Motivation and Employee Performance
Prime the pump
May 14, 2024

Motivation and Employee Performance

RECENTLY I have come across a statistic on VANTAGECIRCLE that claims that 52% of employees perform their task without enthusiasm or care for their work.

This may have been the reality that Yvette was grappling with when she asked whether I had any tips on how she might motivate her employees to improve their performance.

I wonder whether you have had any success in motivating your employees to improve work performance. So many people think that motivation is something they can apportion and like a special formula, it can transform unenthusiastic employees into high performers. It is true that organizations rely on human activities to achieve their objectives, and having employees who perform assigned tasks without being coerced makes managing them less complicated, Child 1984.

However, the age-old question is, how to get employees to perform at their highest potential.

If you expect employees to prioritize the organisation’s goals above their personal interest and desires, forget it. Maybe you have been using policies, rewards, and even threats to secure employees’ devotion How has that been working for you?

Employees join organizations with individual goals, and generally, they are more interested in pursuing their personal interest over the organisation’s. It is the managers’ task therefore to find out what are employees’ personal goals and show an interest in them achieving those goals.

As Zig Ziglar eluded, for organizations to get what they want, they must help employees to get what they want.

Vroom 1964, argues that employees’ performance is dependent on the environment in which they are made to work, their ability, which refers to their knowledge and skills to perform assigned tasks, and motivation, how inspired they are to get the task completed.Vroom also argues that it is only two of those three component managers have control over. Managers can influence the knowledge and skills of employees by selecting competent people for the job and providing training and development opportunities. Managers can control the environment by influencing the condition of work and ensuring that the necessary equipment is available to do the work.

However, managers cannot motivate employees to do the job well, because motivation comes from inside of a person.Vroom suggests that an employee’s motivation cannot be altered by a manager.

The belief that managers can motivate employees to perform well and when employees under perform it is because they are not being motivated by managers, is a myth. The closest a manager can get to motivating employees is by creating the environment around them that they find mentally or emotionally stimulating, and ensuring

that they have the ability to do the job. This suggests that, in addition to employees having the ability to get the job done, they also need to be in an environment that caters for some of their most important needs. It is only after employees’ interests are taken care of would they be inspired to willingly use their skill in the interest of the organization.

In the 1920s, a series of studies were conducted by Elton Mayo on workers at the Hawthrone plant of the Western Electric Company, Illinois, USA. Mayo set out to establish that employees’ performance was dependent on work environment, knowledge and skills, and relationship with colleagues, and between employees and their manager.

One study examined the impact of physical environment on productivity and whether workers were more responsive and produced more in less time under certain physical conditions such as improved lighting.

However, Mayo found that the relationship workers had with their manager and fellow employees had a bigger impact for their productivity than the physical condition. Mayo discovered that in an environment where employees received additional attention from their managers and felt like their managers cared about them and were interested in their work, employees’ performance improved.

The study also concluded that social factors was as important as financial incentive.

Many managers are mistaken by the idea that all employees need in money, a free lunch or drink. Many of them believe that once employees are being paid, they should be inspired to work efficiently. However, gone are the days when a pay cheque was sufficient to inspire great performance.

To get the most out of employees, managers need to treat them as people.

Managers need to prioritize employees within the organization. Employees need to feel valued and appreciated.

They need to know that you know their names and have an interest in their well-being.They need proper working environment and opportunities to learn and grow. Otherwise, you can break the bank to pay your staff, they will take your money but they will not give you their best until they are treated as your best.