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Becoming a Twenty-first Century Motivator
A twenty-first-century work motivator is a change agent that effectively directs, energizes, and executes relevant action towards roles, tasks, or projects within the organization (Deci & Ryan, 2008). A motivator needs to be well versed in different employee behavior to influence behavior towards exemplary job performance. Again, the motivator should be conversant with the firm’s goals and the firm’s objectives to direct the efforts towards their fulfillment. Also, Waqas and Saleem (2014) argue that being an effective motivator calls for familiarization with endogenous process theories that focus predominantly on the psychological mechanisms enlightening motivation inside employees’ heads. Further, knowledge of the exogenous cause theories, such as goal-setting and job design, helps the motivator contextualize how influences on employee work motivation can be altered.
Besides, the expectancy theorists such as Adam (Deci & Ryan, 2008) believe that the workers choose to invest their efforts in having more relative utilities (Aguinis, Joo, & Gottfredson, 2013). Similarly, effort centers around three beliefs. Firstly, in the expectancy aspect, employees believe that effort would lead to performance. Secondly, in instrumentality, they presume that performance directly affects the outcomes) and lastly, in the valence construct, workers believe that results are of great value. The three constructs are vital for a modern-day motivator since they give insight into employee behavior. For instance, a manager wishing to increase the employee input rate in an industry context needs to effectively direct the efforts in the best way possible to obtain the performance according to the workers’ expectations. Their valuable endeavors will be compensated in optimal quantities.
Similarly, it is not possible to effectively motivate the twenty-first-century workforce without practical knowledge in sharing capabilities. Following the firm’s resource-based view, employees form a crucial resource for the management of the organization. Ideally, employee management shifts continue to recognize their role beyond being input agents (Hansen, Smith, & Hansen, 2002). Knowledge management in the firm affects the motivation levels. Traditionally, the older employees hoard knowledge due to their insecurity due to new employees’ entry; because the more senior workers possess more valuable knowledge than their younger colleagues, the latter need to lure their older counterparts in sharing the practical knowledge with them (Deci & Ryan, 2008). The emergence of knowledge-based economies prompts managers to alter organizational cultures towards reasonable knowledge-sharing practices. Sharing knowledge means giving the employees the chance to take a more active organizational management role than ever before. By allowing the employees to share in the knowledge and participate in the vital management practices, their loyalty to the firm is greatly improved. As expectancy theorists argue, their efforts contribute to valuable performance escalating their motivational levels (Chen and Sheng, 2013).
Another front in motivating the workers is by encouraging flexibility in the work processes. Today’s modern workplace has become dynamic and evolving (Deci & Ryan, 2008). The drastic technological changes witnessed in the past several decades have transformed the workplace. Thus, becoming a motivator calls for embracing technological changes, giving rise to flexible working hours, and integrating life goals into employee commitment. For instance, configuring emails with mobile phones and working from home helps employees balance work and family responsibilities. Healthy working also enhances the workers to perform better. Recent studies reveal that thirty additional minutes of physical activity doubles worker productivity in the last couple of hours of the day. In the world, having diverse employees’ diverse needs, motivating workers towards a healthy and happy workforce is not an easy task (Aguinis, Joo, & Gottfredson, 2013). Nevertheless, motivators require a systematic approach and planning to manage employees in the best techniques possible.
Furthermore, identifying motivating factors gives managers an upper hand in managing the people in the motivation perspectives. Contemporary managers need to be familiar with various employee motivational factors and be keen on the priority changes the elements over time. Organizational behaviorists have pointed out that identifying such factors awakens the spirit of motivation in the firm translating positively into workforce performance. Employee well-being studies maintain that high-level engagement calls for rethinking motivation programs in the organization. For instance, for a firm that solely embraces remuneration incentives, it is best to consider other remuneration forms. In other words, the current century’s motivators need to allow for alternative motivation schemes to suit the needs of the employees (Chen and Sheng, 2013). In the case of management’s pressure to perform better, the employees need to be treated with respect and recognition of their values and beliefs towards work. Relaxation of tension among relationships provides an environment for motivation to bloom (Aguinis, Joo, & Gottfredson, 2013).
Still, emphasizing the point of alternative motivation approaches, Aguinis, Joo, & Gottfredson (2013), question whether motivation is always about money. It is a vital question facing researchers, organizational leaders as well as modern-day employees. In the attempt to answer the question, goal setting for motivation is an essential ingredient. As pointed out by Aguinis, Joo, & Gottfredson (2013), goal setting is a crucial tool for management in increasing productivity and performance over a long time horizon. Similarly, the employees have their goals regarding motivation at work. A motivator seeks to synchronize the firm’s needs and the workers from the goal-setting perspective (Hansen, Smith, & Hansen, 2002). For instance, if an employee yearns to prioritize career development, the non-financial motivational rewards such as promotions will play a key role. If the environment calls for monetary incentives, as in periods of economic depression, a manager would be more inclined towards monetary motivational programs.
On a similar note, Aguinis, Joo, & Gottfredson (2013) highlight the need to redefine the present-day workplace’s motivation programs. Although money is a well-known supreme motivator, managers cannot help but think of other ways to instill and foster the organization’s high motivational level. Pursuing unrivaled motivation practices calls for thinking from the perspectives of both the manager and the employees. Modern motivators need to think through the workers’ lens to eliminate the redundancy and the lukewarm attitudes towards work. It is a psychological approach that is complex but achievable with a combination of suitable strategies (Hansen, Smith, & Hansen, 2002). If a motivator is based on monetary motivation schemes, one may alter the salary structures or introduce the payments schemes that anchor the inputs’ intensity. Performance-based pay is popular even to the high-level employees of the organization. Other monetary considerations include the personal and special allowance, the provision of the fringe benefits, and pensions, among others.