Page 2: What is motivation?
The term 'motivation' can be used to describe anything which causes people to accomplish more than they would otherwise achieve.
Motivational theorist Frederick Taylor believed that workers needed close supervision and were only motivated by money. However, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car has identified a number of factors which are non-financial and which provide high levels of motivation for its employees.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
These 8 factors fit closely with the theory of human resource development. For example,
Abraham Maslow identified a hierarchy of needs that people want to fulfil through their work. At the lowest levels they require good pay so their basic needs for food, clothing and other essentials are met. However, in addition employees' needs include:
- safety - a need to feel secure, e.g. through job security or personal protective equipment
- social - a need for affection, e.g. friendly work places based on trust, support and encouragement
- self-esteem - a need for self-respect and the respect of others, e.g. recognition and promotion
- self-actualisation - the opportunity for personal fulfilment, e.g. learning new skills and working towards personal goals.
John Stacy Adams- Equity Theory
In comparison, another researcher, John Stacey Adams, set out his Equity Theory. This states that employees will balance the effort they put into work (input) with the rewards they get from it (output). They then compare their own input-to-output ratio to what they perceive others' to be. Adams' theory suggests that employees will be motivated if they feel that they are being treated fairly in the workplace compared to their colleagues.
As part of its motivation programme, Enterprise managers are expected to ensure that employees are engaged and motivated by:
- developing good relationships with their staff
- providing the right materials, equipment and information
- encouraging employees to identify personal development targets
- recognising and rewarding good performance.
Enterprise also recognises that motivated employees benefit the company by:
- working with passion
- coming up with new innovative ideas
- moving the company forward.