Genders role in organizational motivation Essay

Abstract

 The topic of this paper is related to the subject of organizational behavior, a subject that attempts to describe different behaviors and attitudes of employees and managers in organizations. The paper discusses the role played by gender in organizational motivation. It highlights the differences of gender today that have a negative impact on organizational motivation. This paper is written in the APA writing style.

What is Organizational Motivation?
When we define motivation in general it is the set of processes that directs a person towards a goal. When talking about motivation in relation to organizations, motivated behaviors are described as voluntary choices that are under the control of the individual employee. The supervisor, who is actually the motivator, attempts to influence the factors that motivate employees to higher levels of productivity. There are certain important characteristics that have an impact on organizational motivation such as

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-Individual differences such as gender

-Job characteristics

-Organizational practices

Individual differences are described as personal needs, values, and attitudes, interests and abilities that people bring to their jobs and gender is an important part of individual differences. By job characteristics, it indicates the features of the position that determine its boundary line and challenges. Organizational practices imply the rules and regulations, human resources policies, managerial practices, and rewards systems of an organization. The duty of the manager, motivator or supervisors is to determine that how these factors impact employee job performance (Gemmy Allen -1998).

Why do managers need to understand gender roles in Organizational Motivation?
By saying that a manager motivates his subordinates implies that a manager perform certain actions that satisfy the wishes and needs of employees, which further prompts them to act in a desired manner which is beneficial for the organization. It is extremely essential for managers to understand the role-played by gender in organizational motivation as it is his duty to motivate the employees so as to prompt to work in favor of the organization regardless of the gender. If gender differences are kept in organization motivation it creates an air of discomfort and reluctant ness among the gender that faces discrimination, which on the whole has an extremely negative impact on the productivity and success of the organization. Managers should be able to comprehend the various drives, desires, needs, wishes and other forces regarding the employees without any discrimination between genders of employees in order to motivate them. Managers motivate their subordinates by providing them with an environment that compels them to act in a positive manner towards the organization, which would not only enhance their performance but fulfill their certain desires and wishes as well (Koontz, H).

There was a certain time, when employees were considered to be merely a part of the production of goods and services. The revolution that led to the change of this basic concept of employees was different researches in different field such as Hawthorne Studies, which were conducted by Elton Mayo from 1924 to 1932 (Dickson, 1973). The theme of this study was found to be that money is not the only motivating factor for employees instead there are a number of attitudes that are linked to employee behavior. The Hawthorne Studies imitated the human relations approach to management, which highlighted the needs and motivation of employees to a fundamental focal point for managers (Bedeian, 1993).

Managers have used different studies related to the needs and wants of employees which lead them to act in a positive manner towards achieving organizational goals, or which motivate them. It is important for managers to have complete knowledge about what could be the consequences of gender discrimination in the aspect of organizational motivation. All though the basic needs and wants of male and female employees, which motivate them, are almost the same but there are minor differences in the factors that might motivate females and that might not motivate men. Managers must understand those minor differences and hence target the different genders with different motivation acts. It is important that a manager understands and is able to apply motivation theories to different genders of employees, as it is his major responsibility to enhance the productivity and success of an organization through effective and positive employee behavior, attitude and work. It is said that a successful manager is that manager who is able to bring certain personal objectives of employees and organizational objectives at the same level, such that the employee feels that the accomplishment of the organizational objectives would lead him towards the accomplishment of personal objectives as well.

There are certain tools of motivation such motivational and inspirational quotes, poems, posters, motivational speakers and stories, team building games and activities. All these tools are aimed at developing employee motivation for sales and business staff in all kinds of organizations. Motivational and inspirational experiences enhance employees’ attitudes, confidence and performance. Good leadership and management requires good people-motivation skills and the efficient use of inspirational techniques. There is a wide range of motivational methods which are practiced by the successful managers of today’s competitive market place such as inspirational quotes and poems, to team building games and activities, as ice-breakers, warm-ups and exercises for conferences, workshops, meetings and events, which in themselves can often be helpful for staff motivation too.

The use of inspirational quotations, phrases and sayings is an old yet effective motivational technique in the situations of team building sessions, conferences, speeches and training courses. The effectiveness of inspirational quotes in motivation lies in the fact that they provide examples and role models, these inspirational images incite motivational images and feelings for the brain to see. Some examples of motivational quotes are:

-We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them (Albert Einstein)

-It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit (President Harry S Truman)

-In the midst of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer (Albert Camus, 1913 – 1960, French author ; philosopher)

-If you’re not part of the solution you must be part of the problem. (The commonly paraphrased version of the original quote: “What we’re saying today is that you’re either part of the solution, or you’re part of the problem” by Eldridge Cleaver 1935-98, founder member and information minister of the Black Panthers, American political activist group, in a speech in 1968 – thanks RVP)

-A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline (Harvey Mackay – thanks Brad Hanson)

-I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles overcome while trying to succeed (Booker T Washington, 1856-1915, American Educator and African-American spokesman, thanks for quote M Kincaid, and for biography correction M Yates and A Chatterjee). (Alan Chapman -2006)

The History of Organizational Motivation
In earlier times, it was considered that the only thing that motivates employees of all genders was money. Today with the advent of different motivation theories and studies, this concept has changed totally. These studies have identified many characteristics that contribute to organizational motivation of employees regardless of gender roles. The managers of today clearly know that motivation of employees cannot be done only on the basis of money rewards or other similar rewards, but motivation requires deep comprehensive study of the wishes and needs of employees so as to bring them at the same level as of that of organizational objectives. This would prompt them to work efficiently as the achievement of organizational objectives would mean achieving their personal objectives in reality. The manager’s job is not to understand employees but to comprehend what motivates them and then target it. The history of organizational motivation comprises of a number of motivational theories such as:

-The carrot and stick theory

The carrot and stick theory implies the use of rewards and punishments in order to prompt for desired behavior. The theory is related to an old story, which is to make a donkey move by showing him a carrot or hit him from the back with a stick. Although many other motivation theories have been discovered but the effectiveness of this rewards and punishments theory is much positive even today. Today, there has been a lot of search conducted about motivation theories and many ‘carrots’ of motivation have been found which motivate both genders without any difference. The most important kind of carrot is money. Money is a carrot or motivator that motivates both male and female employees to the same extent. Similarly, there are different kinds of sticks used, which also have the same impact on both genders such as fear of loss of job, loss of income, reduction of bonus, demotion and other similar punishments. There is great power in these motivators, as if managers are first level supervisors of chief executives, the power their position gives them helps them to control the economic and social status of their subordinates belonging to both genders (Koontz, H).

-McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y

McGregor through his theory x and Y attempted to reveal the fact that there are two kinds of assumptions related to the nature of employees. In Theory X he provides the notions that most human beings do not like work and will avoid when they are able to, due to this attitude of general people of both genders towards work they should be motivated, controlled, directed, and threatened with punishments to work for the achievement of organizational objectives. The Theory Y presented the notions that external control and the fear of being penalized are not the only things that direct employees towards achieving organizational objectives, there is only a certain extent to which these motivators can be used after that extent, it is the self determination and self drive of people that will prompt them to work efficiently for the organization. The both of these theories presented different scenarios to managers to decide for techniques of motivation for both male and female employees (Koontz, H).

-Skinners Theory

The theory presented by the psychologist B.F. Skinner’s states that the behaviors of employees that direct towards positive outputs will be repetitive in nature and those that lead to negative outputs will be non repetitive (Skinner, 1953). Hence the assumption that was deducted from Skinners theory was that managers should focus on positively reinforcing employee behaviors that are directed towards positive outputs and those that lead to negative output should be negatively reinforced by managers. The Skinner’s theory is also named as the ‘Reinforcement theory’. Skinner proposed to managers to do more than just praising good performance, they manager should also analyze the work situation in which the employees shows a good performance and then deduce the hurdles that come in the way of good performance and take measures to avoid them (Koontz, H).

Fig.1- The Reinforcement Process

-Adam’s Theory or Equity Theory

Adams’ theory is also named as the Equity Theory. This theory states the fact that employees try hard to achieve equity or equal status between themselves and other workers. The method of achieving equity is when the ratio of employee outcomes over inputs is equal to other employee outcomes over inputs (Adams, 1965).

Outcomes by a person= outcomes by another person

                                  Inputs by a person        inputs by another person

Fig.2- The Equity Theory

This theory earned a lot of credit for Adam’s. The theory also suggests that there should be balance between the rewards between people whose outcomes and inputs are the same other wise it would create dissatisfaction.

-The Hierarchy of Needs Theory

The Hierarchy of Needs Theory has been present by the psychologist Abraham Maslow. Maslow pointed out needs in the order of most pressing needs first. They are:

-Physiological needs such as the basic needs for food, water, warmth, shelter and sleep. Maslow indicated that unless these basic needs are satisfied it is useless to focus other needs of employees of both genders to motivate them.

-Security of Safety needs such as the needs of being free from the fear of physical dangers and of losing a job, home, property or food.

-Affiliation or acceptance needs such as belonging and acceptance or recognition of others as man is a social animal he cannot live alone.

-Esteem needs such as power, prestige, self- confidence and status as once the need to belong is fulfilled both male and female employees wish to be esteemed themselves and by others.

-Need for self-actualization such as becoming capable enough to accomplish something.

There have been certain studies by other scientists who have not favored Maslow’s hierarchy much as they tend to think that as employees of both genders move upward in position in organizations there basic needs are already fulfilled but their esteem and self-actualization needs increase. Hence managers should give more importance to them by managers (Koontz, H).

-The Vroom Theory and Practice

The theory of Vroom is focuses on the belief that the efforts of employees will lead to performance and performance will initiate rewards (Vroom, 1964). A reward is basically a positive term however in some instances rewards can be negative as well. This depicts the fact if a reward is more positive in nature the motivation level of the employee will be high too similarly if the rewards is negative the motivation level of the employee will be comparatively less (Linder, J).

-The Porter and Lawler Model

In this model Porter and Lawler highlighted the fact that the effort and power of motivation that will be exerted by an employee depends on the value of a reward and the amount of energy that he believes will be required to get the award (Koontz, H).

-McClelland’s Needs Theory of Motivation

David McClelland through his needs theory of motivation highlighted the fact that there are there types of basic motivating needs, which are the need for power, the need for affiliation, the need for achievement. McClelland found that the patterns of achievement motivation are clearest in employees and managers of small companies but only average achievement motivation exists in large companies (Koontz, H).

The Current Situation
Today every efficient manager has the answer to the question that why is organizational motivation fundamental regardless of gender discrimination. The key to successful organizations is highly motivated male and female employees as they both play significant roles in the achievement of organizational objectives. Motivated male and female employees are the vital requirement of today’s fast changing workplaces and work enviornments. Motivated male and female employees are the backbone of the successful survival of organizations. Studies have shown that motivated male and female employees are more productive and efficient as compared to unmotivated employees. Successful managers today need to comprehend the factors that motivate both genders in accordance with the roles they play in the organization. Although all the functions performed by a manager are significant and difficult but motivating employees of both genders is the most convoluted of them all. It should also be remembered that every employee has different motivation factors, which change persistently (Bowen & Radhakrishna, 1991). An example of changing motivating factors can be seen as through research it has been seen that as the earnings of employee’s increases, the motivating power of money decreases (Kovach, 1987). Another important fact that has been analyzed by research is that as the age of female and male employee’s increases, they are motivated to a great extent by interesting work.

According to a recent study conducted at Piketon Research and Extension Center and Enterprise Center, which comprised of twenty-five employees of the target population it was concluded that the ranked order of motivating factors was:

1-interesting work

2-good wages

3-full appreciation of work done

4-job security

5-good working conditions

6-promotions and growth in the organization

7-feeling of being in on things

8-personal loyalty to employees such as tactful discipline, and sympathetic help with personal problems

Hence it can be deducted from the result of this study; the motivating factors have changed in today’s work arena and are still in the process of change. It is also established through the result of this study that money is not the most important motivating factor today (Linder, J).

When we talk about gender roles in organizational motivation, we see that the number of women who are part of the labor force has increased rapidly in recent decades, the result of which can be seen in the rapid increase of the number of women in management positions. It is a sad fact that even today women are looked down upon in management positions all over the world. This phenomenon of women being looked down upon in today’s workplace is termed as the `glass ceiling’ effect. Today women play important roles in the management positions of organizations and hence they play an important role in the aspect of organizational motivation too. The female gender has proved to be not only competent as men but also even more capable in certain organizational management positions (Vianen, V; E.M, A).

Suggestions deduced from research

The ranks of motivational factors that have been deduced from the research stated above, it become obvious that the importance of motivational factors of employees provides useful information for the managers to understand what will motivate his subordinates. Managers should understand the fact that different motivating techniques should be used and applied in different situations. Another important fact which managers should consider while motivating their employees is to motivate them without considering any discrimination of gender.

If Hertzberg’s theory is followed by the managers to motivate the employees, it should be initiated by emphasizing on pay and job security or in other words hygiene factors rather than stressing on the motivating factors of interesting work and full appreciation of work done. Similarly, if Adams’ equity theory is followed, the managers should initiate by stressing on areas where there may be perceived inequities such as pay and full appreciation of work done rather than emphasizing on interesting work and job security. If the manager decides to follow the theory of Vroom’s, he should stress on appropriately rewarding the efforts of the employee in regard to the accomplishment of organizational goals and objectives. Whichever theory is followed, the motivating factors of interesting work and employee pay seem to be the most significant bonds to higher motivation levels of employees (Linder, J).

           Today, there is continuous and ever increasing competition at organizational level; hence an organization can only stand ahead in this competition, with the joint efforts of its managers and employees. The work performance is linked to the motivating abilities of their managers.

The following are the most recently favored motivation techniques that managers are advised to use for the successful accomplishment of their organizational objectives through the efforts of their employees of both genders:

 -Money

Money is a motivating factor that has the same impact on both male and female employees. Although it has been discussed earlier that as the level of an employee increases in an organization, money becomes a low motivating factor but still its importance cannot be denied.  Although motivation is a personalized technique as one thing which might be able to motivate one person may not be the motivating factor for the other one, but money motivates all. Money is used as a motivator in the form of wages, piecework or other incentives pay, bonuses, stock options, company paid insurance or any such things that may be given to people for performance. Money not only brings monetary value with itself but it also brings feelings of status and power to both men and women. The economists and managers tend to regard money as a high rank motivator whereas the case is different with behavioral scientists, which rank it as a low rank motivator.

           While managers use money as a motivator it is important for them to remember that money as a motivator is important and works well for men and women who have the responsibility of raising a family, supporting their children than to those people who do not have need money so instantly. Money is seen to be an instant method of attaining a minimum standard of living, although this standard of living is raised with more income.

Consequently, there is another scenario where in many kinds of businesses and enterprises money is not used primarily as a motivator but as a medium of keeping an organization reasonably staffed. There are many examples of enterprises that keep their wage structure competitive in order to attract and retain their employees rather than to motivate them. Lastly, if managers are to use money as a motivating factor, it should be realized that employees of both genders and in various positions should be given bonuses and pays that are suitable to their performance. Money can motivate effectively only when the payment is larger or more than the employee’s income. Here there is a slight difference between the perceptions of larger pay between the genders, as women feel rewarded and motivated even if there is a little increment in their routine wage whereas men workers and employees have higher expectation of money to be motivated. The basic problem with bonuses and incentives is mostly that they are not large enough to satisfy employees (Koontz, H).

-Participation

Another technique that has been regarded strongly by research and studies for being a good motivator is the use of increased awareness and participation. There are only rare instances of people who tend to be not affected by being ‘in on the act’. Being consulted for participation raises the morale and esteem of an employee and this works more for female employees as compared to male employees. Being asked for participation, prompts the employee to take interest and work with more commitment. As a result, the

Satisfaction level, the motivation level and the knowledge of the employee increases as well. Participation can also be understood with regard to recognition. It in linked with the need of affiliation and acceptance (Koontz, H).

-Quality of Working Life

There are three basic parts of the definition of the term quality of work life, which are occupational health care, suitable working time and appropriate salary. A person will be motivated to work diligently if he or she does have a safe work environment to work in. A safe work environment not only enhances productivity but brings job satisfaction and motivation as well. Managers eager to motivate employees should be aware of the fact that the work should not cause any health hazards for them. Different organizations in countries around the world have formulated working hours, which are, safe for individuals and do not put excessive stress on them. There are defined standard limits of overtime, time of vacation and taking of free days before national holidays have been separately determined. This aspect of employee motivation focuses on gender difference as well, as the differences regarding the working time have been established separately for pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers and the person raising the disabled child. There is an agreement of suitable wag between the employee and the employer. The Government of the Republic where an organization is situated verifies and updates each year the rate of minimum salary, the employer is bound to not pay less than that to the employee. If the work seems safe and enjoyable to the employee, it would be major contributing factor in his being motivated towards the achievement of organizational goals (Sotsiaalministeerium (2004).

-Job Enrichment

Job enrichment in relation to organizational development, human resources management, and organizational behavior, is defined as the process of enhancing work processes and environments so as to make them more suitable and satisfying for employees of both genders. There are certain jobs are tedious and unrewarding. These kinds of jobs create worker dissatisfaction due to various reasons such as a lack of a challenge, repetitive procedures, or an over-controlled authority structure. It is the factor of job enrichment that eradicates the effect of these problematic factors, and enhances performance in the workplace. Job enrichment is a fundemental managerial activity in today’s changing workplaces, It comprises of three major steps:

1. Converting the effort of employees into performance by:

-Assuring that objectives are well-defined and easily comprehendible by all employees. The overall corporate mission statement should be well dictated to all. The individual’s goals of both genders workin in an organizaation should also be vivid. Each employee should be aware of her/his  position into the overall process and be aware of how important her/his contributions are to the organization and its customers.

-Providing sufficient resources for each employee as to enhance his/ her performance. This comprises of support functions like information technology, communication technology, and personnel training and development.

-Creating a supportive corporate culture. This should be in the form of peer support networks, supportive management, and minimization of things that create mistrust and politicking.

-Free flow of information and equal participation of all employees

-Providing enough space to enhance job excellence. Employees of both genders should be promplty encouraged and rewarded with appropriate initiatives.

-Providing ample recognition, appreciation, and other motivators which is linked with the need of appreciation.

-Providing skill improvement opportunities. This could be in the form of paid education at universities, on the job or on hand training.

-Providing job variety such as job sharing or job rotation programmes.

-It may be sometimes be essential to redesign the job process in order to eliminate their monotounous nature. This could be in the form of redesigning the physical facility, redesign processes, change technologies, simplification of procedures, elimination of repetitiveness, redesigning authority structures.

2. Creating a link between the employees performance and the appropriate reward:

-A reward must be clearly defined

-How the performance and reward are linked should be explained clearly.

-Assuring that the employee gets the right reward on a good performance

-Explaining the reason for not giving the reward.

3. Investigating that the mployee wants the reward, this can be found out by

-Asking the employees

-Using surveys such as checklists, listings, questions (Wikipedia -2006).

Bibliography

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job_enrichment

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Motivation to manage: a comparative study of male and female library & information science students in the United States of America, India, Singapore, & Japan. Retrieved on November 1st 2006 from:

http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla65/papers/093-113e.htm

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http://www.businessballs.com/motivation.htm

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