Motivation Concept Analysis
According to Webster, motivation is an internal state of being, or an internal behavior that activates one’s behavior and giving it a direction to achieve a desirable result.
For me motivation has something to do with an employee’s willingness to learn, need to achieve, and desire and compulsion to contribute, and be successful in a given task. I am an officer in US Army; the cadets in my regiment are under tremendous pressure to give their best under adverse condition.
They are required to direct their energy and desire in order to achieve a given goal. I firmly believe that “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory” can be successfully applied to many work related dilemmas. In army, factors which lead to work satisfaction can be completely different from those which lead to dissatisfaction. This theory is very close to the working condition where resources such as working environment, employees, salary are limited.
These resources are to be optimally used by all army personnel. People join U. S.
Army due to various reasons; some of them are influenced by the monetary and non-monetary benefits and other facilities it has to offer, while many are motivated by the desire to serve their country, recognition, responsibility for their country, and so on (Latham, 1979). Regardless of what their purpose is, these personnel need continuous encouragement so that they can fulfill their own unique prospective.
Presently I am posted in Iraq, where the conditions are as adverse as they can be high crime rate; destabilize government, poor infrastructure, adverse climatic conditions, and so on.
But in spite of this our main objective is of upliftment of people in Iraq and place the country back on the path of progress and development. For the soldiers each day comes up with a new challenge where they need to show strength, courage, and trust on one another. But even after excellent training it gets tough on them to maintain confidence and commitment. Being a platoon commander it is of utmost importance for me to maintain their motivation level in all conditions.
I am aware of the fact that it is important to address the basic needs first, before considering any esoteric need and this is exactly what Maslow’s hierarchy theory of need aims at.
I always make sure that my soldiers get the best facilities and motivated continuously to give their best. The diagram given below will explain it more clearly (Aubuchon, 2006): Hierarchy LevelNature of NeedsImportanceWays to satisfy them Level 1Survival NeedThe basic life or low level need. Provide healthy and hygienic mess food, Proper shelter from extreme weather, clean drinking ater, medical psychologist to understand their sexual needs, proper rest. Level 2Security NeedBasic need related with physical and emotional security. 24/7 protection from Iraqi guerillas, maintaining internal law and orders (army law), discussing their problem and help them to gain stability, Good pay packages and other related benefits. Level 3Social NeedMiddle level need related with emotional aspects.
Support group to discuss and solve soldier’s personal problem, friendly environment is developed through group parties and group tasks, Communication with family members via free internet and telephone services.
Level 4Need of Psychological SafetyHigh level need. Development of self esteem and reputation by singing national anthem and parade. Cognitive NeedHigh level need aimed at building reliable communication channel. Regular group meetings to discuss present situation, soldiers are motivated to give their suggestions. Aesthetic NeedHigh level need aimed at development of order and symmetry.
Common mess facilities and training for all soldiers irrespective of their ranks, Strict adherence to army rules and regulations.
Level 5Fulfillment and Self-Actualization Need Highest order need aimed at self fulfillment. Promotion of “creative living” and facilitating growth through training, giving time to pursue area of interest like distant education etc. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory is also used in the development of Iraqi people. Their basic needs of survival and security is satisfied by providing help in developing local infrastructure which was badly damaged in previous wars, providing medical facilities, and help in building a stable government.
Their higher order needs of social belongingness, Psychological Safety and Self-Actualization is satisfied by developing education programs and hospitals, giving educational scholarships, providing financial and technological help and help to develop entrepreneurial activities (Mowbray, 2008). Despite numerous benefits to offer, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory fails to address following issues (Nadel, 2008): 1)It is a general theory and therefore if of little significance in any area of specialization, like warfare activities. 2)It does not take ranks of army officers into account. Different officers need different types of motivation. )It does not take level of stress in account. 4)High attrition rate because of incomplete and inadequate career offerings as compared to civilian careers.
In this ever changing work environment, business is need of a theory which can effectively address contemporary issues which cannot be tackled by previous theories. It needs to be personalized which is capable of catering motivational needs of diverse individuals. In addition to this it should also aimed at solving complex social problems and issues particularly related with economic failure. This theory needs to employ both motivation and manipulation to be used in tandem.
When there is a need to get the work done in little time, manipulation is often more useful then motivation. But having said that for long term benefits motivation is preferred over manipulation.
There is a thin line in-between the two which should be maintained at all levels. This theory should be aimed to address any foreseeable motivational needs (Lefebvre, 2002). There are potentially dangerous ramifications of failing to meet this challenge. Other than resulting into extremely low economic performance, it can also result into ethical degradation and low morality.
As employees are becoming more aware of their rights and available options, if they are not motivated properly, it will not only result in their own person dissatisfaction and decreasing performance level but also an overall decline in the organizational productivity. CONCLUSION Motivation is an indispensible factor for every organization.
It provides support to human resource by encouraging employees to give their best performance under adverse conditions by using available resources. Other than this it helps in developing leadership qualities which is essential for long term individual and organizational growth.
Managers can use various motivational theories to develop human resource in their respective organizations. But to make best use of these theories, they should be customized according to specific organizational requirements. They primary aim should be facilitating high level of enthusiasm and inspirational work environment.