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Employee motivation: Role in modern management

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Running Head: EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION: ROLE IN MODERN MANAGEMENT 1
Employee Motivation: Role in Modern Management
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EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION: ROLE IN MODERN MANAGEMENT 2
Employee Motivation: Role in Modern Management
The very competitive business environment places huge demands on the modern-day managers.
One such demand is the ability to motivate and align the employees of the organizations they
work for in order to achieve the best out of their work force. The modern day manager is rather
more open to the feelings of the workforce than merely giving directions. Motivation can be
defined as psychological processes which cause the stimulation of, persistence and direction to
the goal-oriented voluntary activities (Mitchell, 1982). With the changing market requirements,
the modern day business managers must shift their focus on employee motivational strategies to
remain competitive.
Motivation is of key importance to employee behavior; it encourages loyalty and job
performance at high output and high quality delivery among the company’s employees (Bateman
& Snell, 2007). Various intrinsic and extrinsic rewards can be used to motivate a company’s
workforce. Intrinsic rewards may include the firm’s ability to make the employees have a sense
of belonging and self worth such as feelings of achievement and personal growth, while extrinsic
rewards include outcomes such as salary, status, job security and job promotions. These two
types of rewards if well used can be the difference between a collapsing firm and a profitable
one.
Unfortunately, most of the firms today have not been able to take full advantage of the
advantages that employee motivation comes with. Birkin (2004) attributes this shortfall to the
fact that most managers simply do not understand the subject of motivation and therefore fail to
motivate their workforce. Some of such managers have been reluctant to change and the
dynamism of the modern day business world. This is the category of business managers who

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EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION: ROLE IN MODERN MANAGEMENT 3
consider themselves as rulers in their workplaces. They do not give any room for the employees
to be involved in making decisions on issues affecting them. In return, they issue orders and
threats to any employee who violates those orders. Such practices in the modern world only
serve to reduce the firm’s profitability.
The world business environment is dynamic and modern day managers must appreciate the fact
that those days when only monetary rewards were sufficient are long gone; employee motivation
is no longer a onetime deal (McFarlin, 2000). Many managers still view money as the main
employee motivator and do not involve the use of intrinsic rewards in their firms. Sherrat (2000)
concur that cash is no longer a consideration among employees to increase their job performance
or remain with a firm. Mangers must therefore consider doing more than just offering cash
bonuses.
A manager in this 21
st
century would rather be proactive than retroactive. Employee motivation
has for long been ignored but as recent research shows, firms must reconsider their policies and
align them to suit the employees’ existence in their systems. Before thinking of how profitable
they could be in the next years, maybe it is time they offer good working conditions.

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