Diversity of Employees and the Increased Constraints Term Paper

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diversity of employees and the increased constraints on businesses such as international competition and an increasingly fast-paced environment, it is more important than ever that companies have a strong management team in place that promises the results required for success. This necessitates employees that are motivated and satisfied with their work.

All personnel are motivated by a desire to fulfill key specific needs that are essential to the well being of humans in general. It is important that these needs be met for the employees to accomplish their work in the best way possible. According to theorist Abraham Maslov, who designed a needs hierarchy in the mid-1940s, it is necessary to satisfy both physiological and safety needs to fully motivate a person.

Maslov (1968) grouped human needs into five separate categories, from bottom to top: Physiological needs that include the basic human physical requirements such as warmth, shelter, food and sex are the first required. Next in order are safety needs that fulfill a sense of security or absence of fear. For example, a security guard stands at the door of an apartment building. Third are social needs that consist of personal interaction and communication with other people and relationships with friends and family members. A good relationship with the manager and other personnel is important to meet this need. Fourth in Maslov's hierarchy are esteem needs. Any person requires a positive self-esteem to best accomplish his or her work. If people are being rewarded for excellent results, they will be motivated to continue performing in this manner. Lastly are the self-actualization needs, or when individuals are able to realize their personal potential and achieve their goals. In annual reviews, employees and managers set goals for the year: Achievement of these goals is a desired goal for an individual if the other hierarchy goals are met.

Psychology Frederick Herzberg (1959) defined a two-factor theory for motivation that is based on what he calls "hygiene factors" and "motivators." The hygiene factors are basic needs that do not actually motivate, but will cause dissatisfaction and low morale if not met. These factors range from the most trivial such as having a coffee machine near a work station to the more essential, such as health benefits. The specific hygiene factors include salary and benefits, working conditions, company policy, status, job security, supervision, office life and personal life.

The most important hygiene factor, says Herzberg, is money (1959). A manager should do his or her best to meet staff members' financial needs, since people expect a minimum amount of pay. Demotivation occurs when payments come late or incentives are ineffective. As noted by Maslov, insecurity in a job will also demotivate staff.

Herzberg (1959) also provides a set of motivators that drive people to succeed. A manager should strive to offer these to maintain a satisfied workforce. The motivators revolve around obtaining growth and self-actualization. The motivators consist of achievement, recognition, job interest, personal satisfaction, responsibility and advancement.

The traditional companies have organizational structures that look like a pyramid. The CEO and other officers are on the peak and then down the pyramid come lower and lower positions of authority and power. The communication is normally one way, upward down and there is little if any input from the lower ranks to the higher. Increasingly, companies are finding that such an organizational design does not reinforce motivation, employee satisfaction and overall company success.

Such traditional organizations are sometimes called tall structures. They are bureaucratic levels with hierarchies of many levels of management. In such a tall organization, people are normally delegated to their own area of specialization and there is little team or group sharing. Managers provide most of the direction and have considerable control over those below them. There is also functional division of labor and work specialization (Chawla & Rensch, 1995, p. 167).

The design below as noted by Likert (1967, pp. 4-10) is an example of a flat organization where there is interaction among the different groups of employees. It is much more of a boundaryless organization where give-and-take exists within specialized areas.

In such flat organizations that only have one or two levels of management. There is an emphasis on a decentralized approach to management that promotes strong employee involvement in decision making The goal of the flat organizational structure is to develop individual, independent small entities or business enterprises that can quickly and efficiently…[continue]

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