Most managers motivate their subalterns with promises of rewards, generally financial rewards. In service entities, leaders are commencing to motivate their subalterns through non-financial elements, such as flexible working schedules, promotions opportunities or challenging tasks. Within the it firms, software developers are constantly motivated by the ability to become integrated in the project they desire. Service companies also offer incentives of socialization during company picnics or other get-togethers.
The emphasis on the unification of organizational goals with the individual goals of the staff members is limited and this remains a simple theoretical recommendation without any real life implementation in the organizational context.
Finally, most managers tend to reward and motivate the employees based on performance and results. In some instances however, despite great efforts, employees fail to retrieve success due to circumstances and elements independent of them. The results materialize in higher levels of employee frustrations and low levels of job satisfaction.
Quantitative analysis on the employees' sample
The collection and analysis of this information spread throughout a duration of one month. The 100 employees (ten from each of the ten organizations in the first sample) were asked to answer the following questionnaire:
Q1. Does your organization currently employ a human resource motivation strategy?
(a) Yes, it does
(b) No, it does not (c) I do not know / do not want to answer
Q2. How would you describe the motivation strategy implemented by your firm?
(a) Very Good
(c) Very Poor
(e) I do not know / do not want to answer
Q3. Do you think that motivation is a key component of professional success -- for both you and the employer?
(a) Yes, I do
(b) No, I do not (c) I do not know / do not want to answer
Q4. Are you motivated by financial rewards?
(a) Yes, I am
(b) No, I am not (c) I do not know / do not want to answer
Q5. Which financial incentives are of the utmost importance to you?
(a) Salary rises
(b) Premiums and bonuses
Q6. Are you motivated by non-financial incentives?
(a) Yes, I am
(b) No, I am not (c) I do not know / do not want to answer
Q7. Which non-financial incentives are of the utmost importance to you?
(a) Medical coverage
(b) Flexible working schedule
(c) the integration within a team
(d) the task challenge, the personal performance and the promotion opportunity
Q8. If you could, what elements would you add to the current motivational strategy in the firm?
(a) More financial rewards
(b) More flexible time
(c) Improved relationship with the management
(d) More social get-togethers
(e) More promotion opportunities
(f) More training programs
The answers of the 100 employees are integrated in the table below:
a b c a b c d e a b c
a b c a b c d a b c d e f
From the analysis of the questionnaires, the following findings were retrieved:
Most of the employing companies implement a motivational strategy
The majority of the employees believe that the current motivational strategy employed by the firm should be improved
Employees are unaware that motivation is the key to success. This is explicable through the poor managerial emphasis on the unification of organizational goals with individual goals.
The large majority of employees are motivated by financial gains.
More than half the employees are motivated by salary increases as these are permanent, while a smaller percentage is motivated by premiums and bonuses
The majority of employees is also motivated by non-financial incentives, but the proportion is smaller relative to that of the staff members motivated by financial incentives
In order of importance, the non-financial incentives which motivate employees are: medical coverage, flexible working schedules, opportunities for promotions and integration within the team
Most employees would include more training programs in the motivational strategy. This could be explained by the fact that training programs create opportunities for professional development and create a sense of job security for the future (Stern, 1982). Other incentives which would be integrated by the employees -- in order of importance -- are: financial rewards, opportunities for promotion, flexible working schedules, improved relationship with the management and more social get-togethers.
7. Conclusions and Recommendations
In light of all changes impacting the business community, a significant modification has occurred in the relationship between employee and employer, in the meaning that the first is now perceived as the party able to add new value to the entity. In order to best capitalize on the skills and knowledge of the employee, the manager has to motivate his subalterns. The aim of this research was that of identifying the elements which generate the motivation of the staff members.
The research methodology used in the achievement of the research objective was a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis, called triangulation. The usage of the triangulation methodology has reduced the limitations of the qualitative and quantitative methodologies taken separately and has as such increased the relevance of the study and its findings. Each of the qualitative and quantitative methodologies has been applied to a specific research sample. The first sample is formed from economic agents implementing motivational strategies and the second sample is formed from employees targeted by motivational strategies and deciding on the efficiency of the respective motivational strategies.
The findings indicate that employees are motivated by both financial as well as non-financial rewards. Today, service entities implement more adequate motivational strategies than manufacturing entities. In terms of improvements, the current strategies could be enhanced through the introduction of more training programs. The importance of these findings is a dual one. First, they constitute theoretical background for future studies, and secondly, they represent a benchmarking and inspirational source for managers seeking to better motivate their staff members.
Given the dual importance of the research project, it is only natural for the recommendations to be focused onto two distinct directions, namely recommendations for the research community and recommendations for practitioners. In terms of practitioners, the following are noteworthy:
Organizational staff members are motivated by different incentives and an overall organizational plan might not work for all employees. In is as such important for company leaders to develop complex motivational strategies which serve as many individual needs as possible
The elements which motivate the employees evolve through time and it is as such important that the organizational leaders remain alert to any external or internal environmental change which might impact motivation characteristics and to quickly respond to these changes.
At the level of the research community, the recommendations refer primarily to the necessity for future research. Any research project is incomplete if it does not raise questions for future research endeavors. Pegged as such to elements in the current analysis, several additional research topics could be raised:
The multitude of elements which motivate the employees
The evolution of the motivational elements throughout the life and career of the individual employees. For instance, are younger employees motivated by the possibility to learn while older employees are motivated by job security?
The motivation of employees within the public sector and the existence of differences between private and public sector motivation strategies.
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Armostrong, Am., 2006, a handbook of human management practice, 10th edition, Kogan Page Publishers, ISBN 0749446315
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