Employee motivation in the workplace is a major factor in helping a company to run smoothly. If employees are not motivated to perform to the best of their abilities the company could easily lose clients or take the company to the brink of bankruptcy. This paper will examine how various motivational strategies affect productivity at South Point Apartment Complex in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The following paper will then identify and analyze the implications of applying two motivational theories that are not currently in practice at South Point Apartments and show how these motivational theories could impact both the management staff and the employees. Motivational Theories The employees at South Point apartment complex are a very unproductive team. McGregor’s Theory X is could easily be applied to this company. When looking for the leasing agent to show an apartment, she was nowhere to be found.
Usually using the excuse she was checking on the empty apartments; making sure they were ready to rent. According to McGregor’s Theory X, people will try to avoid working at every chance they get. McGregor also believed humans have no desire for responsibility and need to be directed by others to complete the job. The apartment manager spent most of her time looking for the leasing agent, so she could give her specific instructions on what needed to be done. After receiving the specific instructions, the leasing agent would then complete the task with no problem.
McGregor’s Theory X also stated people have little ability for being able to solve organizational problems (Pojidaeff, 1995). This also holds true for the staff at South Point. If a problem arises with one of the residents, no one knew what to do. The staff would literally pass the buck to someone else, then that person would do the same. Nothing was ever accomplished by the first person the problem was brought up to.
Theory X also states, people do not like to change and they are gullible and unintelligent. Corporate for South Point finally realize their complex was going under due to the employees lack of motivation. Essentially, theory x assumes that the primary source of most employee motivation is monetary, with security as a strong second” (Pojidaeff, 1995, p. 5). South Point was not a high paying apartment complex so most employees were working for minimum wage. They did not have the extrinsic motivation which was needed for a job well done. Eventually South Point Apartment Complex started offering bonuses to the employees, vacations, and an increase in pay to the employees that were motivated to do their job correctly the first time. Motivational Theories for South Point
Locke’s Goal-setting theory would greatly improve the employee motivation at South Point Apartments. “Goal-setting theory is one of the most accepted, most valid, and most useful of the motivation theories in the industrial and organizational psychology, human resource management, and organizational behavior” (Newcolm, 2011, para. 6). Locke discovered in his research that goals that are detailed and complex lead to better task performance; unlike goals that are informal and imprecise. The leasing agent at South Point Apartment Complex would have thrived if she was given goals she was to accomplish before the day was over.
Instead she felt as if she had all the time in the world to finish one goal, therefore nothing would be accomplished by the end of the day. According to Locke there are five principles to goal setting. Goals must have clarity, be challenging, have commitment from the employee, feedback from the supervisor and have task complexity. With this being said the leasing agent would have a challenge put in front of her to accomplish and this would open the lines of communication between her and her employer. “When goals have clarity the goals are clear, measurable, unambiguous, and specific.
Having clear goals results in fewer misunderstandings about what behaviors will be rewarded and what behavior is expected” (Reeve, 2009, para. 8). Using Locke’s Goal setting theory would benefit all employees at South Point Apartments. The apartment manager would be able to set goals for each of the employees from the maintenance man to the make ready lady. This way each employee would be given a goal for the day. Once this goal is accomplished, the manager would then be able to assign another goal. This would keep the employees motivated to do their jobs and not to be slacking off; hiding in the empty apartments.
So much more would be accomplished at this apartment complex rather than a game of hide and seek. Putting in place Locke’s goal setting theory would motivate the employees to get the apartments ready to be leased in a reasonable amount of time. Another motivational theory that would be useful at South Point Apartment Complex is the Cognitive Evaluation Theory. “This theory suggests there are actually two motivation systems: intrinsic and extrinsic” (“Motivational Theories,” 2009, para. 6). According to this theory intrinsic motivators come from the sense of achievement from doing a job well.
The employees would have competence, responsibility, and the sense of achievement when finishing their task at hand. Intrinsically motivated employees work for their own satisfaction and sense of achievement. This theory also involves extrinsic motivation. This stems from the rewards which employees are given to get them to accomplish the task at hand. South Point started offering bonuses to their employees for doing their jobs well. What South Point does not realize is eventually the newness of this reward system will wear off and the employees will start slacking again; at least until better rewards are put into play.
Conclusion Employee motivation in the workplace is a valuable tool. Without motivation the company could fail. South Point Apartments describes McGregor’s Theory X to a T. If this apartment complex were to use Locke’s Goal Setting Theory the employees would have more motivation to do their jobs correctly the first time. Many companies do not use motivational strategies with their employees, but it they would; unmotivated employees would be a thing of the past.