What motivation, satisfaction, and performance have to do with each other
by Joan Marques
Various publications focusing on organizational behavior have
spent a considerable amount of pages on these three topics: motivation,
satisfaction and performance. And rightfully so: it does not require too much
brainwork to realize that this threesome must have an important level
of interdependence with each other.
One way to explain the connection
between motivation, satisfaction and performance is the
following: Motivation is what people need to perform better. However, not
everyone gets motivated by the same things: Where one gets motivated,
obtains satisfaction, and consequently performs better from getting
additional responsibility assigned, another may feel much better valued and
encouraged to higher productivity if he or she is merely being listened to,
or given some flexibility in his or her work schedule.
Yet, while the
above paragraph may have summarily demonstrated the connection between the
three here-discussed themes, it may be appropriate to take a closer look at
the subject matter.
Starting with motivation: This act only works when
people are receptive to it, and when it is done in the most applicable way.
That is, when it feeds the needs of the person to be motivated. Yet,
motivation will sort little or no effect if a person is not willing or able
to execute a task. It is therefore of great importance that anyone in a
leadership position realizes that motivation can only work if the foundation
of the process is solid: if the right person with the right skills has been
placed in charge of the task at hand. In any other case motivation will be a
waste of time, and will probably even lead to the opposite: depression on the
side of the incapable or unwilling task-performer.
another interesting work-related phenomenon. We often use this word without
really thinking about its meaning. However, the satisfaction issue in work
environments is far from simple, for, according to the great management
theorist Frederick Herzberg, job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction are
caused by total different sets of factors.
The readers who have been
frequently exposed to management matters may have already heard about
Herzberg’s age-old motivation-hygiene theory, which basically explains that,
even when job-dissatisfaction is eliminated, job satisfaction may still not
be achieved. How so? Well, Herzberg theorizes that there are different powers
at work in the elimination of job dissatisfaction versus the achievement of
job satisfaction. He found that job dissatisfaction is caused by factors such
as poor supervision, bad working conditions, unpleasant colleagues, low
salaries, objectionable work policies or procedures, and low job
So, says Herzberg, as a leader you have to make sure that these
matters, which he calls the hygiene factors by the way, are appropriately
taken care of. However, it makes no sense to overdo them, because even if you
enhance one of the above-mentioned hygiene factors to a dazzling height, it
will not lead to a higher level of job satisfaction.
brings about job satisfaction? In that regard Herzberg presents the following
factors: achievement, recognition, responsibility, growth, and the nature of
the work. He classifies these factors as motivators, and claims that these
are the factors that will enhance job satisfaction.
Now that this
distinction has been clarified, Herzberg’s suggestion to managers and leaders
in workplaces is, to just sufficiently satisfy the hygiene factors -- but not
overdo them – and then to seriously emphasize on the motivating factors. If
this is applied in the right way, which is not always as straightforward and
easy as the theory seems to indicate, then performance should go up.
recently read somewhere that if every American worker would produce 3% more
in his or her 8-hour workday, the country would be well on its way out of any
economical depression. What better reason is there to take a serious look at
the interaction between motivation, satisfaction, and performance?
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Joan Marques, holds an MBA, is a doctoral candidate in
Organizational Leadership, and a university instructor in Business and
Management in Burbank, California. You may visit her web site at
www.joanmarques.com Joan's manual "Feel Good About Yourself," a six part
series to get you over the bumps in life and onto success, can be purchased
and downloaded at: http://www.non-books.com/FeelGoodSeries.html
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