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For many people, especially those who are in their 30's, 40's, and 50's, they are motivated by the idea that they need to have built up a savings in order to retire. This is another form of financial motivation, but it seems to play out quite commonly among working professionals. In fact, many companies have retirement plans and financial tools for employees to help reach their retirement goals. These, coupled with medical and other benefits help to motivate an employee directly. But these external motivations are just that, external, and in no way create a bind or association between the employee and his or her output or product. In this way, external motivations tend to be less effective (Perry and Hondeghem, 2008). Retirement plans also help to create a commitment to a particular company as many employees are required to work for a certain number of years or quarters in order to fully maximize their benefits.
If the employee's actions or professional output is tied to the success of the company or group, and not only to their own personal success, employees will tend to work harder to accomplish more (Gagne and Deci, 2005). This has been shown to be true of CEO's and other workers whose compensation comes partly in the form of stock options or incentives (Heinrich, 2007). If the employee has something invested in their work or in the company besides their own desire for a paycheck, they will typically be more effective and efficient employees. In this way, the employee's productivity is tied directly to the performance of his or her financial assets, and the employee is motivated to do their very best to maximize their financial gains. This type of motivation, which comes after the employee invests their own interests in their employer, fosters reliance on other team members which creates a bond in and of itself (Holzer, 2008). If the transparency of their reliance on other employees is apparent, and clear, then they feel as though others are counting on them to do their best work, and the cycle of self-investment is complete.
Employees are motivated by many different things. Some of these motivations are external and some internal. The employee's goals, dreams, and pride in their work are all types of internal motivations. Monetary and benefits compensation, bonuses, and other forms of payment represent external motivators. It is important for any manager to understand the motivations of his or her employees in order to effectively take advantage of these motivations to help increase company productivity (Collier and Esteban, 2007). Just as emotional motivation creates action or inaction in employees, both intrinsic and external motivations can be satisfied through a number of managerial techniques, tactics, strategies, and actions.
It is also important for managers to use a balanced approach to motivation and not use external motivations alone or count on the employees' intrinsic motivations as the sole source of motivation (Latham, 2007). Employees must have a balance of these two motivations in order to feel valued and to take pride in their work. It is also important to build trust in an employer, and to feel as though the employee is being treated fairly (Latham, 2007). All of these parts work together to help form a better understanding of employee motivation and how to create and manage a productive workforce. Companies that can take advantage of successful motivational techniques will succeed far and above those that cannot.
Cartwright, Susan and Holmes, Nicola. 2006. "The Meaning of Work: The Challenge of Regaining Employee Engagement and Reducing Cynicism." Human Resource Management Review. Vol. 16, No. 2. Pp. 199-208.
Collier, Jane and Esteban, Rafael. 2007. "Corporate social responsibility and employee commitment." Business Ethics: A European Review. Vol. 16, No. 1. Pp. 19-33.
Gagne, Marylene, and Deci, Edward L. 2005. "Self-determination theory and work motivation." Journal of Organizational Behavior. Vol. 26, No. 4. Pp. 331-362.
Heinrich, Carolyn J. 2007. "False or fitting recognition? The use of high performance bonuses in motivating organizational achievements." Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Vol. 26, No. 2. Pp. 281-304.
Holzer, Harry J. 2008. "The determinants of employee productivity and earnings." Industrial
Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society. Vol. 29, No. 3. 28 June, 2008. Pp. 403-422.
Latham, Gary P. 2007. Work Motivation: History, Theory, Research, and Practice. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.
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