Emotional Intelligence Organizations

What motivates employees? 6 basic motivations.

Having motivated employees is a guarantee of performance and productivity in the company. In addition, it lowers costs for absenteeism, recruitment costs and time off work, among others. This will create a positive working environment. What motivates employees? Explained below 6 basic motivations of every employee we want for our organization meet your needs reinforcements, perceived fairness and justice

What motivates employees: meet their needs

The best known and famous theory is that of Abraham Maslow who proposed a hierarchy ranging from the most basic biological drives such as food, to live in a secure environment, or relate to others, to the highest as the need for recognition and personal self-realization. In its five levels needs are tidy, and once the basic are satisfied are activated the higher order.

There were several authors who studied the needs and divided into three blocks until recently Pittman and Zeigler summarizes the research in these three needs: biological (physiological, safety), individual (competence, autonomy, esteem, achievement) and social (membership , relationship).

Therefore, meet the needs of employees is the most important thing to keep them motivated in order to develop strategies and programs to meet them within the organization and check their effectiveness.

What motivates employees? 7 Basic motivations.

1. Receive reinforcements.

For reinforcement theory behaviors are determined by its consequences. So, to repeat a behavior, it must be strengthened. In the workplace reinforcements used are the salary and compensation systems, but can function as reinforcing the prestige of the organization or the likelihood of internal or external promotion. This will improve the performance of employees, satisfied customers and employees will long haul in the company. We must control the reinforcements do not involve only an increased amount of work and not quality as well as having control over the types of tasks that reinforce and strengthen overly simple tasks that need not be relevant.

The intrinsic motivation of the work questions the effectiveness of external reinforcements. If you are motivated by external reinforcements a task that already is inherently satisfactory you can alter the perception of it. Tasks are intrinsically motivated learning skills or job autonomy. In addition, the intrinsically motivated people do not feel the pressure that may have systems that work by extrinsic motivation, pressure to achieve goals.

Is money a good motivator?

Studies say that economic incentives are more effective at the start of a program but progressively lose their function so they must be combined with other incentives (time, autonomy, status …).

2. Perceiving fairness or justice.

The equity theory tells us that employees will be more motivated if they perceive balance between what they contribute and what they receive, ie equality between interactions and transactions with the organization. All this compared to other members of the organization who are in a similar situation. When the comparison result is positive and some degree of justice is perceived to be motivated. Conversely, if the result is negative dissatisfaction and disgust is experienced and above all, it tend to act in ways that reduce injustice. This is where the employee can choose to restore balance inadequate behavior and the use of company resources, influence other peers or reducing personal contribution (I leave my time and not a minute more).

Organizational justice

When there is organizational justice and treated employees tend to behave more actively with peers and with more favorable behaviors way. Outweigh the good treatment of the organization and increases the feeling of belonging to it. There are two types of organizational justice.

Procedural justice: occurs when there is equitable assessment processes.
Distributive justice: perception of an appropriate sharing of the results obtained from the evaluation.
3. Have valuable expectations.

Employees set their goals based on three variables:

Expectations of achieving the results they expect.
The value or importance of these results
The instrumentality, ie, the relationship between expectations and value.
People determine their rational decisions about their behavior in terms of the probability of achieving the target in relation to the effort and time they invest. These three variables produces a motivating force that leads to perform some tasks and to avoid others.

We must try to reduce discrepancies between the interests of employees and management by creating common goals. To this we must identify the expectations of employees and design compensation systems chord (not only economic).

4. To pose objectives.

I recommend reading another article about setting goals / objectives. For psychology of organizations to establish challenging goals it is essential, considering these aspects:

(High-low) importance.
Difficulty (easy-challengers)
Specificity (general-specific)
Time (short term and long term)
Level of consciousness (conscious-unconscious)
Complexity (single-complex).
In the field of work psychology this theory led to the system of management by objectives. The main phases to introduce a system of management by objectives are:

1. Set work objectives: the employee himself prepares the list of objectives in relation to your department and company and evaluation systems thereof are specified.

2. Review the results: review and revise periodically a climate of mutual aid and trust.

3. Evaluate annually: by the directive and in order to establish the objectives of the following year.

A key issue in this regard is how to give employees feedback on their performance, ie, what should be the feedback and what to say in an interview evaluation. Feedbacks have more positive impact if you focus on the tasks performed and not on the personal characteristics of employees if their personal development is pursued. Again I recommend reading the article on the importance of feedback in sport, as it is perfectly transferable to any organization. It is important that the company develop a culture of good feeback

Steelman, Levy and Snell have developed a scale that measures the culture of feeback according to these aspects:

That important information is accessible for performance.
The information is credible.
The amount of feedback is given.
The frequency provide feedback on favorable and unfavorable results.
If the feedback is directed to improving the employees and the company.
Demand for feedback, ie, if the employee is encouraged to request information about their performance.
5. Feeling effective.

Social cognitive theory of Bandura stems from his theory of social learning and emphasizes the importance of cognitions and the environment as explanatory elements of behavior in general and motivation in particular. In work psychology the relationship between self-efficacy and performance becomes important. Self-efficacy is related to the performance evaluated by the supervisor and by the workers themselves.

It should analyze the level of efficacy of employees, both general and specific (their own tasks). In the event that employees believe they lack the necessary skills, we must carry out training programs to increase their knowledge, skills and attitudes. The success of any motivational program requires that employees feel they can take on the challenges, ie they have the personal resources to cope. It is recommended reading another article about the importance of formarase in competitions.

6. Having an interesting job.

Hackman and Oldham argue that, for a work to be motivating, you must have five characteristics:

Variety of tasks: in all jobs you have to perform different tasks, but excess (very different tasks) or default (very monotonous tasks) can lead to dissatisfaction and frustration.
Identity of tasks: work should allow all tasks that make up a complete unit, from its beginning to its end. Otherwise or make only a small part of the process is demotivating.
Meaning of tasks: work must be important and meaningful for employees both inside and outside the company.
Battery life: work should give independence to make decisions related to the tasks to be performed (in the way they act, order, time).
Feedback: the work must indicate whether the objectives are being achieved, ie, the employee must know, as you work, whether its performance is adequate or not.
Increase identity, variety and meaning, it makes work more meaningful. Improve feedback wide autonomy and the degree of responsibility of the employee and knowledge of the results achieved, also providing motivation.

Relations between the characteristics of tasks and motivation are not always direct, because there are personal variables that modulate. These intermediate variables are: knowledge and skills, personal development needs and the degree of job satisfaction.

Other features of the job to consider the characteristics of the tasks, their complexity, variety and specialization. In addition, the environment or social support aspects such as ergonomics in the workplace should be considered to create a motivating work environment.

Sobre el autor

Iván Pico

Graduado en Psicología (UNED). Nº Colegiado G-5480. Diplomado en Ciencias Empresariales (USC). Máster en Psicología del Trabajo y las Organizaciones. (INESEM). Máster Universitario Oficial en Orientación Profesional (UNED). Posgrado en Neuromarketing (Universidad Camilo José Cela). Técnico Deportivo Nivel II, fútbol sala (RFEF). Especialista en Psicología Aplicada al Deporte. Etc, etc...
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