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Motivation In The Workforce

             Managing employees is cited as being the biggest problem to small business owners. This is because employers very often don't know how to handle employees. Effectively managing employees is a skill acquired through training and practice. Many books have been written on the subject, and courses are regularly offered through educational institutions.
             Motivation theories were developed or built upon the "human relations" findings. The new focus for motivation theory was on the search for satisfaction of human needs. This new approach swept through management thinking in the 1950's.
             Maslow (1954) offered his "needs hierarchy" according to which human beings have their needs arranged in a hierarchy such that they are motivated to seek satisfaction of the lower levels of need first. Once that level of need is satisfied it is no longer a motivator, and the person is motivated by the next level up the hierarchy. Basic needs such as shelter, food and warmth are in the bottom level of Maslow's hierarchy, which then progresses through physical well being, social acceptance, self esteem, to "Self-actualization" (realizing one's own potential).
             Another writer from this period, Herzberg (1959; also 1968 and 1987) theorized that human beings needed their "hygiene factors" dealt with adequately, before they would work at all. However, he argued that they were only motivated to work productively by "motivator factors", primarily by enriched jobs.
             McGregor (1960) warned us against Theory X (the view that people are reluctant to work) and offered us Theory Y, with its emphasis on people's need for achievement and satisfaction from a job done well.
             McClelland (1967), following the work of Murray in the 1930's, emphasized the.
             Importance of needs for achievement, power and affiliation.
             Fortunately for us, there have always been researchers putting theories to the test. When they found that behavior at work could not be explained by reference to the pure desire to earn as much money as possible, the first reaction was not to abandon belief in the primacy of money, but to look for intervening variables.

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