Build a Thriving Workforce in a Small Business of Ten Employees Assessment 2 Answer
Persuasive Essay – Motivation
Topic: How to Build a Thriving Workforce in a Small Business of Ten Employees?
Business organizations from big, medium to small, all require a thriving workforce to offer productive outcome and strive towards organizational growth and development. As stated by Bowman (2014), a thriving workforce can be referred to employees who are working diligently for organizational as well as their own future development and is quite productive and satisfied in their respective job roles. With such engagement to their work, they feel a sense of meaning and purpose in their job roles and hence are completely passionate and energised towards their tasks. This persuasive essay focuses primarily on the motivation of employees and determines the process of building a thriving workforce for small business through the use of several theories related to motivation.
Motivation is a culmination of three elements namely intensity, direction and persistence which work together to motivate an individual towards a goal. The intensity element in the motivation process refers to the zeal and effort of the person for attaining a goal. This is in fact, according to Ganta (2014) the most crucial aspect of motivation and is prioritized by business organizations when recruiting employees. On the other hand, without a proper direction to the individual’s effort, even high intensity might not lead to favourable job-performance outcomes and benefit the organization. For this reason, intensity should be properly directed while also focusing on the quality of effort as well. Finally, the persistence element is the total time frame the individual is willing to stick to their intense effort in order to achieve their goals.
As business organizations are able to keep their employees motivated in their respective job roles, they are able to build a thriving workforce as well that is capable of achieving the organizational goals through maximized productive output while also fulfilling their own needs. In this context Thorpe (2016), argues that effective leadership is needed which can guide the employees properly towards the goal. The leader must need to motivate the employees every time so that they can communicate with each other. Sharing view can also help the workforce to get the innovative knowledge to perform significantly. This is where Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory comes into play. According to this theory, there are 5 levels of needs like physiological, safety, social, esteem and self-actualization. As stated by Cherry (2013) the physiological needs start at the very bottom of the hierarchical pyramid and only after completion of the lower order needs an individual can rise up to the other above levels of higher-order needs. When the external needs are met and the person is physiologically secured and safe, it is only then they can focus on improving their internal satisfaction and needs. Fallatah & Syed (2018) argue that it is very much crucial for the company to provide the proper job recognition to the employees so that they can feel their value within the organisation as well. Side by side effective communication is also important to make a proper work culture which can motivate the workforce and thriving workforce can be achieved by the business organisation.
On contrary to this prescribed theory of needs, it is often argued that if employees are provided all the physiological and security needs by the organization, they often tend to get distracted and deviated from the assigned organizational goals. This is mostly due to the lack of pressure from company management and easier fulfilment of requirement often leads to an easy-going approach which prevents the sense of urgency to accomplish a task or goal. In the view of Basinska (2017), for this reason, it is necessary to implement Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory while also monitoring their progress and performance in the workplace. The organizational policies should be developed in such a way so that employees are not in fear of job security and also not too relaxed about a long-term future without any sense of urgency to achieve a goal.
One of the most important aspects in a workplace is its environment as well as the job security that the organization offers. As the salary of the employee ensures most of his physiological needs, providing long-term job security fulfils the bottom level needs. A healthy and safe work environment makes the employee feel secure and can focus comfortably on the assigned tasks. Once these two aspects are met, the organization can then motivate its employees to strive for more professional success by the productive and efficient outcome. This theory forms one contributing factor to a thriving workforce in a small business organization.
McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y are another two theories with the same motivation component to them. Both of these theories are based on assumptions of human nature and are strictly dependant on the way the manager perceives his employees. According to Lawter, Kopelman & Prottas (2015) in theory X, the manager perceives the employees as minimal ambition and dislike their respective job roles. Moreover, they also tend to avoid any form of responsibility or accountability and consider their own security above everything else.
On contrary to this theory, a different stance is perceived by managers who follow Theory Y. As per this theory, work is enjoyable and quite natural like resting or playing for the employees. Due to such a viewpoint, employees tend to enjoy their individual work and do not hesitate to take any crucial responsibility. In fact, as suggested by Gürbüz, Şahin & Köksal, (2014) employees under this model tend to have strong decision-making skills similar to the managers. Due to this psychological approach towards their work, the managers do not need to control, coerce or threaten the employees to achieve the organizational goals and the productive outcome is inevitable. However, these approaches towards work as per these theories are simply based on assumptions and no hard evidence is available to confirm either of the two. Both the theories are essentially two sides of the same concept where the perception of the manager of his employees determines the outcome.
Nevertheless, when organizations and their performances were evaluated from companies following either of the two theories, it was revealed that in companies where managers followed Theory Y, employees were more likely to be productive and efficient as well as motivated and engaged towards their job roles. Also, due to support and positive attitude from the managers, the employees of these companies were more ambitious towards achieving the organizational goals (Gürbüz, Şahin & Köksal, 2014). It can be determined from the findings that following Theory Y is yet another contributor towards building a thriving workforce in a small organization.
Another relevant theory in motivated employees is the self-determination theory which shows a correlation between employee motivation and intrinsic and extrinsic reward assigned to them for their tasks. Ryan & Deci (2017) argue that humans by nature tend to believe they are in control of their own actions and tend to enjoy their tasks as long as they are not obligations to be performed for external rewards. Multiple studies in this field have revealed that when people feel an obligation to do tasks that were previously enjoyable, their motivation level decreases and they tend to refrain from it as much as possible. This self-determination theory is based on self-concordance where people are willing to pursue goals as long as they align with their own interests and core values. In short, intrinsic reasons keep people more motivated towards their tasks and they are more likely to attain the desired goals. On the other hand, extrinsic reasons such as money, status or other benefits rarely act as such big motivators in people’s lives. In fact, they are less happy, satisfied and engaged in what they are doing and eventually fail to achieve the necessary goals.
It is often argued that money or rewards can act as a great motivator and influence employees to work harder. In such scenarios, this theory might not work properly as they tend to have specific criteria to respond to extrinsic reasons. When the field of work is high-paying and the success in achieving a goal tend to reward the employee with a huge monetary amount, it is only then external reasons can be equally motivating than internal ones.
In context to the small business, it is necessary to make the employees feel cared and protected by the organization rather than just offering them high salaries to get the job done. In the view of Deci et al. (2017) as employees perceive the company as their own, they are more likely to enjoy their job roles, commit to them and attain the organizational goals while also fulfilling their own future interests. It is quite evident from this that the small business should pursue such an approach to trigger intrinsic reasons for work which in return will motivate the employees and help build a thriving workforce. However, it is necessary to keep in mind that this theory only works in specific scenarios where the involved task is neither too dull nor extremely interesting and moderation is maintained.
Another crucial theory for motivating employees and build a thriving workforce is Edwin Locke’s goal-setting theory where the employees are given specific yet difficult goals to achieve and also the freedom to self-generate feedback on their tasks. Studies on this theory have revealed that whenever individuals are given a difficult goal but specific to their field of expertise, they tend to strive harder for achieving it. Also, allowing them to evaluate their own tasks and generate their own feedback for future improvement also leads to higher performance and productivity. However, as contradict by Locke & Latham (2015) it is essential that the relationship between the goals and performances heavily rely on aspects such as national culture, goal commitment and task characteristics. In countries where it is socially appreciable to achieve a certain task or goal, this theory can be used to bring out the maximum potential of the employees. Furthermore, the employees should be given goals that are interesting to them and they are willing to fully commit to the process. Even the employees should be well-learned on the field so that the given goal seems relatively simple to them and they are aware of the process to achieve it. Mone, London & Mone (2018) contradict that, performance indicator could be an effective solution to evaluate the performance of the employees. This would help the organisation to understand the gap in the performance and discussed theory could be applied to mitigate the issues.
In context to the small business with ten employees, this theory can be used to build a thriving workforce, provided the national culture aligns with the goal-setting process. Moreover, recruiting highly-skilled employees, to begin with, would also ensure that they are accustomed to the task characteristics. All these theories related to motivation is quite useful in building a thriving workforce in a small company and needs to be used collectively to ensure maximum output.