Human Resource Management
Most organization regardless of their size and niche of operation undertake measures to retain best performing employees. Organizations are also more likely to acknowledge their employees and the roles they play in ensuring organizational effectiveness. The task of motivating employees and ensuring that they are satisfied with their jobs is the responsibility of employers (Tracy, 2017). This has made employers invest in policies and programs that motivate employees. Organizations cannot succeed without programs that motivate employees to achieve their goals. Some of the factors that influence employee motivation include the reward system, organization climate and job structure (Tracy, 2017).
All organizations have some form of reward system that differ based on employees and departments. Employees have a tendency of performing tasks that are rewarded. This means that if managers want certain task accomplished promptly, they have to increase the reward for that task or behavior (Tracy, 2017). On the contrary, managers can reduce the performance of certain task by reducing the reward or increasing the disapproval or punishment for that behavior. Employees normally respond to the incentives. Companies have a tendency of identifying the most profitable activities and products, and then increase the reward on them (Tracy, 2017). For instance, employees who make more sales may receive a higher commission compared to their counterparts who fewer sales. For example, in a technology company, workers who surpass their monthly targets may be rewarded with free vacations.
Organizational climate is the second factor that influences employee motivation. Organizational climate refers to how employees relate to each other up and down the hierarchy. Respect for other employees is one of the core values that multinational companies such as IBM have been built on (Tracy, 2017). Respect for other employees means that workers should desist from insulting or demeaning other employees at work or outside the organization. Organizations that strictly require their employees to respect each other may dismiss top-ranking officials who disrespect their juniors no matter how long they have worked with the company. Creating a positive organization climate attracts new talents and make employees creative, more productive and happy (Tracy, 2017).
One of the ways of creating a positive environment for employees is doing away with a strict hierarchy that is common in most organizations. This means allowing free flow of information and interactions between the senior most officials and the lowest ranking officials. In such a system, even contributions from the lowest ranking officials is appreciated and rewarded. Doing away with strict hierarchies in an organization has been proven to be effective in encouraging creativity and contribution among employees and eliminating the culture of distrust among employees. Allowing free interaction among employees would even be more effective in creating a positive climate if it is coupled with the reward system that acknowledges the input of all employees.
The third factor that influences employee motivation is the structure of work. Some types of works are naturally motivating; especially work that require high levels of energy, creativity, and imagination. For instance, jobs that require employees to negotiate, interact with others and make them cooperate are known to be highly motivating (Tracy, 2017). These types of jobs are exciting and challenging so they require employees to expend lots of energy. Nevertheless, most of the tasks employees perform are standardized, repetitive, and somehow unexciting, and this makes it difficult to perform these tasks efficiently and at a lower cost. For example, it is challenging to motivate employees who work on an assembly line all the time, and have their work supervised and regulated to make sure that they are highly productive (Tracy, 2017). One way of motivating employees by structuring work is job enlargement. Job enlargement entails expanding the scope of tasks performed by employees in order to prevent monotony.
The motivation theories that will be compared and contrasted include Maslow’s theory, Adam’s equity theory, and Herzberg’s job design model. Maslow’s motivation theory suggests that people needs are hierarchical and they must satisfy lower needs before moving to higher needs. Equity theory maintains that individuals seek to strike a balance between their contributions and the rewards they receive in relation to the contribution made by others (Ball, n.d.). The key argument is that fair treatment motivates people. Herzberg’s theory differentiates motivational factors from hygiene factors. Hygiene factors are considered things that assist people to avoid pain, and when absent people are dissatisfied. Motivational factors are those that enable people to achieve and experience psychological development (Ball, n.d.).
One similarity in the three theories is that they all acknowledge that motivation is relative. For example, people will feel motivated if their lower needs are taken care of before higher needs are addressed if they are treated the same as others, and if factors that make them comfortable are present (Ball, n.d.). The main different in the three theories is seen in factors that motivate people. Maslow focuses on physiological needs, Adams emphasizes on how we treated relative to others, while Herzberg focuses on pain avoidance and psychological growth (Ball, n.d.).
The FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) enable employees to benefit from up to 3 months of unpaid leave without losing their jobs. The law also protects the group health benefit that employees are entitled to while on leave. This law is meant to assist employees in striking a balance between family responsibilities and their jobs (United States Department of Labor, n.d.). All public institutions, companies with more than 50 employees, and all private and public elementary schools are subjected to FMLA. Based on the FMLA law, employees are to be granted a 3-month leave if they have a newborn; adopted a child; taking care of a family member with serious disease; or when an employee cannot work because of a serious health complication (United States Department of Labor, n.d.).
Julie is the one eligible for the Family and Medical Leave Act because she is adopting a baby, which is one of the grounds the leave is granted. Moreover, Julie has worked for her employer for four years that is way above the minimum one year required. Steven does not qualify for the leave even if he has a serious medical condition, which is one of the grounds, the leave is granted. Steven does not qualify because the company he works for is not subjected to the FMLA law because it has 30 employees –below the required minimum of 50 employees. In addition, Steven has worked for his employer for 7 months, which is less that the one-year minimum.
Ball, B. (n.d.). A summary of motivation theories. Retrieved from http://www.yourcoach.be/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/A-summary-of-motivation-theories1.pdf
Tracy, B. (2017). The Four Factors of Motivation. Retrieved from American Management Association: http://www.amanet.org/training/articles/the-four-factors-of-motivation.aspx
United States Department of Labor . (n.d.). FMLA (Family & Medical Leave). Retrieved from https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/benefits-leave/fmla