Employers will usually want to maximize the productivity of their employees. Different employers may use different strategies to support and improve productivity. It has been demonstrated by a number of theorists, such as Mayo, Maslow, and Herzberg, that one of the most effective ways of improving employee performance is through the use of motivational strategies (Tohidi, 2011). The aim of this paper is to look at the development of a motivational plan, identify two potential motivational strategies and consider the way that a minimum wage worker may be motivated.
A good motivational plan may allow the employer to motivate employees by supporting high levels of jib satisfaction, which will support positive behavioral traits, including low turnover, high produced and high quality work. For employees to feel job satisfaction there are several requirement; they need to feel that they are doing a job well, and that they are appreciated by their employer. These aspects concern the psychological aspects of the workplace and can be directly influenced by the employment relationship (Danish & Usman, 2010). Therefore, the motivation strategy may start with the development of a positive employment relationship.
The first aspect of the strategy will be the development of an open bilateral communication policy between employers and their employees. This will involve the employers not only telling employees what it going on, but also listening to their ideas and concerns. The use of tools such as quality circles, employees' consultation committees, suggestions schemes, and open door polices will all support an employment relationship where the employer shows the employee that they are important, as long as the inputs are listened to and some are acted upon (Cook, 2008). If the employer is able to engage with the employee they will increase motivation, which will then increase productivity, as seen with organizations such as Sears (Cook, 2008).
For the employees to feel they are doing a job well there are two elements that may be considered. The first is the way that the employer equips the employee to perform their job. This can include ensuring they have all the required resources, such as the tools for the job, time needed, as well as skills (Torrington, Taylor, Hall, & Atkinson, 2011). Therefore the employer should ensure they are providing sufficient training, so a training program to give employees skills and support development should also be a part of the motivational program. Employees will also need recognition; this may be supplied through genuine praise and recognition, including management by walking around, and may also be aided with the use of an appraisal system. This will also tie in with theories such as Maslow's hierarchy of needs, helping to support higher order needs, including the need for recognition and respect (Torrington et al., 2011).
Employees may also be motivated by other measures; increased social interaction between employees may help to create a higher level of social cohesion, which is known to help reduce attrition and absenteeism (Cook, 2008). Events, such as family days, and employees evening events, can increase loyalty as the employee feel that the employer is looking after them.
Other tools may also include strategies related to remuneration, including bonuses, performance related pay, share save schemes, special rewards inkling workplace contests, and the portion of additional benefits for specific achievements. The employer may choose different approaches, and may tailor them to the employees' position; for example, a sales person may be given a bonus for reaching sales target, in a call center the best performer on a shift may be given a bottle of champagne or a box of chocolates, and senior executive are often given share options.
Two Motivation Strategies
As seen in section 2, some strategies may be best suited to specific departments or employees. In any strategy there may need to be consideration of strategies that can be applied across the entire organization.
The first strategy that is recommended is the implementation of performance related pay; this could be in the firm of a bonus related directly to the firms' performance, such as profit target. Adams made the assumption that man was economically motivated; that employees worked for pay as a primary motivator (Torrington et al., 2011). This idea has been developed and although not all employees have money as a primary motivation, it is a needed element of the employment relationship, as seen with Maslow's hierarchy of needs and Herzberg's hygiene factors (Torrington et al., 2011). For those who are not motivated by money, the recognition and sense of achievement may be a motivator. This strategy may be adjusted for the different departments if necessary.
The second motivation strategy may be the implementation of a performance appraisal system. This would increase the ability of the employer to manage performance, and could also be used to engage with employees, give feedback on positive elements of job performance, and help with improvement of performance, to support job satisfaction achieved through personal pride and recognition (Mone & London, 2010). The appraisal may also be used to review career planning and for the employer to provide support for career development. This would help with personal progress and is aligned with the ideas of Mayo, that employer perform to a higher level when they believe the employer cares about them (Mone & London, 2010). The appraisal process can be linked to the pay assessments, but this is not always necessary.
Motivating Minimum Wage Service Workers
The attitude and effort of services workers is very important, as they are delivering the service on which customers will judge the organization, and will influence future purchase decisions. The model of the service value chain is based on research demonstrating a direct correlation between the quality of service provided by employees and their level of motivation (Cook, 2008); indicating employers would seek to support motivation, even for their minimum wage workers.
As the strategies are for minimum wage employees, it is assumed that pay related strategies are not viable. The first strategy may be job enrichment, creating a situation where there are processes that will create variety and change that will help to stimulate interest. Change may also be combined with empowerment, which is also the employer showing trust. Many minimum wage jobs are repetitive, and cases such as the high level of attrition seen at Ford when the factory moved to scientific management techniques have shown that repetition can be boring. Therefore, enriching and empowering will provide change and stimulation, and show trust which may all support motivation (Torrington et al., 2011).
The second strategy will be to increase direct communication and improve the employment relationship by showing the employees that management cares about them. The strategy will include introducing management by walking around, with mangers expected not only to talk to employees, but listen to them and remember the issues and concerns (Torrington et al., 2011). If management can remember them and then ask about the employees well being and events in their life, the employees are likely to feel positive towards the employer. This may be supported by the theories of Mayo and the importance of the employment relationship as well as recognition as seen in motivation theories of Maslow and Herzberg.
The last strategy will be the introduction of an employee award, such as an employee of the month, and/or awards given for outstanding performance. This is supported by the higher order needs of Maslow.
The Importance of the Individual
In the workplace there is a great emphasis placed on teamwork, with value created through effective teams and cooperation (Tohidi, 2011). In most cases the individual is seen as part of a larger team, and…