What Makes People Effective?
This chapter, contributed by Edward E. Lawler, outlines the processes and ideas by which an organization can create a virtuous spiral –a symbiosis between individual employees and their organization to work towards achieving everyone’s goals. People in an organization perform well when they are properly motivated. The organization needs to know what motivates its people to be responsible, and willing to provide, the components it needs to succeed. The capabilities and the competencies of an organization are determined by the caliber of its employees. In order to succeed, and organization must obligate themselves to acquire the best and most capable people, and keep them satisfied in their working environment. How do we determine whether a person is able to perform at their highest potential? We need to know what motivates them. Each person has their own values and sources of motivation. There are a lot of speculations that have been made to explain why people make the choices they do in work, and what they would interpret as an ideal reward. FACTORS THAT AFFECT MOTIVATION
The first concept explored is the causes of performance. Lawler uses the equation: PERFORMANCE = MOTIVATION x ABILITY
It is a simple equation that states that that performance relies on two factors. Workers who are motivated don’t always have the skills to produce great results, and those who are highly skilled won’t produce results without motivation. Psychologists have an explanation of why people are motivated to work, coined as expectancy theory. This theory claims that people are generally rational decision makers who act in ways that fulfill their own needs and reach their own goals. But sometimes they misperceive reality and assess situations incorrectly. The theory widely accepts that all people are largely different in their needs and the importance they attach to rewards is congruent to those needs. Organizations are recognizing that, according to the expectancy theory, employees are motivated by the promise of rewards. Some corporations offer trips to unique places, flights in a fighter plane, and even a lifetime supply of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Next Lawler elaborates on what makes a reward attractive:
The more an individual employee values an award being offered, and the amount of it that is offered, the more likely the employee is to be motivated. When the lottery gets up to $100 million more people are motivated to go through more extreme lengths to get their tickets, even if their chances are very little. In terms of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the attractiveness of a reward is dependent upon the value the individual places on it in relation to their prioritized personal needs. People’s feelings of satisfaction and dissatisfaction are related to the awards they receive. The highest level of need on the hierarchy is self-development. The more rewards that fulfill the need of self-development, the more a person will crave more of it. People substitute other needs as their prevalent ones become fulfilled. Rewards need to be plentiful and change over the course of an individual’s career. Feelings of accomplishment and growth in professional development are deemed as intrinsic needs. They are important to employees as well. An individual is more motivated when they perform tasks that are extrinsically and intrinsically rewarding, simultaneously. Other factors influence the attractiveness of rewards. Each individual employee has their own conditions that have been influenced by their environmental and cultural conditioning. A reward isn’t as attractive to employees raised in another country, or by a person who is raised in America but rely on the same traditions, as Americans born and raised among American traditions. International companies have to consider that when they apply rewards systems to their companies in other countries. The strengths of people’s needs also...
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