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Table of Contents
Analysis of challenges using OB theories
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory
Herzberg’s theory of motivation
The potential course of action for overcoming the challenge
Challenges are good for every individual to become more successful in life. They seem to be undesirable and refusing things however, one’s life would move forward without hostile factors. Similarly, workplace challenges offer an individual a rich source of learning experiences. They enable individuals to participate in knowledge as they familiarize themselves with novel demands, create novel competencies, improve work practices, and develop new work procedures (Franks et al, 2016). A reflective essay refers to the future-oriented however retrospective process that entails a review of incidents and experiences, a critical analysis of their causes, and effects that lead to novel understanding and gratitude, and the illustration of conclusions that direct future action and performance. This essay is set to reflect the challenge that I am currently facing at my workplace. Furthermore, this essay discusses the analysis of the challenge using the organizational behavior theories relevant to it. Besides, it suggests some potential courses of action to address that challenge.
In the workplace, motivation is the factor that I believe to be most challenging for me at times. As per me, motivation in the workplace is the most significant trait within a company. It can be defined as the drives in an individual that affect the direction, intensity, and persistence of voluntary behavior (Kanfer, Frese & Johnson, 2017). It can be either intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation entails individuals acting as they perceive it stimulating and originate impulsive gratification from the action itself. Further, extrinsic motivation entails an instrumentality between the action and certain divisible significances, like spoken and noticeable rewards meaning that individuals work for the incentives. In the workplace, I believe that there exists extrinsic motivation among the individuals and they do not inspire intrinsic motivation.
I experience that there are numerous factors that aid individuals to preserve motivation. These can be incentives that bring certain material advantages, a high salary, and many more. The most essential factor that I perceive to be of great relevance is a nice working environment. Employees can always remain motivated when they feel respected at work and will be keener to do a boundless job. Although motivation is needed for all the employees of the organization, I feel that it has become more challenging and difficult nowadays (Sharma & Pandit, 2020). At the workplace, when I was managing a team, I faced a lot of challenging situations to keep them motivated for the allotted tasks and other activities. Certain challenges faced by me are as follows:
The frequently varying workforce: It is a fact that a company cannot retain the same workers for a long period. Therefore, the employees keep on changing within an organization. It was challenging for me to keep up with their persuasions. Since each person has its own set of principles and desires, thus I was stuck in a situation where I have to decide between the identical demands and needs of workers. In addition to this, I found myself incompetent to understand how different my team members were. I believe that it is tough to keep up with all the members’requirements if they are continually varying and changing.
The imperceptible worker purposes: I find my job to be challenging when observing employees for incentives. I was in confusion about whether to judge my member as per their activity in the organization or their behavior. I supposed that the incentives bring motivation in workers but I overlooked the invisible desires of the employees. I ignored the reasons behind the worse performance of some employees. According to me, incentives are the best way to fulfill the priorities of the company like continuous improvement, customer satisfaction, enhanced outcomes, success, the reputation of the company, and more. However, the incentives must be based on certain criteria and some standards of performance of each individual. Today, organizations are giving more significance to including its workers in the decision-making process of the business so that they can be encouraged all the time. However, despite this, I faced issues like the employment of remedial measures, strategy, the constant development of purposes, and creativity. I have to overcome these challenges so that motivating the employees could be easy for me in future prospects.
A problematic economic condition: There were times when my company was struggling due to a bad economic state and that situation was a demotivating factor for the employees of the company. That was a difficult time for me to manage and motivate the individuals as they were doing the job for extra hours even without being rewarded for the same by the company. At times, their salaries were got delayed due to that situation and some of the employees were extremely demotivated with their job that they decided to quit. As far as my role as a manager was concerned, I tried my hard to keep up the self-esteem of the employees. But unfortunately, I failed to preserve their motivation and it affected their performance too.
Varying job depiction: There were frequent changes in my company concerning changing the job descriptions. Frequently, newer responsibilities were being added in particular jobs and roles. This situation was a challenging one for me to make them understand the new responsibilities added to their job profile. The workers felt astounded with those changes in the organization and at the same time felt demotivated when unable to do the task.
Hierarchical levels at the company: I observed that the motivation level of the employees became lower when the company has reduced its hierarchical levels by firing some employees out of the organization due to down-sizing. That situation created a lot of tension in the mind of individuals and resulted in a lowering down of the morale and the motivation level of all people in the company (Calk & Patrick, 2017).
I am analyzing the above-described challenge of motivation by using the organizational behavior theories relevant to the motivation. There are numerous theories namely self-determination theory, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, expectancy theory. The employees can be kept motivated using these theories of organizational behavior. Let me discuss the relevance of each theory in detail in the subsequent paragraphs.
This theory explains the things that motivate individuals in the workplace. As per this theory, there are five phases of the human needs that workers need to have satisfied at the workplace. Besides, a renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow has proposed this theory that defines the emotional drivers' supposed to manage human motivation. The five phases of this theory are as follows:
Physiological needs: This level is described as the bottommost level in the hierarchy and represents the most basic needs like water, food, clothing, and more. Numerous organizations offer their employees with physical needs. According to me, every company must offer its employee with the appropriate wages so that their physical needs can be fulfilled.
Safety needs: After the fulfillment of the physical needs of the workers, the company must give attention to their security and safety needs so that they could be free from any risk coming to their way. This can be done by living in a safe area, job security, financial reserves, medical insurance, and more. To be concerned more about safety needs, the company must offer them a hygienic working environment along with the superannuation benefits.
Social needs: After the employees are satisfied with the fulfillment of their lower-level needs, the managers must move to satisfy the higher levels like the social needs of the individual. These needs are concerned with interactions with one another through shared and mutual experiences. One way that a manager must adopt is by encouraging teamwork and manages the social events in the company.
Esteem needs: There are two divisions in this need namely internal and external. The internal esteem needs refer to self-esteem like self-respect whereas external esteem refers to needs like social status and gratitude. To fulfill these needs, management must provide rewards and appreciate the workers on achieving the targets of the business.
Self-actualization needs: These needs are defined by Maslow as the needs of the individual that represents their growth towards meeting the highest needs. The features of this needs possessed by individuals are problem-centering, acceptance & realism, spontaneity, peak experiences, and more. At the workplace, the managers must offer their workers with the most challenging tasks so that the skills and competencies of the workers can be utilized in its best manner (Jonas, 2016).
This theory is based on the notion that work exertion is headed towards performances that people believe will result in unanticipated consequences. This theory is the best that can be used in the workplace for motivating the employees. It aids to set precise aims that inspire people to enhance their performance to attain what they identify appreciated. This theory was proposed by Vroom who gave three variables for this theory namely expectancy, instrumentality, and valence. Expectancy refers to a fact that if someone works hard then he will be able to meet the targets that have been decided by the management of the company. There are numerous factors responsible for this like personal competency, goal difficulty, and perceived control. Another variable of this theory is the instrumentality that refers to someone's trust that his performance will truly lead to anticipated outcomes. In this, workers believe that after meeting all targets, they will receive the rewards promised by the company. However, it may depend on certain factors like transparency in the decision-making process of the company. The last variable of this theory is valence that refers to the supposed value of the consequence by a person. This implies that the workers must have an idea of the consequence of earning incentives if they are worth their welfare and work-life balance (Baumhof et al, 2017).
This theory has been proposed by Frederick Herzberg in the year 1959 and is known as the dual-factor theory. It has given relevance to two factors namely motivators that are factors of satisfaction and hygiene factors that are factors of dissatisfaction. The motivators entail the recognition, performance, job status, opportunities for growth, responsibility. On the other hand, hygiene factors entail a salary, physical workplace, associations between employees and managers, and more. Four quadrants are depicting the four combinations of which the best combination is high hygiene and high motivation where workers do not have any complaints and at the same time they are extremely motivated (Alshmemri, Shahwan-Akl & Maude, 2017).
The potential courses of action that must be adopted by me at my organization to overcome the motivational challenge are as follows:
Setting the transparent prospects
Know my members properly to motivate and inspire them.
Make rewards distribution rational
Provide choices of performance and associated rewards
Create the association between the performance and incentives clear
Align my potentials with the policies and practices of the company
Develop more trust in the capabilities of individuals
Make the necessary performance interesting however attainable
From the above reflection of the challenge of motivation at the workplace, it can be concluded that there are numerous theories organizational behavior like expectancy theory, Herzberg’s theory, Maslow’s need hierarchy theory, and more that must be used by the organization to keep their employees motivated all the time. The challenges that came to my way while motivating the employees are the worse economic state of the company, imperceptible worker purposes, frequently varying workforce, Hierarchical levels at the company, and Varying job depiction. To overcome these challenges, I will improve my way of working at the workplace as it will know and understand more about the needs and desires of my team members.
Alshmemri, M., Shahwan-Akl, L., & Maude, P. (2017). Herzberg’s two-factor theory. Life Science Journal, 14(5), 12-16.
Baumhof, R., Decker, T., Röder, H., & Menrad, K. (2017). An expectancy theory approach: What motivates and differentiates German house owners in the context of energy-efficient refurbishment measures?. Energy and Buildings, 152, 483-491.
Calk, R., & Patrick, A. (2017). Millennials through the looking glass: Workplace motivating factors. The Journal of Business Inquiry, 16(2), 131-139.
Franks, B., Chen, C., Manley, K., & Higgins, E. T. (2016). Effective challenge regulation coincides with promotion focus-related success and emotional well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 17(3), 981-994.
Jonas, J. (2016). Making practical use of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory to motivate employees: a case of Masvingo Polytechnic. Journal of Management & Administration, 2016(2), 105-117.
Kanfer, R., Frese, M., & Johnson, R. E. (2017). Motivation related to work: A century of progress. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), 338.
Sharma, P., & Pandit, R. (2020). Workplace Expectations of GenZ towards Factors of Motivation. Studies in Indian Place Names, 40(8), 76-88.
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