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Managers perform various functions.But one of the most important and least understood
aspects of their job is proper utilization of people.Research reveals that
worker performance is closely related to motivation. Thus keeping employees motivated
is an essential component of good management. In a business context, motivation
refers to the stimulus that directs the behaviour of workers to achieve company
goals. Managers must be aware of their needs.
Many managers believe workers will be motivated to achieve organizational goals
by satisfying their fundamental needs for material survival.These needs include a
good salary, safe working conditions and job security. While absence of these factors
results in poor morale and dissatisfaction, studies have shown that their presence results
only in maintenance of existing attitudes and work performance. Although important, salary, working conditions, and job security do not provide the primary motivation for many workers in highly industrialized societies, especially at the professional
or technical level. Increased motivation is more likely to occur when work meets the
needs of individuals for learning, self-realization, and personal growth. Responding
to personal needs – the desire for responsibility, recognition, growth, promotion, and
more interesting work – managers have altered conditions in the workplace and consequently,
many employees are motivated to perform more effectively.
In an attempt to both fundamental and personal needs of workers, innovative
management approaches, such as job enrichment and job enlargement, have
been adopted in many organizations. Job enrichment gives workers authority in
making decisions related to planning and doing their work. A worker might assume
responsibility for scheduling work-flow, checking quality of work produced,
or making sure deadlines are met.Job enlargement increases the number
of tasks workers perform by allowing them to rotate positions or by giving them
responsibility for doing several jobs. Rather than assembling just one component
of an automobile, factory workers might be grouped together and given responsibility
for assembling the entire fuel system.
By improving the quality of work life through satisfaction of fundamental
and personal employee needs, managers attempt to direct the behaviour of
workers toward the company goals.
But probably the most powerful and basic of all elements necessary to attract
and keep people is happiness. Employees who are happy in their jobs will work hard and well – and won’t leave.
So how do you create happy employees? The first step, and a recurring theme of this summary, is to be happy yourself.
Employees are happier in a workplace run by managers who enjoy themselves;
their work, and their employees.