Project Topic: Employee Motivation
Employees form the backbone of any organization and play a focal in fostering its success. Modern managers have often concentrated on grave emerging issues; hence, neglected trivial issues such as employee motivation. It is prudent for organizations to redesign their organizational structure from a hierarchical system to a flat mechanism that inculcates the ideas of all stakeholders. Through a flat organizational structure, employees play an essential role in the decision-making role. It is also possible to motivate employees by inculcating modernized technology coupled with comprehensive training. Integrating technology into the workplace increases collaboration and sharing between the employees.
Communication is vital in the workplace today in that it creates efficiency. One of the major benefits of technology especially the internet is the possibility of working from home. Working from home enables the employees to strike a balance between work life and family life. Once the balance is achieved, the employees will feel motivated and cared for by the employer. However, the introduction of technology must be coupled with intensive training for the employees to be able to utilize the technology. Another employee motivation factor is creating competitive remuneration packages. Compensation packages have an impact on the employees’ level of engagement. Primarily, employees are motivated when the compensation package is competitive. Employees relate their compensation package to their value in the company. Good compensation planning keeps the employees satisfied and motivated.
Target Audience for the Business Case and the Value of the Business Case to the Target Audience:
` The business case will help both organizational managers as well as employees in creating a more serene work environment. Organizational managers will receive formidable tips on the steps they require implementing while transforming from a hierarchical to a flat system. Indoctrination of advanced technology will foster improved performance at reduced costs. Similarly, employees will receive enlightenment on the advantages allied to a flat organizational system. Although improved compensation might be expensive, the changes will ensure that both stakeholders will reap immense benefits from the business case, as they will learn how to coexist in a more stable environment.
Value of the Project to the Writer
As a writer, I expect to garner significant benefits from completing this business case. First, I will have to conduct a comprehensive research relating to the current predicament-ailing employees in the organization. Forthwith, I will endeavor to unearth the implications allied to redesigning the organizational structure from a hierarchical to a flat system as well as improving the company’s technology. Since I will oversee the implementation phase, I will help other stakeholders in dealing with any emerging eventualities.
Reference Information for Business Case
Resource Type: Scholarly article from the small business economics journal accessed via the SpringLink database.
The articles discuss the relationship between different organizational structures. It also considers whether there is an optimal organizational structure. There is an optimal organization structure. For organizations, the structure adopted depends on several things including age and number of employers. Though a flat organization system may motivate employees more than the hierarchical system, it may not be viable for big organizations with many employees.
Reference List Citation: Cosh, A., Fu, X., & Hughes, A. (2012). Organization structure and innovation performance in different environments. Small Business Economics, 39(2), 301-317.
In-text Citation: (Cosh, Fu, Hughes, 2012, p. 310)
The resource is a scholarly article published in the International Journal of Business and Social Science and accessed from the ProQuest database.
The articles review the relationship between work motivation, compensation, and satisfaction. Utilizing the expectancy theory, the article suggests that employees have different expectations and are only motivated when the expectations are met. If an employee is satisfied with the current compensation offered, then the employee will be motivated. The articles concludes that fixed pay is more motivating as opposed to performance based pay.
Reference List Citation : Ghazanfar, F., Chuanmin, S., Khan, M. M., & Bashir, M. (2011). A study of relationship between satisfaction with compensation and work motivation. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(1), 120-131.
In-text Citation: (Ghazanfar et al., 2011, p. 130)
Resource Type: The resource is a published book accessed via the Saylor academy database.
In this book, special attention is being paid to chapter 17, which focuses on reward management and employee motivation. The management of compensation packages is significant in ensuring that employees are satisfied with the level of compensation they receive. This ensures that the productivity of the employees is not affected.
Reference List Citation: Price, A. (2011). Human resource management (4th ed., pp. 431-453). Andover: Cengage Learning.
In-text citation: (Price, 2011, p. 440)
Resource Type: The resource is a scholarly article published in the Journal of American Academy of Business and accessed via the Academia.edu database.
The article reviews the different motivation theories providing an explanation unto how motivation affects employee retention. Employee retention is significant in managing talent and increasing productivity. Among the theories presented is the Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory, which suggests that employees are motivated by their desire to satisfy their needs.
Reference List Citation: Ramlall, S. (2004). A review of employee motivation theories and their implications for employee retention within organizations. Journal of American Academy of Business, 5(1/2), 52-63.
In-text citation: (Ramlall, 2014, p. 55)
Resource Type: This is an online article published in the Linkedin and accessed from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-great-leaders-use-technology-motivate-employees-sanjeev-verma
This is an online article written by Sanjeev Verma a Divisional Manager at Kaleido Technologies. He outlines how great leaders often use technology to motivate the employees. Technology can motivate employees through increased and efficient communication, collaboration, assessment, and training.
Reference List Citation: Verma, S. (2016). How Great Leaders Use Technology to Motivate Employees. Linkedin. Retrieved 27 October 2016, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-great-leaders-use-technology-motivate-employees-sanjeev-verma
In-text citation: (Verma, 2016)
Business Case Paper
Description of Case Study Project
For any organization, the employees are the valuable assets. The physical assets cannot operate without the employees. Employees play a major role in making sure that the vision and mission of the organization are achieved. However, it is common for managers to concentrate on the emerging issue thus neglecting significant issues such as employee motivation. Managers often spend a lot of time and resources resolving a motivation issue in the workplace instead of preventing it (Price, 2011, p.436). Though is arguable that the employees are the most valuable assets, organizations normally do not portray this to the employees. Such behavior to some point demotivates the employees. The problem is worse in countries where unemployment rates are high. Employees are viewed as replaceable assets.
This project looks to unearth ways through which organization can motivate employees and make them productive. Employee de-motivation leads to high labor turnover, which is very costly to the organization. The cost of employing and training a new employee is high, but the cost of maintaining a de-motivated employee is also high. Thus, it is imperative for the organizations to maintain a highly motivated workforce for high results in performance not only financially but also in other areas. When employees are motivated, workplace collaborations and communication becomes easier.
Employee motivation is vital in any business. There are many ways of motivating employees, but employers primarily focus on financial motivation. Employees should feel satisfied with the workplace environment to enable them to operate smoothly. However, there are those employers who ignore the power of motivating compensation packages. In modern day economies, organizations are more concerned about activities, which create goods and services. However, for employees, they have expectations for the services provided. The performance of an employee and the decision to stick around in the organization are determined by the level at which the expectations are met. When employees are not motivated, they will move to other companies where their needs can be met. As outlined by Fitz-end (as cited in Ramlall, 2004, p.52), an average company organization loses $ 1 million when about ten professionals leave the organization.
Combining the cost of employing and training new employees with other indirect costs, the employee turnover costs become high. This scenario presents a significant economic impact when an organization loses critical employees. A high employee turnover reduces productivity in that it takes time and resources to train employees for them to be productive. Losing critical employees affects a business negatively in the short run and long-run (Ramlall, 2004, p.122). Businesses have an opportunity to increase productivity by keeping the employees motivated. However, keeping the employees motivated in itself is a challenge in that different employees will view different efforts of the business in different angles. Keeping all the employees motivated thus becomes a challenge.
Employee motivation is very significant to the business. When employees are motivated, their performance is very high. In addition, employee retention increases, which saves business resources. When a business retains critical employees, it gains a competitive advantage regarding employee performance and persistence. Motivation in the workplace creates the difference between an employee being productive and wanting to work. Without motivation, the employee will be unproductive, but with motivation, an employee becomes efficient and productive. Employee motivation thus is considerably the major driver of workplace productivity and efficiency. Long-term benefits of employee motivation include improved performance, less work related issues, profitability, and a healthy workforce.
There are several approaches followed by businesses to motivate employees but the major alternatives include;
A hierarchical organizational structure follows the form of a pyramid. In this form all, the employees are subordinate to someone else except the Chief executive officer who is the overall leader. There are multiple entities in this structure with the staff level employees sitting at the bottom of the pyramid. There is a direct line of command from top to bottom. The role of each employee in an organization is clearly defined. The critical decisions in this structure are made by the senior management and then passed down to other employees (Cosh et al., 2012, p. 309). The flow of information is always upward, and the senior management always has the information on how to run the business. There is little flow of information downwards. The lower level employees have no say in decision-making. Any initiative that may come from these employees is cramped due to the lack of channels to air such initiatives. In addition, in this kind of a structure, decision-making is very slow. Decisions have to move from one level to the other, which takes time. Slow decision-making leads to low productivity. Low productivity, on the other hand, keeps employees de-motivated. When the employees perceive that the management is hindering their productivity, they lose their motivation. The market today is very competitive and calls for quick decisions to gain an added advantage.
In a flat organizational structure, there are few levels of management. This structure advocates for less supervision and increased involvement of all employees in decision-making (Cosh et al., 2012, p. 311). According to the Maslow hierarchy needs theory, individuals have a set of goals, which are commonly referred to as basic need. These include safety, love physiological, self-actualization, and esteem. Employees are primarily motivated by the aspiration to accomplish the conditions under which their needs rest (Ramlall, 2004, p.54). If the unmet needs of the employee are ignored, then the employee will not be motivated. The flat organizational structure gives all the employees a chance to get involved in running the business by engaging in making decisions. Involvement in decision-making improves an employee’s self-esteem. In addition, when employees make productive decisions the state of self-actualization kicks in increasing motivation. The hierarchical structure gives little room for employee development career wise and social wise. However, the flat structure is very accommodative of the employees regarding development. Employees learn when they make decisions and act on them rather than when they act on decisions made by others. The flat system bestows more responsibility to all employees and the employees in return feel trusted by the business (Cosh et al., 2012, p. 311). When an employee’s feels trusted and valued by the employer, then motivation levels increases. However, when an employee feels not trusted to the extent of not being allowed to make any decisions, then the level of motivation goes down.
Currently, technology is the big thing in the market. Technology has taken over the life of the people and businesses. Business can take the advantage and use using the technology in motivating employees. As outlined by Verma (2016), creating a technology friendly workplace enhances the productivity and creativity of the employees. Technology makes it easy for employees to share and collaborate with each other. No matter where one employee is, it is easy to share information using technology. This idea increases efficiency and keeps the employees motivated. In addition, communication between employees becomes efficient with technology. All this leads to increased productivity and a productive employee is a motivated employee.
One of the major challenges in the labor market today is striking a balance between family and work. Parents are forced to employ other people to take care of their children, which affect them physiologically. It is hard for parents to concentrate at work when they are worried about their children back home. The motivation levels, in this case, will be low. However, with technology, an employee can work from the comfort of his/her home (Verma, 2016). This gives them time to look after their children as they work. In addition, one budget time better in that it is easy to take work home to cover for lost time for the day. Technology also comes in assessing the employees. There are management software’s that can assess the performance of employees continuously and generates real-time feedback. With such software, the management can address any performance problem rather than wait for the yearly performance evaluation.
Technology is significant in modern day organizations, but it must be coupled with training. Some of the technologies existing today are very complex and require intensive training for the employees to be able to benefit from them (Verma, 2016). When technologies are integrated into an organization, and the employees have no skills to use them, the technology will be of little benefit to the organization. However, there are those technologies that require little training and employees can adopt them easily. Technology is a great motivator. It increases sharing, collaboration, and employee engagement levels.
Compensation is very vital in the workplace. Employees perceive their value to the business through the level of compensation for services they receive. As emphasized by Akintoye (cited in Ghazanfar et al., 2011, p.122), money remains the most significant motivator in the workplace. Money holds a motivating power in that it symbolizes goals such as power, security, and prestige. It is common for managers to use the money to either reward or punish workers. Employees are rewarded for high productivity but also instilled fear with threats of job loss. Other compensations can motivate employees. A major motivator is the possibility of promotion with high productivity. The desire for promotion and increased pay keeps the employees motivated. Studies have shown that financial incentives motivate workers to work hard. Organizations should tie performance with compensation to keep the employees motivated.
A study conducted by Ghazanfar et al. (2011, p.125) revealed that among the highly satisfied with compensation employees, 35.1% are highly motivated as compared to 8.7% who are motivated but unsatisfied with compensation. It, however, indicates that flexible pay interims of bonuses and overtime do not have an effect on motivation. The study reveals that fixed pay increase an employee’s motivation. Employees base their compensation to other organization. If the compensation regarding fixed pay and other benefits is competitive with other organization, then the employees feel valuable and become motivated. This increases employee retention, which is beneficial in the long-run. Competitive compensation does not mean monetary remuneration alone rather it incorporates other elements such as allowances and bonuses. It is however not entirely true that a competitive compensation will automatically lead to motivation. Employees have different needs which if not met will lead to the lack of motivation. Compensation should be coupled with other motivating elements for maximum performance. A good example is that a competitively paid employee may not be motivated due to an imbalance between personal life and work life.
Analysis of Alternatives
All of the alternatives considered in this case have both advantages and disadvantages. When making decisions, one has to consider the advantages and disadvantages and weigh the viability of the alternative.
A flat organizational structure is cost effective. There are few managers in this structure, and this translates to fewer wages, benefits, and other management expenses. This enables the company to be profitable. Another major advantage is that decision making in this structure is very fast. There are fewer people to be consulted about any decision making the management to respond to issues and opportunities without wasting much time. The direct communication between the employees and the top management makes it easy to make decisions and the employee’s stay motivated. Less supervision makes the employees feel independent and have the feeling of freedom, which keeps them motivated. However, when employees have much freedom, it is easy for the management to lose control (Cosh et al., 2012, p. 314). When employees can make decisions on their own, it can be hard for the management to prevent bad decisions and behavior. In addition, this system can create a power struggle in that when the overall manager is not around, there is no one to report to, and employees can fight for power. Though a motivation alternative, when not controlled, it can erode motivation. This system does not advocate for ambitious employees to move up the hierarchy, which can erode motivation for such employees.
Technology has its advantages and disadvantages in the workplace. One of the advantages is that it saves time and resources. With technology, employees do not need to be in the same location physically. Employees can collaborate by holding teleconferences and charts. In addition, employees can work from home, which helps them take care of families and saves the business travel expenses. Technology also encourages innovation and creativity. In a flat organizational structure, employees can experiment with technologies and in the process innovate new technologies. This keeps the employees fully engaged and motivated. Technology also improves management efforts. The process of hiring and screening of new employees has been simplified by technology.
Job vacancies are advertised online, and interested candidates apply online. However, technology is a great distraction in the workplace. The use of mobile phones in the workplace, for example, allows the employees to use social media, which causes distraction and lowers productivity (Price, 2011, p.446). Computers though very efficient can also be a distraction especially when employees use them for other purposes other than the business purpose. In addition, the technological communication erodes face-to-face communication, which reduces employees’ social skills. Employees become self-centered and reserved and try to fill the gap but over working which can affect them negatively. Technology also poses a threat to businesses especially when it comes to data security. It can be difficult to monitor the use of technology in the workplace, and dishonest employees can share sensitive information with competitors.
Competitive compensation to the employees can be beneficial and harmful to business. First, if the competitive compensation leads to increased motivation and productivity, the organization gains a competitive advantage in the market. Besides, with competitive remuneration packages, business attracts who are motivated to work in an environment with competitive remuneration. Employee retention is also very significant. Employees will stay if well motivated through competitive pay and other elements. Overall, a business with competitive remuneration packages will remain stable both performance wise and in other sectors. Employees will be motivated to work even harder when they relate their package to value placed on them. When the hierarchical needs of the employee are met, then the employee is motivated. However, using competitive remuneration to motivate employees is disadvantageous especially to small businesses, which have no resources to maintain such a policy (Ghazanfar et al.,2011, p.123). In addition, pay can motivate and attract, but with time, other tools will have to come in to motivate the employees. A competitive remuneration policy can provide external equity but not internal equity. It places the package on the job and not the individual as the performance schemes do. Individuals may not give their best since they will still receive their packages at the end of the month. Managers, in this case, have to find other means of encouraging employees to give their best.
Considering all the alternatives presented above, I would recommend adopting the most appropriate alternative based on resources, employee needs, and other elements. With enough resources, all the alternatives can be adopted.
Employees have various needs and are motivated through different initiatives. None of the alternatives presented above can be universal in motivating employees. Small business cannot maintain a competitive remuneration package but can adopt technology as a form of motivation. Each of the alternatives has advantages and disadvantages, but they can fill in for each other. If an organization adopts all the alternatives, then it can be able to motivate most of the employees. However, with the resources restraint, an organization should adopt the appropriate alternative. While middle performing business can adopt competitive remuneration packages to match those of high performing businesses, small businesses can adopt technology to increase motivation and performance and reach the middle level. The objectives and mission of the business can be the guide unto the alternative to adopting. Each business has its performance indicators and measures, which are significant in determining the best way to motivate employees for high performance.
All business needs to generate ways to motivate their employees. Different business requires different levels of motivation. Intrinsically, employee motivation is linked to employee engagement, which is a major focus of organizations today (Price, 2011, p.434). When employees are motivated, they will perform efficiently thus improving the overall performance of the business. Engaged workers have passion and are proud of their organizations. This drives their motivation thus moving the business forward. When employees are not fully engaged, they just put their time into working and not their energy. As outlined above, employees have different needs, which require fulfilling or motivation. An organization should be able to recognize the needs and expectations of an employee and work to fulfill them.
As outlined above, there are several ways of motivating employees. The major methods of employee motivation as outlined in this project include Redesigning organizational structure from hierarchical to a flat mechanism, integrating new technologies in the workplace coupled with intensive training and competitive remuneration and compensation packages. The alternatives offer different incentives to motivate the employees, and it is upon the business management to determine the most appropriate method based on resources and employee needs and expectations. As recommended, a business can adopt either of the alternatives or any combination.
Cosh, A., Fu, X., & Hughes, A. (2012). Organisation structure and innovation performance in different environments. Small Business Economics, 39(2), 301-317.
Ghazanfar, F., Chuanmin, S., Khan, M. M., & Bashir, M. (2011). A study of relationship between satisfaction with compensation and work motivation. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(1).
Price, A. & Price, A. (2011). Human resource management (4th ed., pp. 431-453). Andover: Cengage Learning.
Ramlall, S. (2004). A review of employee motivation theories and their implications for employee retention within organizations. Journal of American Academy of Business, 5(1/2), 52-63.
Verma, S. (2016). How Great Leaders Use Technology to Motivate Employees. Linkedin. Retrieved 27 October 2016, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-great-leaders-use-technology-motivate-employees-sanjeev-verm
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