Employee motivation is one of the most controversial topics that have been of great interest to many researchers in the world. The focus of the researchers has been placed on the process of employee motivation as well as on the various rewards that are considered to be motivating by the individuals. Despite the efforts by organizations to train their employees in some areas that are critical to their businesses, some employees fail to excel in such programs due to lack of motivation. Without a well motivated workforce, morale, profits, productivity, and service delivery suffers. This essay cover some major motivation theories and their applicability in an organization as well as discus the factors that makes the employees in this organization not to be motivated to perform well in the training program. It also gives relevant improvements in the program based on these theories.
Motivation Theories and employee training
It the organizations’ employees failed in the training due to lack of motivation, it may have been caused by their indifference towards or their desire to avoid the existing results. This can be explained by the expectancy theory. This is one of the widely cited theories of motivation and it suggests that at any given situation, an individual’s motivation level with respect to his or her performance depends on desire for an outcome, perception that the performance of an individual is related to obtaining other desired outcomes and the perceived probability that the individual’s effort will lead to the expected performance (Borkowski, N, 2009). This theory is central to the integrated model through the factors that influences the effort. The Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is proposed by the strength and nature of the existing needs which indicates where the employees or individuals finds themselves in the hierarchy which in turn indicates value of the rewards that are offered. If the rewards are adapted to the needs of the individuals, they will attach more value to it as opposed to when they do not coincide with the level of the need (Kroon, J, 1995).
The reinforcement theory of motivation emphasizes on the outcomes of the actions and it has close relation to the expectancy theory. In cases where the outcomes of an employee’s behavior determine his or her motivation level, the premise is that the reinforced behavior is repeated while the unreinforced behavior is not repeated. Due to the fact that an employee in the due course learns what performance is desirable and what is not desirable, the motivated behavior is a learned behavior in many respects. Thus, the learning process becomes an important motivating factor based on experience. Positive reinforcement includes some rewards such as remuneration; promotion and praise after the desired goals have been achieved with the sole intention of increasing the probability that the good behavior will be repeated. On the other hand, the negative reinforcement entails the way in which the employee avoids a negative result. For example, some employees might have passed the examination because they wanted to avoid reprimand (Gabriel, A. V, 2003).
The organization’s managers might have used manipulation and fear during the training. When the employees are motivated by fear, they do not try to achieve anything but they look into how they avoid losing their jobs. Then they fail in the training process due to resentment of the managers by them which then undermine cooperation. The outcomes of scaring the employees to perform do not last and it finally backfires on the organization (Bruce, A, 2006). Some employees might have failed due to their negative attitude towards the training program. Attitude is an internal influence that is depicted in the employees’ model of work behavior (Werner, M, J & DeSimone, L, R, 2008).
Based on the theories, the organization’s employee motivation should be flexible in order to cover different motives that drive people to achieve the set goals. For instance, being in a nice hotel outside the workplace and paying the employees for the time they spend in the training program are the only motivators; the employees who need recognition and status will not be motivated. With respect to this, individual differences must be recognized because each employee is an individual in his own characteristics, attitudes, expectations and needs. Therefore, flexibility is important. The organization’s motivation during the training should be comprehensive because when different motivators are provided, there is a likelihood of meeting all the needs of the employees ranging from those involving self development to physiological needs. Finally, the motivation process should be progressive in the sense that the output level is able to be increased to meet the demands of the competitive environment and also to meet all demands of the workers for the difficult and challenging responsibilities (Gabriel, A. V, 2003).
The approaches that promote personal growth and purpose should be set. The organization should help the employees to appreciate that they have something that they can contribute to it. When emphasis is put on personal development and growth, the employees are assisted to maximize their contribution, improving their contribution and excelling in important programs especially the training program (Bruce, A, 2006).
In conclusion, all the organizations’ employees should know that training programs are important and try to make them succeed irrespective of the motivation problems. Based on the expectancy and reinforcement motivation theories, the managers should work with their employees in determining the goals in order to provide the motivation targets. Also, the employees should attach appreciate all the training programs organized by an organization and try to excel in this programs thus enhancing positive development. Finally, the managers should put into consideration the divergent needs of the employees during the training process in order to enhance success in their motivational efforts.