Foundations of employee motivation

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Learning objectives

5.1 Define employee engagement

5.2 Explain the role of human drives and emotions in employee motivation and behaviour

5.3 Summarise Maslow’s needs hierarchy, McClelland’s learned needs theory, and four-drive theory, and discuss their implications for motivating employees

5.4 Discuss the expectancy theory model, including its practical implications

Continued

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Learning objectives (cont.)

5.5 Outline organisational behaviour modification (OB Mod) and social cognitive theory, and explain their relevance to employee motivation

5.6 Describe the characteristics of effective goal setting and feedback

5.7 Summarise equity theory and describe ways to improve procedural justice

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Frucor Beverages

Frucor Beverages has established a highly engaged workforce through goal setting, meaningful work, employee recognition and career development opportunities.

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Motivation

The forces within a person

that affect the direction, intensity and

persistence of voluntary behaviour

Exerting particular effort level (intensity), for a certain amount of time (persistence), towards a particular goal (direction)

Essential driver of individual behaviour and performance

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Employee engagement

An individual’s emotional and cognitive (logical) motivation, particularly a focused, intense, persistent and purposive effort towards work-related goals

High absorption in the work

High self-efficacy: believe you have the ability, role clarity and resources to get the job done

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Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Chartered Bank has improved employee engagement and motivation through goal setting, strengths-based feedback, employee development and other practices.

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Drives, needs and behaviour

Drives (primary needs):

hardwired brain characteristics (neural states) that energise individuals to maintain balance by correcting deficiencies

prime movers of behaviour by activating emotions

Needs:

goal-directed forces that people experience

drive-generated emotions directed towards goals

goals formed by self-concept, social norms and experience

Continued

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Drives, needs and behaviour (cont.)

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Maslow’s needs hierarchy theory

Seven categories—five in a hierarchy—capture most needs

Lowest unmet need is strongest. When satisfied, next higher need becomes primary motivator

Self-actualisation—a growth need because people desire more rather than less of it when satisfied

Continued

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Maslow’s needs hierarchy theory (cont.)

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Limitations of needs hierarchy models

Maslow’s theory lacks empirical support:

people have different hierarchies

needs change more rapidly than Maslow stated

Hierarchy models wrongly assume that everyone has the same (universal) needs hierarchy

Instead, needs hierarchies are shaped by a person’s own values and self-concept

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Maslow’s contribution to motivation theories

Holistic perspective:

integrative view of needs

Humanistic perspective:

influence of social dynamics, not just instinct

Positive perspective:

pay attention to strengths (growth needs), not just deficiencies

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Learned needs theory

Needs are amplified or suppressed through self-concept, social norms and past experience

Therefore, needs can be ‘learned’:

strengthened through reinforcement, learning and social conditions

Weakened when conditions are absent

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Three learned needs

Need for achievement (nAch):

need to reach goals, take responsibility

want reasonably challenging goals

Need for affiliation (nAff):

desire to seek approval, conform to others’ wishes, avoid conflict

effective executives have lower need for social approval

Need for power (nPow):

desire to control one’s environment

personalised versus socialised power

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Four-drive theory: innate drives

Drive to bond

Drive to comprehend

• Drive to form relationships and social commitments

• Basis of social identity

• Drive to satisfy curiosity • To understand environment and self

Drive to defend

• Need to protect ourselves

• Reactive (not proactive) drive

• Basis of fight or flight

Drive to acquire

• Drive to take/keep objects and experiences

• Basis of hierarchy and status

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How drives influence motivation and behaviour

Four drives determine which emotions are automatically tagged to incoming information

Drives generate independent and often competing emotions that demand our attention

Mental skill set relies on social norms, personal values and experience to transform drive-based emotions into goal-directed choice and effort

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Four-drive theory of motivation

Social norms, personal values and experience transform drive-based emotions into goal-directed choice and effort.

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Evaluating four-drive theory

provide a balanced opportunity for employees to fulfil all four drives:

employees continually seek fulfilment of their innate drives

avoid having conditions support one drive more than others

offer opportunities to keep all four drives in balance

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Expectancy theory of motivation

A motivation theory based on the idea that work effort is directed towards behaviours that people believe will lead to desired outcomes.

Continued

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Increasing E-to-P and P-to-O expectancies

Increasing E-to-P expectancies:

develop employee competencies

match employee competencies to jobs

provide role clarity and sufficient resources

provide behavioural modelling

Increasing P-to-O expectancies:

measure performance accurately

increase rewards with desired outcomes

explain how rewards are linked to performance

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Increasing outcome valences

Anticipated satisfaction or dissatisfaction that an individual feels towards an outcome

Ensure that rewards are valued

Individualise rewards

Minimise countervalent outcomes

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Practical application of expectancy theory

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION AND SOCIAL COGNITIVE THEORIES

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A-B-Cs of behaviour modification

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Four OB Mod consequences

Positive reinforcement: consequence that, when introduced, increases/maintains the target behaviour

Punishment: consequence that decreases the target behaviour

Extinction: no consequence occurs, resulting in less of the target behaviour

Negative reinforcement: consequence that, when removed, increases/maintains target behaviour

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Evaluating four OB Mods

Deloitte is reinforcing work behaviour through gamification that is linked to employee incentives.

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Behaviour modification in practice

Behaviour modification applications:

every day to influence behaviour of others

company programs: attendance, safety, etc.

Behaviour modification problems:

reward inflation

variable ratio schedule viewed as gambling

ignores relevance of cognitive processes in motivation and learning

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Social cognitive theory

Learning behaviour consequences:

observing consequences that others experience

anticipating consequences in other situations

Behaviour modelling:

observing and modelling behaviour of others

Self-regulation:

intentional, purposive action: develop goals, achievement standards, action plans

form expectancies (anticipate consequences) from others, not just from own experiences

reinforce own behaviour (self-reinforcement)

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Goal setting and feedback

The process of motivating employees and clarifying their role perceptions by establishing performance objectives

Amplifies the intensity and persistence of effort

Provides clearer role perceptions leading to improved work performance

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Goal-setting characteristics

Specific—what, how, where, when and with whom the task needs to be accomplished

Measurable—how much, how well, at what cost

Achievable—challenging, yet accepted (E-to-P)

Relevant—within employee’s control

Time-framed—due date and when assessed

Exciting—employee commitment, not just compliance

Reviewed—feedback and recognition on goal progress and accomplishment

S

M

A

R

T

E

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Characteristics of effective feedback

Specific—connected to goal details

Relevant—relates to person’s behaviour

Timely—to improve link from behaviour to outcomes

Credible—from trustworthy source

Sufficiently frequent:

employee’s knowledge and/or experience

task cycle

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Strengths-based coaching feedback (appreciative coaching)

Maximises employees’ potential by focusing on their strengths rather than their weaknesses

Motivates employees through positive organisational behaviour

Motivational because:

people inherently seek feedback about their strengths, not their flaws

people’s interests, preferences and competencies stabilise over time

identifies situational barriers to leveraging employee potential

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Sources of feedback

Non-social or social sources

Non-social:

impersonal sources: corporate intranets

Social:

face-to-face

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Multisource feedback

Received from a full circle of people around the employee

Provides more complete and accurate information

Several challenges:

expensive and time-consuming

ambiguous and conflicting feedback

inflated rather than accurate feedback

stronger emotional reaction to multiple feedback

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Evaluating goal setting and feedback

Goal setting:

focuses employees on narrow subset of performance indicators

sets easy goals for financial rewards

interferes with learning process in new complex jobs

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Organisational justice

Distributive justice:

perceived fairness in outcomes we receive relative to our contributions and the outcomes and contributions of others

Procedural justice:

perceived fairness of the procedures used to decide the distribution of resources

Continued

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Organisational justice (cont.)

Equity theory:

explains how people develop perceptions of fairness in the distribution and exchange of resources

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Elements of equity theory

Outcome/input ratio

inputs: what employee contributes (e.g. skill)

outcomes: what employee receives (e.g. pay)

Equity sensitivity

Individual differences = equity sensitivity:

how strongly people feel about outcome/input ratios with regard to others

not easily identifiable

Equity evaluation:

compare outcome or input ratio with the comparison other

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Equity theory

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Motivational effects of inequity perceptions

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Correcting inequity tension

Reduce our inputs Less organisational citizenship
Increase our outcomes Ask for pay increase
Increase other’s inputs Ask co-worker to work harder
Reduce other’s outputs Ask boss to stop giving preferred treatment to co-worker
Change our perceptions Start thinking that co-worker’s perks aren’t really so valuable
Change comparison other Compare self to someone closer to your situation
Leave the field Quit job

Actions to correct under-reward inequity

Example

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Procedural justice

Perceived fairness of procedures used to decide the distribution of resources

Greater procedural fairness with:

voice

unbiased decision maker

decision based on all information

apply existing policies consistently

decision maker listened to all sides

those who complain are treated respectfully

those who complain are given full explanation

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Summary

Employee engagement with work influences motivation levels.

Human drives and emotions play a significant role in employee motivation and behaviour.

The needs and drives theories have implications for motivating employees.

Goal setting and feedback influence performance.

Organisational justice explains fairness of processes and resource decisions.

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