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6.3 Chapter Summary and Case

Chapter Summary

  • The theory of job withdrawal explains the process someone goes through when they are not motivated or happy at work.
  • There are many motivation theories that attempt to explain people’s motivation or lack of motivation at work.
  • The Hawthorne studies were a series of studies beginning in 1927 that initially looked at physical environments but found that people tended to be more motivated when they felt cared about. The implications to retention are clear, in that employees should feel cared about and developed within the organization.
  • Maslow’s theory on motivation says that if someone already has a need met, giving them something to meet more of that need will no longer motivate. Maslow divided the needs into physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization needs. Many companies only motivate based on the low-level needs, such as pay. Development of training opportunities, for example, can motivate employees on high-level self-actualization needs.
  • Herzberg developed motivational theories based on actual motivation factors and hygiene factors. Hygiene factors are those things that are expected in the workplace and will demotivate employees when absent but will not actually motivate when present. If managers try to motivate only on the basis of hygiene factors, turnover can be high. Motivation on both of his factors is key to a good retention plan.
  • McGregor’s theory on motivation looked at managers’ attitudes toward employees. He found that theory X managers had more of a negative view of employees, while theory Y managers had a more positive view. Providing training to the managers in our organization can be a key retention strategy based on McGregor’s theory.
  • The carrot-and-stick approach means you can get someone to do something by prodding or by offering some incentive to motivate them to do the work. This theory implies these are the only two methods to motivate, which of course, we know isn’t true. The implication of this in our retention plan is such that we must utilize a variety of methods to retain employees.
  • Finally, understanding our own motivations at work is an important step to making sure we choose the right career path.
  • Salary and benefits are a major component of what employees do to motivate us. Consistent pay systems and transparent processes as to how raises occur should be clearly communicated.
  • Training and development meets the higher-level needs of the individual. Many companies offer paid tuition programs, reimbursement programs, and in-house training to increase the skills and knowledge of the employee.
  • Performance appraisals provide an avenue for feedback and goal setting. They also allow for employees to be recognized for their contributions.
  • Succession plans allow us, as employees, the ability to see how we can continue our career with the organization, and they clearly detail what employees need to do to achieve career growth.
  • Some companies use flextime and telecommuting options as motivators. These types of plans allow the employee flexibility when developing his or her schedule and some control of his or her work. Some companies also offer paid or unpaid sabbaticals after a certain number of years with the company to pursue personal interests.
  • Since one of the reasons people are dissatisfied at their job is because of the relationship with their manager, many companies require management training and communication training to ensure managers are able to establish good relationships with employees.
  • Some companies may change the job through empowerment or job enlargement to help the growth of the employee.
  • Other, more unique ways companies try to retain employees might include offering services to make the employee’s life easier, such as dry cleaning, daycare services, or on-site yoga classes.

Chapter Case

  1. The following is a list of some possible strategies companies use to motivate employees. Rank each one in order of importance to you (one being the most important). Then categorize where you think each would go in Maslow's Hierarchy and Hertzberg's theory.

    1. Salary
    2. Opportunity for bonuses, profit sharing
    3. Benefits
    4. Opportunity to grow professionally with the organization
    5. Team bonuses
    6. More paid time off
    7. Option to telecommute
    8. Flextime scheduling
    9. Sense of empowerment
    10. Tuition reimbursement
    11. Job satisfaction