Application of Different Motivational Theories Within the Workplace Essay Sample

By comparing the theories of motivation and how they used and incorporated at the workplace of small business and multinational organizations, we will discuss individual theory with their application in this essay sample. The theories of motivation help in inspiring the employees to develop the drive to achieve organizational goals and visions.

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Thus, there is much importance of motivation for job satisfaction of the employees through rewards and recognition. To compare and analyze the motivational theories, models, and their application in the workplace, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the best way to start with.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

This theory of motivation is the one of the most common approach to motivate the employees at workplace. It is considered as the most famous as it forms hierarchy to meet the needs within the organization. Physiological needs make the base of this theory and self-actualization needs the top.

  • Physiological needs: Water, food, sleep, shelter, clothing
  • Safety and security needs: protection, security, employment, housing, health
  • Love and belonging needs: Relationships and association with others
  • Esteem needs: Recognition, raise at work, prizes, rewards
  • Self-actualization needs: desires for accomplishment

The physiological, security and love needs are the most basic and intrinsic needs whereas esteem and self-actualization needs are extrinsic. To meet the extrinsic needs at the workplace, the intrinsic needs have to be fulfilled.

Maslow’s theory of motivation is very commonly seen in the small businesses where management team focuses to fulfil the intrinsic needs before introducing the things like recognition, rewards or coaching.

By offering the living wage, companies ensure that every employee must have what they need to care for their health and to feel they belong. Extrinsic needs can be introduced by providing company holidays, tours, health benefits, bonuses, and referrals for financial planners and more.

Thus, once organization met basic intrinsic needs, they can also consider addressing extrinsic needs for motivation and job satisfaction through sales competitions raise in the salary, coaching or mentoring and recognition events.

Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory

Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory is less concerned with the employees life outside of their workplace. However, it uses different categories of needs than Maslow’s theory. It also focuses on addressing the intrinsic needs before extrinsic ones.

Herzberg uses the categories of hygiene and motivation to increase motivation. It puts much significance of hygiene needs to be met before motivation When hygiene is addressed, job dissatisfaction decreases, and when motivation is met, job satisfaction increases.

  • Hygiene: security, supervision, interpersonal relationships, status, company policy, administration, working conditions
  • Motivation: growth, responsibility, advancement, achievement, recognition, rewards

Macgregor’s X and Y Theories

Macgregor’s X and Y theories are the different models to categorize employees based on the two types assumptions. Theory X assumptions relates the negative perspective of people as people can have “a dislike for work inherently and it is possible for them to avoid their work. Thus, they have to be controlled, directed and threatened with punishment to make them work. These individuals prefer to be directed, avoid responsibility, have little ambitions and security.

However, Theory Y assumptions creates the opposite view point and stated as “these people are self motivated to give their best and external factors or any threat is not the influence for these people. So, these workers can have discipline to achieve the organizational objectives and goals but their positive commitment must be appraised by rewards and recognition.

This theory is usually applied in the small scale businesses as they keep tracks the employee behaviour and work patterns. Thus, theory implies to those who’s consequences at work are less for the customers and those who go extra mile for the customer satisfaction. Organizations must ensure they have proper support to better performers and must receive recognition.

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McClelland’s human motivation theory

This theory assumes that every individual have one of the three driving needs which depends on their life experiences. This theory states the three common needs that can be used as motivation, it includes

  • Achievement: Rewards, recognition and quick affirmation as extrinsic motivation
  • Affiliation: need for love, belonging and relationship as intrinsic motivation
  • Power: status, and control over their own work or others’ work as extrinsic motivation

The application of this theory in the workplace can be taken from the example of someone with an affiliation need always with the team of people who they like and can work with them without any conflict. However, someone who is with an achievement need would work on a higher stress team as long as they are provided with quick recognition of their efforts.

Vroom’s Expectancy Theory

Vroom’s theory of expectancy application for the motivation of the employees at the workplace focuses on both intrinsic and extrinsic need simultaneously. This theory believes in the two aspects such as

  • People believe they are likely to be successful and reach goals
  • Those people believe they will be rewarded for their success

Using Vroom’s approach is relatively simple for most of the small-businesses. Therefore, each person’s expectations can be personalized into the company by looking at the company’s goals and mission and break them down into the roles and responsibilities. For example, company can meet with each employee by determining their strengths and weaknesses and set customized goals and roles according to them. After that, they can maintain their motivation by performance appraisals and giving rewards based on that.

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The Equity Theory

This theory postulated that employees will weigh their input into a job against the output they receive from it i.e. the more the rewards, the greater the  job satisfaction. This theory tells that those who receive more output from their work are most likely to experience job satisfaction.

Therefore, the application of this theory in businesses and workplace is huge.  The tasks and roles that are clarified creates better performance and job satisfaction as the clear role brings a happy, committed and inclusive work force in the organizations.

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