The motivation in the company
Given that all companies are committed to producing more and better in a competitive and globalized world, top management organizations have to resort to all available means to meet their objectives. These means are referred to: strategic planning, capital increase, cutting-edge technology, appropriate logistics, personnel policies, adequate use of resources, etc.
Obviously, management strategies and staff development are the most important factor that will help to achieve business goals and personal development of workers. Within this field, there are complex processes that intervene, such as:
- Working conditions
- Organizational climate
- Human relations
- Recruitment policies
- Reward systems, etc.
In this context, the motivation of the staff is an important means to support the personal development of workers and, therefore, improve productivity in the company.
It is very common to hear organizations say: “we have to motivate our staff to work harder and produce better”. All managers face an enormous challenge: to motivate workers to produce the desired results, with efficiency, quality and innovation, as well as with satisfaction and commitment. But what to do to achieve it? That is the dilemma that must be resolved in the next pages.
To maintain such a degree of commitment and effort, organizations have to properly assess the cooperation of their members, establishing mechanisms that allow for a sufficiently motivated workforce for efficient and effective performance, leading to the achievement of objectives and goals. Of the organization and at the same time it is possible to satisfy the expectations and aspirations of its members. Such premises lead automatically to inevitably focus on the subject of motivation as one of the important elements to generate, maintain, modify or change attitudes and behaviors in the desired direction.
The motivation is constituted by all the factors capable of provoking, maintaining and directing the behavior toward an objective. In the example of hunger, we obviously have a motivation, since it provokes the behavior that consists in going to look for food and, in addition, maintains it; that is to say, the more hungry we have, the more directly we will go to the adequate satisfaction. If we are hungry we go to the food; that is, motivation directs us to satisfy the need.
Motivation is also considered as the impulse that leads a person to choose and perform an action among those alternatives that arise in a certain situation. In effect, the motivation is related to the impulse, because it provides efficacy to the collective effort aimed at achieving the objectives of the company, for example, and pushes the individual to the continuous search for better situations in order to perform professionally and personally, integrating it thus in the community where its action acquires meaning.
Motivation is both objective and action. Feeling motivated means identifying with the end and, on the contrary, feeling unmotivated represents the loss of interest and meaning of the objective or, what is the same, the impossibility of achieving it.
The most intense impulse is survival in a pure state when fighting for life, followed by the motivations that derive from the satisfaction of primary and secondary needs (hunger, thirst, shelter, sex, safety, protection, etc.).
Motivation is the result of the individual’s interaction with the situation. So when analyzing the concept of motivation, it must be taken into account that its level varies, both between individuals and within the same individuals at different times.
In order to explain the relationship between motivation and behavior, it is important to start from some theoretical positions that presuppose the existence of certain laws or principles based on the accumulation of empirical observations. According to Chiavenato, there are three premises that explain the nature of human behavior. These are:
- The behavior is caused. That is, there is an internal or external cause that originates human behavior, product of the influence of the inheritance and the environment.
- The behavior is motivated. The impulses, desires, needs or tendencies are the reasons for the behavior.
- The behavior is oriented towards objectives. There is a purpose in all human behavior, since there is a cause that generates it. The behavior is always directed toward some goal.
The motivational cycle
If we focus on motivation as a process to satisfy needs, what is called the motivational cycle arises, whose stages are the following:
- That is, at a certain moment the human organism remains in a state of equilibrium.
- It is when a stimulus appears and generates a need.
- This need (still unsatisfied), causes a state of tension.
- Tension state. Tension produces an impulse that results in a behavior or action.
- The behavior, when activated, is directed to satisfy this need. Reach the goal satisfactorily.
- If the need is satisfied, the organism returns to its equilibrium state, until another stimulus is present. All satisfaction is basically a release of tension that allows the return to the previous homeostatic equilibrium.
The human being is immersed in a surrounding environment that imposes certain restrictions or certain stimuli that decisively influence human behavior. There is also no doubt that the organism has a series of needs that will condition part of human behavior. Thus, for example, when we are hungry we turn to food. There we have a behavior. When we are hungry, a balance has been broken in our body; there is, therefore, an imbalance that we seek to remedy; then the organism acts in search of its homeostatic state. The “ideal” state would be to have a full stomach; but when this balance is broken, our receptors immediately communicate to the central nervous system that the stomach is empty and that it is urgent to refill it to maintain life. Then that balance, that haemostatic state breaks down and the body seeks to restore it again. However, remember that homeostasis is not absolute but dynamic, in the sense of allowing progress.
The body to act behavior, does not always gets the satisfaction of the need, since there may be some barrier or obstacle to prevent it, thus producing the so-called frustration, continuing the state of tension due to the barrier that prevents satisfaction. The existing or non-liberated tension, when accumulating in the individual, keeps it in a state of imbalance. However, to round off the basic concept, it should be noted that when a need is not satisfied within a reasonable time, it can lead to certain reactions such as the following:
- Disorganization of behavior (illogical behavior and without apparent explanation).
- Aggressiveness (physical, verbal, etc.)
- Emotional reactions (anxiety, affliction, nervousness and other manifestations such as insomnia, circulatory and digestive problems, etc.)
Alignment, apathy and disinterest
What is most often found in the industry is that, when the routes leading to the workers’ goal are blocked, they usually “give up.” Morale declines, they meet with their friends to complain and, in some cases, they take revenge by throwing the tool (sometimes deliberately) against the machinery, or opting for improper behavior, as a way of reacting to frustration.