABE level 5 MAO study guide, motivation concerns the factors which push and pull us to behave in certain ways and is used to reflect the amount of effort or drive an individual puts into an activity. Whilst there is no clear consensus on what motivation is, it is an important driver of performance. It is widely held that motivated employees generate high levels of performance and de-motivated employees are likely to underperform.

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Mr. Abraham Maslow also states that motivation is the result of a person’s attempt at fulfilling five basic needs: physiological, safety, social, esteem and self-actualization. According to Maslow, these needs can create internal pressures that can influence a person’s behavior, and I agree with him wholeheartedly. Just imagine a person who doesn’t have the drive, the will, the energy to go to work, they do it just because. If that is compared with another individual who is motivated, and is rearing to go, then it is true that internal pressure does affects ones’ behaviour.

Sources of Motivation

There are two sources of motivation, that is, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is triggered from within, and page 92 of the MAO study guide further stated that intrinsic motivation are factors which relate to valued outcomes or benefits from within, e.g. feelings of self-esteem, respect, achievement and recognition. Intrinsic factors have a significant impact on motivation and satisfaction. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is experienced from tangible, and relate to valued outcomes which are external and provided by others e.g. Pay, promotion, recognition, gift etc.

Role of the Manager

Part of the roles and responsibilities of managers is for them to identify ways in which they can motivate their staff. So, during the performance evaluation process, they could have open dialogue about how the staff feels about their current job satisfaction and find out what they could do to enhance the situation. Based on the employees’ performance, recommendation could be made for promotion, recognition, or even that the individual be given an incremental move in the salary scale. The manager could also recommend training, so that the employee could add new knowledge or as a preparation for a higher position. It is impossible for the manager to provide all elements of motivation; however, they have a role when it comes to the job. According to page 93 of the MAO, Abraham Maslow’s Hierachy of needs, people have an ascending hierarchy of needs and that unfilled needs dominate motivation and behaviour, and to a great extent it is true. Consider how people behave whenever certain needs are not satisfied for example, if someone is seems gainfully employed, and at the end of each pay cycle, that individual cannot afford to pay all their basic expenses, that is distressing and demotivating. On the flip side if those basic needs were being met, there would be some amount of contentment, as well as motivation. We cannot disconnect these basic needs from the outcomes of the employee’s feelings as they are contributary factors.

Herzberg two factor theory also put forward motivators and hygiene factors that motivates and demotivates respectively. Some non-financial motivators he that suggested achievement, recognition, responsibility at work, meaningful and fulfilling work, appropriate relationship etc. He then mentioned the hygiene factors which are pay, financial rewards, working condition and appropriate supervision and policies, and that if those conditions are not met how staff could become demotivated. Most managers have a degree, and I am sure that they have been exposed to these theories which have been tested and proven. While some will use best practice, there are those who use their own self-taught theories, and that’s to the detriment of their organizations. It cannot be that employees are left starved of all those motivational factors, otherwise they will become so demotivated and move to another organization that understand exactly how to motivate their staff. While my study is on Cross Stitch, I would like to use my current employment situation as an example. I am an administrative assistant, with over twenty years of experience, however, my current situation is that I feel very demotivated, nonetheless, I do the job. It’s like a chore at this point in time, because no matter how exceptional I do, I am still being micromanaged and dispossessed of my initiative even if the task is elementary.

Additionally, Emanating from John Stacey Adams’ Equity Theory, is that if there isn’t fairness in the workplace there is a tendency that employees will become demotivated, and I want to agree. As humans, we are going to react to situations that are less than favourable. So, in the case where a staff is very qualified, disciplined, works smart and hard, and they are not fairly remunerated, it is natural for the to become demotivated if they realized that another colleague who is quite the opposite is receiving way more than they are receiving. Employees should receive the same remuneration as their colleague if they are doing the same job and doing it well. Therefore, managers should be mindful of these disparities regardless of gender, race or age.

Reasons for Being Motivated or Demotivated

According to page 93 of the ABE MAO study guide content theory focus on what motivates, by considering individual needs, whilst, process theory focuses on how individuals are motivated. That being said, while managers are not super humans, most of them have done some amount of human psychology, and as such should understand their employee. Therefore, they should never let a chance slip to motivate their employees, if the gap for that opportunity gets too wide, it can turn out to be a negative situation. Victor Vroom speaks of the expectancy theory, and as humans we all have expectations, and whenever those expectations aren’t met. It’s demotivating. For example, if a staff have done exceptionally well, and they know that they should get a bonus and it was not paid, that is demotivating.

Methods of Motivation

Studies have shown that money is not the only motivating factor. As such managers could use methods such as job enrichment, job enlargement, promotion, additional responsibility, recognition and rewards, fairness, and equity, among other elements.

As I have previously indicated, all the various motivational theories have been tested and proven. Managers at Cross Stitch could enhance the motivation of their staff through the application of some of these elements, it could improve staff retention. Give staff a sense of confidence, they would produce more, be more committed in their task, and even more dedicated in terms of protecting the assets of the organization. Motivation triggers a lot of positive energy, it radiates, and customers will feel that energy. They will want to return to get that warm customer service, and it all adds up to a sustainable organization. 

07 July 2022

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