There are many motivational models that appeal because of their applicability to the real world. None more so than Victor Vroom’s Expectancy Theory
His theory assumes that all our behaviour comes from choices among alternatives whose purpose it is to maximise pleasure and minimise pain. He suggested that the relationship between people’s behavior at work and their goals was not as clear cut as others had imagined. He realised that an employee’s performance is based on individuals factors such as personality, skills, knowledge, experience and abilities.
The theory states that people have different sets of goals and can be motivated if they believe that:
– There is a positive correlation between efforts and performance,
– Favorable performance will result in a desirable reward,
– The reward will satisfy an important need,
– The desire to satisfy the need is strong enough to make the effort worthwhile.
This will only occur, Vroom states, if the following belief systems operate:
1. People actually want the reward, so managers must identify the value structures of their employees
2. People expect that they can attain the reward
3. The reality of the reward. Managers must ensure the promised rewards are carried through
Vroom suggested that an employee’s beliefs about these things interact psychologically to create a motivational force such that the employee acts in ways that bring about the conditions for the reward to actual come about. He stated that people will be driven and motivated by how much they want the reward on offer, the chances of them actually achieving the reward and whether the expectation of them receiving is is high.
This formula can be used to predict whether someone will actually be motivated to achieve goals set by management. And it answers the question why some people are more motivated than others; they simply want the rewards more than others.
While everyone works for a paycheck, it’s not secret that most employees prefer to be acknowledged with rewards and motivational incentives as well. Applying incentive programs above the annual pay raise can be a tricky task.
There are three main concerns when it comes to determining whether or not implementing a reward system will hinder or help your business:
1. Will an employee’s attitude change? While it is possible for an employee to produce high-quality work with a not-so-wonderful personal attitude, he will, more often than not, have a better attitude if he feels his work is appreciated.
2. Will your employees begin to exhibit behavioral changes? The hope is that they will because employee reward programs will keep them satisfied. They’ll be less likely to call out from work, waste time, or look for new jobs. Of course, your employee rewards have to be worth their efforts or they’ll become disgruntled and stop trying to achieve the goals you’ve set.
3. Will the rewards you choose have a motivational effect? In the end your employees will work harder not only because they want rewards but because they know their work will be evaluated often.
In the end, it comes down to whether or not you are able to implement an employee reward system that is favorable to both your organisation and the employees themselves. What are some of the ways you reward your employees for their hard work and dedication?