Theories of Motivation and Relative Needs Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:24:05
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Category: Motivation

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When an employee is underperforming, the employee runs the risk of setting in motion a ripple effect that will harm the greater whole of the network that comprises the field in which he or she is performing. In other words, a poorly motivated and poor performing employee can lead to a contagion that will dramatically effect the performance of other employees.

In certain environments, this can be catastrophic. If one is to examine the example of a surgical environment, an underperforming employee can not be tolerated. There are a number of ways that such underperformance can be addressed, the worst of which being utilizing an authoritarian, draconian means of reversing poor performance. Such a method is a mistake.

Usually, when an employee is slacking or performing below expectations, it is not terribly difficult to reverse the negative trend provided a decent manner in which to coax a better performance is used. Far too often, a supervisory will try and coax a better performance out of an employee by way of dropping an authoritarian hammer on the person. While this may work in the short term, it ultimately backfires as the moral of the employee hits an all time low and eventually returns to a substandard level of performance that is next to impossible to reverse.

Even worse, the employee may become single focused on just doing the bare minimum of acceptable standards and getting the  employee to increase an average performance is much more difficult that increasing substandard performance as average is something the employee can usually get away with. (Hence, the reason why the employee will steer himself towards the safety net of average.)

Under Maslows HIERARCHY OF NEEDS, one of the spheres of needs is that of self esteem needs. Under this theory, it is suggested for a person to feel a sense of self worth, there needs to be an emphasis in the persons life on either professional or hobbyist pursuits to where the person places a great deal of said emphasis on things the person is talented.

In other words, by taking a great deal of self esteem from duties and tasks one performs well will keep a person motivated to continually perform better. When the person is removed from tasks that the person has exceptional talent, then the person will suffer from a lessoning of self esteem.

This eventually will set in motion a decline in performance as the person is not able to measure up to professional standards as the duties and tasks the person is assigned are outside of the scope of the individuals talent. This is why it is exceptionally important that those assigning duties and tasks to an employee must make sure that the employees strengths are being played to. If not, the person will start to suffer from a loss of self esteem and that will be soon followed by a drop in motivation.

When it comes to an employee who works in the healthcare field, particularly in surgery related duties, there is an underlying factor that can undermine motivation: burnout. Such a career and field is a very high pressure field and requires a great deal of time commitments in order for the employee to function effectively. Such commitment can erode a persons enthusiasm which ultimately will lead to reduced or poor performance. The key to reversing such a trend will involve using Maslows self esteem and self actualization principles in order to reverse the negative trend and performance.

In one case, there was an employee named Liza who started to severely slack on her job duties as a surgical nurse. She had always previously performed at exceptional levels, but her recent performances were decidedly lacking. It seemed as if she was on the verge of quitting.

In order to help Liza turn her performance around, what needed to be undertaken was a means of boosting her self esteem so she could recapture the fire that she once had when it can to performing her duties and tasks. At the base of this was the need to determine what it was that was leading to the reduced performance.

The reason that Lizas job performance was suffering was because she was not able to balance the long hours at the hospital with the complexities of her family life. This was creating a feeling of being overwhelmed and it cut into her ability to think clearly. To counteract this problem, Liza was assigned a mentor who had faced similar problems in the past. The mentor was able to slowly work Liza through what had been troubling her and provided her with tips and ideas on how to balance her professional and home life. While the results were not overly dramatic, there was progress made.

When Liza realized that the tips and oversight her mentor was providing were helping her job performance increase, Liza began to experience a renewed sense of self worth. The reason for this is that her self esteem had increased because she finally realized that it was within her own power to reverse the negativities. (To a degree, this is similar to Maslows vision of self actualization)

So, it can be said that providing a mentor with the express purpose of helping to build up an employees formerly lost self esteem can work wonders in terms of providing motivation for an employee who is seemingly drifting in and out of interest with his/her profession.

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