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Staff are more likely to be motivated as individuals when the culture of their organisation as a whole encourages it. An unhealthy working environment soon exerts a negative influence on the even the most eager employee.
Although a manager may not be able to influence the culture of their entire organisation, individual departments often have established cultures of their own which can, with some effort, be changed.
To create a productive environment a manager needs to:
- reinforce values concerning performance and competence
- emphasise accepted behavioural norms
- clarify the ways in which individuals are managed and rewarded
- demonstrate their organisation’s belief in empowerment
Without the base of this motivated climate other motivational methods will tend to have a diminished or shorter lived effect.
Many of the problems managers face on a daily basis are due to poor or non-existent expectation management.
This applies as much to staff relations as it does to those with customers or other stakeholders.
If a member of staff believes that there is no worthwhile reward, whether financial or emotional, available to them, they will be not be motivated to give their best. Equally, if they have unrealistic expectations which are not met they will find it difficult to apply themselves in future.
The manager’s task, therefore, is to ensure the employee is aware of the rewards available to strong performers and that they are not under or over sold.
The fourth of the motivational theories, expectancy theory states that when individuals:
- feel able to change their behaviour
- feel confident that change will result in a reward
- value the reward enough to justify the behaviour change
That they will then become motivated to change their behaviour.
Motivation is unlikely unless a clear relationship between performance and outcome exists and the outcome satisfies a need.
Reinforcement theory is based on the belief that rewards and success in achieving predefined goals act as positive incentives which, in turn, reinforce positive behaviours, increasing the likelihood of desired behaviours being repeated the next time a similar need arises.
All very Pavlovian really.