Asking what motivates workers reminds me of the nature vs. nurture argument. People will never agree which one is more important but I will argue that it is both. Some people give even the most minuscule of tasks their best effort other people will always do the minimum needed to get by. It seems that some people are just driven we call them “Type A personalities”. When a manager wants to motivate workers they should work with the different personalities of their employees. Giving worker what they want can be a great way to increase productivity. Employees want minimum commuting, the ability to work from home, flexible work hours, new challenges, recognition for their accomplishments communication between management and employees is key to motivation. A manager who treats their employees well and is respectful would be able to keep their employees motivated and increase their productivity. It is important that employees have a sense of belonging and are proud of their work. If a manager does these things they will keep workers motivated.
Hartley, S. (2007). Motivating Workers. Buisness Date , 1-3.
“Motivation is the inner force that drives employee behavior. The intensity of
one’s inner force to do a task or accomplish a goal describes the level of motivation.
Two people may both say and believe they want to be excellent employees. The intensity
of their desire to be excellent measures their motivation,” (Erven and Milligan). I found this quote to be identical to my own views on motivation and it relates to Dr. Green’s view of inner motivation discussed in his original post. I believe the desire comes from within but it is the inspiring or dulling factors that surround us that influence our decisions. We may be passionate and motivated in many areas but the influential and promoting forces within a topic have great impact on the level of achievement put forth by an individual. My experiences this past week as a delegate in the AOA House of Delegates has sparked an inner motivation to lead and serve the medical community. I believe that allowing students to serve as state delegates has an ulterior purpose of igniting motivation in student leaders to continue students’ commitment and involvement in the organization, which is an intelligent move in my opinion.
Erven, Bernard and Milligan, Robert. “Making Employee Motivation a Partnership” http://aede.osu.edu/people/erven.1/HRM/Motivation.pdf, 2001.
How to motivate one’s workers is an age old question asked by managers. The postmodern workplace has changed the answer searched for by many managers. In a study by the Harvard Business Review, a survey of managers assumed that “recognition for good work” was the top priority for workers satisfaction. However, the survey of works determined that “support for making progress” was the top priority for worker satisfaction. While the managers were wrong, each of them is aware that a satisfied worker means a motivated and thus productive worker. While the issue of motivating workers has been in question for years, it really has become a simple answer in the postmodern workplace. Managers need to support the efforts of their workers to reduce the roadblocks they may encounter. Workers that make progress in their work have a sense of accomplishment and thus have a desire to move forward in that progress. However, roadblock and bureaucracy frustrate workers and hinder their motivation and productivity.
Kamensky, John M. “Motivating workers is easier than you think.” Federal Computer Week, January 21, 2010.
Motivating today’s workers is a difficult tasks. There is a high turnover rate as a result of dissatisfied workers. If one could figure out a way to properly motivate today’s workers, maybe we would have a less of a turnover in today’s workforce. I believe the best way to motivate workers is by rewarding them. Managers could incorporate some type of rating system for employees and they can receive bonuses for their good work. The more incentive workers have to make money, the more motivated they will be to work harder for more money. Another way managers can motivate today’s workers is by investing in the workplace itself. Google is the perfect example. Employees at Google do not have to pay for food or soda, the working times are liberal, and they have a workplace that doesn’t feel like they are sitting inside a jail cell. Of course, it will be impossible to motivate a worker who has no desire to be in that field. Therefore, you have to be careful to choose your employees and make sure they really are doing what they enjoy. With all of these ideas, hopefully managers can help inspire employees to achieve higher productivity. (Tech Productivity, 2008)
Tech Productivity. (2008, September 8). Retrieved July 15, 2010, from Tech Productivity: http://www.techproductivity.com/tech-news/pictures-of-googles-workplace/
Some factors I believe manager could take into an account to inspiring postmodern workers are: respect, culture, flexibility, honesty, to name a few.
Postmodern workers are of course different from the previous generation of workers. What worries many managers is that postmodern workers are soon going to make up the majority of the employee pool as the baby boomers retire states Daryl Green in the article titled Knowledge Management for a Postmodern Workforce: Rethinking Leadership Styles in the Public Sector.
Mangers, if their goals are to motivate and retain gen-Y workers should be honest and never over-sell the position. Employees will be quick to leave when the position turns out to be something else than promised. Manages should also respect the young employees and not relate young with inexperience. Understanding the culture of postmodern workers is also important for it will allow mangers to communicate with the same lingo with their new age employees.
Daryl Green. “Knowledge Management for a Postmodern Workforce: Rethinking Leadership Styles in the Public Sector” Journal of Strategic Leadership. 2008
All the latest research of human motivation proves it beyond the shadow of doubt that self-interest is the greatest motivator of all. To bring the best out of postmodern workers is to provide them a stake in the business. These members should have a definitive assurance that they stand to benefit and reap rewards from the success of the enterprise.
In regards to company’s spending millions in bringing outside help to motivate, that is an out-dated practice which has proven not to work efficiently. Motivating speakers come and make lots of noise and after a day or two, all is forgotten. This creates temporary excitement but does not create long-term improvement in performance. Inner motivation based on self-interest is the only thing that has been proven to work. Google is a perfect example of a company using the method of self-interest or a stake in the business to motivate its employees. Google provides their workers rewards and incentives which seem to work.
SERVING THE AMERICAN PUBLIC: BEST PRACTICES IN Performance Measurement, 1997. http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/npr/library/papers/benchmrk/nprbook.html
David Schultz, “Professional Ethics in a Postmodern Society,” Public Integrity, 6:4, (Fall 2004), 285-90, American Society for Public Administration.
This article is an eye opener to look at my workplace from a different angle. Out of fifteen workers including a manager, five are the Baby Boomer Generation (1946-1964) while the remaining ten are the Generation X (1965-1980). Two thirds of workforce is the Generation X being managed by Baby Boomer. Wow, what a gap! I never even thought of the gap may be creating uneasy tasks to motivate the young workforce. Zig Ziglar stresses that the healthiest of all human emotions is gratitude. I’m not sure what and how much Generation X of the Millennial Generation would appreciate at workplace. Is it pay, vacation, promotion, benefit, and more? Another Ziglar’s quote is that we will get all we want in life if we help enough other people get what they want. Also, one of five keys to supporting employees’ motivation is by understanding what motivates each of them. We can find this out by asking them, listening to them and observing them. (2) So I agree with Dr. Green saying that an organization comprised of a multigenerational workforce, motivating employees at every level is important. (1) What kind of characteristics the postmodern leader should have? Schmidt suggests the leaders should be (a) adaptable, (b) spiritual-focus, (c) tolerance for ambiguity in life, (d) entrepreneurial approach, (e) service-oriented, (f) accountable for action, (g) lifelong learners, (h) upgrading performance, and (i) participatory. Let’s discover what each generation wants and be a generation effective leader!
(1) Green, D. (2008). Knowledge Management for a Postmodern Workforce: Rethinking Leadership Styles in the Public Sector. Journal of Strategic Leadership, Vol. 1 Iss. 1, 16-24.
(3) Schmidt, H. (2006). Leadership in a postmodern world. Retrieved March 7, 2006, from
Some would argue it’s not even possible to motivate employees-that all motivation is intrinsic and management’s job is to build a system that allows them to tap their intrinsic motivation.