Essay On Motivational Theories
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Workplace, Employee, Performance, Customers, Employment, Goals, Motivation, Training
The level of job satisfaction of the employees depend upon the degree of work motivation provided to them by the management. The incentives, perks and amount of inspiration is directly proportional to job satisfaction and the quality of work done by the employees. There are many motivational theories which are guided by the concept of needs, behavior and level of satisfaction. These motivational theories form a base for the inherent analysis about the performance satisfaction levels of the employees in a retail superstore. The company under analysis is a retail superstore with employees working in management department, customer handling department, and sales team. The employee under the process of this qualitative analysis was the team head of customer handling department (Rainlall, 2004). The quality of rewards, the type of incentives, the degree and mode of appreciationswill form a part of analysis of employees of an organization. This qualitative analysis will give an insight into the mindset of the employees working in a retail store and would help to formulate the strategies and techniques to enhance the employee satisfaction level and raise the level of employee retention.
Expectancy Theory (Effort and Performance)
The expectancy theory is generally regarded as based over a mental process including elements of choice that is controlled by an individual. This theory explains that the effort done by an individual will help in achievement of the goals or to attain a desired level of performance.The individuals have the ability to judge the level of their caliber and the required skills or knowledge to attain certain goals and this attribute is termed as self efficacy. It is believed that when the goals are set at a level which is too high or any performance expectation that is so difficult to attain will lead to a level of very low expectancy leading to a belief that the desired results are almost unattainable.A high level of perceived control is expected for the level of motivation to be high and good but in some cases when the control of power to monitor extends beyond influence, or expectancy then the level of motivation falls down.
In regard with the retail superstore, self efficacy is required to modulate oneself into the required service environment as per the structure and culture of the store. For the employee, it was necessary to learn the skills and the required knowledge by the means of training and pre sessions on hand. The employee had a strong belief on the practical sessions given to him prior to joining the actual customer service department. The effective practical training helped him a lot to imbibe the service values and ethics in the normal situations. However, he claimed that theoretical training is not of much use in the customer service department as it is hard to follow the protocol in every situation. So, the effort he put into his practical training made him attain the respectable position in the organization being a team head (Ford, 1977). The type of training was a practical application in the customer handling department. Staff members and some supporting premium customers were invited on a periodic basis to facilitate the training of the fresher employees in the customer handling department. They were given special training for heavy seasons and for sales period for facilitation of customers on a smooth basis. More an employee was able to handle the haste of the customer handling, more were the chances of better performance leading to rewards and incentives. The employee interviewed was once a part of the training sessions and now he used to lead those training sessions giving instructions and guidelines. The effort he put into the initial training sessions bore fruits to get his position. However, the resources present during the training sessions like computer aided training, specialized observations and stress training were not present due to lack of funds invested in the field of training. The only drawback was the lack of resources which led to a minimal difference in the performance output of the employees. The present team head is investing innovative strategies so as to flourish effective efforts to convert them into high class performance. Therefore, according to the analysis, hard work at the time of training with a full fledged practical knowledge bore fruits in the field of performance. Human resources aided to achieve a high level of performance but due to lack of some contemporary advanced resources, the training was not up to the mark to handle situations of stress and overcrowd.
Expectancy Theory (Performance and Outcome)
This relation holds on a factor called instrumentality which is expectation of a reward on meeting up the performance level as set in the goals. The directly proportional nature of performance and outcomes in the form of rewards is a sign of high level of instrumentality. In the field of customer handling department of retail store, good performance is rarely noticed and awarded. It is considered as a duty of the employees to serve the customers in whatever number they come and whatever time. The level of instrumentality in the customer service is low as high performance are rarely honored and regarded. There are periodic rewards and appraisals given to the entire team in the form of internal perks and benefits. However, in some exceptional performance cases, employees are rewarded with some discount coupons, free gifts, promotions, holiday vouchers, increase in salary or other benefits for the purpose of sense of accomplishment. High performance players or employees are definitely recognized and rewarded but to a certain extent. The trend of accelerated promotions are not in the department of customer service and therefore, the employee interviewed took some years to gain such a position in the company. As a matter of fact, it is not advised to be a low performer as the incentives for an employee having a mediocre or low record are so shallow. The intrinsic satisfaction with an employee relates to the job satisfaction achieved after gaining accomplishments and incentives for a good or highly performed task. It is an internal appreciation for the work. As far as extrinsic motivations are concerned then, every company should have reward facility to be able to keep the employees highly motivatedby giving them what they deserve for a good job (Mitchell, 1982). This will infuse a level of confidence thereby inspiring and motivating the employees to perform better or at the same good pace to gain constant appreciation and positive outcomes for the performance. There should be provisions in the employee’s company to raise the level of instrumentality as suggested by him in the interview. As the analysis, it was observed that the perks were not of a high quality or honor as they related with the stature of the employee. In the present position, being the team head, the employee got vacation packages and salary increments for a high performance with escalated sales in the store. The job of the employees in the customer service department is to help the customers and handle every query including their complaints to make the shopping experience worth praise and satisfaction. So, performance is not evaluated in terms of output or some other measurable term but is highlighted with the profits made due to sales and the response of the customers taken in a timely manner. Customer response will guide the output of the employee and decide the perks given to them as a reward.It is encouraged in the customer service department of the retail store to give a high and quality performance with the customers to anticipate some extra perks from the co employees.
Expectancy Theory (Valence)
Valence is regarded as the value and the position attached with the rewards associated with the performance outcomes. This will be modulated by the goals, values, beliefs, preferences and needs of the employees. These sources and factors motivate the employees to perform and anticipate their expected outcomes or incentives out of the performance for internal satisfaction and job retention. It is the extent to which an individual places importance and values a reward or outcome of high and quality performance. There are measurable values for the valence which were presented in the interview. For a retail company it is quite obvious that whatever number and type of incentives are given would be welcomed willingly by the employees as a gift and reward from the side of the company. The value -1 for the valence factor indicates avoiding of the outcomes or rewards of the performance but it was hardly the case with employees of the retail store. The value 0 is being indifferent to the outcomes. Sometimes, this is the case for the rewards which are common for every employee and are not useful for them but given for the sake of formality. +1 value for the valence of expectancy theory is for welcoming the outcomes which are appropriate matching up with the expectations and requirements of the employees. For the employees having a respectable position in the company, the valence factor is always +1 as they have a control over and the choice for the incentives after a good performance (Mitchell, 1982).
Goal Setting Theory
Goal setting theory is a major component of the motivational efforts undertaken by the company but different companies have different forms of this theory implemented in different ways. Goal setting as the name suggests primarily aims at setting up of the goal and making some action plans to make those goals achievable. SMART criteria of goal setting is the focal point of the retail store to make the employees competent in the dynamic world. Ambitious and striving goals were set by the company to make the sales boost up to a commendable level. These goals were assigned as per the previous record of the employee and were a source for reward achievement on a good performance basis. These goals also boosted the confidence level of the employees andsteers performance improvement of the employees by giving them innovative and challenging tasks. From the interview analysis it can be understood that there is a linear nature of relationship between degree of goal difficulty and efficiency of task performance and therefore, the retail store used to give SMART goals to the employees during the training period as well as in the real life scenario. Quantification goals were aimed during the customer service which would enumerate the excellence of the employees. Setting up of goals is a really important activity according to the team of customer service as it may have a direct impact over the outcomes in the form of appreciations, memos or incentives. Choice of goals helps them to have a focus and narrowed attention towards specific services which fosters a measurable, qualified and quantified efforts for goal related activities. This will also aid in reducing the waste and moving onto a lean approach to move away from undesirable or irrelevant activities. There is also a cognitive factor attached with the goal setting which leads to a change of behavior and development of a sense of performance (Rainlall, 2004). Setting up of SMART goals will boost the effort of the employees as generally observed. This was more specific in the time of sales when the number and expectations of the customers were high and specific. In that scenario, the top management used to set targeted goals for the team which made them work even harder and in a qualified manner. Failing to achieve those goals in the sales period time, made the chances of rewards almost negligible thereby motivating the employees to work better in the near future. The high performance employees during that periodwere rewarded with extrinsic incentives raising the intrinsic morale of the employees.
All in all, goals set by the company such as achieving of a specific sales target, increasing the number of premium employees, increasing the sales of membership card or facility card, escalating the satisfaction level of the customers showcased in increase in loyal customers etc. serve as a catalyst and a source of energizer leading to greater input in the form of effort and hard work. Framing of these goals is equally important as learning of the goals as they directly influence the performance. Every employee in the customer service department used to take the goals as a challenge and showcased better performance results with rare cases of being threatened by the high set goals and fail to achieve the required target.
Another name as justice theory seeks to have a relationship between the inputs provided in terms of performance and output gained in terms of rewards. A fair relationship between the two is a source of motivation. In the retail store, it is hardly observed that the output is in regard with the inputs but still employees are motivated to maintain their pace and place in the company for a regular output. There are cases of distress in the cases when the performance is under rated in the times of initial start or the training period. It is usually the case that under rating is a common phenomena in the retail store but as it is usual and even for all the employees, it hardly forms a source of demotivation for the employees.The employee tend to maximize his output by giving minimum input of high quality. In a team work, tasks are divided uniformly for making the input output ratio fair and justifiable for all. Any kind of inequitable relationship in the store made the employees demotivated but the leader made it fair by giving proportional rewards to the participants.
It is desirable for the organizations to have a positive valence factor having a value of +1 so as to make the employees like and regard the outcome of their performance and become motivated for future projects. An analysis of the employee’s preferences and choices can lead the management to understand personal needs of an individual that can motivate them by the means of rewards that best match up with the values and expectations of the employees to attain highest results and effectiveness in the workplace (Mitchell, 1982). Making the outcomes or incentives or perks or rewards matched up with the values of the employees, the company can expect a better result in performance may it be sales, profits or customer satisfaction. Employees and their values must be given personal attention so as to retain them and make them involved in the process of customer service to convert the customers into premium ones. Therefore, the sources of motivation can be easily devised by the top management to enhance the performance and productivity in the future. They can vary from vacation packages, discount coupons, purchase benefits to cash bonus, early promotions or in house shifting of positions. This would depend upon the requirements and needs of individual employees which must be taken care of in a timely manner. Customer service department should be given special care as they are the primary handlers of the company that directly deal with the customers and are responsible for making loyal and premium customers with their services.
Motivational efforts done by the top management must be complete and comprehensive from their part so as to provide with excellent sources to make the employees believe in the company and leverage their services to the level best for enhancing the customer satisfaction. The retail superstore should regard their employees and conduct surveys to be able to recognize the high performers and give them special rewards to motivate others to achieve the same respectable level of work. Funds from profits should be invested in training sessions giving holistic view of the store and making the employees aware of each and every task which may facilitate their services towards the customers. Computer aided training should be part a vital part of the company so as to make each and every employee fit in the domain of contemporary world meeting the high expectations of the customers (Rainlall, 2004).
A fair treatment is necessary to lead a good path for progress of the company including a mutual benefit for the employees. This falls under equity theory which must be practiced or at least put into maximum effect in the company. In case when the tasks are divided on an unequal basis which is usually the case in retail store due to difference in sales of different products, the team leader must closely observe each employee and give the benefits which are for a linear relationship with the input given in the job.
Positive reinforcement of equity laws, fair treatment of employees, fair rewards on job performance, satisfaction of employee’s needs, restructuring of reward strategy and setting up of high goal related activities are the crux of motivation which can be very well applied in all the sectors of the business.
Rainlall, S. (2004). A review of employee motivation theories and their implications for employee retention within organizations. The journal of American academy of business, 9, 21-26.
Walker Jr, O. C., Churchill Jr, G. A., & Ford, N. M. (1977). Motivation and performance in industrial selling: Present knowledge and needed research.Journal of Marketing Research, 156-168.
Mitchell, T. R. (1982). Motivation: New directions for theory, research, and practice. Academy of management review, 7(1), 80-88.