These performance appraisals are usually given to employees by managers. Such appraisals occur once or twice per year, depending upon the industry and the position of the employee. In some cases, performance appraisals are carried out by colleagues. Regardless of how feedback is given most organizations recognize it as a legitimate and productive way to judge performance and present employees with ways to improve job performance.
Examples of Employee motivation
According to Neff (2002) the ability to motivate employees is an essential component in creating an organization that is successful. The author points out that the most successful organizations in the world are always succeeding in making certain that job satisfaction and motivation are primary priorities. These organizations have realized that employees who are motivated are also more productive and therefore improve the bottom line. Greater productivity usually leads to greater job satisfaction and ultimately greater customer satisfaction. The author explains
Successful companies know that motivated, satisfied employees increase customer satisfaction and hopefully, profit margins. Because of the link between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction, companies have implemented an array of strategies to help increase employees' internal motivation (Neff, 2002-page 385)."
For instance, some companies such as NVIDIA and Southwest Airlines have developed a corporate culture in which employee motivation is a central theme.
NVIDIA has sought to motivate employees by placing an emphasis on teamwork. To this end the CEO of the company sits in a cubicle that is identical to that of all the other employees. The CEO and managers believed that this type of office arrangement would be most effective because it would encourage teamwork. The author points out that teamwork often motivates employees to work at optimal levels. As a result workers are more productive and the company is more profitable.
In addition to NVIDIA, Southwest Airlines is also a successful organization that has adapted certain policies geared toward employee motivation. This particular company emphasizes employee satisfaction. Although the company started with onlu 3 planes and less than 200 employees, it has grown to include more than 300 planes and more than 30,000 employees. The company has also been named one of the 100 best places to work by Fortune Magazine.
Southwest also places great emphasis on teamwork because the airline believes that it is only through teamwork that employees have the ability to support one another so that customers can be provided with good service. This teamwork is especially important in the airline business because of the stress associated with the industry. In addition, Southwest Airlines has been at the forefront of organizations that make a concerted effort to de-emphasize hierarchy. The reason for this is to assist employees in feeling empowered. As a matter of fact the company actually gives employees many tasks that are unsupervised so that a feeling of ownership and pride is established.
The company is also makes a concerted effort to ensure that employees are respected. This means that the lines of communication are always open and employees understand that they have a voice in the manner in which the company is managed. This respect is also shown in the manner in which the airline acknowledges birthdays and anniversaries with a card. The company believes that treating people with respect ensures that they feel valued and are therefore more motivated to carry out their jobs. The article further explains that Southwest also "invests" in its employees. The company refers to its employees as "Warrior Spirits" and spends two billion dollars annually on employee benefits. Although Southwest is 82% unionized, (126) the airline takes a proactive approach with negotiations. Of course, this has greatly impacted Southwest's success, especially in recent years. Southwest has retained at least 90% of its employees who have passed a six-month probation period and also has boasted a 15% annual growth rate. Also, Southwest has the lowest number of customer complaints in the industry, with 0.47 complaints per 100,000 customers carried. After September 11, 2001, when the airline industry suffered huge losses, Southwest employees donated 1.3 million dollars to help the company survive. Most of the donations were derived from voluntary wage cuts (Neff, 2002, pg 385)."
The author explains that in addition to de-emphasizing hierarchy and emphasizing empowerment, the company also has an incentive plan. This incentive plan is reffered to as "Inventive Incentives" and the plan is describes in a 50-page book that is composed of the various types of awards that employees can be given. These awards include the winning spirit award and departmental employee of the month award (Neff, 2002). These incentives are not monetary but are used to compliment other rewards that employees are given when they perform well. Additionally, Southwest airlines allows employees and their immediate families to travel free of charge (Neff, 2002). Southwest also offers bonuses, profit sharing, retirement savings and stock options.
Indeed, "Southwest Airlines is a leader in the airline industry in part because of its emphasis on employee satisfaction and motivation. The executives at Southwest know that satisfied employees translate into better customer service and happier customers (Neff, 2002, pg 385)."
AVIDIA and Southwest airlines are two examples of organizations that recognize the importance of employee motivation. These organizations have developed corporate cultures and organizational objectives that make a concerted effort to ensure that employees are motivated and rewarded when they perform well. The successes that both of these organizations have experienced serve as proof that the motivation of employees is essential as it pertains to meeting the overall goals of an organization.
The purpose of this discourse was to examine motivation as it applies to organizational behavior. The investigation revealed that Maslow's hierarchy of needs is the foundation from which the theory of employee motivation sprung.
The research found that factors such as job satisfaction, job performance and the achieving of organizational goals are all affected by motivation. The research suggests that job satisfaction is extremely important because it leads to greater productivity. When employees receive pleasure from carrying out job responsibilities they are more likely to take pride in the manner in which those responsibilities are carried out.
The research confirmed that rewards, incentives and benefits also play a role in keeping employees motivated. The rewards incentives and benefits give employees something to strive for while also providing them with some peace of mind as they perform their job responsibilities. The investigation also found that feedback is an essential component in ensuring that employees are presented with an opportunity to improve their job performance. Lastly we found that organizations such as AVIDIA and Southwest airlines, have adapted corporate cultures and policies that promote employee motivation.
Brief, a.P., & Weiss, H.M. (2002). Organizational Behavior: Affect in the Workplace. 279+.
Cameron, J., & Pierce, W.D. (2002). Rewards and Intrinsic Motivation: Resolving the Controversy. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.
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