September 26, 2013
As humans, one is inclined to strive toward certain goals, grades, promotions, or validation because of certain motivating factors. Although all humans respond to motivation, the types of rewards or consequences may vary depending on one’s personality, values, and beliefs. Motivation can be either positively or negatively enforced, training the individual to increase or decrease certain behaviors. As professionals, managers, teachers, and trainers have the duty of creating motivation within the workplace or classroom. Over time, humans may lose ones motivation and need additional intrinsic or extrinsic motivators that may include praise, bonuses, or even threats. The following paper will review ways one can improve productivity within the workplace or classroom through motivation, theories one can apply within the workplace, and how such applications may affect managers, employees, and students.
Performance in the Workplace Motivating individuals to compete tasks, especially ones that may seem uninteresting or boring can become a challenge to some managers or teachers. Many may try to bribe employees or students with tangible rewards such as bonuses, privileges, or awards. Although this tactic may provide compliance from one’s employees or students temporarily, one will still receive low quality learning, minimal functioning, and a dependence or expectation that one will constantly receive a tangible reward every time (Reeve, 2009). Extrinsic motivators can also interfere with the process of learning, distracting the student or employees attention away from the task and more focused on attaining the reward. When one includes an extrinsic motivation, employees are no longer focused on understanding or learning the concepts of the task, but solely on receiving the reward.
Rewards not only create a more negative tone of frustration but also remove the sense of enjoyment, creativity, and positive emotion of competing a task or goal. They key to motivating and removing resistance is not found with rewards, incentives, or consequences, but rather through communicating the importance of the task and how it can be useful or beneficial to the other party. When an employee or student hears a convincing explanation of why a task is important, individuals will most likely put forth more effort compared to one who hears no explanation. Many resist productivity because there is no link or connection on why the task is important to the individual, the team, or even the workplace. If value is not build, students or employees do not understand or respect the benefit or importance behind completing the tasks (Reeve, 2009). For example, students may resist learning a new formula if the teacher does not explain how the mathematical equation will help students in their next course.
By placing value on a task, internalization begins to occur as the employee or student begins to realize the value and agree. One must communicate that although a task may seem boring or dull, one must put forth effort because it is an important thing to do (Reeve, 2009). In an effort to creating a more inspiring task, one may also include goals, include fun music, or even partner individuals into teams to create a more stimulating working environment. In addition to creating value and importance of a task, one must also build interest. Interest creates a motivational state that arises out of an attraction to a particular field or activity; interest can enhance employees or students attention, effort, and learning. The more interesting a project or task becomes, the more likely an employee or student is to comprehend, learn, and remember (Reeve, 2009).
Motivation Theories in Education David McClelland, famously known for his work with achievement motivation, explains the importance of setting goals and job advancement. As an undergraduate student, one can attest to the