MAXIMIZING EMPLOYEE PERMORMANCE
IF THE BOSS ONLY KNEW:
MAXIMIZING EMPLOYEE PERMORMANCE
The intention of this paper is to articulate the opinions of unsatisfied employees in a down-to-earth, easily understood and with the support of empirical research. Workers tend to fear voicing concerns in fear of the un-employment line. On the flip side, managers who are interested in earning money are not getting the most out of labor costs. It is hard to see what you are missing out on, if it was never there to begin with. This paper will exploit how organizations can ignite employee motivation which leads to improved performance, productivity and commitment. Successful organizations of today are switching focus from the shareholder to the company’s own human resources. The traditional view of laborers as cost is now view as the source of new ideas and creativity, that which cannot be as easily replaced as equipment and capital (Duening & Ivancevich, 2006). The question is, are the managers adapting to this evolved strategy. They may say that employees are number one yet are unaware they are not “walking the talk”. There are many variables to consider when implementing an employee-centered practice in day-to-day work environment. Organizations are more inclined to get the best from their employees and understanding the concept of motivation is a crucial starting point. It is what gets us out of bed and off to work. Perhaps we work just to make ends meet or to save for your children’s college fund or saving for a summer vacation. Unfortunately, for most of us, that particular motivational need is not enough to motivate us to do our best at our place of employment. Abraham Maslow is famous for his logical hierarchy of motivational needs. He suggested five levels of needs: physiological, security, social, esteem (ego) and self-fulfillment (Duening et al., 2006; Stead, 1972). His theory illustrates that once a lower level need has been reasonably satisfied, they become ineffective and higher levels are pursued (Duening et al., 2006; Stead, 1972). As you can see in the pyramid below, Maslow’s theory is both simple, as well as logical. Once we have satisfied a level of need, we are motivated to seek for new aspiration. Grove (1985) believes that it is the responsibility of the manager to guide his employees “to the point where self-actualization motivates them because once there, their motivation will be self-sustaining and limitless” (as cited in Steade & Lowry, 1987, p.120). According to Maslow’s theory, it must be understood that the need for positive reinforcement, respect and achievement is fulfilled before an employee is internally driven to the final level.
McClelland’s (1966) achievement-motivation theory suggests that achievement is a need and a motive (as cited in Duening et al., 2006). The two theories focus on motivation and for those who are not aware, performance is a function of ability and motivation. Most managers are concerned with performance of their employees after all, they have bosses too. So, how do you begin perceive the inner-state of an individual? Some managers make an attempt to observe behaviors, cues, production or change in production and figure out what makes his employees “tic”. The easiest approach would be to simply ask his employees what they want from their job. For those bosses who do not wish to collaborate, just ask yourself what is your wish-list from your employer. Surveys have been conducted in order to establish a consensus of “what employees want”. Managers are often surprised that wages or salary is not at the top. This goes to show how little they know about their workers. It should make sense that employees want clear-cut goals and challenges in their daily routines. According to Locke and Lathem (1990), they…